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How do you feel about dog encounters?
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By spencerparkin
From Salt Lake City
Dec 28, 2012
Me at work.

I was curious about how most people feel about dogs they encounter on outdoor adventures or just any outing. This includes any pets you bring yourself or pets of others you find at the crag or on the trail. Do you feel any responsibility to help maintain a good experience for all other user groups?

I've had many bad experiences with other people's dogs. I only want to calmly share just one thought, and it is this: If you are a dog owner, then please, please understand that I do not feel the same way about your dog as you do. This means that if it jumps up and licks my face, and sniffs my crotch, then I do not share in the laughter. Hopefully this is also apparent when your dog bites me.

I believe that there is going to be a meeting soon about the leash ordinance at the Bonneville Shoreline trail near "I" street in the Avenues. What is your stance on this ordinance? In all the years that I have hiked and jogged up there, I have never seen anyone keep the ordinance, so I don't think it matters at all.

Another question...why are there little bags of dog pooh left all over the place?


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Dec 28, 2012

Gee, this topic has never been covered before! :)


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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Dec 28, 2012
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV

I say, burn all dogs and their owners for the atrocities they've committed against the climbing community. Burn them all.


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By jeff lebowski
Dec 28, 2012


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By paintrain
Dec 28, 2012
Chuck Norris can Divide by Zero

Here is my take. Your dog is yours and you should consider its actions much as I consider my children's - You (the owner) are responsible for what it does. There are good/bad dog owners as there are good/bad parents. The difference with a dog with a bad disposition is you can put it down if it doesn't shape up.

If your dog approaches me (or especially my children) off leash, you will see me be rightfully mean to the beast as I do not know its disposition nor do I want it knocking into me or my kids shoving its ass sniffing nose into my body parts or my kids faces. If a 60-80lb kid did that to everyone they met, they would be institutionalized.

Train them or keep them on a leash. If you can't accept that please don't be put off if I am mean to your dog. It unfortunately isn't the dog's fault, it is the dog owners.

PT


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By Rob Selter
From running springs Ca
Dec 28, 2012
me

You go dog!


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By Nick Zmyewski
From Newark, Delaware
Dec 28, 2012
the frozen topout during a winter ascent

My philosophy about dogs at the crag is very simple. If it bites me I kick it, otherwise it's live and let live.


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By Keny Glasscock
From Salt Lake City
Dec 29, 2012

Dogs like any pack animal will take cues from the stronger forces around it. Therefore they will take their cue from you the supposedly more intelligent species.if you cower like a wounded animal and the dog in questioned is inclined to be aggressive you'll end up on the short end of the stick. However if you simply go about your business and don't acknowledge the animal 9 out of 10 times the dog will go about it's business. We are in the west, we are an outdoor culture, dogs are part of that culture. Dog owners should take the time to train and socialize their animals which will be in these semi urban outdoor setting just as non dog owners should take the time to understand the dynamic of the human/animal encounter. I remember a specific encounter from some lily white climber at Indian Creek complaining to the ranchers about one of their mustangs plowing through their camp, destroying their tent, shitting in their "living" space and getting all pissy with the ranch owner over it.I can still smell the patchouli. The rancher, my long time friend was amused, and simply stated, You're dealing with an animal, he don't think like you". And so it goes. As more urbanites wander into foreign territory and come upon situations which assault their sensibilities there will be this type encounter. What you gonna do, steal their land and rape their women cause their dog didn't crap in a plastic bag and messed with your "outdoor" experience?

ps, I like most dogs, some people, not so much.


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Dec 29, 2012
modern man

Nick Zmyewski wrote:
My philosophy about dogs at the crag is very simple. If it bites me I kick it, otherwise it's live and let live.


I'll add to the kick list- steal my food/go through my pack, piss/shit on my gear, walk all over my rope, try to sniff my ass. other than that dogs are fine with me and I encourage people to kick my dog if she does any of this.


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By Chas Waterman
Dec 29, 2012

If a dog is approaching you it's pretty easy to tell if you will be bitten or licked.... If the dog is aggressive, boot it in the face as hard as you feel necessary. If you don't like a dog thats just happy to meet a new person then maybe your the jerk.


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By Alex Washburne
Dec 29, 2012
I eat crack for breakfast.

Treat dogs the way you treat people. If you don't want to talk to them, then don't bother to look at them and they will walk on by, forever anonymous. If they step on your rope, even if accidentally, you should definitely kick them, especially if they are children, because that's the best way to deal with the situation as it won't risk provoking the child into aggression and because it's best if they learn these things early on.

As a general rule in life, you should be afraid of people and animals you don't know and assume they are rabid and truly Evil. After all, you don't know if that person approaching you on the trail is a gentle hiker who wants to ruin your day by blabbering on about how beautiful it is, or steal your gear and chop your bolts and scoop your FA and rape you, so it's best to be safe and assume the worst. This attitude of distrust will help you live a long and happy life, and will contribute to the general happiness of everyone around you.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Dec 29, 2012
El Chorro

One time at Indian Creek a dog ate all my lunch out of my pack. We were planning on a long day and it was an hour approach. When I yelled at the dog and scared him away from my bag, a few onlookers acted like I had done something wrong. I didn't even touch the dog and they were all like "aww, poor doggy - don't be so mean to him he's just hungry."

Then the owner came around and offered me a snickers bar to replace my sandwiches, apples, bananas, etc.

Dogs are great, but sometimes their owners are morons and that pisses me off.


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Dec 29, 2012
Stabby

I've long advocated paintball guns as a remedy for this sort of thing. That includes the owners.


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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Dec 29, 2012
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.

Poorly behaved dogs are a direct result of poorly educated or lazy door owners. I could see shooting bad owners with a PB gun. I couldn't shoot a dog though--even with a paintball gun.


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By Alex McIntyre
From Tucson, AZ
Dec 29, 2012

I've never brought a dog to the crag, but I would also not be surprised if a dog ate my food if I left it laying around. If you don't want your lunch eaten, then maybe you should think about closing your pack if you aren't actively looking through it.

As for those who are outright mean to dogs or people until they prove themselves "worthy" of you, you must live a sad, angry life.


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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Dec 29, 2012
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.

Alex McIntyre wrote:
If you don't want your lunch eaten, then maybe you should think about closing your pack if you aren't actively looking through it.


While that's a decent idea in theory, it's not practical everywhere. There are several climbing areas where I intentionally leave my pack open to keep varmints from chewing through it to get to the inside which may not even contain any food, but their noses tell them otherwise. (And if it does contain food, it's in a hard container 99% of the time anyway.) I think it's up to dog owners to keep undisciplined dogs from others' gear/food.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Dec 29, 2012
El Chorro

Alex McIntyre wrote:
I've never brought a dog to the crag, but I would also not be surprised if a dog ate my food if I left it laying around. If you don't want your lunch eaten, then maybe you should think about closing your pack if you aren't actively looking through it.


Fair point, but in the desert, I don't really think about that kind of stuff. It's not like we look around for trees to hang our food from - there is nothing up there to eat my food except for the dogs that people bring up there.

That leads to probably the most important point of any dog conversation: Dogs shit and piss everywhere and there is no way around that. We don't like it when humans shit in the desert, but then when a human's dog does it it's OK?


As for those who are outright mean to dogs or people until they prove themselves "worthy" of you, you must live a sad, angry life.

Agree with you there.


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By Blake Cash
Dec 29, 2012

Dogs are way more enjoyable at the crag than 75% of the people I ever encounter.


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By GeezerDan
From Golden, CO
Dec 29, 2012

I agree with most of the posts so far - dogs at crags are OK so long as they're well behaved and, if a dog comes around and you don't want to 'entertain' then ignore or, a stern "GIT!! / NO" is usually sufficient. If you are in fear for yourself or your kin then step in between and again, first ignore then Git / No.
"so long as they're well behaved" ... key words for the owners. My lab is a great dog, super friendly, never has and never will bite or even nip anyone, loves people and approaches them and other dogs openly. HOWEVER, he goes to people too openly and I understand not everyone appreciates that so I KEEP HIM HOME WHEN I GO CLIMBING.
Best for the dog, best for others. If you climb and cannot leave your dog alone at home while you climb and your dog sticks it's nose in everyone else's stuff and poops (and you do not clean it up and cart it away or put in a spot where it will biodegrade unbeknownst to others) then perhaps you should have reconsidered having a dog vs your climbing.
I live in the most dog friendly state I've ever encountered, CO, however there are many local ordinances against unleashed dogs. And it doesn't cause a problem for dog owners, still a super dog-friendly state! So, regarding "the lease ordinance at the Bonneville Shoreline trail near "I" street in the Avenues" I would vote for it.


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By Name
Dec 29, 2012

I hate it when people take people out climbing. They are always talking, eating or going to the bathroom. I like people but please leave them at home they have no business being outside.


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By Rick Mix
Dec 29, 2012

Unfortunately for the dogs it's usually not their fault. As mentioned up thread, non dog people often don't feel the same as pet owners about the dog. I don't ordinarily have any issue with dogs, but they should really be left at home,no matter how well 'behaved'. Same goes for babies.


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By Matt Wolski
From Salt Lake City
Dec 29, 2012
...took a 20 ft'er about five minutes after this pic was snapped : )

I am a dog person. I like to exercise. My dog likes to exercise. She has an open schedule and is down for whatever. So we go mountain biking, backcountry skiing, and cragging together. For the most part, she is well behaved and once in a while, we'll sneak a ride on the Shoreline Trail or few routes in Ferguson Canyon. That said, some people don't like dogs/don't know how to relate to them. I think that's unfortunate because dogs have been great companions for me.

I've been ticketed by the leash police and cursed out by people like the original poster, which is a major bummer for me. I don't really care if you think my dog is annoying or if it ruins your wilderness experience. I think motorized recreation is annoying and it ruins my wilderness experience. But hey, this is the "wild west" and ATV's and snowmobiles and heliskiing and grazing on public lands aren't going anywhere...or shooting and leaving shell casings all over the place or proposals to build chairlifts through protected watersheds under flimsy pretenses. Part of being well adjusted adult is showing consideration towards others as well as compromising and tolerating their personal preferences.

There is a place for everything. For example, it's hard enough to be a climber in the Valley. A climber with a dog in the Valley is insane. But to all the people who comment "leave the dog at home" - I'd never go anywhere because that isn't a option. So I select the most dog appropriate places possible to recreate which takes me to obscure-ish places, like Dylan Wall instead of Supercrack Buttress or the Tushars instead of the central Wasatch. There I don't have to see anyone but my partners and my dog can have off-leash time with the least likelihood of pissing anyone off. When people get bent out of shape about my dog being off leash, it ruins my time, too--remember, I am a dog person, we're buds, similar interests, yadda yadda. (I can see the non-dog people rolling their eyes.) Public service announcement: dogs behave better off-leash than on-leash; less doggy anxiety.

I don't want to ruin your time or antagonize anyone with my off-leash dog. I'm not a mean spirited person. But if you run into me at Ibex and kick my dog while she's sniffing around the sagebrush, you're a fucking asshole and we'll have words. Kick some some rancher's dog and you might get shot.


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By paintrain
Dec 29, 2012
Chuck Norris can Divide by Zero

Here's the rub. Seems a lot of dog owners have come to believe that dogs should have the rights of humans, but don't expect them to follow any of those same rules when it comes to their behavior.

Trained dogs at crags that are well behaved with owners that take responsibility for them - great. Owners that keep them close/leashed and have trained them well on the trail, great. Unfortunately, it seems greater than 75% of the time that isn't the case and many of them ignore leash laws and just let them run willy nilly. Guys like Chas and Kenny expect you to train for dog encounters because that is somehow my responsiblity, since they can't be bothered to keep their dog at bay. Or, know what someone else's dog intends to do or you can just "ignore" them and they magically won't bother you.

Dogs are not a part of nature, nor nature encounters. They are part of nature encounters because people take them there and are not taking responsibility for them. My nature encounters with humans can be as engaged or limited as I want them to be, and most wild animals try to avoid me so avoiding them is easy. Not so with someone else's dogs. The suggestion you just say NO or STOP to a dog and it will get them to stop doing something offensive relies on the thought they have been trained. I know someone who trained their dog in Chinese. Am I expected to throw out some Mandarin, Spanish, or French if Stop or No doesn't work? Give me a break.

Take responsibility for your dog and its actions - it is not part of nature any more than you are (unless you are living in a cabin in the woods).

And YES! I am a mean and sad person because I don't like your dog and assume it is a nice and giving being when it comes running at me with its slobbering bulk on a trail (let alone my 40 lb kid). Fortunately, there are laws against people coming up and randomly sticking their noses in my body parts or knocking me or my kids down. Weird how dog's don't understand those same laws.

Maybe I will just carry a stick.


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By Matt Wolski
From Salt Lake City
Dec 29, 2012
...took a 20 ft'er about five minutes after this pic was snapped : )

PT: legally dogs are property. If your kid ever touches my rack, I promise not to accuse her of stealing. Or pick up a stick, smack her, and claim that I was exercising my lawful right to defend my property with force if she doesn't immediately respond to a stern "NO". Laws are one thing, common sense is another. A dick move is a dick move.

Stick? Really?


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By DrewF
Dec 29, 2012

Really PT, you get the feeling that you are somehow more one with nature than a dog is? Dogs, being direct descendants of wolves are way more in touch with nature than you, your clothes, your backpack full of gear, or your footprints for that matter will ever be. My dog is on a leash where it is required by law. Maybe your kids should be too.


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By JMo
From Flagstaff, AZ
Dec 29, 2012
mayflower

Hey PT,when it is -2, my dogs trot outside without so much as a pair of slippers for their morning constitutional... Can your kid do that? My dogs couldnt care less about any material/consumable good... You been around a kid like that lately? My dogs would vote for 365 climbing days a year... If your kid is like that, then you are one lucky guy.... Yes some dogs suck because their owners suck. Some kids? Well, the same holds true.

One bit of advice- if dogs bug you so much, stay in places where there are waaaay too many people. Those seem to be the places where dogs are regulated into a sad life on a tether, so people can multiply endlessly and swim in their own detritus.... And you can always road trip to any national park. They've regulated dogs out of those places too....


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