1 day ago
Why we love hiking but might not come back for a while.
Although we love going on hikes, we have had some bad experiences that have made Niko regress (a little bit) in training. So, today Niko was mostly on-leash except for a quick picture because he’s become a little anxious around hyperactive large dogs. He did really well and maintained sit-stays when we encountered some crazy dogs. However, we might not come back to our regular hiking trail for a while. It’s full of irresponsible owners. Some of the things we encountered (today and often): 1. A man and his off-leash Belgian Malinois were about to enter the trail when the Malinois went after a coyote. The dog disappeared and the owner kept calling it for five minutes. When it finally showed up, they entered the trail and the dog bolted after another thing. The high-energy dog had high prey drive and awful recall. It could have easily mistaken a smaller 25 lbs dog for a prey.
2. A Great Dane almost bigger than me came up running to me (the human) and started barking. It wanted to wrestle with my dog and could have knocked down both us easily. I had Niko behind me and decided to wait for its owner to grab it. The owner just laughed it off.
3. I see many people on the trail with headphones and on their phones but with a leash on hand. Often times, the dog is way behind or ahead of them to the point where you would not be able to tell whose dog it is.
4. Groups of people with dogs throwing balls and the dogs running around in the narrow trail, taking up the entire path. It’s very hectic and having a pack of dogs running to/chasing you is not acceptable.
Anyways. I think Niko did very well. Having him do a sit and trust me while I asses the situation has been working for us. But I don’t think it’s worth the stress.