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January 17

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How to Cope with Annoying Humans on a Dog Hike

By Brian Burke

January 17, 2021


Knowing how to cope with annoying humans on a dog hike probably seems like common sense to you.  Because you have a brain.  And you respect others.  

The incidents I describe below don't really happen a lot, nor are they "that bad".  But let's have some fun anyway and vent a little bit!

If my approach in this post seems a bit jaded and cynical, please READ THE POLICE REPORT BELOW.  I was removed from my car by police after walking a client's dog.  I guess this sort of stuff done by other humans (the caller, NOT the officer) gets to me after a while!  

The incident in this police report isn't directly related to actual Mass Dog Hikes, but again, it just gives you context about why I sometimes RANT like I do regarding humans (the caller, NOT the officer!)


Now let's get on with how to cope with annoying humans on a dog hike, or any dog walk, that can make you want to pull the hair out of your head...

...Like the guy in the featured image at the top of this post.  Pepper's like, "Dude, what's wrong?"

PART ONE - On The Actual Dog Hike

1.  THEY COULD HAVE AT LEAST FLICKED IT OVER TO THE SIDE!

In the video below, listen to my commentary about why I just don't understand people sometimes, when it comes to blatantly leaving their dog's poop in the middle of a trail...

...when all it takes is a stick and just 7 seconds to at least improve the situation a little for those walking behind you.

SOLUTION:  The best advice I can give here, is to Just expect  it.  Unfortunately, this is just plain human nature--so be watching out for the "land mines" on the trail...I mean literally ON the trail.  When humans aren't being watched, it's amazing what they sometimes do...or should I say "doo doo"!  

As I show in the video, just pick up a stick and "flick" it off to the side.  Sometimes I'll use one of my own bags, if I have extras, and walk it out.  But if I flick it into an area where it is less likely to be stepped on, at least I helped the situation a little bit, even though it's still not the ideal solution.  

Dog waste, no matter how far into the woods, is best to be disposed of properly.  Always check back to Mass Dog Hikes for advice like this.

REALLY...I'm not THAT MISERABLE!!!  

Just so you know I'm not always bitter, let's look at a scenario where I appreciated another dog person doing a really GOOD thing on the trails.  So it's not always about knowing how to cope with annoying humans on a dog hike--sometimes it's just fine!


2.  WHEN DOGS RUN TOO FAR AHEAD ON A DOG HIKE

SOLUTION:  Ok, I gave the solution to the second issue before addressing the annoying part.  I guess I was excited for you to see my good side!  The annoying things that precede this solution are below: 

In the video above where I talk about the solution, I could see the person.  I was high up on a hill and was looking down.  Had a great view.

But more often on a trail and sometimes on a curve on a street, you can't see what's coming as easily.  You may not want to have your dog startle someone and their dog, or vice versa, coming around a corner.

MORE SOLUTIONS:  Watch these videos for more solutions to not having your dog startle or "bother" others, and to prevent their dogs from doing it to you!

I'm not a big fan of people who let their dogs run too far ahead of them.  So if you can't see around a corner, make them aware that you're coming, and take extra caution to be looking out for them. Check out the videos below that demonstrate this.

VIDEO BELOW - Seeing around a corner before your dog does:

VIDEO BELOW - long leashes that help when there are curves in trail:

(PICTURED BELOW) I usually have the leashes attached on the side of the harness, so they don't step on them--You'll see them attached differently in the videos, but the pic below is ideal if you have a harness like this.

Dog Hike Leash on Side

VIDEO BELOW - Letting others know you're coming around a corner or blind spot:

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PART TWO - At The Trailhead of a Dog Hike

1.  AT THE LEAST, ASK IF IT'S OK!

In the video below, there's no major issue.  I get it.  The dogs are "friendly" and this kind of thing happens all the time at trailheads and parking lots. It's no big deal.  But...

...I guess I just wish the person in charge of those two dogs could maybe just check-in to see if it's ok and that her dogs won't drive my dogs crazy...or get bitten...or, well, you know....

I don't know, maybe my dog doesn't like to be approached when it's ON LEASH, and the other dog(s)--yes, two of them--approach OFF LEASH.  This doesn't always make for the best dynamic with animals.

I just like to be safe than sorry (and respectful), and I don't let my dogs roam up to other people, and circle their car, etc. when we're all trying to either leash up and head out, or get back into the car in order to leave, etc.

VIDEO BELOW - Just wishing the other human would at least check-in:

SOLUTIONS FOR SCENARIOS (VIDEOS) ABOVE AND BELOW:  Kind of like the poop in the middle of the trail (in part one above)...You have to just expect it.  Understand that parking lots and trailheads are going to the most concentrated area of dogs. Make a note of which ones are roaming, which humans aren't paying attention, etc.  

....AND, DON'T EVEN THINK about giving "constructive criticism" or pointing out that maybe this is not the best idea...or just asking if they could reign in their dogs.  After multiple years of being a dog walker, and owner, I have literally NEVER had the other person say, "Oh, thank you so much for expressing your view.  I totally understand."  Hahahaha.  

2.  COULD YOU MAYBE JUST PAY ATTENTION AFTER YOUR DOG HIKE!

If you bother saying anything, they'll say, "Oh, my dog is friendly."  (Barf).  NOT THE POINT!  And, what if the other dog that your "friendly" dog approaches, is NOT also friendly--but is obeying the rules by being on leash???  Ugh. 

AND, WITH NEW COVID RESTRICTIONS.....this particular property (like many others) is strictly on-leash.  And people are much more sensitive nowadays in terms of being approached by anyone...or any animal.  

Often, the owner has to come get the dog away from you in these cases--if, in fact, she was actually paying attention...and many folks don't want a dog AND an owner up their grill during these times.

Of course, 99% of the time, these situations are just fine, no big deal.  But policies and people's concerns aren't usually based on the 99%, they're created for the 1% of the time when bad stuff can occur.  

Oh, one more thing: this "friendly" dog, who's well behaved, not going to run off, and not going to bother anyone....if it sees a rabbit on the other side of the road and runs into the street...doesn't matter how friendly it is when the car that's driving by hits it.  Sorry...truth.  Good and well-behaved dogs still chase rabbits!

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