Forum Index » Philosophy & Technique » Is this just bad luck with aggressive dogs or is this normal?


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Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Unleashed dogs gave me a good scare (but meant no harm) on 09/07/2012 21:02:46 MDT Print View

A pair of unleashed dogs gave me a really good scare on the Colorado Trail. I was hiking up a multi use section of the trail and two mountain bikers went by. A moment later their two dogs came running behind them. Only thing was these were some kind of sled dog or wolf/dog hybrid. They looked JUST like wolves and they were running toward me!
For a brief minute I thought I was about to get eaten by the first two wolves in the state! Fortunately I remembered the bikers before I did anything and the dogs ignored me.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Re: Some random points on 09/07/2012 21:07:27 MDT Print View

"You need look no further than this thread to find actual anti-dog people. Anyone advocating violence against an animal simply because it approaches off-leash is anti-dog."

That's true. But based on my experiences, don't get excited if I look like I'm prepared to deal with an aggressive dog. And someone saying "Don't worry, he's friendly." doesn't make me let my guard down. Twice, I've had seemingly friendly dogs try to attack mine. Sometimes you can tell a dog's intentions and sometimes you can't. Even the Dog Whisperer gets bit.

"Your point about a dog's unpredictable behavior is equally applicable to leashed animals. Kiddo reaches down to pet leashed Fido; Fido snaps at outstretched hand. The leash accomplishes nothing."

No it's not. It's nothing like that at all. If you have a dog on a leash I can walk right on by outside of the leash length and I don't care if your dog is Cujo. Parents allowing a kid to pet a strange dog, no matter what the owner says about the dog is a completely different subject.

"Slavishly following the rules just because they are rules definitely counts as militant in my book."

Obeying rules that you don't like is militant in your book? How convenient. You know the rule that I don't like. Drunk driving. I should be able to drink till I can't stand and drive to the liquor store for more. Right? Why not? I don't like that rule! Why should it apply to me? I'm a great drunk driver, just ask me!

Another rule I don't like, defecating away from water sources. Why should I have to walk at least 200 feet away? That's far! And digging a cathole takes time too! Sure it may impact others but why is that my problem? I'll be long gone! I don't like those rules so why should I follow them?

You want to break the rules, that's up to you. You can justify it to yourself. But trying to justify it to others is a lot harder.

Edited by rlnunix on 09/07/2012 21:17:22 MDT.

Derek Westcott
(drwestco) - F
The Rules on 09/07/2012 21:23:47 MDT Print View

Nice straw man. Having a dog off the leash is clearly in the same category as driving while intoxicated.

I have no problem bending arbitrary rules when the conditions warrant.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Sure on 09/07/2012 21:26:38 MDT Print View

You obviously have no problem doing whatever you want no matter what the rules if you don't find them convenient to you. Rules? Those are for other people! Right?

Bending? You actually mean breaking, right? Bending does sound a lot better, though. And please define how a leash law is "arbitrary".

Edited by rlnunix on 09/07/2012 21:32:10 MDT.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Is this just bad luck with aggressive dogs or is this normal? on 09/07/2012 21:42:34 MDT Print View

This thread made me think more about how I should best deal with badly behaved dogs the next time.
I think the polite way would be to say

" Excuse me, you're dogs are not trained to be off leash"

I think that is a polite way to get the point across with out me devolving to cursing or a lecture.

Edited by MAYNARD76 on 09/07/2012 21:43:33 MDT.

Dave Ploessel
(mailesdad) - F
made up stats? NO. Bad Harald! Bad! on 09/08/2012 14:43:02 MDT Print View

Harald, i didn't "pull my stats out of thin air"

According to CDC and FBI stats dog related fatalities/year in the US = +/- 30
According to CDC and FBI stats human caused fatalities/year in the US = +/- 15000/year

15000/30 = 500 times as likely to be murdered by the next hiker you pass on the trail as be killed by toby the terrier

Even if you just compare dog bites resulting in injury to the # of violent crimes comitted by humans, you are still twice as likely to be seriously injured by the next hiker as you are to be attacked by a dog.

So why all the hysteria about dogs and none about the only truly dangerous animal you enocounter on the trail?

FEAR (False Events Appear Real)

So, everyone, please calm down, and please, if you seee me and maile on the trail, don't pull a knife on us. OK?

Jen Churchward
(mahgnillig) - F
Safety on 09/08/2012 23:49:23 MDT Print View

Somehow this thread has made me much more wary about the kind of humans I meet on the trail than the kind of dogs...

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Dogs on 09/09/2012 08:12:00 MDT Print View

"So why all the hysteria about dogs and none about the only truly dangerous animal you enocounter on the trail?"

Probably because this is a thread about dogs. There have been PLENTY of threads about what to carry to deal with dangerous humans on the trail.

My kit has changed over time based partially on my experiences. I don't carry anything for humans because I've never had a bad experience that would make me feel that I should. I carry SprayShield for off leash dogs because I've had multiple bad experiences with off leash dogs. YMMV.

Edited by rlnunix on 09/09/2012 08:24:11 MDT.

Dave Ploessel
(mailesdad) - F
Dogs on 09/09/2012 09:50:47 MDT Print View

You're missing the bigger picture on that point Randy.

This thread isn't really about dogs - at least not anymor IMO. It's about what is an appropriate response.

In the threads about protecting yourself from humans, you don't see people saying that if you come across a two legged animal that *might* be a danger immiedietly resorting to lethal measures.

Say for example you see someone and they immiedietly jump off the trail, or maybe they are muttering to themselves, or any slightly erratic behaviour that might make you feel a little threatened but isn't a blatant declaration that they mean you harm, you don't see people saying "pull out your gun and shoot them" as a FIRST response.

Yes, if you see someone running at you with a knife, you should assume they mean to harm you and take any level of precaution you need to defend yourself, but the simple truth that a dog running towards you or barking doesn't mean they intend to attack any more than someone talking to themselves in the backcountry means they intend you harm, yet in this thread, for some reasons, you have bunch of people who seem to think that not only does it mean that, but that it also gives them excuse to kill a family pet without facing any repercussions. As I've said a couple times now, it's about ignorance and fear.

Actually though, reading this thread has been quite liberating. I've decided to apply the logic of the fluffy stabbers to everyday life. Next time I see someone driving erratically, instead of just slowing down to get away from them, I'm just going to shoot them. After all, them not paying attention while driving might cause an accident that could hurt me, so they deserve to die. Oh, and last night, my neighbors were having a party and were really loud, causing me to lose sleep. I could have just called the police to complain, but that would be inconvenient and cost me cell phone minutes, so instead I just nailed their doors shut and set the house on fire. After all, not getting enough sleep could have been bad for my health, so they deserved to die, right? I mean, why should IO have to deal with them being loud? It's not fair to me to lose sleep.

There are all sorts of inconsiderate people out there in the world who do all sorts of things that can cause you and me harm. That does NOT give us liscence to go around KILLING people or their pets when there are plenty of just as effective, less leathal, alternatives available. Sorry, it just plain doesn't. Anybody who thinks it does is just plain messed up in the head.

I'm done with this silliness.

Edited by mailesdad on 09/09/2012 09:52:00 MDT.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
This. on 09/09/2012 15:37:49 MDT Print View

"Somehow this thread has made me much more wary about the kind of humans I meet on the trail than the kind of dogs..."

Ditto this.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Re: This. on 09/09/2012 19:47:55 MDT Print View

So, uh... will anyone walk these dogs for me?

I've got some of those extendo-leashes you can use.

Harald Hope
(hhope) - M

Locale: East Bay
ummm, no, sorry on 09/10/2012 12:06:42 MDT Print View

According to CDC and FBI stats dog related fatalities/year in the US = +/- 30
According to CDC and FBI stats human caused fatalities/year in the US = +/- 15000/year

Dave, with all due respect, this thread is not about non trail dog or people attacks, it's about backcountry issues with dog encounters.

As I said, you made up the stats, since such stats do not exist, I looked for them a bit, and could find nothing that seemed even remotely related.

So try to keep focused on the actual topic of the thread.

If you expand the topic to an area so large that it no longer has anything to do with the topic, then I can bring in car deaths, smoking deaths, and a variety of other deaths that dwarf the question at hand, but unfortunately also have nothing to do with the question. Obviously, since car deaths far outweigh human or dog attack deaths, the clear conclusion we should make is to never drive to the trailheads, right?

Also, as I clearly indicated, the actual question was not deaths, it was attacks. On trail, backcountry attacks. Or off trail, whatever. Bringing in the deaths thing was just a way to polarize the question, which is yet another debate method I can't remember the name of that helps actually avoid the real question.

So this would be a variety of offenses in terms of clear coherent discussion. Making things up out of thin air, red herrings, and various other fun methods of ignoring the actual topic aren't very productive.

So let's return to reality, the question is actually about the number of backcountry dog attacks. I noted I've never experienced such things, never actually seen an aggressive dog myself, but I don't discount the experiences of those who have.

Note I'm not antidog, just anti stupid dog. I really have to scratch my head when the actual point is so far buried, makes me think you actually don't want to think of the actual question, or ignore it, or not admit it's a valid question.

So focus, the question is on back co8untry dog attacks. I have no data on that question, neither do you. My experience shows me it's not an issue to worry about, but other people seem to have different experiences. No idea why that difference exists, that's certainly an interesting question though.

I went for a day hike the other day and kept waiting for the barking aggressive dogs, but, denied, the dogs were all nice and well behaved, one woman I saw around a corner with a big strong dog, which made me sort of tense, appeared in front of me after rounding the corner with her dog perfectly controlled, to her side, very close, leashed, and didn't even raise a sound when it passed me. That would be a smart owner and a smart dog, an excellent combination.

You clearly were totally unable to read what I wrote, because something I said clicked some emotional trigger in your brain and turned it off. If you had read what I wrote, you would have noted that I am interested in the actuality of backcountry dog attacks, never seen it myself, never had issues with dogs on the trail, but am able to read other people's words and not get some emotional brain death. When I noted that if a dog lunged at, attacked me, I would consider that the end of the discussion, I also noted that is a situation I never expect to see. Note the non black and white nuance there? Try it sometime, it really works much better than flipping out.

The actual question is interesting, and actual facts on it would also be interesting. Also interesting to learn would be why some people have these experiences and others don't. Many actually interesting questions. That's why I said it's an interesting question. With actual facts, one could say, well, actually, there are only x number of backcountry dog attacks per year, making this y percent more or less likely than say, a mountain lion attack, which is statistically one of the least likely events to happen to a human being in the USA.

And the actual things that triggered the thread was not even an attack, but a stupid dog freaked out in nature and not properly controlled by the owner, a situation that isn't actually excusable. So the actual question is, given that largely inexcusable situation, what is society supposed to do? Blaming the victims is not generally smiled upon, don't you agree? Your other examples re people on the trail seem to have nothing to do with reality either, so I'll ignore them. As a person who likes dogs, think about the actual question, what are people to do when faced with a tense situation where they are not at fault, and where the outcome is not a given? Blaming them is not really very cool, there's steps those people can take, like pushing to have dogs banned from trails, I guess, which is why such regulations tend to be created.

Edited by hhope on 09/10/2012 12:28:55 MDT.

Derek Westcott
(drwestco) - F
Re: Leashes on 09/10/2012 13:01:45 MDT Print View

I was reminded of this thread on Saturday, as I was wandering some of the bootleg trails in a local park and a very large unleashed doberman sauntered out from around a corner. It was immediately obvious the dog posed no threat, as it sniffed a few bushes then came over to demand a head scratch from me. The owner did do the cliche, "don't worry, he's friendly" call, saying that some people are specially wary of breeds like dobies. I couldn't help but comment that it was clear we had a vicious killer on our hands here.

Yes, this was a city park, and yes, the dog technically should have been leashed. Nothing would have been served by doing so, though.

Relevant to this discussion? Probably not. Just coincidentally amusing to me, given the tone of this entire thread.

Dave Ploessel
(mailesdad) - F
Um, yes, actually HARALD on 09/10/2012 15:28:10 MDT Print View

Harald, I HOPE (pun) you are just really bad at google and not just dismissing my stats ads made up in order to continue to ignore my valid points, but the simple fact that if, when you google "annual us dog fatalities",the VERY FIRST link is to a wikipedia article that cites the CDC stats (I actually compiled the CDC stats from the CDC itself because I don't trust wiki 100%) leads me to believe that you are.

Here, I'll even post the link for you, since you apparently can't use google:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_dog_attacks_in_the_United_States

I didn't make up the stats. Please stop saying things that are not true about me. It only makes you a liar and destroys any credibility your arguements may have on this topic. The stats are there for anybody with sufficient brainpower to find. You accuse me of "turning off my brain" yet you are unable to do a simple google search? Give me a break. You obviously also lied about looking for the stats yourself because they are right there for anybody who cares to look. Instead you go on to attempot to back up those who base their own arguements on purely anecdotal evidence eg "my friend the ranger said this one time" instead of solid numbers.

Anecdotal evidence is just that. Anecdotal. It has no bearing on this topic.

I said I was done with this topic, but your lies about me cheesed me off enough to get me to post. Please don't lie about me again. Thanks.

Edited by mailesdad on 09/10/2012 15:33:07 MDT.

Tom Lyons
(towaly) - F

Locale: Smoky Mtns.
Leash on 09/10/2012 19:23:24 MDT Print View

I ALWAYS kept my dog leashed when in public places, including parks or trails.

While I knew my dog was well-tempered, I couldn't expect everyone else to know it.
And so, I kept him on a leash, and he was not unhappy about it, and everybody else felt safer because of it.

And no other dogs ever approached us in any threatening manner. It might have been because my dog was a 145 pound male Rottweiler with a 30-inch collar.
But he never harmed a fly, for his entire life, all the way up to his death from old age last year.
People were often afraid of him, because of his imposing appearance. They would walk on the other side of the street.

The vet said to me, "He's too nice. He's giving Rottweilers a bad name". And he laughed.

But, getting back to the dogs in public thing, I think it's the right thing to keep them leashed. It's respectful of the other people who don't know your dog is friendly. And the dog isn't undergoing any torture to be on the leash.
I think it's just the right thing to do, and it precludes anything unpredictable from happening, and it's safer for everybody.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Leash on 09/10/2012 19:36:00 MDT Print View

Some dogs are not safe to have on a leash.

The owners aren't strong enough to control them, and are unwilling to train them.

It's dangerous to such irresponsible owners to have such dogs on a leash.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Leash on 09/10/2012 20:44:24 MDT Print View

It's dangerous to such irresponsible owners to have such dogs

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Mine are off leash and I dare you to object on 09/11/2012 07:34:15 MDT Print View

"we're not sure about their training but they sure do have mean stares."

So, let me get this straight: you got three oversized, un-trained dogs bred for fighting and you don't have them leashed because they pull on the leash. I sincerely hope that you're joking.

Sean Heenan
(roadster1) - M

Locale: Southeast mountains
bites on 09/11/2012 08:17:38 MDT Print View

386,000 bites per year that require emergency room visits, 16 deaths.(CDC stat last year available) Can anybody here say liability, send in the lawyers lose your dog and maybe even have it put down. Why would you want to do that to your dog???

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Bites on 09/11/2012 08:24:39 MDT Print View

386,000 bites. Is that in the USA where you can get a nice payout?
I've been bitten a couple of times, but simply cleaned it up myself without visiting a hospital.