LIV- Lesson 1- Nutrition

Many Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management wilderness areas allow dogs and they are very welcome. As long as the dogs are leashed or under voice control. Leashes must be no more than 6 feet in length and popular areas, trails and destinations may be closed to dogs, or leashes may be required. It is important to note that most National Parks and Fish and Wildlife Service wilderness areas do not allow dogs. Where they are allowed, dogs must be leashed at all times. Make sure to read the specific regulations on a park’s website or brochure before arriving. Regulations prohibiting dogs do not apply to service animals (dogs) accompanying a person with a disability. Emotional support or therapy dogs, or other animals, are not defined as service animals by the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) and thus are prohibited in areas where dogs are not allowed. Before departing on your trip, be sure to check the agency regulations regarding dogs for the wilderness you want to visit.

You should leash a dog when it’s required AND:

  • If your dog does not have a flawless recall.
  • If your dog is a wanderer. Lost dogs can be very difficult to find in the wilderness, so prevent your dog from becoming lost in the first place.
  • When meeting or passing other visitors on a trail. This is especially important if they have dogs and/or children with them.
  • When meeting or passing pack strings on a trail. Move well off the trail (to the downhill side if possible) and start talking in a calm voice to the riders and horses BEFORE they reach you. Stay still and avoid spooking stock.
  • When camping near other visitors.
  • At destinations where other visitors are present.
  • Around wildlife.
  • During storms, especially if your dog is afraid of thunder. Scared dogs tend to run and can easily become lost.
Although you may be a dog-loving person, not everyone is comfortable with being approached by dogs on the trail. While some people are mildly uncomfortable or annoyed by dogs, people who have been bitten or had traumatic incidents with dogs can experience extreme fear. Do not let your dog run up to other hikers, horseback riders or other dogs. Be aware that your dog can act and react very differently in new surroundings and around unfamiliar people, children, and other dogs. Even if another hiker tells you that their dog is friendly, you are always responsible for your dogs behavior. 
Always make a plan to pack out your dog poop, just as you would other garbage. Poop can build up on trails and in camping areas posing a hazard and health risk to people and other animals. Make sure to dispose of your dog’s feces in trailhead trash cans or at home. Do not be tempted to leave used bags on the side of the trail and pick them up later. Pack out used dog poop bags in your dog’s pack or make your own DIY storage container like the below video.

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