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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 doesn’t bark at all, even with an off leash dog. It’s usually when the other dog minds it’s 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 didn’t 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 it’s been months since she’s 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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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 won’t 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 6’ leash. It hasn’t bothered her at all.
 

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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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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.
 

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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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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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In busy state parks or on weekends, as soon as I hear someone (or the dogs hear something) I step way off the trail and sit them. Even if that puts us in tall weeds or balanced on a rock or something.

I’ve had a few too many unpleasant run-ins, so I’ve adopted the overly cautious preventative approach. A lot of trail runners mouth “thanks”, and it also gives me the moral high ground when others go past with an out of control dog of any size. :)

Remote areas, I just keep walking. Everyone out there tends to have decent dogs and common sense, and after a sniff the dogs go their separate ways.
 

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I always move my dogs to the side for runners, cyclists, etc., too. Nobody needs to encounter my dogs unless it is okay with them.

I belong to a couple of hiking and camping groups. One thing I see in the forums on the increase is people with out of control aggressive dogs on the trails. They refuse to muzzle their dogs and IMO subject other people and dogs to danger. If you say something in the groups about them prioritizing the safety of others or leaving dangerous dogs that they admit they can not control at home, they become quite violent. It's scary to think that out of control aggressive dogs can be out on remote trails in the hands of people that need anger management therapy.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
@xthine I don't have any advise I just want to say that Josie is beautiful and I love the doggles.



Awww thank you Springbrz! :grin2:
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Thank you so much everyone for the responses! It's good to learn about different scenarios and different things that we can try! Will be keeping an eye on this thread :)
 

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I'm another one who moves to the side and puts the dog(s) in a sit stay -- it's not only safer and easier, but I feel like the one with the big, scary breed has to take the high-road in encounters, so as not to scare people with little dogs, kids, etc. who may be afraid of big dogs. I figure most other dogs may not have the training to even manage a sit-stay, so we can be the one to step aside.
 

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If people have dogs I make sure we give them plenty room and do a sit stay. People passing I just make sure there is enough room to pass. I have heard some jingle bells on dogs in trails and on occassion I put them on mine.
 

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It really depends. Last weekend on a fairly remote trail we ran into about 8 separate groups. I called in my older female and leashed her every time, but my younger female never bothers anyone and is friendly anyway, so I just let her walk past on her own. It can be very hard to pull off this trail in certain sections, so we just keep moving. No problems, people were friendly and complimentary, and all was well. If someone has a dog, I will go out of my way to get off trail because my older female can not stand rude "friendly" dogs. It's a tough trail so we didn't see anyone else with dogs. It was a great hike and I was so happy with the natural temperament of my younger girl- perfect trail dog- looks to me for direction and comes to me automatically when she sees someone, and then walks right by. It's important that she doesn't run up to people because some of the hikers are older and the footing is already unsteady. We don't see many kids but same goes for them. Nobody has ever complained about the dogs being off leash as long as they are aloof and controlled... in general the hikers are a pretty easy going bunch.
 

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Luc (GSD) was generally off-leash once he settled and he usually ignored people and avoided their dogs. Teagan was on-leash, as an aggressive dog.

Neb (Husky/Beagle mix) is fairly neutral now and we allow off-leash sometimes as he's matured well but if we hear people we call him to us and move to the side.

Xerxes, as a beagle, well, he's on-leash ('nose on, ears off') and as he's leash reactive, I tend to go far off the trail, have him sit and be quiet. Occasionally I've seen other owners do that and then we go by, either working on our quiet command, or, if he is following a scent, just letting him do that because he doesn't notice other dogs then anyhow. I mean, he's still baying, but not at the dogs lol

Agis is still a puppy and learning how to walk on a leash let alone off one, but as he ages I'd like him to develop into a dog that will come under distraction and sit quietly on the side of the trail to let people pass. As we've had him for 6 days, that's a long-term goal!

It's amazing though - we live near a large Toronto park with single and double track and run in there, including at night with waist belt lights and headlamps, and man! We don't see a lot of dogs in the dark (as it's not lit and generally dog walkers apparently don't use things like headlamps) but occasionally we do. A lot of dogs - and they're always BIG dogs - do not like people/lights approaching them quickly in the dark. It's happened enough we have our routine down when suddenly out of the dark there's a dog coming at us losing it's poop.
 

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I wish I had the picture, but local trails have some good rules.
Dogs On Leash or Under Control.
Then a 'what this means' because it's interpreted by some to be off-lead and not under control, as in dogs run where ever regardless of the others comfort.
What this means runs something like, one leash per dog (as in you must have a leash with you if your dog runs off lead) and leash or control your dog in the presence of other forest users. Most people are cool, but I've been literally knocked flat by a dog that wanted to mess with mine, pretty much leached out any pleasure I had in walking the trails with my dog for quite some time. Yesterday, I had to deliver back to the owner someone's dog that wanted to say hi to mine and just kept following us down the road.
 
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