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Thread: Dogs and hiking

  1. #1
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    Default Dogs and hiking

    My daughter has a pit bull that I am considering taking on some hikes with me, on a leash of course. Any knowledge or advice on how this may effect any potential bear encounters.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member MidnightSunRebel's Avatar
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    Default In my opinion

    I like having a dogs keener sense of smell and hearing with me in bear country. In Anchorage a group of folks and their dog were able to scare off a black bear that had treed a hiker recently.

  3. #3
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    If the dog stands their ground it should be ok for you. If they are like my lab they will bring the bear right to me. What a good retriever!

  4. #4
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    My dog is half yellow lab, half pit. Last summer we were on the deck and heard the dog barking; looking out in the yard, we saw a black bear running for its life, with Sage right on its heels! We called her back before she hit the woods. Now, my dog may be half pit, but she's the biggest coward you ever saw; I've personally seen her run from a chihuahua. The only thing I can think of is either her territoriality kicked in, or she didn't perceive the bear as a threat, only a game.

  5. #5

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    Mine alert me to something, and I don't always know what, lurking in the bushes us humans can't see. We've encountered bear, and I am sure we see them before we'd normally do so than if we didn't have the dogs. Because of their sensory skills, I hardly hike without 'em. If your dog will do that for you, that's tremendous.

  6. #6
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Cool side-bar note...

    Side-bar note on dogs...
    I have hiked the Anchorage hillside trails very often in the last 12 years.
    If I look for bears I can almost always find at least one black bear. Brown bears are harder to spot in the Chugach. Also, every summer I bump into a several bears on the trails and out in the brush when going off-trail. I have never had an issue with bears, black or brown.

    But I have had at least 10 terrible encounters with off-leash dogs and I have been biten 3 tmes.
    I have also saw at least 4 dog (on dogie) fights.

    Everyone...Please consider a leash. More important, please train your pet under controlled conditioned to be absolutely "under voice command".

    Most of my bad encounters were with off-leash dogs that appeared to be little more than "back-yard parasites", out for a day of trail hiking with the (non) boss. Most of these encounters involved dogs that may not have even understood what their own name is/was.

    So please train your dog under controlled condition prior to the big day-hike on the trails.

    I am not certain any previously agressive dog should be taken on the trails, off-leash. I am not convinced that "agressive breeds" should be on the trails.

    As a former field-trail retriever trainer, I thought I had good Karma with dogs. Now, I'm not so sure.

    Dennis

  7. #7

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    AlaskaTrue you make some good points, especially about making sure that your dogs are under firm voice control. However, your idea that so-called "aggressive breeds" shouldn't be on trails is misplaced. I have grown up with these so called "aggressive breeds" and haven't had one problem. And I know many other people that have hiked and camped with these dogs, all without incident. As you point out in your post "train your dog under controlled condition prior to the big day-hike on the trails." This is the correct solution, not taking a broad brush and proposing that "aggressive breeds" should not be on trails.

    Happy Trails,
    Paul

  8. #8
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Wink

    Incomel. Ok.
    dennis

  9. #9

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    Totally depends on the dog--their common sense & experience on the trails. My dog is terrified of bears & will immediately alert to them. She either stands petrified or tries to push me back-- gotta love the Herders. I've seen other dogs, though, round up some action. Just like us, they're all unique.

  10. #10
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    Smile

    I think someone taking their dog on the trail on a leash would be refreshing as most arent. I think it would really help having any kind of dog cause it would bark and scare a bear off so you dont surprise them. I dont think a bear would just come running at a dog barking so I think it would keep you safe. I am with ATA and wish others would use a leash also! Not on a leash the dogs still would scare away most bears but theres always a chance one might chase it to you. Last year I saw a cat chase away a black bear.
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

  11. #11

    Default Pitbulls are the bomb.

    I have taken mine sheep hunting. They can get cold. They aren't likely to create problems around bears. They might chase parka squirrels. Best breed in the world.

    Sincerely,
    Thomas

  12. #12
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    Default My experience goes like this....

    Border Collie + hikin in the sticks+3yr old brown bear+ herding mentality=lots of adrenaline followed by whiskey at 10 a.m.


    She buggered off then started barking....then the barking got louder and we all picked our trees as she chased that brownie right between three of us. I think it would have to be dead for me to get any closer to a bear. But,it was a good story....later

  13. #13
    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    I usually take 1 or 2 dogs with me every time I hike (3-4 times a week year round). Many folks take dogs with them. I let mine run free unless other folks are around. Whenever I see anyone, on the leash they go. I have never had an incident with my dogs, but I have had to *threaten* loose dogs with my trekking poles more than once I have never had a bad bear encounter.

    That said, I found out something interesting a week ago. One of my alpha male Boxers went with me to retrieve an arrow I lost at a 3D shoot. (3D arrow targets are life size foam targets that are formed and painted to look like a specific animal). It was late in the evening, we were the only ones in the area, all was quiet. We got about 10 yards from a black-bear-walking-toward-us target (head on) when my boy saw it for the first time. He went into four wheel lock down...as I made another step towards the bear target, my boy decided to get out of Dodge as fast as he could...almost did a full back flip when he came to the end of his Flexie lead. Other than they make lots of noise and I talk to them all the time I am not sure if they are of any great *bear* protection. Making noise is your best bet...dogs are great companions and love you paying attention to them!
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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