backpacker's law (pdf)
The dog question is interesting, Dave, while I admire your fondness for dogs, I believe you just made up your claims out of thin air, the 1000 to one or whatever, ie, they are not linked to reality. The question properly put would be: what is the actual incidence of backcountry dog bites. Not how many dogs kill people vs how many people kill people. I looked briefly for such stats and found none. When learning this, you'd be able to cite actual sources for the data. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess the incidence of dog bites are FAR higher than the incidents resulting in murder by another human. I personally don't fear getting killed by a dog, but if a dog attacked (attacked, note, not barked), I'd certainly consider that the end of the discussion on the dog's rights, and an excellent reason for carrying a good knife. But I've never been attacked by a dog, nor do I expect to be. The vast majority of dogs I see backpacking are excellent creatures, outstanding. I'm going to guess the actual problem is not generally real backpacking, but those spots that are more hike in campsites where non-backpackers tend to go.
Matthew Edwards has the right idea, though sadly what he's talking about requires becoming a person like him, but that's what I'd strive for too. I came across a woman with her dog hiking and, like Matthew, started communicating directly to the dog, which was one of the most intelligent dogs I've ever seen in my urban environment. Urban dogs strike me as being much worse in general than rural dogs, they don't get the same experiences. She was amazed that the dog didn't bark at me, and actually after a few moments, let me pet it. Same idea as what Matthew is talking about.
Now for people who insist on backpacking with a dog that is unable to grasp the situation and act accordingly, they really need to stop doing that, if your dog is stupid and can't handle complex situations without freaking out, then stop bringing it with you. And dogs, like people, are stupid or smart, and have good or bad judgement. That stuff about it being the owners only is nonsense as far as I'm concerned, a smart dog is smart, a dumb one is dumb, that's not on the owner. Sometimes dog nuttery goes too far, I love smart dogs, some of the best creatures out there. Dumb dogs, not so much.
The pdf above, which seems to have been assembled primarily for AT backpackers seems to be general enough to give a proper idea.
The dog section is pretty clear, the owner is liable for the actions of the dog. The assaultee is permitted to defend themselves against dog attack using the amount of force required to do so. Since if a dog is lunging at you and about to bite, that is not the best moment to take careful consideration of the feelings of the dog owner, who has already failed in their legal responsibility as a dog owner.
I want to believe the guy upthread with three large dogs he is unable to restrain or control is joking, if not, that is why dogs are banned from areas, so congratulations on being the exact source of the problem.
I also have no dog in this, though I have always wanted to go backpacking with a dog, so I appreciate the emotion on it. However, I also have a friend who has 2 pit bulls, incredibly well trained, but I've seen their training fail when they got confused. Not a good feeling to see a dog get confused, and dogs aren't nearly as smart as we want to think, instincts are closer to the surface than with humans.