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How do you feel about dog encounters?
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By Mike Belu
From Indianapolis, IN
Dec 29, 2012
Summit of Rainier.

I enjoy dog encounters. Sometimes I grab them and give them a quick humping, just to let them know I care; or sometimes I just lick their face. I'm like a dog whisperer.


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By Jeff G.
From Fort Collins
Dec 29, 2012
Nearing the end of Thank God Ledge.

I feel so bad for you poor pitiful people who have to put up with the horrible scourge of dogs at the crags. Go to a climbing gym, I don't think they allow the horrible beasts in most.


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By spencerparkin
From Salt Lake City
Dec 30, 2012
Me at work.

I guess the real problem is tolerance. There just needs to be more tolerance in the world. And I must admit to needing more dog tolerance, and for that I'm sorry.

But I think we can all agree that tolerance is called for in every situation, up to a point. There is some give and take here. There are obvious encounters where the dog has done what we humans would hope it would not have done, and which may have been prevented by the dog owner. But here again, we're back to tolerance, because we have to think about accountability. Can the dog really be held accountable? No. The dog owner? Perhaps to some extent. I'm more apt to blame a dog owner when the unfortunate happenstance occurs in a leashed area.

The Bonneville Shoreline Trail near "I" street is, for now, a leashed area, but no one cares. Now I guess I'm just being hypocritical, because I always push 65 on the freeway.

Sigh................anyhow, I'll be the first to admit that I'm the ass-hole, not your dog. In fact, I've recently entered fatherhood about 5 months ago, and it's already apparent that in the instances where she is completely inconsolable, I need a great deal more patience. I don't even treat my daughter nicely under such circumstances. Yes, I am a complete ass-hole.


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By leave a trace
Dec 30, 2012

Killis the Dog gets UNLEASHED on Eva!


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By j.lo
Dec 30, 2012

paintrain: dogs don't speak english. most dogs know a few words. know what really does it for them? tone of voice. a stern "hey dog!" works just as well as "fuck off!" to get the dog's attention. no dog will out-and-out ignore you because it only understands bulgarian. also: i was kind enough to train the girl-dog with the command "fuck off". she responds by stopping, sitting, and looking remorseful. it's the desired dog reaction to the natural human reaction. you're welcome.


dog haterz: don't hit my dogs. i have three. i don't have to threaten to hit you if you hit them, they'll take care of it. when they're feeling spiteful, one will pee on your things, one will eat all your food, and one will bark incessantly at you and chew your leg off if you even look at me threateningly. their hobbies include shedding, stealing carrots, and digging holes. this response might make you feel justified and you might think 'oh, clearly they are bad dogs.' they're not, they're just responding to the anger they feel directed at them. quite reasonable.

these horrible animals are the same creatures that like to be petted, snuggled, and will make friends with the most ardent of "not-a-dog-persons". i keep them around because they're terrific friends and companions and they keep the bed warm.

be nice, and if my dogs are truly being pests to you, ask me nicely, and i'll likely assist.


i'm not interested in fending off your unleashed children, either.


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By clay meier
Dec 30, 2012
Thats Me

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

so so true. Id much rather kick somebodys whiney kid than their whiney dog


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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Dec 30, 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.

j.lo wrote:
dog haterz: don't hit my dogs. i have three. i don't have to threaten to hit you if you hit them, they'll take care of it. when they're feeling spiteful, one will pee on your things, one will eat all your food, and one will bark incessantly at you and chew your leg off if you even look at me threateningly. their hobbies include shedding, stealing carrots, and digging holes. this response might make you feel justified and you might think 'oh, clearly they are bad dogs.' they're not, they're just responding to the anger they feel directed at them. quite reasonable.

I'm nice to dogs, and I generally walk right past them. If one is threatening and I would like to pass, I pass, but I do it with a rock the size of a brick in one hand and ready. Hope you read that the way I'm saying it: the owner made the first play by leaving a questionable dog on the trail and now the next move is up to the dog. So far I've never had to smash one's skull in, but I will if I get attacked. Self defense is legit. Bear that in mind. If the owner comes after me for defending myself from a dog, the owner is subject to self defense as well.
If your dog is friendly, there should be no problem. If it bites, I will promise you that you are getting a ticket, at the least.

The biggest mistake that most owners make is not realizing that they DO NOT KNOW how their dog feels/acts when they are not present. Betas feel/act different when the alpha isn't there.

The lame excuse that your dog is nasty because it senses a bad attitude/person is total crap. The reason why prayer didn't cure your aunt's cancer is that she didn't really "have faith." Sure, there are a few jerks who taunt dogs, but most are just minding their business. An owner should not be relying on the idea that the average person walking by is a dog whisperer. No more so than leaving dangerous chemicals or tools laying around. ("Well, so and so shouldn't have done that with them.") The person who takes the dog somewhere bears the responsibility for them. If you don't believe me, ask the judge...

The most common annoyance with dogs is actually the ones that get tied to the base and incessantly bark. I alpha rolled one of my pals dogs for that a few times and he won't do it anymore (in front of me). Some problems behaviors have a easy solution, some don't. But people believe what they want. Some are bad owners, some are not.


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Dec 30, 2012
modern man

Tony B wrote:
I alpha rolled one of my pals dogs for that a few times and he won't do it anymore (in front of me). Some problems behaviors have a easy solution, some don't. But people believe what they want. Some are bad owners, some are not.


I prefer the alpha kick over the roll myself, less dirt, slobber and the same affect.


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By Jonathan Lee
Dec 31, 2012

I'm not gonna get involved in this shit show, but, no pun intended, i will answer the OP's question about poo bags. They're left when a dog drops one early in the hike to be picked up on the way back instead of carried the entire round trip. Often, another dog owner picks up a bag that wasn't theirs on their way out and usually, the person whose bag was picked up grabs somebody else's. That is all, let the show continue.


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By CareBear
From SLC, UT
Dec 31, 2012

I think it is kind of ridiculous for you to complain about this in the Salt Lake area. If you are really that upset about seeing dogs, both big and little don't allow them, go there instead and quit whining.


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By Joe Stark
From Iowa
Dec 31, 2012
Warming up

Most of the areas I frequent have leash laws. Dogs off leash are the worst when I'm running. Nothing freaks me out like being chased when I'm already worn out and tired. After a few near misses, I started carrying pepper spray. If a dog comes running at me it's gonna get sprayed in the face. If it comes up to me slow and wandering around I'll spray the ground NEAR it; then they wander away.

I don't worry about it as much out climbing. I'm a sport climber so I generally have a stick clip with me. Person with aluminum pole vs. dog is a fight I don't want, but I'll take it rather than get bit.

For the people that will hate on me for this behavior I say this. If your dog bites somebody and you are forced to put it down, how awful will you feel that you didn't just follow the leash law? As much as you like dogs more than people the law is usually on the people side of the issue.


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By England
From ?
Dec 31, 2012
Alpine toothpick.

Jonathan Lee wrote:
I'm not gonna get involved in this shit show, but, no pun intended, i will answer the OP's question about poo bags. They're left when a dog drops one early in the hike to be picked up on the way back instead of carried the entire round trip. Often, another dog owner picks up a bag that wasn't theirs on their way out and usually, the person whose bag was picked up grabs somebody else's. That is all, let the show continue.

If that was true, then we wouldn't be seeing the same bags in the same spot, and never disappearing.


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By Alex Washburne
Dec 31, 2012
I eat crack for breakfast.

I got attacked by an 80 lb Rottweiler when I was a 60 lb kid and I once came down from a 26 mile hike to a pack of 3 dogs that were all barking and snarling and snapping their teeth. I've met a handful of snarling, barking dogs, but those two incidents are the most extreme encounters I've had in a lifetime of interacting with dogs. I didn't hit any of them and I walked away unscathed from the pack of 3 and with only minor scrapes and bites from the Rottweiler. The only reason I can think of for why someone would want to pepper spray/kick a dog as a "preventative" measure is a volatile brew of fear and ignorance.

Also, a fact of life: if you come off as a whining/nagging citizen cop to owners when telling them to keep their dog on a leash, they will most often begin to dislike you, thereby weakening the effect of any of your recommendations. So - according to me, being a dick to dogs or dog owners will not solve the problem, so how can we solve it?

By not being a dick. Be happy when the dog approaches you - love the dog with genuine love - and be happy when the dog owner approaches you. You probably aren't going to change that person you just met by telling them your beliefs on leash laws, but if you are genuinely Good and the dog jumps up on you or barks at you or whatever you're afraid of, the owner will see this and feel extremely upset that their dog was rude to a genuinely Good person. You can even exaggerate it a bit - if the dog jumps up on you, lose your balance and fall over but not in a melodramatic way. If the dog barks at you and the owner is within sight, back up and act scared for the owner to see. They will probably tell you "oh, don't worry, Sparky is a sweetheart, aren't you, Sparky?" and you should reply with a nervous, smiling chuckle (not a sarcastic one), step a few feet off the trail and walk around them, looking at the dog nervously but smiling and, with a shaky voice, wishing the owner a good day.

I know from experience that those are some of the most transformative moments for dog owners: when they realize their dog has been an asshole to a Good person. Now, all this is directed at the dog-passer-bys and not the dog owners because that was the nature of the question in the original post, but rest assured that I have recommendations for dog owners as well. To be genuinely good, you must do a careful evaluation of your dog - know that not everybody loves dogs as much as you, yet, and ask: is your dog a good ambassador for the breed? Will your dog leave people wanting to meet more dogs? If yes, then unclip that leash and let 'em roam without hesitation, knowing that your dog would be like an interracial marriage between MLK Jr. and Mother Teresa in the 60's - a shining example of how there is nothing to fear of this cultural movement that is foreign to them. If no, then, as I'm sure you already do, exercise a bit of caution, feel free to let your dog off leash and try to put them on leash when someone is walking by to help these non-dog people become desensitized without any traumatic events that can revert them back to their original position.

What I find most interesting is how extreme people get on Mountain Project, when my encounters with "you all" in the crags are nothing like that. The gulf between our hypothetical and our actual reactions to dogs is a large one, and thankfully our actual reactions are far more conducive to peaceful crags than the ones we're seeing here about kicking dogs, pepper spraying pooches, and beating mutts with a stick.

Live, let live, and love. A lot of people want to use the crags and they all want to use them in their own way. Some want to climb sport, some want to climb trad, some want to boulder at the base, some want to look for raptor nests or petroglyphs or fossils or what have you, and some people want to get themselves outside to climb while also letting their beloved dogs get a taste of that freedom of the hills in their own way.


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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Dec 31, 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.

All dogs are little angels:

CDC - Dog Bite: Facts
www.cdc.gov/.../dog-bites/dogbite-factsheet.html
"Man and woman's best friend bites more than 4.7 million people a year, and key experts believe that public education can help prevent these bites.
Each year, 800,000 Americans seek medical attention for dog bites; half of these are children.
Of those injured, 386,000 require treatment in an emergency department and about 16 die. The rate of dog bite-related injuries is highest for children ages 5 to 9 years, and the rate decreases as children age. Almost two thirds of injuries among children ages four years and younger are to the head or neck region."

So step back and consider for a moment that that person who is scared of dogs might have perfectly good reason to be.
I know someone who freezes when she sees a threatening dog.
Gee maybe it was because one tried to chew her face off as a baby.
And you blame her not the owner if she reacts to a threat in fear?


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By Alex Washburne
Dec 31, 2012
I eat crack for breakfast.

Tony B wrote:
CDC - Dog Bite: Facts www.cdc.gov/.../dog-bites/dogbite-factsheet.html



CDC human-fight facts:

www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00016064.htm

This is why I am prepared to defend myself against any person walking along the trail. My chronic fear is the key to my lifelong happiness.

On a more serious note, I definitely agree that some people are traumatized by a past experience with dogs. I think that is tragic, and I don't judge people if they are afraid of dogs. However, I encourage them to try to conquer that phobia, that generic fear, in the same way I encourage people to overcome a fear of Muslims post 9/11, and I am happy to use my own dog to help with the desensitization.


Pepper spray can't deter this dreamboat.
Pepper spray can't deter this dreamboat.


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By Evan S
From Erie, CO
Dec 31, 2012
Me, of course

Dogs fighting with eachother is the most problematic thing I've encountered. I've had blood drawn trying to break up fights, and my roommate had 1/3 of his thumb bitten off doing the same thing. Just food for thought...

I was ice climbing (sort of), near Boulder yesterday. There were three dogs at the base running around dodging falling chunks and running all around us and getting in our way while walking on ice in crampons... The owners were very considerate and offered to tie them up, but the damage had been done. Don't bring dogs ice climbing maybe? Can we all agree on that?


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By Alex Washburne
Dec 31, 2012
I eat crack for breakfast.

Evan S wrote:
Dogs fighting with eachother is the most problematic thing I've encountered. I've had blood drawn trying to break up fights, and my roommate had 1/3 of his thumb bitten off doing the same thing. Just food for thought... I was ice climbing (sort of), near Boulder yesterday. There were three dogs at the base running around dodging falling chunks and running all around us and getting in our way while walking on ice in crampons... The owners were very considerate and offered to tie them up, but the damage had been done. Don't bring dogs ice climbing maybe? Can we all agree on that?



Yeah, I'm absolutely horrified to bring my dog ice climbing. Falling shrapnel, crashing pillars and a air-mailed ice-axes don't make me feel like I'm doing my pooch a favor by bringing him outdoors on a day of ice climbing. I would also feel heartbroken if I saw another person's dog get injured - no assignment of blame to me or to the dog owner would fix the pain I'd feel from seeing a 20 lb chandelier strike a dog on the head or from accidentally sending a crampon through a pooch's paw.

I can't be an absolutist because if someone has a good dog who knows to stay back from the cliff and the climbers, then I see no problem with their dog roaming through the woods behind us. As a rule of thumb, though, I would definitely advise my friends to leave dogs and little kids at home for ice climbing or for rock climbing on chossy cliffs. I'm not saying they can't or that any moral/smart/respectable person wouldn't, but just that I don't think it's a good idea due to the higher risk of heartbreak.


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By Will S
From Joshua Tree
Dec 31, 2012

Matt Wolski wrote:
I don't really care if you think my dog is annoying or if it ruins your wilderness experience.



Then you're a fucking selfish douchebag.


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By Name
Dec 31, 2012

Have you seen what people do to each other? War, murder,rape,etc. Im more scaried of people than dogs. Even if their climbing people.


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By md3
Dec 31, 2012

NEVER use your hands to try to break up a dog fight. This used to be one of the first things you were told when you got a dog. Even a little one can bite your finger off and they don’t discriminate when in full fight mode. At most, kick one of them (your own if you can) hard enough to get their attention if they are really going at it and the blood is flying. Throwing a bucket of water on them works, but who has a bucket of water in their climbing pack? Most dog fights are not lethal and at worst lead to some stiches, so don't freak out even when they sound like they are going to kill each other. But if your dog gets in a fight and the other dog’s owner is silly enough to try to break it up with their hands you might end up with some liability for their lost digits, so if you can, you should probably prioritize kicking the owner’s feet out from under them before they can reach the combatants. The problem is that it all happens pretty quickly and you are usually up on a climb or belaying someone when it starts. Less aggressive dog alternatives are awaiting adoption at your local shelter.


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By Michael C
From New Jersey
Dec 31, 2012
Mt Minsi, PA

I see no problem as long as the dog's owner is responsible.

- keep them leashed and tethered
- clean up their mess
- keep them quiet
- keep them in a safe, out of the way area


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By Evan S
From Erie, CO
Dec 31, 2012
Me, of course

md3 wrote:
NEVER use your hands to try to break up a dog fight. This used to be one of the first things you were told when you got a dog. Even a little one can bite your finger off and they don’t discriminate when in full fight mode. At most, kick one of them (your own if you can) hard enough to get their attention if they are really going at it and the blood is flying. Throwing a bucket of water on them works, but who has a bucket of water in their climbing pack? Most dog fights are not lethal and at worst lead to some stiches, so don't freak out even when they sound like they are going to kill each other. But if your dog gets in a fight and the other dog’s owner is silly enough to try to break it up with their hands you might end up with some liability for their lost digits, so if you can, you should probably prioritize kicking the owner’s feet out from under them before they can reach the combatants. The problem is that it all happens pretty quickly and you are usually up on a climb or belaying someone when it starts. Less aggressive dog alternatives are awaiting adoption at your local shelter.


I know, this is common sense. Tried that first, didn't work, grabbed a collar, which broke, got bit right after that. You can pull their tail too, but that's easier said than done. An Akita tried to kill my dog once, that's total BS that dog fights are usually harmless scuffles.


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By Matt Wolski
From Salt Lake City
Dec 31, 2012
...took a 20 ft'er about five minutes after this pic was snapped : )

Will S: strong work lifting a quote out of context. My point is, on public lands that are designated mixed use areas (i.e. no leash laws) I'm not inclined to respond well to someone lecturing me about my off-leash dog from the seat of an ATV. Go call someone shooting guns at New Jack City "a fucking selfish douschebag" and let me know how that goes.


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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Dec 31, 2012
At the BRC

Matt Wolski wrote:
Will S: strong work lifting a quote out of context. My point is, on public lands that are designated mixed use areas (i.e. no leash laws) I'm not inclined to respond well to someone lecturing me about my off-leash dog from the seat of an ATV. Go call someone shooting guns at New Jack City "a fucking selfish douschebag" and let me know how that goes.



Good point, most of us take an ATV to the crag.

Having the right to be a fucking selfish douchebag on public lands doesn't protect you from being recognized as one when appropriate.


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By J mac
Dec 31, 2012
Zermatt

I'm a little bummed by all the talk of dog kicking going on. I really prefer this thread:

www.mountainproject.com/v/best-dog-photo-/106611827__1


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