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  1. #1
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    Paradise Valley: Warning to Off-Leash Dogs

    Hey all.

    I've been riding and running out at Paradise 2+ times a week for the last two years with an off-leash dog. I know I know, it's naughty. My dog is very well trained and socialized and always under control with an eCollar.

    Anyway, today we had a bit of an incident. We ran into some horseback riders on Mainline and the first rider immediately yelled at me to put my dog on a leash. I grabbed his collar and stepped off the trail and responded that I was holding him. She continued to yell at me about the leash law. My dog started barking and then she started to screaming to get my dog under control. His barking and her screaming escalated and then ended with her "I'll f*ing kill you!" Wow.

    I know I was about 99.9% at fault here. Although, my dog has never done anything like this and I can't help but think he was responding to her overflowing animosity. I am going to make a small/light leash to carry at all times. And I'll probably avoid Paradise on the weekends for the rest of the summer.

    I wanted to warn the many other friendly, well-trained, off-leash dogs out here: Stay under control, and watch out for this lady, because I wouldn't put it past her to do something physically aggressive. Or at least yell and scream at you and put a kink in your day. She was on a big black horse, and her male partner was on a smaller sorrel. I did not notice their rig.

    Happy trails everyone.

  2. #2
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    could it be this guy in a wig?

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  3. #3
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    Have you checked out myraddog.com?
    Small company from B-ham and a great
    product. We have one and it works great
    out on the trails.
    UD

  4. #4
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    Sounds like this lady was pretty out there in terms of over-the-top reaction to your dog being off leash. Having been on your side of letting my dog go off leash on trails when I went riding or hiking in the past and scoffing at dog haters like Issy Alps old farts, I can sympathize.

    I currently have a foster dog that is dog-dog reactive though, which we are trying to correct via training, so I do have a slightly different perspective now toward people who do react negatively to off leash dogs on trails.

    My foster dog is a 80 lb Dutch Shepherd that's nothing but muscles, and when he gets agitated by meeting an off leash dog on trail while he's on leash, all I can do is barely hold onto him. Your dog being friendly or not, I have to keep him away from your dog for your dog's safety (unless your dog is bigger than mine), and that one encounter usually ruins all the positive training that he's been following up to that moment. So at that point, you may hear me screaming at you to "get your dog away from my dog!!", even though all your dog wanted to do was to play or say hi to my dog. Your ride/run may have been tainted, but so would have been ours. And who knows, the lady on the horse may have had bad experience with off leash dogs in the past too.

    One thing that his trainer suggested about taking him on trail is to have him on a long leash (as in really long one like 15~20 ft) instead of letting him go off leash, so that if we have a bad incident, I can legally claim to have had the dog on a leash. I'm not a lawyer so I don't know if this holds water or not, but seems logical. Obviously, arrangement like that may work for hiking but may not work for biking, but it's a thought. Or take him to non-public lands where there is no posted leash requirements.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aya814 View Post
    Hey all.

    I've been riding and running out at Paradise 2+ times a week for the last two years with an off-leash dog. I know I know, it's naughty. My dog is very well trained and socialized and always under control with an eCollar.

    Anyway, today we had a bit of an incident. We ran into some horseback riders on Mainline and the first rider immediately yelled at me to put my dog on a leash. I grabbed his collar and stepped off the trail and responded that I was holding him. She continued to yell at me about the leash law. My dog started barking and then she started to screaming to get my dog under control. His barking and her screaming escalated and then ended with her "I'll f*ing kill you!" Wow.

    I know I was about 99.9% at fault here. Although, my dog has never done anything like this and I can't help but think he was responding to her overflowing animosity. I am going to make a small/light leash to carry at all times. And I'll probably avoid Paradise on the weekends for the rest of the summer.

    I wanted to warn the many other friendly, well-trained, off-leash dogs out here: Stay under control, and watch out for this lady, because I wouldn't put it past her to do something physically aggressive. Or at least yell and scream at you and put a kink in your day. She was on a big black horse, and her male partner was on a smaller sorrel. I did not notice their rig.

    Happy trails everyone.
    Look, I'm a biker, so I do sympathize as I'm sure you have a great dog. However, you aren't 99.9% at fault, you're 100%. It's the law.

    I don't know what else you want to hear, but if you want to take a dog out, do it at Tokul, or wherever the law allows. The last thing you need (or the community at large needs) is an incident at all. Not even something you'd consider significant. Nothing.

    YMMV.
    Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so."

  6. #6
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    I would never have a dog leashed for ride on singletrack, it's too dangerous. However it is the law, so looks like it is time to find somewhere else for your dog run rides.

  7. #7
    FM
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    Laws the law, but, 97% of the trailbuilders I know are dog owners, whether they ride bikes, horses, or hike.

    It's unfortunate when dogs, horses, bikes and people can't get along, but for me it's just a signal to find someplace else to ride, since the majority of people who can't get along aren't giving back anyways. Not really interested in malls, mall cops or mall rules.

    I've certainly seen skittish, disobedient horses at PV, with owners that don't clean up their poop. ymmv.

  8. #8
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    Consider reporting her threat to the police. You are indeed 100% responsible for violating the leash law, but the horse rider is also 100% responsible for violating the death-threat law. As a trail user, one of those crimes worries me a lot more than the other.

  9. #9
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    Rad dog leash looks pretty rad.

  10. #10
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    What if you cut a leash, put the short end on the dog, and wrap the long end on your handle bars. Then when someone says get your dog on a leash, you can say it just broke (sorry).
    - Be Someone

  11. #11
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    East Tiger has a sight and sound rule. Your dog is free to be in your sight and under your voice control. If they can't do that then leash your beast. I wish more places around here were sight and sound rule/law.

    I didn't own a leash for my dog until I came to Seattle zone a few year ago. He spent 7 years off the leash, now hes old and it's see an old slow dog needs to be leashed in the forest.
    Epic trails get built in the Northwest by epic people!

    Sustainable quality trails please.

  12. #12
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    Though I do ride w/ my dog off leash on some open, private land (which I have permission to ride), In public area's these day's- NO MATTER HOW AWESOME YOU THINK YOUR DOG IS- best to keep 'em on a leash! Last time I got bit I was riding down the beach on my fat bike, through one of the areas that's legal for cars to drive, and a guy said "hey, can I check out your bike"? So naturally I pulled over to chat... and there were tons of people all over the beach, and his frickin' collie came around his car (off leash of course) and bit me on the ankle. He said "I can't believe it, my dog doesn't bite"... and I said "B.S.- he just did- get your ef'ing dog on an ef'ing leash!

    Dogs are NOT people! They may react to something sometime, it's only natural. I've had a couple incidents that could have ended up much worse than the one I mentioned... to long of stories to tell here, but one in particular made me fear for my life... on a "greenway" path no less.

    Problem is, "I" don't know you or your dog. And can't trust that your dog is as "awesome" as you say... and all it takes is a couple (or more) of previous incidents to strike fear or at least serious caution into you when an "off leash" dog approach's.

    That said, who knows what happened to this lady that made her react this way... an over reaction for sure... but I'd like to here what happened that gave her that attitude.

    Leash your dog, or leave it home!

  13. #13
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    There's been a lot of people getting upset about offleash dogs at PVCA for some time now, the only time I do it there is super early during the week, and I'll probably stop that too now. I've seen the rangers out there numerous times writing tickets lately. Tokul, cherry valley, moss lake, Galby are all better places anyway.

    I'm split on the dogs offleash issue, and the voice control thing to be honest. Most people who think their dogs are under voice control really don't have them under full control. And while it's rarely an issue with trail dogs, there ARE some aggressive breeds out there who could be an issue even on leash as mentioned. Even the best trained dogs sometimes just don't like another dog for whatever reason and that's when things go bad fast.

    Personally I'd love to see it remain leash law everywhere, unless your dog passes something like the canine good citizenship test or similar. It's not that hard if you're training your dog in the first place, and really those are skills any offleash dog should have anyway, especially out in the woods.
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  14. #14
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    I was kinda hoping to stay out of this one but completely agree with Ward. Having worked with several equestrian groups around here over trail access and upkeep I've often heard stories of folks getting bucked off because their horses got spooked by a dog. "Friendly" or otherwise. So, while her response probably wasn't justified to the point it apparently went, she had a right to be eventually pissed. Horses are stupid animals as is noted here quite often and it doesn't take much to freak one out. Problem is, there is probably a post on some horse forum out there with a much different story to "watch out" for some "mountain biker with an aggressive dog" with the OP's description too and that doesn't do us all any good either.

  15. #15
    I should be out riding
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    Yet every time I've seen an equestrian with a dog, they're off leash.

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    Time to start petitioning to get the horseback riders off the trails. Their horses **** all over the trails and make them unpleasant for other users, and it seems like 90% of them have some kind of Napoleon complex...
    Blur LT & Highball

  17. #17
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    Dogs are a cyclist's mortal enemy. I've never understood why mountain bikers feel the need to take their dog out on a ride where they know they're going to encounter other riders. Dogs chase bikes. Plain and simple.

    Like others said, in your eyes, your dog may be the greatest f'ing dog in the world, but to him I'm a stranger and worse... I'm a stranger on a bike.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACree View Post
    Yet every time I've seen an equestrian with a dog, they're off leash.
    True that! Even had one threaten to sick his dog on us once. He said "best thing you can do is to get down the trail and out of my sight". He had a pistol too... I didn't argue. Funny thing is we had picked up three fresh empty beer cans following him that matched the one in his hand.

  19. #19
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porch View Post
    Time to start petitioning to get the horseback riders off the trails.
    I would like to add to that petition... along with dogs and horses, all wild animals should be on leash or exterminated. If you think being assaulted by a domestic pet is frustrating, try a wild mountain beaver! At least our pets are vaccinated. God forbid your on-leash dog should be assaulted by an off-leash goose. And who is picking up the goose **** in county parks?

    I was assaulted by rain yesterday. County parks really should be covered to protect all us taxpayers.

  20. #20
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    You must spread some reputation around before giving it to FM again...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    I would like to add to that petition... along with dogs and horses, all wild animals should be on leash or exterminated. If you think being assaulted by a domestic pet is frustrating, try a wild mountain beaver! At least our pets are vaccinated. God forbid your on-leash dog should be assaulted by an off-leash goose. And who is picking up the goose **** in county parks?

    I was assaulted by rain yesterday. County parks really should be covered to protect all us taxpayers.
    Yet another thread spiraling away from the OP's intent... starting w/ Porch's comment. I've ridden horses... and had allot of fun! And be careful, if the horses go, we might be next. In fact, more than likely we will be "removed" before the horse's! All of the bears I've crossed paths with ran from me, not the other way around. Closest I came to a wild animal attacking was a badger... and believe me, his hissing, scratching and showing his teeth scarred the holy crap out of me! But not as much as the Pit Bull that broke away from it's owner (actually was on a leash to begin with) on the Greenway... that dog wanted my a$$ for dinner! Was able to get the right gears and no headwind so out ran him- luckily! Mother Nature manages her "pets" as she see's fit... but WE are responsible for our dog's... and horse's for that matter. Especially on public trails.

  22. #22
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    More rules = more conflicts. Ever notice how well people get along in places with less rules?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kliemann53 View Post
    More rules = more conflicts. Ever notice how well people get along in places with less rules?
    Like, in Afghanistan? I think more appropriate way to put it is "more sense of entitlement = more conflicts". And that goes to all sides.

  24. #24
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    No I meant More rules. Afghanistan is one of the most oppressive places on earth.
    I was thinking of places like Capital forest, East tiger, tahuya. I was riding with my dog over by Yakima weekend before last and passed horses other dogs, hikers and even motos, nobody yelled at anyone. Getting along is not that hard, but you gotta want to.

  25. #25
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    Well, that almost evens the score for the group of four equestrians I watched, then followed as they made their way along the length of Cascara a couple weeks ago.

    Luckily, it's "just a short loop" I was informed when I asked if they had seen the sign at the intersection.
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