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Dirtbagging with a dog?
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By Eldo Love
From Dolores, CO
Dec 12, 2012
The front yard

Just curious as to how a dog would affect your dirtbag lifestyle. It would be amazing to have a partner while traveling solo around the country, however how would you be able to manage long alpine trips? and what percentage of climbing areas aren't dog friendly? anyone experience this?


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Dec 12, 2012
El Chorro

If your first concerns are about how a dog will affect YOUR fun, then you shouldn't get one. Most of the pain will certainly be felt by the dog, as he'll constantly be expected to either follow you around or stay by himself, tied to your bumper with nothing to do.


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By todd w
Dec 12, 2012

spot-on


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By Dan Bachen
Dec 12, 2012

Bouldering works well, if in a place that allows dogs (eg Joes). Single pitch cragging can go either way, depends on how much separation anxiety the dog has and how much time you or your partner spend on the ground with it. Multipitch is problematic, your pup may spend a lot of time tied to a tree or boulder. Some dogs are completely fine with this others flip out, dig, make an ungodly amount of noise, destroy the vegetation etc. I think it comes down to the dog's personality, if its mellow, road-tripping/ dirt-bagging will be a lot easier. If its a neurotic monster not so much.
I have done a few long trips with our dog, over all its gone fairly well. Most of the inter-mountain west/ desert are good to go. Lost of open space, not that many rules on public land. National parks are out, no dogs allowed out of the car or off sidewalks. Additionally California bans all dogs from state parks, which makes doing anything other than leaving the dog in the car problematic (not really fair to the dog).
Bottom line if you have one or are set on getting one you will probably make it work for you, but it might require more work to make it work of the dog.


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By bearbreeder
Dec 12, 2012

always good for a quick protein fix ... amundsen knew that and had em carry his gear as well ...

;)


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By Jon O'Brien
From Nevada
Dec 12, 2012

f these d-bags, having a dog is awesome and the dogs love coming out to climb. you need to train your dog not to bark and not to fight other dogs. i often leave my dog at the base of a climb for hours alone, tied up with plenty of water and make sure that she is out of the way of any potential rockfall from the routes being climbed that day. dogs and babies are awesome when they are not invasive (again, no barking/ fighting/ crying: that's not ok)


it is funny to me that people think a dog would rather sit at home on the couch all day without you than join you on the hike in/out and get to hang out outside for the day in nature.


jon

p.s i'm a former pro dog sled driver and i've had to endure SO many ignorant mofo's that think that it is abuse for the dogs... ignorance is real! and ignant mofos NEVER hesitate to give you their opinions!!


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By Rob Davis
From Brooklyn, NY
Dec 12, 2012

from a completely selfish perspective, I really don't like when there are dogs at the crag. I know there are many that will disagree, and that's fine, but there are also many that have the same feeling towards crag dogs.


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By Greg Pouliot
Dec 12, 2012

I would, like some have suggested, take a look at the places you're going and also take the dog's personality into account. My dog is a crag dog, and people love him. He stays tied to a tree and lays down, rarely barks and doesn't bother other climbers, most of the time. Sometimes though, he does bark, and it's a pain to make him stop when you're in the middle of a climb. I take him places that I know will be pretty vacant, so I don't disturb others. However, there will always be people who don't like dogs, regardless of how well behaved they are. And seriously, f those people. You have just as much a right to be at the crag with your pooch as the people who choose to leave theirs at home.


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By Rob Davis
From Brooklyn, NY
Dec 12, 2012

Gregory Pouliot wrote:
I would, like some have suggested, take a look at the places you're going and also take the dog's personality into account. My dog is a crag dog, and people love him. He stays tied to a tree and lays down, rarely barks and doesn't bother other climbers, most of the time. Sometimes though, he does bark, and it's a pain to make him stop when you're in the middle of a climb. I take him places that I know will be pretty vacant, so I don't disturb others. However, there will always be people who don't like dogs, regardless of how well behaved they are. And seriously, f those people. You have just as much a right to be at the crag with your pooch as the people who choose to leave theirs at home.


It's absolutely true you have just as much right to be there, but not all dogs are as well behaved as your angel dog, and while those people have the right to be there, it doesn't stop making people uncomfortable or even irritated towards the climber. Now a lot of discussions on here talk about how a bolt in a wall is an eyesore that stops access etc etc, well I'd argue a dog tied to a tree is probably more invasive to the ecology and annoying to hikers.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Dec 12, 2012
El Chorro

Jon O'Brien wrote:
f these d-bags... it is funny to me that people think a dog would rather sit at home on the couch all day without you than join you on the hike in/out and get to hang out outside for the day in nature.


I don't think that anyone is claiming that city dogs have it any better than dirtbagging dogs. And no one ever said that a dog couldn't be completely happy with a traveling, climbing, van sleeping owner.

I thought I made it pretty clear that unless your first concern is your dog, you shouldn't have one. It's not fair to go and buy a "partner" if you're only thinking about how it can benefit or hurt YOUR lifestyle. That what the impression I got from the OP, so I told him what I thought.

In my opinion, if your dog spends much time tied up OR locked inside a house/pen/cage then you're not really in the position to be a dog owner.

FWIW, my family has owned dogs for nearly 30 years. We've always had an acre of land, give or take, and trained our dogs to stay on it. They are free to do what they want. That is not the case for many of the dogs in the US or any other country and I think it's sad. If that makes me a d-bag then so be it.


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By Highlander
From Ouray, CO
Dec 12, 2012

Having a dog will definitely cramp your style, dealing with National Parks, State Parks, places that don't allow dogs off leash, etc. Much easier to travel without a dog, plus if you are full on dirtbagging it your going to have hard enough time feeding yourself, let alone a four legged friend. Not to mention most people don't care for having dogs at the crags. Don't get me wrong I love dogs, but do they belong at the crag. Dogs that bark at crags and campgrounds take away from other peoples experience. Not to mention the dog shit everywhere, seems like there are fewer and fewer dog owners that are willing to pick up their dogs shit. Just think if every climber brought there dog to the crag, it would be a full on circus, and the place would smell like dog shit.


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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Dec 12, 2012
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.

Jon O'Brien wrote:
f these d-bags, and ignant mofos NEVER hesitate to give you their opinions!!

Well, that pretty much sums up everything. The question is who it should be directed at.


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By Greg Pouliot
Dec 12, 2012

Rob Davis wrote:
It's absolutely true you have just as much right to be there, but not all dogs are as well behaved as your angel dog, and while those people have the right to be there, it doesn't stop making people uncomfortable or even irritated towards the climber. Now a lot of discussions on here talk about how a bolt in a wall is an eyesore that stops access etc etc, well I'd argue a dog tied to a tree is probably more invasive to the ecology and annoying to hikers.


I wouldn't bring my dog somewhere if he was a jerk who pestered people all the time. I don't even bring him to crowded places, like the Gunks, where I know we won't have any privacy. My point is just that I shouldn't have to leave him at home because people like you get annoyed when a dog is around. I'm not in the woods to be worried about what people I might piss off because they don't like a dog. If you're worried about a dog being outside with his owner, stay home.


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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Dec 12, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

If the dog is behaved well, and you can give it the attention it needs and clean up after it, I say go for it. However, keep in mind that tying a dog up while you multipitch is not cool. I'm not saying that's what you'll do and I have no idea what you plan on climbing. I have just seen people bring Rover to a crag and leave him tied up with a spilled water bowl for a couple hours while they do four or five pitches. Just doesn't sit well. Most single pitch areas that I have been to are dog friendly with a few exceptions.


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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Dec 12, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.

If you are traveling around and living in your car and a tent, having a dog in there is going to make it that much more crowded, dirty and smelly. Think wet dog smell and foul climbing shoes, and dog hair all over every thing. The dog is also going to cost a bunch if you are properly feeding it and prepared to pay vet bills.

However, if you are really dirtbagging, maybe you could train it to steal people's lunchs and bring them back to you uneaten, a better long term solution than eating the dog.


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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Dec 12, 2012
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.

PS dog owners:
What does your dog act like when you are not there?
And your babies are ugly too (snicker)


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By Kenneth Milligan
Dec 13, 2012

Correct me if I am wrong but isn't the purpose of dirtbagging to free yourself from all responsibilities so you can focus on climbing. What if your journey leads you to aid/big walls or out of the country.


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By Greg Pouliot
Dec 13, 2012

Tony B wrote:
PS dog owners: What does your dog act like when you are not there? And your babies are ugly too (snicker)


Well based on the several times he's run ahead of me on the trail and found a group of people who pet him and tell him how awesome he is before I even get there, pretty damn well behaved I'd say.


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By todd w
Dec 13, 2012

Jon O'Brien wrote:
it is funny to me that people think a dog would rather sit at home on the couch all day without you than join you on the hike in/out and get to hang out outside for the day in nature.


Yes, what you described is just as douchebaggy as tying your dog up for "hours on end", even if it is outside "for a day in the nature"

They don't want to be tied up, they want to be with you. Take up backpacking if you really care about your dog.


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By Avi Katz
Dec 13, 2012

Every dog owner I've seen out climbing has always thought their dog was the coolest and best behaved. Unfortunately its only a matter of time until their dog is stepping on MY rope and digging through MY pack looking for my snack stash. Even worse are the owners who let their dog off-leash to roam around climbing areas. Not only is it annoying to hear someone calling their dog loudly for 15 minutes, but its likely that Cujo will be pooping on trail or chasing the local wildlife. Maybe even getting it on with some other climber's well behaved dog. This has created access issues is some places and strained the important relationship between climbers and land managers.
Dogs are great, and I love em as much as the next person, but there is a time and a place.
Who wants to see your cute newborn crying loudly at a fancy restaurant?

Get a crag cat


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By dylanfllr
Dec 13, 2012

It's nice to have something love you even when you're stinky and don't have any money, but I am still not a fan of crag dogs. There are definitely a few (two I think)I've met that were just as great as the owner thought. Even then, no dog has ever helped with access issues.


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By Eldo Love
From Dolores, CO
Dec 13, 2012
The front yard

conclusion... no dog. Thank you all for you wonderful input, humor, and occasional d-baggery. seriously. right on


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