Trail manners - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Trail manners

Hello! I did not find a topic for general trail manners so thought it would be good to have one.

Please delete or merge with an existing one if I missed it.

Josie recently turned one and to celebrate I took back to her first hiking trail.

We hike every week and have been working on manners.
We are much better now around hikers, runners and mountain bikers (stop, step aside auto sit and go when I say ok).
When she was really young she would bark at whoever would stop and talk to me on the trail.

Our breeder recommended that we just continue walking when we see other people coming. There are times though that we do have to step aside and wait our turn.
Seeing other dogs on the trail is where we have run into problems.
Sometimes she would bark once or twice while we are waiting on the side of the trail I ask her to stop and she does. There are
times she doesnít bark at all, even with an off leash dog. Itís usually when the other dog minds itís own business that Josie stays quiet but if the other dog stares at her or lunges then she is more prone to do the same.

When we are moving and the other dog is moving or is stationary she is less
prone to bark.

We were on this trail for her birthday..(we only hiked the 2 to 5 minute section)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VYCRpwWJvkQ

There was an off leash dog with his mountain biking family who sat and waited for us to pass, Josie didnít bark but was pulling in the dogs direction. Saw the same dog a few
Minutes later I decided to have us step aside, and she just started barking and lunging.
We were about 5 feet from that dog and the 2 other dogs (on leash) she barked at that day.
I did not expect to see any other dogs on that trail, let alone 3 (I run on that trail often and familiar with trail traffic).

She wears a harness when we hike and goggles. I do not sure any tools for correction, just a tug on the leash if that does not work I nudge her on the side with my knee. I give her treats when she follows commands/makes good decisions.

*in our weekly walks downtown itís been months since sheís barked back at another dog

What do you and your dog do when you see approaching dogs on the trail? (Off leash and on). Looking forward to hearing your replies, learning from different scenarios, tips or suggestions.

Visual aid below..








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Josie --- 10/18/18
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 06:44 PM
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I try to go on weekdays when we are less likely to run into unmannered dogs on the trails. Our trails require leashes and there are strict fines if caught without one. A lot of people just loop a leash over their shoulders and snap it on when they run into other people. Our trails have some steep sides and the last thing you want is a dog to go over the edge, so I wonít move to the side unless there is a safe place to go. My older dog is a runner, so if she goes on the trails, she is on a 6í leash. It hasnít bothered her at all.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 09:17 PM
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Right now it is our peak season for autumn leaves where I live so I expect to see more people on the trails.

If I encounter off leash dogs on the trail, I ignore and let the dogs alone. I took three of them on a trail today and met an off leash dog. The dogs played and had fun. I had a brief, pleasant chat with the owner.

Around here, an on leash dog is usually a sign of an owner with issues. The dogs are usually fine.

LS, I had three pups go over a cliff one time.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MineAreWorkingline View Post

LS, I had three pups go over a cliff one time.
How steep and how high?
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvShepherds View Post
How steep and how high?
Picture won't load but it was high and steep. They were playing and didn't comprehend what going over the cliff would mean to them. Boy were they screaming and hollering at the bottom.

If you need equipment to maintain control of your dog, understand youíre hanging on to your dogís body because youíve lost his mind!

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 10:02 PM
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Wow - did they get hurt going over the cliff??!


Hmm, manners on trails around here seem to be:

If you have a fearful or aggressive dog, you pull off far into the woods or off the trail so your dog doesn't go lunging/growling at passersby. I've seen dog/owner duos do a 180 and start hustling back to take another fork in the trail! I used to think it was us, but now I realize that they're probably afraid that their dog will go berzerk.

If you have an offleash dog, you call it back before it greets other dogs/people. (Honestly, only a few of them listen - but the owners do try).

Onleash dogs on wide trail, we each pick one side of the trail and go by, sometimes with a friendly wave or comment.

Onleash dogs on narrow trail, one group will yield/move off to side. Rather than actually have my dog actually sit (gives him time to stare at other dogs and get excited), I keep him moving by taking a short little "offtrail" detour through trees and brush and then we rejoin the trail further down. I usually yield the trail to people who have multiple dogs - it's easier to take one dog aside, then two or three.

Offleash dog that runs right up to your dog - I let my dog's leash loose and let them say Hi. It's usually over quickly and I can get my dog to move on once he's exchanged sniffs with the other dog (he likes to say Hello, but generally doesn't want to play or linger).
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 10:06 PM
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I assess the situation, both dogs and owners...

- are the owners preoccupied with their phone, child, etc?
- do the owners look physically capable of managing their dog if needed?
- how is the dog interacting with any other dogs up ahead?
- is the dog very small, very young or very old?
- how’s the dogs body language? stiff, hackling, stalking, insecure, over stimulated...
- did the owner see us and immediately leash their dog?

if i have any reservations, i call Keystone to me and either leash him until we pass, ask him to heel, or grab his collar and step aside (narrow trails)... most times tho, i do nothing - the dogs may sniff briefly and because i keep walking, he keeps walking.

when he’s on leash i tend to avoid leash-on-leash greetings...

all of that said, he’s 6 and fairly neutral towards dogs. i can’t remember the routine when he was 1, lol. he was a little bit of a jerk back then, and too confident for his own good.
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Last edited by Fodder; 10-21-2019 at 10:15 PM.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSDchoice View Post
Wow - did they get hurt going over the cliff??!


Hmm, manners on trails around here seem to be:

If you have a fearful or aggressive dog, you pull off far into the woods or off the trail so your dog doesn't go lunging/growling at passersby. I've seen dog/owner duos do a 180 and start hustling back to take another fork in the trail! I used to think it was us, but now I realize that they're probably afraid that their dog will go berzerk.

If you have an offleash dog, you call it back before it greets other dogs/people. (Honestly, only a few of them listen - but the owners do try).

Onleash dogs on wide trail, we each pick one side of the trail and go by, sometimes with a friendly wave or comment.

Onleash dogs on narrow trail, one group will yield/move off to side. Rather than actually have my dog actually sit (gives him time to stare at other dogs and get excited), I keep him moving by taking a short little "offtrail" detour through trees and brush and then we rejoin the trail further down. I usually yield the trail to people who have multiple dogs - it's easier to take one dog aside, then two or three.

Offleash dog that runs right up to your dog - I let my dog's leash loose and let them say Hi. It's usually over quickly and I can get my dog to move on once he's exchanged sniffs with the other dog (he likes to say Hello, but generally doesn't want to play or linger).
No, they did not get hurt but they kept caterwauling. One would climb almost to the top, another half way, and the third one would be screaming on the bottom. Before I could grab the one that was almost to the top, they would turn around to look at the screaming puppy, loose their footing, and back down they would tumble.

I finally got them to walk along the trail below to a spot where they could climb up easier. By the time they all got to the top, they were exhausted. They threw themselves on the ground, laid down and it took a good 15 to 20 minutes before they could move along again.

If you need equipment to maintain control of your dog, understand youíre hanging on to your dogís body because youíve lost his mind!

Suzanne Clothier
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 10:32 PM
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What an adventure!!

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSDchoice View Post
@MineAreWorkingline
What an adventure!!
Yes it was! And I also had to worry about someone coming along the lower trail and taking off with them or a dog going after them. There is no way that I could have safely made it down there or I would have.

If you need equipment to maintain control of your dog, understand youíre hanging on to your dogís body because youíve lost his mind!

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