Off leash access?

6:33 p.m. on August 25, 2010 (EDT)
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762 forum posts

I'm just putting this out there for your review...

http://www.forestaccess.org/

7:33 p.m. on August 25, 2010 (EDT)
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In a perfect world we could let our dogs run free and enjoy nature as they see fit, and all would be well.

The reality is that many dog owners do not understand common courtesy to others using the same areas, trumps their "right" to let their dogs run off leash, in my opinion. My reasoning is based on the number of dog owners who do not train their dogs to the level necessary to have control of the dog off leash. Sometimes dog owners act as if everyone else should be tolerant of their dogs behavior towards others, which may be friendly, but uninvited.

I don't like my personal space being intruded upon by a dog I have never met before who thinks he or she is entitled to run up to me and sniff about, beg for food, or whatever. Sometimes a dogs intentions are difficult to read at a moments notice, and sometimes dog owners assume that because they enjoy seeing their dog running up to them, others will as well. After all, isn't their dog so cute and friendly?

I like dogs, I backpacked with one for several years, but the dog was well trained which requires work and maintenance. I tried very hard to be considerate of others and my dog was never allowed to pester people, or otherwise invade their space. We backpacked in more remote areas for this reason, and when we did encounter other hikers we moved off trail and the dog sat quietly by my side. In many instances a dog owner must be willing to put a little effort into being courteous. It's not a matter of your rights, but doing what is right.

I like seeing dogs out on the trail, I understand why people enjoy taking their dogs with them. However, allowing the dog to be a nuisance impedes the rights of others also trying to have a good time.

The old saying is: "Your rights end where mine begin."

Maybe if an area, or trail system was set aside expressly for this purpose, and posted as such it would be different.

There are many dog owners who do train and control their dogs, and they should be commended for that. It's just another case of one group of dog owners behavior forcing rules to be put in place that restricts the activities of other dog owners. The same is true of many things in life.

Anyway, that's my take on it. Too many people are worried about their rights, but don't understand their responsibilities.

9:14 p.m. on August 25, 2010 (EDT)
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Well said....i agree.

I've been packpacking now for several years with my well trained Border collie who promptly listens to every command.He has truly been an outstanding trail companion.

Most of my backpacking is done in very remote areas which lend itself well for unleashing my dog as i usually never see another trail user.

I always leash my dog when other trail users are present even though he'll stand by my side,its simply out of respect.

1:48 a.m. on August 26, 2010 (EDT)
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A few years ago, Harold Fish, a hiker in Arizona who claimed he was being attacked by another hiker's dog, shot the hiker and killed him. Fish was tried for murder, convicted, spent 3 years in jail, then freed when his conviction was overturned on appeal. As far as I know, he wasn't retried because the DA didn't think they could win at a new trial. Arizona passed new legislation making self-defense easier to claim in such cases as a result of the Fish case.

The moral of the story here is if someone thinks you or your dog is a threat, at least in Arizona, they can kill you or your dog or both of you and claim self-defense.

6:21 a.m. on August 26, 2010 (EDT)
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I had dogs during my youth, so do not mind them approaching me; I can read them well enough to know if they are friend or foe. I do wish, however, they knew I now am allergic.

Oddly enough, it is the dogs and their owners in my own hiking party that bother me the most. Dogs are not necessarily camp kitchen trained, and I am not cool with pooch sticking his nose in cooking pots, etc. Some owners are not kitchen trained either. I had to explain to one owner why I took issue at the dog being permitted to lick his spoon – which the owner then used to serve himself portions form the community pot. And then there are the camp turds, yapping, and disrupting the itineray to accomodate quality time with Fifi. In the end some dogs and owners are good backcountry neighbors, while others fall short in various degrees. A leash does not make a good dog, it only restricts the zone of chaos. This is mostly a training issue, but some dogs, like humans, are born delinquents. If owners of well behaved dogs are frustrated by these regulations, they should be aware the source of their ire is not non-pet owners, it is pet owners who either fail to train their dog, or bring dogs that have no business running loose in the forest.
Ed

September 15, 2014
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