Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 
Backcountry Gear Clearance and Sale

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance


 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#196501 - 09/06/16 01:56 PM On leash? Or do you let them run free?
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1722
Loc: Napa, CA
Just about everywhere that dogs are allowed in the wilderness they are required to be on a leash. In California's national parks, they are not allowed on trails at all--in fact, the rule in most national parks is that dogs are allowed only on paved areas--anywhere you can take your car, you can take your dog.

That doesn't include any trails that aren't paved.

But we'd estimate that of the fifty dogs we've seen in the backcountry this year, about three of them have been on leashes. It's the single most frequently broken regulation that we see in the wilderness.

On our last trip to Caribou Wilderness, we ran into quite a few dogs, and only one of them was on a leash. But that dog was within a mile of the trailhead, just starting out, and we wonder how long he stayed on that leash. We don't say that because the owners looked untrustworthy--but the trails the Caribou Wilderness are rife with deadfall trees. We had to climb up and over, or around more than 75 trees on our hike there. And we can't image what you would do with a dog on a leash in that scenario. Our guess is that you would get pretty darn tired of the tangles.

Of course, some dogs we've met are extremely well trained and behaved. But not all are. And we worry not only about dogs interacting with other hikers. More of a concern is how they might interact with the local wildlife--chasing squirrels or deer, or even worse, fighting with something that might fight back.
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

Top
#196507 - 09/06/16 07:39 PM Re: On leash? Or do you let them run free? [Re: balzaccom]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6389
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Not every wilderness area requires that a dog be on leash. The usual requirement is that the dog be under voice control (using a leash when riding horseback is difficult if not impossible). Unfortunately, most people don't train their dogs that well. Up here in the Pacific NW, leashes are required mostly in crowded areas (Columbia River Gorge, or along I-90 east of Seattle). Unfortunately, there is no enforcement, and an increasing number of dog owners pay no attention to the rules. I also see an increasing number of people not picking up after their dogs (or at least getting the poop off the trail) or, even worse, picking up the poop and then leaving the plastic bag with its poop alongside the trail rather than packing it out.

When I had Hysson (until 3 years ago), I kept him on leash where it was required, where there were lots of people, or in forest where I couldn't see far ahead or behind. I also kept him on leash the first hour of the day until he settled down. When we got to open spaces, I let him loose as long as nobody else was around and I could see a fair distance ahead or behind (no wildlife in sight). I also let him loose in really rough or difficult areas where I didn't dare risk his pulling me off balance. Usually after an hour or two of hiking, he was calm enough that he would follow obediently behind me along the trail. I discouraged him from going ahead of me, because he loved to stop dead right in front of me every time he encountered an interesting smell, which was very annoying. Although he regarded "come" as an optional command, "heel" worked every time--he'd come and sit alongside me so I could grab his collar.

While I found on my one visit to Yosemite that I could take Hysson on any paved trail (per a park ranger I met and quizzed), including to the foot of Yosemite Falls, most national parks aren't that forgiving. For instance, at Mt. Rainier a dog is allowed only in the parking lots or in the car campground (on leash at all times), and not on any trails, paved or otherwise. On the other hand, dogs on leash are allowed on the portion of the PCT that goes through Mt. Rainier NP. That's just one small example of how the rules differ from place to place.





Edited by OregonMouse (09/06/16 07:41 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#196513 - 09/07/16 11:14 AM Re: On leash? Or do you let them run free? [Re: OregonMouse]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1722
Loc: Napa, CA
I hoped I would get comments from you, OM. And good ones at that.

I completely agree that these regulations are almost never enforced---and I have a hard time seeing how they can be enforced. How do you prove that your dog is under voice command at all times? Or is this just an example of "If you are responsible for a dog that attacks wildlife or other people, we now have a way of penalizing you?"
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

Top
#196523 - 09/08/16 12:43 AM Re: On leash? Or do you let them run free? [Re: balzaccom]
toddfw2003 Offline
member

Registered: 01/08/16
Posts: 318
Loc: Texas
This year I have done a lot of backpacking in Southern Utah and Arizona. In those area I have kept her on a leash do to rattlesnakes, bear and mountain lions. I like trekking poles and it makes it almost impossible to use them. REI sale a leash that you wrap around your body so you dont have to hold it. I am going to try that.
Other area I dont but if there are people on the trail I do. I have a pitbull, though she is friendly a lot of people are still afraid of them

Top
#196526 - 09/08/16 01:37 PM Re: On leash? Or do you let them run free? [Re: toddfw2003]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6389
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Take the dog on her daily walks using your trekking poles and you'll both soon become accustomed to working with leash and poles. The dog will learn to "heel" farther away from you to avoid the poles. Don't let the dog walk around you and wind you up in the leash! Teach her the "flip finish" maneuver (lots of instructional videos on youtube) so that when she's in front of you and you want her to move to the "heel" position, she won't go around you to do so.

Oh, and be sure to put rubber caps on your trekking poles during the daily walks so you don't damage the dog or your neighbors' sidewalks or the points of the poles!

As a plus, the poles turn exercise walking into a whole body exercise, using your core muscles!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#196527 - 09/08/16 05:21 PM Re: On leash? Or do you let them run free? [Re: toddfw2003]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1732
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
If you are going to spend much time hiking in rattlesnake country you might want to check out a rattlesnake aversion course for your dog. I'm sure you can find one offered in Texas; check with a few vets and I expect you'll find one. I live in rural SE Arizona and have a lot of rattlers on our property. I have put our golden retriever Rosie through aversion courses twice: now she won't get within ten feet of a rattler but she will let us know by her behavior that one is around. I'm pretty sure it is a scent thing because often the snakes are/were pretty well hidden.

Around here the cost of a typical course of anti-venom for a snakebiten dog is about $3000. An aversion course costs about $50.

It would be nice if bear aversion courses were offered too but I don't think they are. I don't worry too much about cougars though they are not uncommon around here; we'll hear about an occasional sighting from neighbors. Bobcats too.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

Top
#196610 - 09/19/16 03:24 PM Re: On leash? Or do you let them run free? [Re: balzaccom]
BrRabbit Offline
member

Registered: 03/15/16
Posts: 58
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
I am a new dog owner. My dog is just 3 months old. So, I am yet to figure the whole thing out. But I found out that in my piece of the woods, dogs are allowed to be in the state forests while hunting. So... I guess I need to get small game hunting license and carry my revolver. Well, in fact, I have a good reason now to start hunting squirrels and rabbitses... Free raw food!

Top
#197058 - 12/06/16 02:55 PM Re: On leash? Or do you let them run free? [Re: balzaccom]
Adventure510 Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/06/16
Posts: 4
Loc: Virginia
I would suggest to let the roam free depending on if you are in bear country. If in bear country I would probably put them on a leash.

Top
#197077 - 12/07/16 09:25 AM Re: On leash? Or do you let them run free? [Re: balzaccom]
Barefoot Friar Offline
member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Houston, Alabama
Maizy stays on leash. When hiking, it is because she is a weird mix of aggressive and friendly (i.e., "Leave my humans alone, but please pet me!") There are people who are afraid of all dogs or unfamiliar dogs, so when we meet other hikers we step off the trail and I let them see I'm holding her so they can pass without discomfort if they want. At the same time, I'm training her to be a lot calmer when we meet new people. I'm seeing slow but sure success.

When we're stopped it is because she likes to roam a bit, and I don't want her getting into some kind of a jam or failing to return. I have a short, light cable I take along which I use to keep her in our camp area. I take her on leash to do her business away from camp, trail, and water, just like at home.

I get very annoyed when an overly friendly or aggressive dog is barking or jumping on me and the owner is weakly yelling at the dog and saying "he doesn't normally do this!" Yes, he does normally do this, and you very well know it; you should either train him not to or restrain him. I like dogs, so I expect a lot from their owners.
_________________________
"Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls."

Top
#197170 - 12/13/16 09:28 AM Re: On leash? Or do you let them run free? [Re: Barefoot Friar]
toddfw2003 Offline
member

Registered: 01/08/16
Posts: 318
Loc: Texas
In bear or Mountain lion country I will leash my dog. Any other time she runs free

Top
#197289 - 12/27/16 01:58 PM Re: On leash? Or do you let them run free? [Re: toddfw2003]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I do what OM does. I live in and quite a bit of the time am in areas where you hardly see anyone. Years ago in Desolation Wilderness in CA, the Wilderness Ranger even had her dog off leash, but we were back in there over 10 miles.
Duane

Top
#198995 - 08/30/17 09:58 PM Re: On leash? Or do you let them run free? [Re: toddfw2003]
TravelGenesi Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/17
Posts: 17
Loc: Tampa, Florida
I agree with toddfw2003. I’m no expert and I’m not a 100% sure about its safety benefits, however, a leash would at least be able to garner your dog's safety and welfare from bears and other wild animals.


Edited by Glenn Roberts (08/30/17 10:42 PM)
Edit Reason: Remove link to commercial site

Top
#199014 - 09/01/17 08:01 PM Re: On leash? Or do you let them run free? [Re: balzaccom]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2745
Loc: California
I take a leash, but only used it when needed. Our dog is very well trained and gets daily practice on not chasing animals. Our daily walks, even though in town, often encounter sqirrels, deer or wild turkeys. She will 100% follow a "lie down" command at distance. It took hundreds of hours of training to get our dog to the point she is now. And it takes repeated reinforcement.

On trails, we have the dog move off the trail and "lie down" if someone passes from the other direction. Our dog is a border collie, and as a herding dog, she thinks her job is to herd us, so does not leave our side. I have had to put her on the leash when I fly fish after 4PM, because she loves to swim, and I do not want a wet dog in the tent at night.

Unless you walk easy, flat trails, it is hard for a dog to walk on a leash without stressing their paws. Dogs do not naturally go up over a rocky section of trail the same speed or method we do. If the result is that the dog pulls on the leash, it is very hard on paws.

As for bears and such, we had a bear walk right by our camp and our dog just sat there looking at us, not making a move or bark. We just said "sit". We did put the leash on her then, just in case the bear charged. We did not want her to "defend" us.

Top
#199015 - 09/01/17 08:04 PM Re: On leash? Or do you let them run free? [Re: wandering_daisy]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2745
Loc: California
Forgot to say, but the funny thing is that we trained the dog to backpack before she was old enough to qualify for "sheep herding school". She flunked the first day. No way was she going to chase those sheep.

The only things she herds are flocks of birds and fishing line when cast.

Top

Moderator:  Glenn Roberts 
Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Shoe question.
by lupacexi
11/11/17 01:34 PM
Went to a gatewood cape and love
by toddfw2003
10/30/17 01:28 AM
Ultralight Trekking Poles with Special Requirement
by treillw
10/25/17 02:52 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Hitting the eagle rock loop, Ark in 3 days
by toddfw2003
Today at 11:31 AM
Flamable fabrics?
by
11/13/17 09:31 PM
Arcteryx/general sizing question
by glocke12
11/12/17 01:57 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Plant based insulation...
by billstephenson
Yesterday at 02:58 PM
Primaloft question
by PaHiker
11/07/17 08:57 PM
Quilt thoughts / questions
by PaHiker
10/27/17 02:36 PM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
1 registered (), 31 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Bill S., ashrafjaman, Sequild, tick20002, Aussie Campe
12457 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com