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  1. #1
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    Biking with dogs

    I visited central Oregon afew years ago and couldn't help notice the volcanic charactor of the region. I'm thinking about going back this summer with my bike and bordercollie. What trails are dog freindly? I'm worried about avalability of water and will all that pumice and obsidian cut up her paws?

  2. #2
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    I don't think the rocks around here to as much damage as you think on paws, but it will depend on how far you ride. My dog has blown out his paws a few times but it's normally when i ride too far or end up riding on pavement some. Phil's will be smoothest, but it's also the most full of people and other dogs. Too many dogs I think. I ran one over and was launched from my bike a few weeks ago on phils. Maybe just go very early in the morning or something.

    I just rode Skyliner trail with the dog, and it's about 5 miles each way. Was great for the dog. Not as heavily traveled as other trails. Mrazek is less busy as well typically, but it's very tight...

    The trails east of town are less used at now that west side trails are open. But they are a little more rocky. Horse Butte, Horse ridge, swamp wells.

    good luck.

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    If riding out of Bend then probably the river trail is your best bet for legal and water. It's not terribly technical but fun and scenic, and it's along the river so plenty of water. Anything on the South Side of Cascade lakes Hwy. is legal for dogs, anything on the North side (Phil's complex) is not legal for dogs although you do see dogs in Phil's with runners and bikers on occasion.

    There is no real obsidian on the trails around Bend, and the pumice is really fine like flour, we call it moon dust when things dry out as it appears to defy gravity and just hangs in the air forever. Almost unbelievably it is already starting to dry out around here and if it keeps going like this it's going to be a dust bowl this summer, we should still have snow covering most of the Phil's complex and it's already getting dry. Bend is super dog friendly and nobodies paws are really getting cut up so I wouldn't worry about that to much.

    The McKenzie River trail is another option and is about an hour from Bend. The Umpqua river trail is South near Crater Lake and is a bit farther but if you are touring through the area that's another possible water handy super cool trail but you would have to check on the dog thing for those areas as I have no idea about dog access.

  4. #4
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    I'd suggest considering fall instead when it's a little bit cooler. Our dog loves to play in the water, so creek crossings were always an added bonus. Skyliner TH to Tumalo Creek, to North Fork, Flagline, and back on Tumalo creek has a lot of water opportunities for the distance. The Peterson Ridge system in Sisters is good for dogs too. Couple of creek crossings and not too rocky. Also, the Entrada lodge is dog friendly and has a trail out of the parking lot that connects to the river trail.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sketchbook View Post
    Phil's will be smoothest, but it's also the most full of people and other dogs. Too many dogs I think. I ran one over and was launched from my bike a few weeks ago on phils.
    Hate to be a pain, but I can't stand dogs on the trail. I have had multiple issues with folks who have ZERO control over their dog/s. Often, they also fail to warn me about the "Second" dog. Just went into the Manzanita yesterday because of this exact scenario.

    I also find that the amount of miles is just simply too much for most of the dogs. They look overworked and exhausted. My thoughts are if you ride with your dog do so when the trails are lightly used (daytime during the week or very early in the am). I would actually prefer that folks who ride with dogs use the Forest Service Roads and not the singletrack.

    Just my 2 cents....
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    I agree with willem. I know you all love your dogs, but many people don't. And having an unleashed dog on a trail -- especially singletrack -- is just dangerous. I've almost wiped out several times by mutts flying out of the brush right into my path. Letting your unleashed Fido run free on the trail is just an accident waiting to happen. I know it is fun and the dog has a great time, but when your friendly dog causes a small child to wipe out and get injured, it's not gonna be so much fun.

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    If I was going to ride with my dog, it would NOT be on a trail with lots of traffic(anywhere near Phils TH), or where high descent speed could hurt someone. Saw some people climbing with dogs on Funner last week. NOT smart IMO.

    Maston would be good this time of year for a dog ride, but little water.
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    Dogs in Bend

    The OP did not ask for anyone if they "liked" having dogs out on the trails. Most chose to answer the question, while some had to give their self righteous opinions and taint the thread. Maybe if your shit was under control in the first place you would have stayed out of the bushes.

    Just my two cents.


    Quote Originally Posted by willem3 View Post
    Hate to be a pain, but I can't stand dogs on the trail. I have had multiple issues with folks who have ZERO control over their dog/s. Often, they also fail to warn me about the "Second" dog. Just went into the Manzanita yesterday because of this exact scenario.

    I also find that the amount of miles is just simply too much for most of the dogs. They look overworked and exhausted. My thoughts are if you ride with your dog do so when the trails are lightly used (daytime during the week or very early in the am). I would actually prefer that folks who ride with dogs use the Forest Service Roads and not the singletrack.

    Just my 2 cents....

  9. #9
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    Biking with dogs

    Quote Originally Posted by bb12creek View Post
    The OP did not ask for anyone if they "liked" having dogs out on the trails. Most chose to answer the question, while some had to give their self righteous opinions and taint the thread. Maybe if your shit was under control in the first place you would have stayed out of the bushes.

    Just my two cents.
    Thanks. It seemed to me to be very relevant. Free Speech on these forums.....cheers
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  10. #10
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    Actually the Deschutes River Trail is leash restricted from May 15th to Sept. 15th. except for about a mile of it at Good Dog! - just downstream from Meadow Camp. The north/south rules only apply during the winter and are only at the higher elevations. The Phil's Trail complex is off-leash legal year round, but please use good judgement on busy trails as nobody wants an accident (with a biker or a dog).
    I think the McKenzie is off-leash legal except at developed areas, but it is a long ride for most dogs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trailsharer View Post
    Actually the Deschutes River Trail is leash restricted from May 15th to Sept. 15th. except for about a mile of it at Good Dog! - just downstream from Meadow Camp. The north/south rules only apply during the winter and are only at the higher elevations. The Phil's Trail complex is off-leash legal year round, but please use good judgement on busy trails as nobody wants an accident (with a biker or a dog).
    I think the McKenzie is off-leash legal except at developed areas, but it is a long ride for most dogs.
    I can't recall actually seeing a dog out on the trails actually ON the leash. The leash, if there is one, is rolled up in the owner's hands, so the restriction seems to be meaningless.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bb12creek View Post
    The OP did not ask for anyone if they "liked" having dogs out on the trails. Most chose to answer the question, while some had to give their self righteous opinions and taint the thread. Maybe if your shit was under control in the first place you would have stayed out of the bushes.

    Just my two cents.
    Willem contributes more goodness to this forum than just about anybody so I'm okay with him giving his opinion.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Willem contributes more goodness to this forum than just about anybody so I'm okay with him giving his opinion.
    Thanks buddy!!
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  14. #14
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    I approach dogs on the trail the same way I approach ANY trail user. I assume they are completely unaware of my presence or will somehow act unpredictably, so I do what I need to do in order to avoid a collision. I have never hit a dog, but I have been hit by an idiot wearing headphones... I also caught my handlebar on a guy who was fixing a flat off trail when he looked up, made eye contact with me, and then inexplicably stepped back into the middle of the trail...(he was all upset about the little red mark on his arm while I was sprawled in the dirt trying to figure out why he knowingly walked in front of me...)

    There are only two types of dogs. Those that understand that they don't want to get hit by a bike again, and those that have yet to learn that lesson. Never assume a dog gets it. That's your fault.

    For those of you who have had bad experiences with dogs, I definitely blame the owner as well. I spent a lot of time conditioning mine to trails. He is very alert and avoids bikes. He often knows another rider is approaching before I do. He has more trouble with hikers because he is so friendly.

    To maybe help the OP, I have had good success with this stuff. It smells like cinnamon and WILL stain light colored carpet, but does dry in less than a minute. Upland bird hunters swear by this stuff as a cheat to toughen up a dogs footpads before the season starts. I have heard of marathoners and military types who use it as well.
    Tuf-Foot for Dogs (Bonaseptic): Tuff Foot for a Tough Dog's Pads/Feet
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    As for water, carry a bunch for your non-sweating trail buddy. I let mine drink from a portable bowl, then dump the rest on his neck and shoulders. There are collars that are supposed to help keep a dog cool, but I don't have any experience with one. I kind of like that idea for myself actually.

    Your best bet is to ride when it's cool out

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    Quote Originally Posted by willem3 View Post
    I also find that the amount of miles is just simply too much for most of the dogs. They look overworked and exhausted.
    Agreed. Don't turn the ride into a forced march for your dog. Keep the miles pretty close to what they are used to and increase gradually. I wouldn't go much over 5 miles with most dogs (if moving fast). I would work up to 10-15 miles MAX for most breeds, and NOT in the heat. Some dogs are motivated enough to kill themselves trying to keep up We have a huge advantage with our built in cooling systems and because we set the pace. Lack of a fur coat helps too.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Willem contributes more goodness to this forum than just about anybody so I'm okay with him giving his opinion.
    Willem also does more trail work than any regular contributor to this forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willem3 View Post
    Thanks. It seemed to me to be very relevant. Free Speech on these forums.....cheers
    That was funny...America is great for those freedoms. And yes it was relevant Willem. Did the dog have ear buds in?

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    I didn't ask but it was my intention to feel out the local attitude on dogs,sounds mixed just like everywhere else. I wont take her where its not legal but if it is I will, and I'll expect you to ride in control. After all if you can't avoid hitting my dog how can you avoid hitting that small child(Dropper68)? That being said I'm not really looking for high speed down hills, she can run all day but she's not that fast. I'm also looking at woldo lake,whats that like? A freind says there is a great trail around Mt. bachlor but i cant find info on that.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by limplizard View Post
    Willem also does more trail work than any regular contributor to this forum.
    Yes, which is even more meaningful than posting on this forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kliemann53 View Post
    I didn't ask but it was my intention to feel out the local attitude on dogs,sounds mixed just like everywhere else. I wont take her where its not legal but if it is I will, and I'll expect you to ride in control. After all if you can't avoid hitting my dog how can you avoid hitting that small child(Dropper68)? That being said I'm not really looking for high speed down hills, she can run all day but she's not that fast. I'm also looking at woldo lake,whats that like? A freind says there is a great trail around Mt. bachlor but i cant find info on that.
    There are almost as many hikers and trail runners in the woods out here, so it's not just bikes you'll be mixing with. I think the local attitude is mixed, with opinions forming largely based on past interactions (both positive and negative). How about this: I'll agree to avoid interaction with your dog if your dog agrees to listen to your voice commands and avoid interaction with me? Sound fair?

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    Deal.

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    Dogs bring pet humans to the trails to pick up their poop. Dogs laugh at the pet humans whenever they condescendingly consider themselves master or trainer or handler or owner. Wild humans laugh at pet humans just like the dogs who own them. Perhaps someday man and dog will be true companions. On that day we will observe dogs placing human feces into plastic bags and carefully removing it from having to be picked up by humans trained to do trail work.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalitup View Post
    Dogs bring pet humans to the trails to pick up their poop. Dogs laugh at the pet humans whenever they condescendingly consider themselves master or trainer or handler or owner. Wild humans laugh at pet humans just like the dogs who own them. Perhaps someday man and dog will be true companions. On that day we will observe dogs placing human feces into plastic bags and carefully removing it from having to be picked up by humans trained to do trail work.
    I keep hoping that some day the horse people will start carrying bags around to pick up all the poop.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockin View Post
    I keep hoping that some day the horse people will start carrying bags around to pick up all the poop.
    I see less and less horses wearing those "diaper" things than in years past. Too bad. On the other hand, I have no problems riding through horse apples, compared to dog sh1t. Horse manure is just grass and oats, and is odorless, and does not stick to tires.

    Dog squeeze, on the other hand, can almost smell like human butt loaf.

    Oh, and please, putting your dog's steaming coil in a plastic baggie is only half the battle. Actually disposing of the baggie in a trash bin completes the process. I see so many full, tied up baggies sitting along the trail... WTF?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kliemann53 View Post
    I didn't ask but it was my intention to feel out the local attitude on dogs,sounds mixed just like everywhere else. I wont take her where its not legal but if it is I will, and I'll expect you to ride in control. After all if you can't avoid hitting my dog how can you avoid hitting that small child(Dropper68)? That being said I'm not really looking for high speed down hills, she can run all day but she's not that fast. I'm also looking at woldo lake,whats that like? A freind says there is a great trail around Mt. bachlor but i cant find info on that.
    The problems are not the controlled dogs.

    A lot of dogs like to run up front, and as we humans slow down going up hill, dogs don't. So the general fact that we are slow when travelling uphill and dogs are fast becomes one of the major sources or collisions. Uphill people can get out of the way if they hear someone bombing down a trail around a blind corner. Yes, I know, uphill has right of way, but are you going to sacrifice you body to hold your line around a blind corner? Dogs also are low and hard to see. You can be going around many corners thinking it's clear and wham!

    Other issues are when dogs like to run around off trail. That's great, but they will eventually come back on the trail. and they are so low to the ground they can't see a rider and they jet right into people. I have watched my dog do this half a dozen times. He's a liability.

    BTW - kids are a little like dogs as well. I ride with my 4 year old and if I wasn't telling him to get out of the way he'd either be run over or he would piss a lot of people off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer View Post
    I see less and less horses wearing those "diaper" things than in years past. Too bad. On the other hand, I have no problems riding through horse apples, compared to dog sh1t. Horse manure is just grass and oats, and is odorless, and does not stick to tires.

    Dog squeeze, on the other hand, can almost smell like human butt loaf.

    Oh, and please, putting your dog's steaming coil in a plastic baggie is only half the battle. Actually disposing of the baggie in a trash bin completes the process. I see so many full, tied up baggies sitting along the trail... WTF?
    Thanks DF. I needed that laugh. Nice commentary.

  27. #27
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    I agree that folks overwork their dogs and let them run wild at times. It can be unsafe for the dog and bikers in some places. That said, I find other bikers far more annoying on the Bend trails than dogs...

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    You and I have differed about riding when muddy. I do agree with you here. I like dogs, but I nearly hit a dog yesterday on the way back down Farewell. That could be a real recipe for disaster on a trail like that for both the dog and rider on many sections of that trail.

    I wish I could come up with a good piece of advice here, but considerate people will ride with their dog where and when conditions allow for the safety of the dog and rider. Inconsiderate people, too many dog owners fall into this category and penalize the considerate ones, will do what they want when they want.

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    Man, I love dogs, really, really do.... Better than a lot of people I know if I'm honest.

    But any dog not on a leash is not right in the woods. For a number of reasons, but for cyclists, the only thing I have to add is that you may know your dog and vice versa, but I don't know your dog and they don't know me....

    I hear people say oh she's a good dog, etc, but I don't know - what if I smell weird to it and it decides I am to be dealt with? Everyone wants freedom, but.... hell - this is just one of those topics that is just a tough one....

    An old buddy of mine who hunts said that if he ever saw a loose dog ithe woods he'd shoot it. I thought he was nuts, but he began to defend his stance, and when he was done, while I still thought he was extreme, I saw his side.

    And what about people with phobias... If they are on the trail and meet with a loose dog....

    I say let your conscience be your guide....

  30. #30
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    How could anyone be afraid of Murphy? My biggest problem has been people stopping me so hey can pet him and feed him chunks of clif bars.
    Biking with dogs-image.jpg

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    Thrasher - that IS one lovable lookin' pooch!what breed? Looks like something that is a cross of two common, popular breeds....

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    Yep, he's a planned mutt. Father is a standard poodle, mother is an English style golden retriever. He's a big clown.

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    "my dog" is a good dog. He's just being friendly

    Quote Originally Posted by thrasher_s View Post
    How could anyone be afraid of Murphy? My biggest problem has been people stopping me so hey can pet him and feed him chunks of clif bars.
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    You are right. However, when a person who has a poorly trained dog, they see many people with dogs, like yours, and say to themselves, "the're all out there
    with their dogs, so why shouldn't I be out there with mine?"

    The other issues are too many dogs terrorize wildlife, and spoil the trails with waste. he

    In the four years I've been riding in the Bend area trails, I can honestly say, the vast number of dogs I have encountered have been as well behaved positive instances. However, it's too often than not, that the few spoil it for all,

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    Poodles seem to make great mix breed dogs. Friend of mine has a 'Labradoodle' - looks a lot like yours - And is also a big cuddly mutt! ( and I use the term endearingly)

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    I train dogs for a living and unless you have a hunting shock collar on your dog to keep him or her in line you should have them leashed.... Just yesterday I had a pit run upto me and want to get pet..... Had I not stopped in time i would have flipped over the bars .... 95 percent of dogs when they see a Bike they go into hunt mode and want to chase it.... It's there natural reaction as canines.

    Keep in mind I love dogs and own them but certain breeds shouldn't be off leash and no dog should be off leash around strangers.... Remember dogs ar considered personal property and whatever they do or cause is your responsibility.... Be responsible and understand not everyone wants to have a dog lunging at them to get pet and listen to the owners screaming " come back".... It's kind of annoying.... With that being said if you don't own a yard where you can run your dog... You shouldn't own a dog period

  36. #36
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    Biking with dogs

    Quote Originally Posted by Njhardrock View Post
    I train dogs for a living and unless you have a hunting shock collar on your dog to keep him or her in line you should have them leashed.... Just yesterday I had a pit run upto me and want to get pet..... Had I not stopped in time i would have flipped over the bars .... 95 percent of dogs when they see a Bike they go into hunt mode and want to chase it.... It's there natural reaction as canines.

    Keep in mind I love dogs and own them but certain breeds shouldn't be off leash and no dog should be off leash around strangers.... Remember dogs ar considered personal property and whatever they do or cause is your responsibility.... Be responsible and understand not everyone wants to have a dog lunging at them to get pet and listen to the owners screaming " come back".... It's kind of annoying.... With that being said if you don't own a yard where you can run your dog... You shouldn't own a dog period
    I live in a townhouse community and have a dog (German Shorthair Pointer) along with many others in the neighborhood. None of us own a yard and do just fine. To say that we shouldn't own dogs because we can't throw them outside and shut the door is pretty stupid. The quality and quantity of exercise and attention my dog receives is far better than a lot of people I know that have dogs and a yard. Would a yard make exercising my high energy breed easier? Absolutely. To say that my neighbors and I shouldn't own dogs "period" due to the lack of owning a yard is ridiculous. There are many on and off leash options for exercise and play.

    Now that I'm done with my rant... I leave my GSP at home when I ride. I love saying hello to other dogs on the trail (and watching the YouTube videos of dogs tearing it up with their owners) but I believe they're more of a liability on the trail than not. I would love to bring my dog on the trail but if he was hit by myself or someone it could get really messy. For his own safety and the safety of others he gets his exercise away from the bikes. I've almost nailed a few dogs in Hood River and I don't want to put anyone else in that position. My dog sticks to my side but I figure better safe than sorry.

    To the original poster. If you're worried about your pups pads check out the little shoes that look like Keens for dogs. I've seen a few people use then on their trail dogs. Keeps their feet safe from cuts on the trail. My dog would spend the whole time trying to remove them instead of running but it might be worth a shot if you're going to take them on trails you're unfamiliar with.
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    I'm not one who thinks shock collars are cruel, but is not a necessity. Dogs have both their instincts and their training. Getting a German shorthair that is trained to hunt pheasant to follow you down a trail in pheasant country probably isn't a good idea. Getting Murphy, who is trained to follow me and sit at my side when I stop, to follow me is a different story. He is still a work in progress and has puppy moments, so I try to be aware of other trail users for the both of us. He often spots others before I do, especially hikers. However, if he is close to me and you run him over then you must be out of control and risk running over me, which will go badly for you, especially if you damage my bike.

    I would agree that many (most?) owners don't have as much on control over their dog as they think they do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thrasher_s View Post
    However, if he is close to me and you run him over then you must be out of control and risk running over me, which will go badly for you, especially if you damage my bike.
    What exactly are you saying here?

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    Doesn't matter how in control a dog is or isn't.

    Mountain biking trails are built with human height sight-lines. Many, many corners on our trails are covered in Snow brush and manzanita, so you can't see a dog at all.

    When dogs are running full speed, they apparently can't hear another bike approaching either. I witness this all the time. If they can't see a bike, and can't hear it, they will keep barreling forward full speed.

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    There have been, repeatedly, people mentioning problems with dogs on bike trails such as safety for the dog and the rider. I also mentioned dog-waste on the trail and how dogs can terrorize wildlife.

    The question I have for the dog owners who are taking your dogs out on mtb trails is: do these comments about problems of dogs on trails have any influence on you?

    Were you taking your dog out, but now either A) are considering not doing it, or B) ignoring legitimate issues raised by responders to this thread.

    Have you changed your mind, or at least considering it?

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    I'm saying that its pretty hard to run over a dog that trots along 2 feet behind my back tire without hitting me as well, which would make me very unhappy.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by thrasher_s View Post
    I'm saying that its pretty hard to run over a dog that trots along 2 feet behind my back tire without hitting me as well, which would make me very unhappy.
    Makes sense! If your dog runs behind and stays on the trail, I don't see a problem.

    Majority of dogs I see either run in front, or blast crazy off the trail and back on erratically all over the place. Gotta love playing chicken with a dog while their owner is nowhere to be seen, as the dog is leading and way ahead, then turns around to run back to the owner, now you are chasing the dog.

    I tried trail riding the phils area with my Boxer when I moved here, as I didn't know anywhere else, and after training him to ride behind me for the most part, it just was not worth it. It was still too much disrespect to other riders. Looked like a 85lb muscle with teeth running at you, and I didn't feel right stressing people out. I only take him out on the flat rarely ridden trails now.
    Bend, Oregon

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalitup View Post
    Dogs bring pet humans to the trails to pick up their poop. Dogs laugh at the pet humans whenever they condescendingly consider themselves master or trainer or handler or owner. Wild humans laugh at pet humans just like the dogs who own them. Perhaps someday man and dog will be true companions. On that day we will observe dogs placing human feces into plastic bags and carefully removing it from having to be picked up by humans trained to do trail work.
    NOW if only the "Pet Humans" would pick after their horses like I have to do with my dog, I would be happy!!!!

  44. #44
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    If a dog runs 2 feet behind your bike, doesn't that spray all kinds of dirt and rocks in his eyes?

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    If a dog runs 2 feet behind your bike, doesn't that spray all kinds of dirt and rocks in his eyes?
    Totally and my dog seemed to like to run that close for some stupid reason haha.
    Bend, Oregon

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by thuren View Post
    Totally and my dog seemed to like to run that close for some stupid reason haha.
    How odd. Someone should invent Doggy Goggles.

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    My black lad does the same. RIGHT behind me. When we're done he has dirt and pine needles all over his face...


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    I am a little confused with the direction of this conversation. Are you all talking about dogs with bikers on our trails? Or, all dogs on trails? Although I am an addicted MTBer I realize that the trails around Bend are NOT the exclusive domain for bikes. There are trail runners, walkers, horses (where permitted), wildlife, XC skiers, etc. Although COTA does the majority of the work on the trails that does not give ownership of the trails to mountain bikers.

    Many on this forum have a very entitled tone, instead I think we should be thankful for the awesome trail system we have and respect all trail users (SHARE THE LOVE).

    If Im hauling ass on my MTB and come upon a runner with a dog off leash, I dont have the right to be pissed at the runner and dog who were going much slower and under control. The forest service website explicitly says dogs are allowed off-leash with a few exceptions, such as the DRT and Green Lakes trails (leashes required during the summer season). So who am I to be pissed at people with their dogs off leash? Assuming the dog isn't violent/ aggressive...

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    I personally am not pissed at Dogs or Dog owners. I have even run over a dog on occasion sending me in the bushes.

    That said, I have decided not to ride with my dog anymore. He's not "in control". He runs as fast as he can all over the place and will chase other riders (he races other riders actually). So because of that I keep him at home sadly.

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    drunberg while I agree with you, I just feel it's just a courtesy thing. If your dog runs around like crazy(like mine), and I decide to let him run free right off the busiest bike trails, I feel I'm being a jerk.


    Some people walk down the sidewalk, and make everyone else move out of their way. Not illegal, but their being a d!%K!
    Bend, Oregon

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