Mountain Biking with Dogs- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Sprocket Dogs
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    Mountain Biking with Dogs

    If you mountain bike with your dog checkout the Facebook Group for Sprocket Dogs and page.


    It is an awesome experience hitting the trails with an athletic dog. I’ve been doing it since 1994. I currently have a stoked Australian Cattle Dog. Come check us out. It really is a cool group of people with awesome dogs. The photos and videos in the group are spectacular. ⚙️🐾
    Last edited by SprocketDogs; 4 Weeks Ago at 03:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    I love taking my dog out to poop on trails.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  3. #3
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    I use the garmin astro collars for my Aussie boys (1 year old)
    nothing better I keep the mileage to 5 or so with them

  4. #4
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    awesome spammy first post

  5. #5
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    I love dogs. We have three high-energy Golden Retrievers. But dogs are vigorously prohibited on any of the mountain biking trails around here. Thankfully. They can walk the paved biking trails, but only on a 6-foot leash. I'm fine with that. I don't think they belong running free on the paved biking/hiking trails and not at all on purpose-built mountain bike trails.

    I'm as opposed to dogs on the trails as I am to silly spam on internet forums.

  6. #6
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    My dog is my mountain bike partner. He's good for up to 15 miles but am slowly shortening his rides as he'll be turning eight this year. He's well traveled too.
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    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  7. #7
    Sprocket Dogs
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    That is awesome. That is still a good amount of miles. I live in Florida so we transition into water sports, hiking and short bike joring outings in the neighborhood during the summer. I can’t wait to leave this state.

  8. #8
    Rides all the bikes!
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    I'm not a fan of unleashed dogs on trail. It's like guys who play loud music while they ride. Fine for you, annoyance for everyone else.

  9. #9
    Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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    Nothing better than a good mannered off leash trail dog. Those that have never experienced one, wouldn’t understand.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  10. #10
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    My dog is highly trained. He wears an e-collar and retractable leash collar. I go during low use times, dawn or at night. I’ve never had a problem in 25 years.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I'm not a fan of unleashed dogs on trail. It's like guys who play loud music while they ride. Fine for you, annoyance for everyone else.
    Mine is under voice command and all he wants to do is run...fast. I've had 99% positive comments, even hikers. We also only go on the trails on off times, mostly because I don't like slow trail traffic. His main loop is a little known trail system in the forest and rarely see anyone, even on weekends.

    A couple years ago, I met up with some guys from Big Bear to ride Exploration Trail. I rode up and they shuttled. One of them grumbled about Axel, but they never saw him until the bottom because they were all chatting like a sewing circle.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I'm not a fan of unleashed dogs on trail. It's like guys who play loud music while they ride. Fine for you, annoyance for everyone else.
    Agreed, and nearly everywhere I ride it is specifically forbidden in writing for dogs to be off leash.

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  13. #13
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    Had a trail dog break off from its owner and run alongside me for a solid 5 minutes as I climbed out at Greer recently. It didn't bother me one bit... I thought it was pretty cool, actually!

  14. #14
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    Until you get bit by a dog on trail that was off leash....only to be told by the owner that their dog doesn't bite.....well my leg didn't start bleeding all by itself.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    Until you get bit by a dog on trail that was off leash....only to be told by the owner that their dog doesn't bite.....well my leg didn't start bleeding all by itself.
    Every trail dog I've had or encountered on the trail is concerned with one thing and that's the trail. My dog and I met another rider and dog going the other way on Prescott's 305 trail. The dogs ignored each other.

    These aren't the same dogs that people let run off leash at a park and have no manners. I have a lot of time invested in training. I have another Weimaraner who doesn't trail run. He just doesn't have the focus. He'd pick up a scent and be gone.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    Every trail dog I've had or encountered on the trail is concerned with one thing and that's the trail. My dog and I met another rider and dog going the other way on Prescott's 305 trail. The dogs ignored each other.

    These aren't the same dogs that people let run off leash at a park and have no manners. I have a lot of time invested in training. I have another Weimaraner who doesn't trail run. He just doesn't have the focus. He'd pick up a scent and be gone.
    My late dog Bandit [who passed at 15.5 years] was also only concerned with the trail before him. I recall countless encounters of hikers with leashed dogs yanking their owners down the trail, the leashed dog focused on getting to Bandit. Some barking and growling, Bandit ignoring and staying out of leash length of the oncoming dog. Moving on without a care in the world. I even had a hiker where his dog was acting this way and commented for me to control my dog. His was the one with the leashed up out of control dog dragging him down the trail.

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    Nothing more rewarding than having your best buddy running along off leash totally in control and with manners towards other trail users. I understand that not all dogs are trained this way and for those the owners should be responsible enough to not to allow them off leash. An off leash well trained dog lives a longer happier life than a stressed out leashed up dog. Or one that’s not trained and stressed from humans yelling at them constantly. They never learn commands because the cluless human owner never taught them any. They yell and scream as if it was a child who knows every word in the dictionary. The dog doesn’t understand and it’s behavior gets worse because of the stress. As you know, dogs learn commands that are drilled in and respond accordingly in time.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  17. #17
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    Asking rangers or trail wardens to determine the level of training and obedience of every dog that bikers would like to let run free on the trail is impractical and imposes a level of liability that the agency isn't, and shouldn't, be willing to make in the event that people get bitten or knocked off their bike. Makes more sense to prohibit them all. Mountain bikes and dogs don't mix.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    Asking rangers or trail wardens to determine the level of training and obedience of every dog that bikers would like to let run free on the trail is impractical and imposes a level of liability that the agency isn't, and shouldn't, be willing to make in the event that people get bitten or knocked off their bike. Makes more sense to prohibit them all. Mountain bikes and dogs don't mix.
    Well put. In areas that are not patrolled, asking owners to self-assess is an even greater folly. I'm glad that everyone who has posted in favor of MTB dogs off-leash has a perfectly trained dog. My own encounters with them are completely the opposite.

  19. #19
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    I love dogs on the trail. No one is having more fun than them.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    Well put. In areas that are not patrolled, asking owners to self-assess is an even greater folly. I'm glad that everyone who has posted in favor of MTB dogs off-leash has a perfectly trained dog. My own encounters with them are completely the opposite.
    Everyone thinks that they're dog is "under voice command and get 99% positive comments". Definitely not my experience. My 3 dogs are under voice command and get 99% positive comments too, but I would never subject mountain bikers to the possibility that my desire to have fun and ride with my dogs is more important than the inconvenience or worse that they might inflict on others on the trail that are not as enthusiastic about dogs as I am.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    Everyone thinks that they're dog is "under voice command and get 99% positive comments". Definitely not my experience. My 3 dogs are under voice command and get 99% positive comments too, but I would never subject mountain bikers to the possibility that my desire to have fun and ride with my dogs is more important than the inconvenience or worse that they might inflict on others on the trail that are not as enthusiastic about dogs as I am.
    There’s a difference in those that think their dog is under control and those that are actually under control. Obviously the percentage of those that think is way higher. When I had my trail dog I only took him out during off hours on week days to avoid people interaction. Although 99.9% of all trail interaction was way positive with people wanting to pet him. Other riders watching in awe at his amazing on trail and close to me behavior. Never would I take him on a busy day. The problem is as with everything in life their are those untrained dogs that give the trained dogs a bad rap, I get it.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  22. #22
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    Everyone thinks their dog is the best behaved ever, until something happens to make it obvious that it isn't. Not to mention owners who blatantly ignore leash laws because "my dog is the best behaved ever so these laws don't apply to me".

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    There’s a difference in those that think their dog is under control and those that are actually under control. Obviously the percentage of those that think is way higher. When I had my trail dog I only took him out during off hours on week days to avoid people interaction. Although 99.9% of all trail interaction was way positive with people wanting to pet him. Other riders watching in awe at his amazing on trail and close to me behavior. Never would I take him on a busy day. The problem is as with everything in life their are those untrained dogs that give the trained dogs a bad rap, I get it.
    Yup. I'm sure there are some dogs that actually are just fine running free on mountain bike trails. The problem that the rangers have here is determining which dogs those are, and how to convince all the rest of the trail users "don't worry, this dog is always under voice command and gets 99% positive comments". Since that's hard to do, around here anyway, all dogs have to be leashed on the paved trails, and completely prohibited on the mountain biking trails. Makes perfect sense to me.

  24. #24
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    thread buzzkill level 1000

  25. #25
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    I've mixed feelings about this, its similar to blasting music, you are sort of invading other's space. I love dogs, and except for once, I've never had an issue and I love running into dogs while riding.

    The one encounter, which could have been bad, was a lady with a dog twice her size (I'm guessing Great Dane mix) she gives the "ok" to go through as I pass by and start descending on the switchbacks, the dog escape the owner and was coming towards me through the vegetation as a short cut. I was able to stop right before the turn, and the dog came to w/in 10' of me. He eventually, returned to her command. I just told her, that was NOT cool.

    As long as your dog is under your control, I don't have any issue w/it. If I had a dog at this time, not sure I would take him w/me though.

    Even Labs can get aggressive.
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  26. #26
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    I don't mind off leash dogs on the trail, but dog poop on my bike and water bottle is one of the side effects and just wrong.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Even Labs can get aggressive.
    But never Golden Retrievers...

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    Asking rangers or trail wardens to determine the level of training and obedience of every dog that bikers would like to let run free on the trail is impractical and imposes a level of liability that the agency isn't, and shouldn't, be willing to make in the event that people get bitten or knocked off their bike. Makes more sense to prohibit them all. Mountain bikes and dogs don't mix.
    I have said the same thing to you about ebikes. Funny how your opinion is so much more important than others.. does this statement ring a bell...

    I wish more people had that live-and-let-live attitude. Too much gettin’ up in everyone else’s bidness in the world these days. Too many of us strive too hard to be our brothers keeper.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    Mountain bikes and dogs don't mix.
    I don't agree with this at all. It is all about the right place, right dog, and the right time. I have been riding with some of my dogs on and off for 20 years. Some were right for it and others not. I take Gannett with me regularly over here in Duluth, on days that are not busy and in areas with little traffic. It has worked for us and other riders for the past 5 years without issue. I would never bring him to your beloved Cuyuna due to the restrictions, but even more so because it is so busy with so much traffic. Plus all those mining tailings would cut up his paws! Again, I think there is a right dog, place, and time... for mountain bikes and dogs, and personal responsibility is the key.

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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post
    I have said the same thing to you about ebikes. Funny how your opinion is so much more important than others.. does this statement ring a bell...

    I wish more people had that live-and-let-live attitude. Too much gettin’ up in everyone else’s bidness in the world these days. Too many of us strive too hard to be our brothers keeper.
    E-bikes on the trails don't affect other riders at all. Dogs do. Or might.

  31. #31
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    Dogs on the trail are a mixed bag. Some are really well behaved...and some bark and chase after you. People love to let their dogs run free with little ways to control them. My GF had a pretty good crash on some singletrack trying to avoid a dog that was barking and running towards her. I've straight seen people walk right past the sign that says their "dog must be on a leash"...and take their dog right off the leash.

  32. #32
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    My dog loves chasing me on an mtb and he's definitely more well mannered than an e-bike.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post
    I have said the same thing to you about ebikes. Funny how your opinion is so much more important than others.. does this statement ring a bell...

    I wish more people had that live-and-let-live attitude. Too much gettin’ up in everyone else’s bidness in the world these days. Too many of us strive too hard to be our brothers keeper.
    Man, ain’t that the damn truth. I thought I’d heard him spouting off about that shit re ebikes. I’d rep you if I knew how.


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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    E-bikes on the trails don't affect other riders at all. Dogs do. Or might.
    Yes, ebikes do, and no my dog doesn’t. You’re uptight and opinionated beyond belief.


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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I'm not a fan of unleashed dogs on trail. It's like guys who play loud music while they ride. Fine for you, annoyance for everyone else.
    Sums it up perfectly, Sidewalk. I can't plus rep you again because I so recently already did. I believe many people with dogs just don't care if their priorities intrude on the preferences of other trail users.

    My rear brake rotor nearly removed a dog's leg once while the dog was trying to run alongside me as I was riding with friends (including the dog's owner). I'm glad the dog's owner and I are still friends and that the dog pulled through (very expensive) but this was one of the most awful mountain biking experiences I've ever suffered. Hey dog owners, in this case how do you suppose the dog felt? How do you suppose I felt?

    Advice for dog owners: unless every other trail user has their dog along too, please leave your dog at home. Or ride on private land where you are positive the actions of your dog won't interfere with responsible trail users. Best yet, just ride your bike at the dog park. Thanks from all of us who intentionally choose not to have dogs.
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  36. #36
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    I have a dog that I'll occasionally (once a month or so) take out on some local singletrack. I'm hyper aware of going when I know I will be alone and only ride out-n-back routes so I can scoop any poop that I accidentally missed. I HATE dog poo on the trails (no, putting it in a bag and leaving it on the trail doesn't count as picking it up. FYI), I also get annoyed by dogs that follow me and constantly bark; that rarely happens though as most of the trails I ride there are no dogs.

    More annoying than dogs: runners or cyclists with ear buds in blasting music. At least once a week I'll come behind someone and say, politely "mind if I slip by", no response and then when I try to ride around them they jump a mile in the air and get mad because I startled them. But that's a different rant for a different thread. Back to dogs...

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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    Sums it up perfectly, Sidewalk. I can't plus rep you again because I so recently already did. I believe many people with dogs just don't care if their priorities intrude on the preferences of other trail users.

    My rear brake rotor nearly removed a dog's leg once while the dog was trying to run alongside me as I was riding with friends (including the dog's owner). I'm glad the dog's owner and I are still friends and that the dog pulled through (very expensive) but this was one of the most awful mountain biking experiences I've ever suffered. Hey dog owners, in this case how do you suppose the dog felt? How do you suppose I felt?

    Advice for dog owners: unless every other trail user has their dog along too, please leave your dog at home. Or ride on private land where you are positive the actions of your dog won't interfere with responsible trail users. Best yet, just ride your bike at the dog park. Thanks from all of us who intentionally choose not to have dogs.
    =sParty
    As long as it’s legal, and I can control my dog, I’ll continue to ride with dogs. I intentionally have dogs and raise/train them to be trail dogs. So, thanks, but no thanks.


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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    As long as it’s legal, and I can control my dog, I’ll continue to ride with dogs. I intentionally have dogs and raise/train them to be trail dogs. So, thanks, but no thanks.
    I apologize if I hurt your feelings and I'm not kidding about this. There are dogs in my life that I love. I don't own any dogs now but I have owned dogs and believe me, they were all well trained. I respect anyone who's lucky enough to have a terrific K9 companion that they love and that loves them. During my 34 years of mountain biking I've had the good fortune to ride with a couple of absolutely amazing trail dogs. It is SOOO fun! I could hardly believe how intuitive these dogs were and how well they stayed up with bike riders while at the same time staying out of the the riders' way. Absolutely amazing. I love riding with dogs like this.

    I imagine your dog(s) is/are well trained like this. If so, I salute you and your dog(s) and I don't blame you for continuing to ride with your dog(s).

    The problem I have with mountain bikers bringing their dogs on rides is that for every amazing dog as described above, there are 99 poorly trained dogs and idiot dog owners. Saddest of all, the idiot dog owners simply don't understand that they're idiots.

    In fact the ratio of bad owners/dogs to good is so skewed that to the rest of us, it's simply easiest to wish that no dog owner would bring their dog to the singletrack. Sad but true. The bad ones outnumber the good ones by this heinously lopsided margin and it seems to be getting worse every day.

    Them that know, know they know. Them that don't know, don't know they don't know.

    There are WAAAAAAAY too many dog owners that don't know. They think they know. Meanwhile they don't. Sorry to have lumped you in with the majority. I truly am. I get that you're not one of them. Sadly in the universe this thread discusses, you're but one clean drop in a foul ocean.
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  39. #39
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    We have multi use trails. One has loads of horses. On another, I met a lady walking a goat named Steve. My point is you don't know how those types of trail users will affect or be affected by a loose dog.

    A local equestrian broke her hip after her horse lost it when encountering an off leash dog. There are two households along my road rides that I sprint past, because on multiple occasions their loose dogs have tried to jump on me in the street. A loud yell kept them off.


    Personally I would rather deal with loose dogs on the trails as opposed to horses. Since that is not an option though, I do not want to be around when a loose dog runs into a skittish thousand pound horse or a wild card like Steve the goat.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    But never Golden Retrievers...
    My only dog bite on a bike was by a golden in a neighborhood. He bolted from the front yard as I rode by.

    I understand how one bad dog can ruin it for others, like how e bikes and Sravidiots give other mountain bikers a bad name.
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  41. #41
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    Axel laughs at the butt hurt in this thread. And for the nervous Nancys, he doesn't even have a collar on, on a at the time illegal trail.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    I apologize if I hurt your feelings and I'm not kidding about this. There are dogs in my life that I love. I don't own any dogs now but I have owned dogs and believe me, they were all well trained. I respect anyone who's lucky enough to have a terrific K9 companion that they love and that loves them. During my 34 years of mountain biking I've had the good fortune to ride with a couple of absolutely amazing trail dogs. It is SOOO fun! I could hardly believe how intuitive these dogs were and how well they stayed up with bike riders while at the same time staying out of the the riders' way. Absolutely amazing. I love riding with dogs like this.

    I imagine your dog(s) is/are well trained like this. If so, I salute you and your dog(s) and I don't blame you for continuing to ride with your dog(s).

    The problem I have with mountain bikers bringing their dogs on rides is that for every amazing dog as described above, there are 99 poorly trained dogs and idiot dog owners. Saddest of all, the idiot dog owners simply don't understand that they're idiots.

    In fact the ratio of bad owners/dogs to good is so skewed that to the rest of us, it's simply easiest to wish that no dog owner would bring their dog to the singletrack. Sad but true. The bad ones outnumber the good ones by this heinously lopsided margin and it seems to be getting worse every day.

    Them that know, know they know. Them that don't know, don't know they don't know.

    There are WAAAAAAAY too many dog owners that don't know. They think they know. Meanwhile they don't. Sorry to have lumped you in with the majority. I truly am. I get that you're not one of them. Sadly in the universe this thread discusses, you're but one clean drop in a foul ocean.
    =sParty
    No worries, you didn’t hurt my feelings, I just disagreed with what you said. And I get it, ill behaved dogs are a nuisance. Can’t we just ban the idiot owners, and leave the rest alone? I’ve ridden with my dogs so many times over the last 30 years, that I can’t imagine not.


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  43. #43
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    Like others have mentioned, it depends a lot on the trail, the number of other users, the dog, and the owner.

    Around here there are leash laws in most of the open spaces on which trails are located. Accordimg to the land managers, these are for the protection of the dogs, the many other trail users, and the natural resources. Because of the high user numbers on our local trails, few people ever ride close to town with dogs. Most of the folks violating leash laws are hikers and trail runners. The local rangers and volunteer rangers are all issued 6' leashes to hand out on the trails because of the number of off-leash dog problems.

    We regularly have dogs bitten by rattlesnakes on our local trails, often because they are off the trail. There are also some injury encounters between dogs, at least one of which is usually not leashed.

    As with some of the other examples given above, local trails will sometimes see hikers or trail runners bitten by an off-leash dog, or bikers or horseback riders who crash or are thrown as a result of off-leash dogs.

    The local land agencies don't want dogs off leash because of ground nesting birds and other small wildlife burrows and nests. Also, many will chase wildlife, which the naturalists claim stresses the wildlife and reduces lifespan and reproduction levels. Finally, the dog droppings cause various issues, though this is also common to leashed dogs.

    There are several local trails on which dogs are completely prohibited, but the national forest trails about 15 miles from town allow dogs off leash and under voice command. These are the best for riding with dogs anyway because they are relatively uncrowded when compared to the stuff close to town.

    I've seen a few amazing trail dogs, but unfortunately I've seen and ridden with too many at the other end of the spectrum.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    Sums it up perfectly, Sidewalk. I can't plus rep you again because I so recently already did. I believe many people with dogs just don't care if their priorities intrude on the preferences of other trail users.

    My rear brake rotor nearly removed a dog's leg once while the dog was trying to run alongside me as I was riding with friends (including the dog's owner). I'm glad the dog's owner and I are still friends and that the dog pulled through (very expensive) but this was one of the most awful mountain biking experiences I've ever suffered. Hey dog owners, in this case how do you suppose the dog felt? How do you suppose I felt?

    Advice for dog owners: unless every other trail user has their dog along too, please leave your dog at home. Or ride on private land where you are positive the actions of your dog won't interfere with responsible trail users. Best yet, just ride your bike at the dog park. Thanks from all of us who intentionally choose not to have dogs.
    =sParty
    I was riding with my buddy and his kid. His kid did something unpredictable and I knocked him off his bike. How do you think I felt. I'm glad me and the kids owner and I are still friends.

    Other trails users, unless everyone brings their kid, leave yours in the car.

    Im not serious.
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    Unless my dog is a 100% fit for mountain biking they're a no go and they get exercise in other ways. Out of my last seven dogs, only three were classic mountain biking dogs. Barley the Rhodesian Ridgeback was one of them.
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    Since it’s all illegal here.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I love taking my dog out to poop on trails.
    The brownest of brown pow, best after a few hours in the sun when it becomes tacky and beds into a rut on a flat turn— Yet, most decry these unorthodox trail building techniques and your contributions go unappreciated

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    I definitely understand the hate for dogs on the trail. The blame really does fall on the owner, though. Poop on the trail? Owner should pick it up. Dog bites people? Poor training/control by owner.

    The same logic for banning dogs applies to banning mountain biking altogether. Some mountain bikers abuse trails, cause accidents, make illegal trail mods, bite people, etc. A few bad apples shouldn't ruin it for the rest.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    I definitely understand the hate for dogs on the trail. The blame really does fall on the owner, though. Poop on the trail? Owner should pick it up. Dog bites people? Poor training/control by owner.

    The same logic for banning dogs applies to banning mountain biking altogether. Some mountain bikers abuse trails, cause accidents, make illegal trail mods, bite people, etc. A few bad apples shouldn't ruin it for the rest.
    Well said, it’s on the owner to evaluate his dog’s temperament, situational response, and level of training. They miss any one of these points they’re liable for the results.

    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    Yes, ebikes do, and no my dog doesn’t. You’re uptight and opinionated beyond belief.
    Lol and yes, most definitely yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    As long as it’s legal, and I can control my dog, I’ll continue to ride with dogs. I intentionally have dogs and raise/train them to be trail dogs. So, thanks, but no thanks.
    I think this point highlights an important facet of this issue. There are some of us that from day one (we started at 10 weeks when we picked up Nova, our malinois, from the breeder) work very hard and invest substantial time on a consistent basis into training our dogs to be off leash and exposing them to situations in a controlled environments to gauge and mold an appropriate response to various stimuli. It is the owner’s job during this period to very honestly evaluate whether the dog is cut out to be a trail dog before getting them out their with other bikes, people, horses, wildlife, and other stimuli whizzing around. Furthermore, the owner needs to evaluate whether they are cut out for it. The dog wants a strong, fair, and attentive pack leader and building that involves spending time with your dog doing a lot of different “fun” activities while instilling them with confidence in your ability to lead. Done right and responsibly, it’s a time consuming, methodical, and stepwise progression that should be started very young and not on the bike.

    The problem is many dog owners either don’t want to invest the kind of uber consistent time and energy into an already energy-sapping puppy or don’t know how to go about the training process. They subsequently see videos or other people’s dogs performing well out on the trail and figure “Well, Rex pretty much listens to me in the backyard. If they can do it, he can,” without realizing the work those people put into their dogs to get the desired behavior on the trail. The tell-tale for me is when the dog jumps out of the car all amped to be in a neat place doing something fun and the people are flustered and yelling at or whacking the dog to get it under control—9 times out of ten these dog/owner combos are a mess out there.

    In my area dogs are typically allowed on most if not all trails on a leash, but those with a dog off leash that very clearly have control or exhibit better control than half the people with a leashed dog aren’t hassled or bothered. If there is a ranger or other official in the lot I typically make a point of demonstrating Nova’s obedience by opening the back door of the car to let her out. Pausing 10 seconds, giving her the command to come out of the car and having her sit or lay down while I unload my bike and get set up. I then go through a series of drills at the trail head telling her which side I want her on, front/back/right/left, as I slowly cruise before hitting the trail. At this point they either say nothing or want to come up, meet her, and ask questions—it probably doesn’t hurt that her breed is one familiar to those in military and LE circles.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    Axel laughs at the butt hurt in this thread. And for the nervous Nancys, he doesn't even have a collar on, on a at the time illegal trail.
    Because Axel is a sensible bad***!

    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post
    I was riding with my buddy and his kid. His kid did something unpredictable and I knocked him off his bike. How do you think I felt. I'm glad me and the kids owner and I are still friends.

    Other trails users, unless everyone brings their kid, leave yours in the car.

    Im not serious.
    Great counterpoint, a logical and comical way of demonstrating the flimsiness of the argument made to which it refers.
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  50. #50
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    No one wants to talk about the real danger out there.....
    .
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    retractable leashes!

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shartist View Post
    Great counterpoint, a logical and comical way of demonstrating the flimsiness of the argument made to which it refers.
    Except it is a strawman.

    Kids - and any inexperienced MTBer, regardless of age - are not dogs. Unless it's a double black - and yes some kids can ride those - they belong. If the trail in question forbids dogs entirely, or dogs off leash, then the dog does not belong there.

    Meanwhile, inexperienced riders are legitimate users of the trail, regardless of whether they're a nuisance or cause anyone to crash.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by d365 View Post
    No one wants to talk about the real danger out there.....
    .
    .
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    retractable leashes!
    I'll one up that.....

    We were stopped at a water fountain filling bottles on a long ride at the trailhead. A group of 20 somethings walk by with a pack of 3 dogs. The girl with the largest dog, similar to a Rhodesian Ridgeback has what looks like a long rope/leash in her hand. A few minutes later we rolled down the trail which is a paved road 1 lane wide. We catch up to the pack with the dog. They are on the left side of the road, the dog is over 20' or so on the right hand side.....leashed with a 3/16" cable. Yeah, that is totally safe for all the other trail users out there. When i said something about it not being safe....of course I was the assh*le.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    Except it is a strawman.

    Kids - and any inexperienced MTBer, regardless of age - are not dogs. Unless it's a double black - and yes some kids can ride those - they belong. If the trail in question forbids dogs entirely, or dogs off leash, then the dog does not belong there.

    Meanwhile, inexperienced riders are legitimate users of the trail, regardless of whether they're a nuisance or cause anyone to crash.
    Except it’s not. Let’s start with the initial post, which admittedly jumped around a bit. The original post outlined a scenario in which a dog was injured while riding with the OP. The OP then outlined that the injury was physically traumatic for the dog, emotionally traumatic for both the OP and the owner and followed this up by mentioning the financial repercussions.

    Dog owners were then graciously offered some tidbits of wisdom including that it was fine to bring a dog so long as all of the other trail users had one too, did it not? The original argument posits that so long as everyone on the trail has a dog, it would be okay for those with dogs to bring them, further supporting that assumption the dog is a legal trail user. At no point in that argument did it specify that it was illegal for the dog in the original anecdote to be on the trail, correct?

    Well, Sfgiantsfan laid out a similar scenario which abided by the same parameters in a very similar scenario which addressed the emotional and interpersonal ramifications of an unexpected incident involving two trail user types and switched the user type injured in the scenario from dog to child. It wasn’t until your follow-up to my post that you began interjecting parameters outlining who was allowed to use said trail, correct?


    In a very pure way, sfgiantsfan created a scenario within the parameters of the scenario laid out by the OP and simply switched the sympathetic trail user “character” to illustrate the ridiculousness of the original argument, did he not?

    Check and mate.
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shartist View Post
    Check and mate.
    Keep playing with yourself, then.

    We obviously aren't going to agree. Fortunately, we don't have to, as others determine the rules of the trails. The ones I ride forbid off-leash dogs. I have no clue if all the trail dog aficionados here ride trails that allow them, or if they're ignoring the rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shartist View Post
    In a very pure way, sfgiantsfan created a scenario within the parameters of the scenario laid out by the OP and simply switched the sympathetic trail user “character” to illustrate the ridiculousness of the original argument, did he not?

    Check and mate.
    I'm actually on your side of this argument but your flawed logic and condescending attitude combined make me feel compelled to point out how flawed this is.

    People, including kids, have every right to be on the trail and therefore an accident is just that. No inherent blame in the situation, it just happens. A dog on the other hand is not allowed to be off leash on any public land I'm aware of (other than dog parks I guess) and so there is inherent blame. Had your dog been on a leash this would not have occurred, therefore it is not an accident but negligence on your part.

    Best argument I've ever seen (and one that changed my mind to start leashing my dog most of the time) related the story of an off leash dog that found some coyote poison - which is apparently increasingly common. Also had a rattler nearly hit my dog before, that made me think twice too.

  56. #56
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    Your dog is not as well behaved as you think he/she is.

    Your kid is not as smart or special as you think he/she is.
    Is this where I write something witty?

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by d365 View Post
    No one wants to talk about the real danger out there.....
    .
    .
    .
    retractable leashes!
    Any leash.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post

    People, including kids, have every right to be on the trail and therefore an accident is just that. No inherent blame in the situation, it just happens. A dog on the other hand is not allowed to be off leash on any public land I'm aware of (other than dog parks I guess) and so there is inherent blame.
    You’re way off base here. Most national forests around me allow unleashed dogs. Where’d you get yer information from?


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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    Keep playing with yourself, then.

    We obviously aren't going to agree. Fortunately, we don't have to, as others determine the rules of the trails. The ones I ride forbid off-leash dogs. I have no clue if all the trail dog aficionados here ride trails that allow them, or if they're ignoring the rules.
    You’re right. You have no clue.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    You’re way off base here. Most national forests around me allow unleashed dogs. Where’d you get yer information from?


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    I do not ride in any national forests. There are none with singletrack within 4 hours' drive from my residence. Yet there are 2 IMBA epics within that 4 hour radius. See how things are different?

    Did you notice how I allowed for that? An unleashed dog where I ride is always in the wrong, legally speaking. It's called out in writing on about half the trails, but it's in force at all of them.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by djlee View Post
    Your dog is not as well behaved as you think he/she is.

    Your kid is not as smart or special as you think he/she is.
    My dog is smarter than a fifth grader and has more common sense. He's fluent in English, Spanish, German, Icelandic, Pig Latin, spelled out words (B A L L for instance) and is telepathic (he gets excited for a ride as I've decided in my head we're going).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    He's fluent in English, Spanish, German, Icelandic, Pig Latin
    That's funny, my dog knows some Hindi... and a few French words

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    Quote Originally Posted by SprocketDogs View Post
    My dog is highly trained. He wears an e-collar and retractable leash collar. I go during low use times, dawn or at night. I’ve never had a problem in 25 years.
    That is one OLD dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post
    Since it’s all illegal here.


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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    I'm actually on your side of this argument but your flawed logic and condescending attitude combined make me feel compelled to point out how flawed this is.

    People, including kids, have every right to be on the trail and therefore an accident is just that. No inherent blame in the situation, it just happens. A dog on the other hand is not allowed to be off leash on any public land I'm aware of (other than dog parks I guess) and so there is inherent blame. Had your dog been on a leash this would not have occurred, therefore it is not an accident but negligence on your part.

    Best argument I've ever seen (and one that changed my mind to start leashing my dog most of the time) related the story of an off leash dog that found some coyote poison - which is apparently increasingly common. Also had a rattler nearly hit my dog before, that made me think twice too.
    I knew attacking the logic of the argument was probably reaching on the internet. Please for one moment read all of the posts in question to which I am referring. Then without applying any preconceived notions of the law or the laws you are familiar with and only using the information provided compare the two scenarios. This was more an argument of the logic on which the arguement was based in that I was defending the reasoning of SFGF’s post on something more akin to an “academic debate” level after the comparison of the scenarios was challenged as being valid. Again, in the original post we aren’t given reason to believe the dog that was injured was not a valid trailuser based on the inferences I laid out above. Again think upon the premises and structure of the argument without adding your own experiences.

    Please also realize that it wasn’t my dog or hypothetical-non-existent-child that was injured, I wasn’t even involved—I’m referencing pronoun use, “you” and “your dog,” in your response while realizing this could also be in reference to no one in particular, just wasn’t sure. The scenario I was referring to was scenario laid out by Spartacus, a hypothetical counter argument which was a spin on the Sparticus argument presented by sfgiantsfan; an attempted challenge to the reasoning of sfgiantsfan’s argument by ColinL to which I responded with the post of mine that you are referencing. This post of mine being the one ColinL didn’t really poke holes into except to infer the game of chess I referenced at the end of my post was being played with myself. I admittedly found this a little disappointing given that, as I recall, he challenged the logical validity of my assertion in the first place? I simply defended it by pointing out perceived flaws in his challenge and presenting a counterargument based only on the info provided.

    I think there is a lot of condescension in this thread towards people with dogs and really very little going the other way, so why hate on my “check and mate” comment which was more of a “I think I’ve laid out a solid argument that has solidly backed up my previous assertions and the available information on a logical level in response to your challenge.” I guess it’s only condescending if the language makes you feel talked down to? Not really my intention. Again read the previous posts more as if you would academically and without preconceived notions and follow the thought process I’ve laid out— it uses only what was provided in the previous posts to prove its point. At the end of my point I post what I hoped would be more of a challenge to debate what I laid out...

    As an aside because you mentioned all public land sans dog parks requiring leashes: we have national forests where is dog is free to be off a leash and actually a few other more local public areas too, so just keep in mind these places do exist, but in the interest of the argument I laid out from in this little excercise, this is irrelevant as we are only basing this on information outlined in the posts—for all we know Sparticus’s original scenario could have occurred on private land or Mars it doesn’t even matter at this point because the subsequent arguments made were all based on the information provided in the initial post or that info plus, as I pointed out, preconceived notions or assumptions based on loose or nonexistent reasoning.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    That's funny, my dog knows some Hindi... and a few French words
    He also knows some gibberish. We'll meet people on the trail that want to know more about him and will ask "Is that a weimerhammer?", or "Is that a rammermammer?" and I'll say, "No, he's a schleizergrinder", and he'll look up at me knowing that's his trail name, since he schleizez and grindz the trail. We have several other made up words with varying accents.
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    I do not ride in any national forests. There are none with singletrack within 4 hours' drive from my residence. Yet there are 2 IMBA epics within that 4 hour radius. See how things are different?

    Did you notice how I allowed for that? An unleashed dog where I ride is always in the wrong, legally speaking. It's called out in writing on about half the trails, but it's in force at all of them.
    That response was to dwayo, not you, so I’m not sure I understand your point. IMBA epic? Who cares? What’s up imba, anyway?


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  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    I do not ride in any national forests. There are none with singletrack within 4 hours' drive from my residence. Yet there are 2 IMBA epics within that 4 hour radius. See how things are different?

    Did you notice how I allowed for that? An unleashed dog where I ride is always in the wrong, legally speaking. It's called out in writing on about half the trails, but it's in force at all of them.
    Never mind. Just realized you’re in Kansas.


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    Quote Originally Posted by djlee View Post
    Your dog is not as well behaved as you think he/she is.

    Your kid is not as smart or special as you think he/she is.
    ^^^^This

    There certainly is quite a bit of arrogance some have with respect to their dogs behavior.

    It’s not that those of us that believe dogs are a danger to others on bike trails don’t like dogs. We just don’t like your dogs as much as you do. We understand this and just choose to leave our dogs at home out of respect for our fellow riders.

  70. #70
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    My unleashed hound, wreaking havoc in the forest today.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    My unleashed hound, wreaking havoc in the forest today.


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    Mbmb, [thank god] you’re not in Kansas anymore...

    He looks amped, suggesting a truly successful scorched earth campaign on the trails today. Hey ow many people’s riding experiences were irrevocably destroyed by this domesticated hellion?
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  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shartist View Post
    Mbmb, [thank god] you’re not in Kansas anymore...

    He looks amped, suggesting a truly successful scorched earth campaign on the trails today. Hey ow many people’s riding experiences were irrevocably destroyed by this domesticated hellion?
    I’ve always considered Kansas a place to pass through. He’s a she, and surely she destroyed the days of many. I mean she’s got “PIT BULL” in her, man. A fine mutt. When we reached the gap on our ride, a group of folks tried to pet her, as we rode up and over. She looked at me, and just kept going. We didn’t stop. I n of the group said to me, “she’s on a mission”! My response was, “ she’s focused”. That’s the point of my feel good story, she has no interest in doing anything other than running the trail with me. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m fortunate to live in a place devoid of, largely, of the anti dog crowd. Here, my dog is a legitimate trail user. I’m thankful for that.


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    Currently training a 45lb Belgian Malinois mix to be a trail dog. She's a year old and has potential. I adopted her and bestowed the name 'Roach' upon her. Those who have played and/or read The Witcher series will get the naming choice.

    Anyway, she's out of shape and doesn't have much endurance at the moment. I know she'll run all day if forced to, but I'm not cruel. She runs alongside me and is not afraid of bikes. She'll chase me on a bike, but she needs to get in better shape if she's going to lead. Really good off leash. Usually stays within a 30 foot radius of me when I let her roam free. Returns to me when called(sometimes materializing on someone's roof). Indifferent towards people. Not shy or scared. She just doesn't get excitement from meeting or seeing other people. But LOVES other dogs. Doesn't chase small animals but is aware when they pop out. She has great potential. I'll give it another 8 months to a year until I can take her out regularly.

    BTW, I don't plan on unleashing her in populous trails. There are numerous trails where I live that don't get too much traffic, but are still maintained.
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  74. #74
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    I have mixed feelings about loose traildogs. I love dogs, but I have almost run some over, and I have seen two almost get hit by cars (at trailheads).

    Also, just over a week ago, I was on a ride and heard a splash from the creek next to me. I look over and see a dog in the swift moving water. The dog's guardian was close by and was calling the dog's name.

    I kept riding for a bit, and decided to turn around as I didn't feel good about the situation.

    In the end, I scurried down the steep, muddy embankment and asked the lady to grab my hand so I could lean out over the water. The dog was about to go under when I pulled him out.

    Apparently, the dog (choc lab) chased a squirrel, and fell in.
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  75. #75
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    My dog stays at home for a lot of reasons.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodchips View Post
    I have mixed feelings about loose traildogs. I love dogs, but I have almost run some over, and I have seen two almost get hit by cars (at trailheads).

    Also, just over a week ago, I was on a ride and heard a splash from the creek next to me. I look over and see a dog in the swift moving water. The dog's guardian was close by and was calling the dog's name.

    I kept riding for a bit, and decided to turn around as I didn't feel good about the situation.

    In the end, I scurried down the steep, muddy embankment and asked the lady to grab my hand so I could lean out over the water. The dog was about to go under when I pulled him out.

    Apparently, the dog (choc lab) chased a squirrel, and fell in.
    A lab that couldn’t swim? That’s crazy talk!!


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  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    A lab that couldn’t swim? That’s crazy talk!!
    He was dog-paddling his ass off against the swift moving water to keep his place where he fell in at - by the time I got back to him, he was one tired pooch!
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  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    I’ve always considered Kansas a place to pass through. He’s a she, and surely she destroyed the days of many. I mean she’s got “PIT BULL” in her, man. A fine mutt. When we reached the gap on our ride, a group of folks tried to pet her, as we rode up and over. She looked at me, and just kept going. We didn’t stop. I n of the group said to me, “she’s on a mission”! My response was, “ she’s focused”. That’s the point of my feel good story, she has no interest in doing anything other than running the trail with me. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m fortunate to live in a place devoid of, largely, of the anti dog crowd. Here, my dog is a legitimate trail user. I’m thankful for that.


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    Oops, my apologies on the gender mixup! That’s awesome and I’m genuinely loving your stoke. Rides with a good trail dog have a wholly different flavor to them than solo rides or rides with other people— just my experience. Happy to see the pics of you guys out there doing your thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by almazing View Post
    Currently training a 45lb Belgian Malinois mix to be a trail dog. She's a year old and has potential. I adopted her and bestowed the name 'Roach' upon her. Those who have played and/or read The Witcher series will get the naming choice.

    Anyway, she's out of shape and doesn't have much endurance at the moment. I know she'll run all day if forced to, but I'm not cruel. She runs alongside me and is not afraid of bikes. She'll chase me on a bike, but she needs to get in better shape if she's going to lead. Really good off leash. Usually stays within a 30 foot radius of me when I let her roam free. Returns to me when called(sometimes materializing on someone's roof). Indifferent towards people. Not shy or scared. She just doesn't get excitement from meeting or seeing other people. But LOVES other dogs. Doesn't chase small animals but is aware when they pop out. She has great potential. I'll give it another 8 months to a year until I can take her out regularly.

    BTW, I don't plan on unleashing her in populous trails. There are numerous trails where I live that don't get too much traffic, but are still maintained.
    Nice! I’m obviously a fan of anything dog and especially anything Malinois, even if they are constantly mistaken for GSD’s. It’s also nice to see you taking it slow with the ride length while she’s young. I was hiking a section of a trail around a local reservoir two months ago with the wife and the dog following a decent snowstorm and we ran into someone just finishing up with a lab puppy that couldn’t have been more than 4 months old. This poor thing looked miserable and half dead. We talked for awhile and he said they had just finished the ~7 mile loop in the snow. I casually mentioned we never took Nova on hikes that long when she was young at our Vet’s recommendation so as not to lecture, but maybe throw the info out there for him to look into. He didn’t appear particularly outdoorsy with apparel more suited to a jaunt around NYC than hiking through ~8 inches of snow.

    I’ve been limiting the length of my rides when Nova is along until she turns two. I spoke with a few vets and was advised to limit the distance of any prolonged exercise until they turn two-ish for the sake of their bone/joint growth. Two months and I’ll start gradually increasing the length of our rides!
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    Lol so much butthurt in this thread. Glad I don't live wherever all these scrooges are. My dog is rarely on a leash (only at a local brewpub where they require it for dogs that come in), even in the city, and I've never come across someone who had even the slightest problem with it

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    My dog stays at home for a lot of reasons.
    My other Weim, Dude, stays at home because he's scent driven and doesn't have the discipline to run trail, and would be a liability. He goes on hikes and that's just his speed.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post
    Since it’s all illegal here.


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    That tongue is a hazard. I'll bet that dog is the type that does a quick turn to sneak a lick while you're not looking.
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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerdave View Post
    That tongue is a hazard. I'll bet that dog is the type that does a quick turn to sneak a lick while you're not looking.
    Yeah, something happened to him. for some reason his head stopped growing while his tongue never did. I have been behind him and wondered what the hell does he have in his mouth, only to see it's his tongue. .
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