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  1. #1
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    Wanted: opinions on unleashed dogs.

    Since this was mentioned in another thread last week. I was just wanting to here how others feel about this. Here's an example of why I don't have my dog on a leash in the park from yesterdays ride:

    I was pedaling up the long hill side of the view point trail as far to the right w/o being in the ski track. My dog was running on the other side of the track out of the way just in front of me when we came upon a skier coming down the hill right at one of the corners. With all three of us being in the correct spot while traveling on the trail, if I had my dog on a leash the skier would probably have gotten tangled in it. If he had it probably would not have been too bad since he wasn't going too fast. But, if he was going faster he could have been injured along with my dog. This all could happen with 2 bikers too especially in the summer.

    I could easily have been a runner or a walker with a dog in the same situation so this effects most all trail users. Of course my point of view comes from a dog owner who has a dog who is pretty well mannered on the trail (I have even been told that by bikers and horseback riders). He is a dog though and does have his moments where he gets in the way because he isn't paying attention.

    I do understand where you all that don't agree with unleashed dogs are coming from. It is kind of annoying coming across a dog that gets in the way. I have even been bitten by a dog while riding.

    BTW if I read correctly the only area with trails in the municipality that an unleashed dog is against the law is in the Campell Tract BLM area because it is federal land. On municipality land it is not against the law.

    Of course this is just my point of view. I just want to hear what others think since it affects all trail users.

  2. #2
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    You may think you have the best-behaved dog in the world, and that you can predict every move that it's going to make. But the truth is, you really can't be sure of it. I have heard of people knocked down and even attacked by dogs whose owners swore "He's never done anything like that before."

    My opinion? If the trail has a leash law, put your dog on a leash. Period. If it doesn't, then don't. But people who use leash-law trails have a right to the security that rule provides.

  3. #3
    Diaskeuast
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    Leash 'em

    The leash law is for public safety and to protect enjoyment of the trails by ALL users. To ignore the law is rude and selfish, and signals to everyone else you care only about yourself and have no respect for their experience on the trail. The law is not open to your interpretation based on what you think you know about your dog. The law is clear: Use a leash.

    All dogs are capable of behavior that their owners cannot predict. They can bite people. They can startle and injure people on bikes, skis and horses. I have bite scars on my calf from an unprovoked attack by an unleashed dog in the park. Predictably, the owner swore the dog had never done such a thing, and then she had the audacity to ask me not to report it because she was sure it would never happen again.

    Further, dogs can simply annoy and offend people who choose to not take unleashed dogs (or any dogs) on the trails. No one -- skiers, cyclists, runners, etc. -- should have to be inconvenienced by slowing down because your unleashed animal is clumsily staggering around and getting in their way. The trails exist for the enjoyment of the human users who maintain and pay for them. They are not a playground for dogs.

    There are few things that irk me more than a dog running at me to jump around and try to get me to pet it, and hearing the owner yell, "Oh, it's OK. He's just being friendly." Shocking fact here: Many of us do NOT enjoy your 60 pounds of hairy, drooling, mud-covered friendliness, and it is rude to impose it on us.

    There are public facilities provided for dog owners where they can allow their animals to run around without leashes. To ignore that fact and to let your dog run loose outside of those areas is simply boorish behavior.
    Enjoying the meaningful pursuit of meaningless fun.

  4. #4
    Mr.Secret
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    Except for designated Muni. off leash areas, the Municipality has an ORDINANCE stating dogs must be leashed everywhere else. How bad are you going to feel about your dog if he gets hit ? I know if I hit an unleashed dog, in a leashed area, and if I'm busted up because of it, the doggie owner is going to pay, and I really do like dogs, cats too........How do you feel about stop signs, speed limits, etc. while you're driving your car, are those there just as suggestions for other people and not yourself ? It's kind of no wonder skiiers, bikers, myself scowl at you and your loose dog in a leashed area.

  5. #5
    FatBike Fiend
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    Dogs are people too

    My very friendly but endorphin-addicted dog joyfully accompanies me on most rides with very few problems, those being a couple occasions where other dogs attacked my dog. It's a bit differant here in the valley, I think there's a larger percentage of dog owners out here and most people seem to be dog friendly. A good percentage of people I encounter here have a dog or two along as well. Plus the trails are not generally too crowded so I havn't seen many problems, but I can see how there could be on crowded trails. It seems like the dogs that accompany their owners a lot on bike, ski, or hiking trips become very socialized and get used to encountering other dogs and people in a friendly manner. I've tried biking with my dog on a leash and it's a recipe for disaster. I do clean up after him if he poops on the trail and I'll stop and hang onto his collar and let people go by if I encounter anyone else. So I guess it's up to the dog owners to use discretion where they take their pets, make sure they are well behaved, keep them under reasonable control, and clean up after them. If everybody did that, there wouldn't be any problems.
    Owner, Trailwerx Trails Contracting
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  6. #6
    The devil is an angel too
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.T.R.
    Except for designated Muni. off leash areas, the Municipality has an ORDINANCE stating dogs must be leashed everywhere else. How bad are you going to feel about your dog if he gets hit ? I know if I hit an unleashed dog, in a leashed area, and if I'm busted up because of it, the doggie owner is going to pay, and I really do like dogs, cats too........How do you feel about stop signs, speed limits, etc. while you're driving your car, are those there just as suggestions for other people and not yourself ? It's kind of no wonder skiiers, bikers, myself scowl at you and your loose dog in a leashed area.
    Not trying to be a jerk, but are we sure the Muni doesn't allow unleashed dogs on trails? I checked the Muni website and found this:

    17.10.010 Animals in public places.
    A. It is unlawful for any animal to be in a public place unless it is controlled by a
    leash, and in the control of a person competent to restrain the animal except:
    1. Control of an animal by command is allowed if the animal is engaged in
    an activity that precludes it from accomplishing that activity if restrained,
    and the animal is in an area normally associated with that activity, and the
    activity is conducted in a manner that minimizes impact with the general
    public;
    2. A dog may be unconfined in areas sanctioned by the municipality as off
    leash dog areas. The owner or custodian of a dog, unconfined in an off
    leash dog area, must have a leash restraint immediately available for the
    physical control of the dog and be physically capable of controlling the
    dog;
    It could be argued that taking an unleashed dog with you on the trails while you bike is ok, according to 1. Not advocating for unleashed dogs, just seriously confused here.

  7. #7
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    Wrong...It is not the law in the Muni.

    A leash is one of five types of control as defined in the municipal ordinance. Refer to restraint and the law http://www.ci.anchorage.ak.us/Healthmsd/animal.cfm#bark

    It is the law on BLM land...It is federal. Refer to dog leash or voice control: http://www.blm.gov/ak/ado/ctfintro.html

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=FrozenK]Not trying to be a jerk, but are we sure the Muni doesn't allow unleashed dogs on trails?[QUOTE]

    Laws as always are written vaguely enough to find loopholes. But it could be argued that a leash in no way precludes a dog from running alongside a bike. It could accomplish this task just fine with proper restraints. And if the rider has the control of the dog that he thinks he does, it should not be a problem for him either. So I don't think that argument would hold up in court.

  9. #9
    The devil is an angel too
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    [QUOTE=Jammin15][QUOTE=FrozenK]Not trying to be a jerk, but are we sure the Muni doesn't allow unleashed dogs on trails?

    Laws as always are written vaguely enough to find loopholes. But it could be argued that a leash in no way precludes a dog from running alongside a bike. It could accomplish this task just fine with proper restraints. And if the rider has the control of the dog that he thinks he does, it should not be a problem for him either. So I don't think that argument would hold up in court.
    Like I said, not trying to be a jerk just honestly confused about this. My understanding was that you are supposed to have dogs on a leash on Muni trails, but after reading the ordinance, well, I can't really tell. It seems like for some things, it may be ok not to use a leash.

    One thing is for sure, if you are just walking Fido on the trails, Fido needs to be on a leash.

  10. #10
    Mr.Secret
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrozenK
    Not trying to be a jerk, but are we sure the Muni doesn't allow unleashed dogs on trails? I checked the Muni website and found this:


    It could be argued that taking an unleashed dog with you on the trails while you bike is ok, according to 1. Not advocating for unleashed dogs, just seriously confused here.
    No offense taken. I'm just guessing here but I think what ord. # 1 might mean is with people training their retreivers, you know, with shock collars. I see people occasionaly doing this sort of thing every once in a while in a very controlled manner, these folks seem to be extremly strict with their dogs behavior, much different than a dog running loose with their owner "somewhere in the vicinity ". I am very certain of one thing though, that being the Hillside trails south and west of Cambell Airstrip Rd. is a leashed area only, so leash ' em or go someplace where it is ok to let 'em run......

  11. #11
    Mr.Secret
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsledhead
    A leash is one of five types of control as defined in the municipal ordinance. Refer to restraint and the law http://www.ci.anchorage.ak.us/Healthmsd/animal.cfm#bark

    It is the law on BLM land...It is federal. Refer to dog leash or voice control: http://www.blm.gov/ak/ado/ctfintro.html
    I think your understanding of the law is a bit skewed, so therefore why don't you pay attention to the signage that's posted ALL OVER THE HILLSIDE TRAILS and go from there.

  12. #12
    Ologist
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    Dogs in the Muni are only allowed off leash at designated off leash parks. Dogs in the State park are only allowed off leash within x distance from the trail and developed areas. I forget the distance but it is somewhere around 1500 ft.

    Last year I was biking on Powerline when many groups became bottlenecked because a moose and calf were not moving off the trail. I chased them off the trail and people began to proceed through and a jerk off and his dogs came flying by without any regard. I yelled for him to please leash his dogs (he was arguable within the 1500ft of the trailhead) as he passed the mooses, and he responded with the typical arrogant Alaskan disclaimer "I have been here for 15 years" or something assanine like that. The reality was that there was a safety issue for all those people in that situation, for the moose, his dog, and his lame a$$. This was not really in repsonse to his proximity to the trailhead but it became a wildlife harassment issue. Any alteration in the moose's behavior induced by the presence of the dog and the owner's arrogance can be a citable offense. yes, hard to establish but it is the law.The guy had no idea that I was a peace officer with ADFG (and I wasn't going to chase him down the trail), but it was his self-centered actions that jeopardized others' experiences.

    I LOVE dogs and I have one. We leash her because she isn't the most socialized of canines. The most frustrating aspect of dogs off leash is when they come running up to you with the owner's disclaimer of "she's friendly". Well that's great but my dog isn't and now I have to peel these two dogs apart!! So again, IMO it is about responsibilty and being aware of others around you. There is nothing better than letting your dog run wild after being cooped up in the house or car, but it is not fair to do so at the expense of others. Unfortunatley, some people don't like dogs and the law/ordinance is there to be fair to all.

  13. #13
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    Balance?

    First of all, if you get busted hire Adam to defend you and he will get the "voice command" ordinance sorted out in your favor. Aside from the legal nuances, whether & when to take ht mutt off leash is a matter of common sense, courtesy and your personal risk tolerance for arguing the issue. If you have a dog that is truly under your voice control (i.e. reliably goes "on by" and comes on command and plays instead of fights) - and are willing to rely on the "voice command" exception to the leash rule - taking that dog on trails when & where you rarely see other folks seems reasonable. If you have an independent and/or badly trained dog and are choose to go on popular trails and poplular times you deserve to get busted. For you black & whiters out there, relax, this issue is gray. Besides, some of you black & white folks are (or at least have been) known trail poachers of the first order, leave tracks in the mud, break the speed limit on the way to the trailheads and otherwise bend the rules when it suits your desires which makes some of your posts seem a bit hypocritical. So, while your points are well taken, your point of view is not the only reasonable one to have.

  14. #14
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    I don't understand what's black and white about "No Dogs Off Leash," as some trails have specifically posted. If not, fine, let the courts sort it out. But if such a sign appears, don't use poacher tracks through the grass as an exuse to let your slobbering, "friendly" mutt congenially maul whomever they want. I don't care if they're under your "voice control." I don't know that.

  15. #15
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    signs

    the assembly makes the laws - having a sign-posting employee post a sign does not change the law . . .

  16. #16
    HowtoOverthrowtheSystem
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    First off, I love doggies.

    Here in Anchorage, I've only had a poodle (big, stupid looking one) chase me so far. Last time I rode a very nice gentlemen had a pit bull mix that ran up to me. It was at the ball field by the Lake Otis tunnel (I think it's a dog park because there are always dogs there). It just wanted to give me it's Kong though. I grew up with American Pit Bull Terriers and American Bulldogs so I don't spook too easy. I know many people are afraid of those breeds and it probably would have really ticked them off.

    I've passed many people along Chester Creek/Coastal Trail with their dogs leashed, but not really controlled and have had them lunge at me. That can be a little scary. I just hope they don't start crying when I lay a skid mark down ol Peek-a-poos back. I've also passed many people with dogs off leash who seem to know how to control their dog.

    That being said, I've been bitten once (not on a bike) by a Doberman (owned by a friend of the family ) that I turned my back to. I was almost bitten by one American Pit Bull that my family tried to rescue (he tried to go after the neighbors Greyhound and when I grabbed his collar he turned and tried to get me. I had to put him on the ground in a choke hold and give him a couple elbows to hold him there until he calmed down. Once he figured out I was the alpha male he chilled out. That dog was ironically named "Psycho" had some serious issues with other dogs and we had to get rid of him.

    Once you get bitten you never forget it and I can see where a lot of these guys are coming from.

  17. #17
    Beware of Doggerel
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    I'm of two minds about this, I love dogs. The guy on my avatar, is long dead, but he was a mischevious nutjob so I wouldn't dream of taking him off leash. On the other hand two weeks ago some A-hole's dog bit me on the foot. So I'm not too happy about the whole dog thing right now. The guy looked amazed as I stopped and let fly a string of profanities at him and is no good piece of crap dog. Was I just supposed to ride away and act like I am honored to have that animal chew on my leg? Good thing I had my heavy duty Lakes on. Idiots.

    I think the Anchorage trails are just too crowded for loose dogs. If it was my dog I'd be afraid of the dog getting hurt by a biker or skier who expects them to get out of the way. It might be okay in the off hours or less popular trails, but Saturday afternoon on the tour trail is just a bad idea.

    Seems simple to either just leash the dog or stay off the tour trial, and moose meadow/ rovers etc.

    Adam
    I wanna say I'm sorry for stuff I haven't done yet, things will shortly get completely out of hand --T.M.G.

  18. #18
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    Problem here isn't the loose dogs, it's the ones tied to a dogsled!

    Ken
    No matter where you go, there you are.

  19. #19
    Mr.Secret
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    I'm tryin' to figure out the reasoning of a couple of the above posts tryin' to rationalize it being OK to allow unleashed dogs into leashed areas. Could you please explain it a little s-l-o-w-e-r ' cause I guess I might be a little slow in understanding WTF it is you're tryin' to say

  20. #20
    Mr.Secret
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgrlaw00
    the assembly makes the laws - having a sign-posting employee post a sign does not change the law . . .
    ARE YOU A CURRENT MEMBER OF THE ASSEMBLY OR WHAT ? AND IF YOU ARE , CAN I TAKE MY MOTORCYCLE ON THE HILLSIDE TRAILS IF I'M REALLY CAREFUL ? IF I DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO THE NO MOTORCYCLES SIGNAGE I'LL BE OK, RIGHT ??? I'LL JUST TELL ' EM YOU SAID IT WAS OK IF SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS AND NOT TO WORRY ABOUT IT ......SOUND RIGHT ??? Adam, make sure you've at least got your Lake's on in case I accidently nail you........ok.?
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  21. #21
    I'm from Utah
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    Fun thread

    A lot of emotion on both sides.

    I'm among the large contingent that's been attacked by a dog on a trail. Pit bull. Its teeth went clean through my thigh, almost all the way to the bone. I still have the shorts with the teeth marks in them. The dog's "owner" actually had the audacity to blame the incident on me. She said I was "too quiet," hiking alone along the trail as I was, and I "scared" her dog. I was much too upset and frightened to argue with her. We were in a national park. Dogs weren't even allowed on the trails, leashed or not.

    I won't chime in on my opinion here, since it's obviously more emotionally driven than rational. But I will say, when I see a trail with a sign that says "no dogs allowed" or "all dogs must be on a leash," this makes me very happy. Don't I have a right to happiness, too?

  22. #22
    Mr.Secret
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    [QUOTE=Jilleo]A lot of emotion on both sides
    Last edited by R.T.R.; 03-29-2007 at 05:01 AM. Reason: Nevermind, I better STFU......now

  23. #23
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    Wtf

    see below
    Last edited by kgrlaw00; 03-29-2007 at 09:34 AM.

  24. #24
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    Wtf?

    Quote Originally Posted by R.T.R.
    ARE YOU A CURRENT MEMBER OF THE ASSEMBLY OR WHAT ? AND IF YOU ARE , CAN I TAKE MY MOTORCYCLE ON THE HILLSIDE TRAILS IF I'M REALLY CAREFUL ? IF I DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO THE NO MOTORCYCLES SIGNAGE I'LL BE OK, RIGHT ??? I'LL JUST TELL ' EM YOU SAID IT WAS OK IF SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS AND NOT TO WORRY ABOUT IT ......SOUND RIGHT ??? Adam, make sure you've at least got your Lake's on in case I accidently nail you........ok.?

    The point is that the Assembly passes the ordinances; we read them and interpret them; and, employees are supposed to follow them. If an MOA employee places a sign in the wrong place he or she does not change an ordinance by doing so.

    If an ordinance equates "voice control" to being on a leash, and you have your dog under voice control in a "leash only" area, you would be in compliance. Not saying this is so here, but it appears to be one (but not the only) viable reading of the ordinance quoted by someone else above.

    If an ordinance equated having a dog under voice control to having your motorcycle under voiced control then you could ride it on the hillside. It doesn't, so you can't.

  25. #25
    The devil is an angel too
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgrlaw00
    The point is that the Assembly passes the ordinances; we read them and interpret them; and, employees are supposed to follow them. If an MOA employee places a sign in the wrong place he or she does not change an ordinance by doing so.

    If an ordinance equates "voice control" to being on a leash, and you have your dog under voice control in a "leash only" area, you would be in compliance. Not saying this is so here, but it appears to be one (but not the only) viable reading of the ordinance quoted by someone else above.

    If an ordinance equated having a dog under voice control to having your motorcycle under voiced control then you could ride it on the hillside. It doesn't, so you can't.
    The ordinance, as published in the Muni website does not equate voice control to being on a leash. The ordinance is pretty clear that "It is unlawful for any animal to be in a public place unless it is controlled by a leash, and in the control of a person competent to restrain the animal"

    The issue could come on what falls under exception 1, activities the dog can't do if on a leash. I can see arguing that biking with a dog attached to your bike isn't safe it falls under 1, etc... but lets be clear here: the ordinance does not equate voice control to a leash.

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