/ ARTICLE: Who Let the Dogs Out: How to be a Responsible Crag Dog Owner

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UKC Articles 20 Nov 2019
Tess tethered at Jerry's Roof, Llanberis Pass. I used to have a theory in the first few years of my climbing career: if you want to climb hard, get a dog. Look back on those climbing videos of old and check out how many of them featured a crag dog and there are loads: Hard Grit, Stick It - the Nesscliffe guide even has a collie on the cover!

Pete Edwards shares advice for dog owners who want to take their canine companions to the crag...



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Jeremy Wilton 20 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

Love the picture of Hester keeping warm - excellent!

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Tom V 20 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

One thing I have learned from UKC which has altered my behaviour is this: if there is farm livestock around it is not OK to leave dogshit wherever the dog deposits it. Pain though it is, if my little mate does one in the middle of a field of cows or sheep I bag it and bring it home. I can't remember which UKC er it was who altered my thinking but I didn't doubt his explanation for a minute.

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Hooo 20 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

Thanks for this, especially the request to respect people who don't like dogs. It seems that any thread about dogs on here will quickly polarise into lovers v haters, with no middle ground, so there is obviously something going wrong out there. Most people, even if they don't like dogs, will tolerate a dog without complaint if it's obviously under control and not bothering them.

Post edited at 18:33
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Rad 20 Nov 2019

To understand the perspective of non-dog lovers, imagine you go to the crag on a rare lovely day and encounter a family with a toddler. "Don't worry, he's friendly", they say. Now imagine that toddler starts poking around your rucksack, eating half of your lunch, sitting on your climbing gear, pooping next to the trail, sticking its wet nose in your crotch, licking your ankle, starting fights with other toddlers nearby, napping on your bouldering pad, chasing wildlife away, whining and shouting, and distracting you and/or your belayer/spotter while you are trying to climb. The parents are friendly, but they seem incapable of, or unwilling to, control their child, and they don't understand why you don't love their adorable child just like they do. 

Now maybe you have a better sense of how non-dog lovers feel about dogs at the crag. Please consider leaving your dog at home or at least keeping them on a leash, out of the way, and quiet, and please pick up their poop. Thank you. 

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Tom V 20 Nov 2019
In reply to Rad:

> "Please consider leaving your dog at home or at least keeping them on a leash, out of the way, and quiet, and please pick up their poop. Thank you. "

Same with kids?   

Joking aside, I don't own a dog any more and just walk one occasionally but having spent years running and walking in the area I can assert there is nothing worse than an owner who claims his dog is under control when it quite obviously isn't.

In fact, my experiences have led me to believe that NO dog is under control 100% of the time unless it is on a lead. It's like watching police dogs on those awful TV programs where they delight in showing us canine crimefighters bringing down the crims. For , say, 95% of the time the handler has it doing his bidding but I suspect that in the closing few seconds before it locks on to the suspect its uniformed buddy might as well be on Mars for all the input he has in what happens. I'm sure plenty of UKC dog owners will disagree and claim that they are in total control of their pet all the time it's off lead and I really hope that events never prove them wrong.

Post edited at 19:00
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Rad 20 Nov 2019
In reply to Tom V:

The toddler reference was an attempt to illustrate the issues with dogs, but yes, if kids are not under control they should not be at the crag as they could endanger themselves and others and will disrupt the scene in many ways. Same goes with dogs. So many reasons to leave them both at home or take them somewhere else.

Post edited at 19:12
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Matt Podd 20 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

I remeber seconding a route on the Grochan many years ago. I looked down and watched a huge dog piss into someones rucksack that was left at the bottom!

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clams 20 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

Was at Carrock Fell boulders today with my two year old - saw two dog turds close to where she was exploring. Please pick up your dog turds people, even if they appear out-of-the-way...

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TobyA 20 Nov 2019
In reply to Rad:

Dogs, kids... Who is allowed at the crag Rad? You, obvs. But besides you, who else? 

;) (sort of)

Post edited at 20:06
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Rad 20 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

Any person or animal that doesn't disrupt or harm others is welcome at the crag. It's pretty simple, really.

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Ian Parsons 20 Nov 2019
In reply to Matt Podd:

> I remember seconding a route on the Grochan many years ago. I looked down and watched a huge dog piss into someones rucksack that was left at the bottom!

I awoke one damp morning after an overnight bivvy in the carpark at Malham [this was back in the mid-1970s when doing such a thing didn't appear to cause the problems that it probably would today] to the realisation, as I gazed up at the underparts of a large and very contented Great Dane, that the dampness was not entirely due to the weather. I suppose I was on 'his patch' though.

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Wiley Coyote2 20 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

"When you first arrive, check out who's around and have a conversation. An introduction to both you as the owner and the dog can go a long way to creating a good environment and avoiding conflict. Whether people are scared, bothered or fine, at least then you know where you stand."

No thank you. I actually don't like dogs. I'm not afraid of them nor allergic to them I simply do not care for them. Nor, by and large, kids either. Or quite a few climbers, come to think of it. Fpr all I know this may include you, so why risk it?

In an ideal world social interaction at the crag would be reduced to a polite, if wary, nod on arrival. If feeling particularly giddy I may stretch to a muttered 'Ey up' or even 'Ow do'. (please note, this latter phrase is entirely rhetorical and does not require any answer beyond a grunt of acknowledgement. I honestly could not care less how you are doing.) Thereafter it may be necessary to ask what route you intend doing or to check if you have finished with a particular line. Nothing further is needed. Departure  may justify another nod and, if things have gone exceptionally pleasantly, perhaps a swift 'See ya'.

Anything beyond these simple courtesies rather smacks of unwelcome over-familiarity and I would be grateful if  such unpleasantness could be avoided

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TobyA 20 Nov 2019
In reply to Rad:

> Any person or animal that doesn't disrupt or harm others is welcome at the crag. It's pretty simple, really.

That's not actually quite what you said about kids in your above post.

> "but yes, if kids are not under control they should not be at the crag as they could endanger themselves and others and will disrupt the scene in many ways."

What some people consider disruption might not be what others do. And perhaps your idea of "the scene" isn't the next person's idea of "the scene". Overall I think climbers, who don't actually own crags (with only a very small number of exemptions) should be a careful about getting on their high horses and saying who is and isn't welcome at any crag.

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allarms 20 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

I don't agree with a few points in the article and some of the comments here.

Mainly I think asking someone to put their dog on a lead is fair enough, but expecting people to leave, or to not have to see dogs just because you don't like them or are scared is ridiculous. 

One thing I feel like I need to say is that there are plenty of crags where dogs are banned if they are that much of a problem for you.

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craig h 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Rad:

Nail on the head regarding dogs for me.

I got told off last night because I ignored a dog who bounded up to say hello, the owner seemed to think her dog was upset because I did not acknowledge it. I was more focused on it not knocking my nice camera and lens off the tripod, which has happened before.

I have no gripe with dogs, just the owners who are oblivious to basic rules and think their dog can't do anything wrong, after all it's just being friendly!! However I do know plenty of well behaved owners who's dogs are a pleasure to be out with.

Post edited at 00:07
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Name Changed 34 21 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

 Allow  me to recall a trip Wasdale head in the 1990s 

 The Intention was to camp at the National Trust campsite .  Late  onFriday evening I And dog arrived at the screes in need of refreshment however it was after closing time ..Nudge nudge wink wink say no more

 So It was in the small hours of the morning that I was driving to the Last few miles to the head.

 Now I know that the dog lovers will criticise and say that unprocessed food should not be given to a canine ,  and I accept you’re right to have an opinion even one that is incorrect .I digress. 

Driving along I see the ears and furry coat of the rabbit  deceased in the middle of the road I thought that it would be fair game for  dog food 

 I haven’t said that the dog was regularly fed on  offal, from a wholesale butcher, but I was not sure if the dog would eat rabbit . So bring the dog out of the car I “ let the dog see the rabbit “ For a second the dog had little interest the fur not being something he was used to, But once having discerned it was edible he showed his willingness to eat it there and then however I want to  pitch a tent . The only way I could win was to put my hand between the dogs legs  and Pull the Rabbit down under his belly until he was forced to released his grip and let go 

 The dog back in the car and the rabbit in the passenger foot well we continued on up the Dale .  The dog is desperate for the new found  cuisine  he could smell

After 400 yards another rabbit lies in the road , I stopped , taking the rabbit  out from the footwell I got out picked up the rabbit on the road  and put the two rabbits on the bonnet of the car The dog then settle down the smell gone or at least the rabbit gone from in the car, we carried on up the dale

At the campsite  I Showed the dog the rabbit on the bonnet he lifted one  off and for  fear  of it being removed from him , he ran off into the darkness 

I started clattering and banging poles amount  and making as much noise as any arrival at two or 3 o’clock in the morning , above my noise I could hear the crunching and breaking of bones as the rabbit was being devoured 

now some distance away a torch  illuminated the inside of a Vango ridge tent,  in time a zip zipped and a torch Shone out all around at the night sky ,  it’s Shone at the treetops, it shone at the cars lighting up the registration plates and the reflectors , And finally it’s shone  at ground level  Upon where it met the gaze of a large  Great  Dane chewing a rabbit  facing the   tent about 4 foot from the door.      The response was instantaneous as soon as the light fell upon the dog.. The scream so terrible even the dog stoped tearing at the flesh  for a moment out went the lights  up went the zip and not another sound other than a dog eating a rabbit was there 

 the Vango had long gone by the time dog and I saw the sun Dog and I had a good day up Kirk fell  sty head and corridor 

And by the way 

I’m sorry if you were in that tent but he was a nice dog 

Post edited at 00:28
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meggies 21 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

I cut the bottom off a large plastic milk bottle (2-3 inches deep) and use that for a water bowl.

Cheap, light, flexible and tough. 

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girlymonkey 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

Sounds like you wouldn't like me then! I like to natter to everyone! Not just at crags, but in life in general. Why use 1 word when 10 will do?! 😉

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Hooo 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Tom V:

>  I can assert there is nothing worse than an owner who claims his dog is under control when it quite obviously isn't.

This.

I think that what a lot of dog lovers are blind to is the fact that a dog is an animal capable of causing serious injury, and the only thing stopping it is training. If someone is wary around dogs, this is not an irrational fear, it's a sensible attitude to a real hazard. So if I see a dog that doesn't appear to be under control, I'm going to be worried. If the owner thinks that saying "he's friendly" is going to help then they clearly haven't thought about this. There are plenty of idiots with poorly trained dogs around, how am I to know that theirs is well trained? The only way they are going to convince me is to demonstrate that they have their dog under control. 

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Wiley Coyote2 21 Nov 2019
In reply to girlymonkey:

> Sounds like you wouldn't like me then! I like to natter to everyone! Not just at crags, but in life in general. Why use 1 word when 10 will do?! 😉


I am sure you are correct. I have been told that this is 'being judgemental' but I have found over the years that taking an instant disl;ke to certain people saves so much time ;-)

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deepsoup 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Rad:

> To understand the perspective of non-dog lovers, imagine you go to the crag on a rare lovely day and encounter a family with a toddler.

It could be much worse than a toddler, it could be Gus! ;-)
https://www.vimeo.com/66323547

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Dave Garnett 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

> I am sure you are correct. I have been told that this is 'being judgemental' but I have found over the years that taking an instant disl;ke to certain people saves so much time ;-)

Yes, but that can work both ways!

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Wanderlust 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

> I have found over the years that taking an instant disl;ke to certain people saves so much time ;-)

You miserable bastard ;-)

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DubyaJamesDubya 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

> I am sure you are correct. I have been told that this is 'being judgemental' but I have found over the years that taking an instant disl;ke to certain people saves so much time ;-)

I hate people with attitudes like that.

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Wiley Coyote2 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Wanderlust:

> You miserable bastard ;-)

Thank you. Hard as it may be to believe, that's the nicest thing anyone has said to me all day

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allarms 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

I don't find it hard to believe.

> Thank you. Hard as it may be to believe, that's the nicest thing anyone has said to me all day

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Iamgregp 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Hooo:

>the fact that a dog is an animal capable of causing serious injury, and the only thing stopping it is training. 

That and a lack of desire to bite anybody.  I've never bothered to train my dog not to bite anyone, and she never has.  Why on earth would she want to bite anyone?

I can still understand why some people are afraid of digs, I was when I was a kid...

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chris687 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Iamgregp:

Not scared of dogs, and I have worked with dogs and been their practice baddie, wearing a sleeve for them to bite, this doesn't bother me and I was never hurt doing it. But I have been tripped over by a dog (not mine) while running and another time while negotiating slippery rocks at the crag.  In the first instance the dog was being "friendly" and running around me as i ran. in the second it was just drifting about, oblivious to the impact it had on me.  luckily it happened to me because someone softer could have actually been hurt.

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Tom V 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Iamgregp:

Why would any dog want to bite a person? But they do. Some areas of my town are on the verge of becoming no-go areas for postmen because of the astounding number of dog attacks logged in the course of a working year. I don't know if the offending animals have been trained to attack "intruders" or if they have ever been trained in anything at all. The one thing that is resoundingly clear is that they are only safe when there is a physical restraint involved. AS an occasional dog walker my policy is simple: at the  very first sign of possible interaction with other dogs, animals or humans, get your dog on its lead.  It's the only way to be sure. ( I'm aware of advice regarding dogs in fields with cows and for this reason would never take my little mate into that situation)

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Hooo 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Iamgregp:

You are clearly part of the problem then.

Your dog might be the perfectly behaved fluffy pup that would never hurt a fly, but the problem is that I don't know that. Some dogs bite people, surely you're not going to deny this? I don't know if your dog is a biter or not, so I'd appreciate it if you would demonstrate that you can control your dog. That way I'm reassured that you are a responsible owner with a well trained dog and I am in no danger.

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Iamgregp 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Hooo:

Think I’ve argued with you about dogs before?

You’re making assumptions about how I control my dog, despite the fact I made no reference to it on my post.

Did I say I leave my dog off the lead and let her run up to people?  No. So why are you posting as if that’s what I said?

My dog has literally never been off lead in a public place other than a large forest where there are no other people. The only time I let her off the lead is in my own back garden.

Did I deny dogs bite people? No, yet you seem to think that’s what I’ve suggested.

I said my dog’s never bit anyone. And doesn’t seem to want to. That not just due to training, it’s also due to nature.

She’s not fluffy either, whilst you’re at it.

If you want to have a discussion reply to what people say. Rather than your own conclusions you’ve made up in your own head yeah?

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Iamgregp 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Agreed. She’s on the lead always. I trust her, but I don’t take chances.  Also lots of people round where I live are from other cultures where dogs are haram, or viewed very differently to here, so I respect other people’s attitudes toward them.

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FactorXXX 21 Nov 2019
In reply to Name Changed 34:

> I’m sorry if you were in that tent but he was a nice dog.

Not sure what I'm more impressed with.
The excellent tale of the 'The Beast of Wasdale', or, the fact that you went camping with a Great Dane!

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dgbryan 22 Nov 2019
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

Wiley, I'm warming to you enormously.  First you echo my own every attempt at training for climbing, pointing out how completely useless it is, & now you perfectly describe my views on meeting & greeting people, small people & pets while climbing.  Or anywhere really.

I wish you continuing enjoyment of your amiable disgruntlement in the company of your choosing, while I pursue my own.  I trust our paths will not cross & if it appears they might you will recognise me by my sharp veering away.

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Hooo 22 Nov 2019
In reply to Iamgregp:

> Think I’ve argued with you about dogs before?

I don't remember this, but given our respective attitudes it's certainly possible.

> If you want to have a discussion reply to what people say. Rather than your own conclusions you’ve made up in your own head yeah?

It appears that I misunderstood your point, and you misunderstood mine.

The point I was trying to make originally is that it is irrelevant how well behaved a dog is. Someone wary of dogs is going to assume it's dangerous. The only way to make them feel safe is for the owner to demonstrate that they have full control of it. You then replied to say that it's not in your dog's nature to bite anyone. I couldn't see why that was relevant to my post, and so your reply looked to me to be just another case of a dog owner saying "he won't hurt you" - ie. exactly the problem I was complaining about. Hence my reaction.

So, since I obviously misunderstood, what point were you trying to make?

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Mike_d78 22 Nov 2019
In reply to Hooo:

I've never been attacked by a dog, but I have been headbutted and punched (unprovoked) by a number of humans. Fortunately I have realised that not all humans are like this; I typically approach them warily and if they do not show signs of aggression that I am happy to converse with them. 

On balance I would say that dogs are far less obnoxious and damaging than humans.

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Iamgregp 22 Nov 2019
In reply to Hooo:

The point I was trying to make was that your assertion that the only reason a dog wouldn’t but a person is due to training is incorrect.

Another contributing factor is the nature of the animals themselves.  Thousands of years of selective breeding has rather tempered their desire to bite humans too. 

I felt that your response made a lot of assumptions about how I control my dog which weren’t the case.

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Deadeye 22 Nov 2019
In reply to Tom V:

>   It's the only way to be sure.

Well, you could nuke it fom space?

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Iamgregp 22 Nov 2019
In reply to Iamgregp:

*bite, obvs... Noticed too late to edit.

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In reply to Deadeye:

> Well, you could nuke it fom space?

No!

You need to launch the nuke from somewhere you want taken out by the retaliatory nukes.

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Graeme Hammond 22 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

Quite surprised not to see anything about keeping dogs under control during nesting season. 

Some dogs seem to love to dig and rip up larger areas of ground and vegitation whilst their owner is occupied I also find this unacceptable.

Unfortunately whilst this is all sounding negative but it is the bad behaviour you remember. I'm not massively keen on dogs and remember activity avoiding them (crossing the road to walk on the other pavement etc) and being completely terrified of  as any large dog as child. If your dog jumps up on me I still usually still flinch and I would consider it is out of control and invading my personal space. Just because I'm a fellow climber doesn't mean I like your dog any more than you would want me to jump on you even though we have never met before!

Post edited at 12:20
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BruceM 22 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

That this thread (and others before) exist, illustrate that there is a problem.   In this country many dog owners seem to think that their dog is a kind-of mini human with all the same social behaviors, responsibilities, and rights -- when that isn't how all the dogs see it.

I love dogs.  I acknowledge and talk to most in-control dogs I see -- even when their owners stare out in to space and make no contact themselves. 

But regularly, out-of-control dogs chase me, jump up at me, and appear to "attack" me when I'm running, biking, or walking.  Usually I have to try to verbally control the dog myself or worst case, grab the collar with my hand to hold the dog off me.  Because the owner isn't there to do it.  And the owner often just silently stares at me and then ignores me and carries on with whatever they were doing.  (Usually the dog doesn't!)  When I ask the owner to call their dog back, there is usually just some mumbled pretend attempt, almost always ineffective, or more often, nothing but silence.

And when all that happens when belaying at a crag, it is not only terrifying, but extremely dangerous.  Although even constant loud whining or barking (usually when the dog's owner is climbing) can be a potentially dangerous distraction.

It's not a climbing problem, but a UK social problem.  It's like deity believers vs non-believers.  There is no way each party can see the other's side.

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Dave Garnett 22 Nov 2019
In reply to BruceM:

> When I ask the owner to call their dog back, there is usually just some mumbled pretend attempt, almost always ineffective,

Dogs shouldn't be off the lead unless they recall immediately and pretty much faultlessly.  I love dogs but a dog that doesn't recall is a danger to itself and others, as well as being public embarrassment.

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Dave Garnett 22 Nov 2019
In reply to deepsoup:

> It could be much worse than a toddler, it could be Gus! ;-) https://www.vimeo.com/66323547

I think that's a brilliant and illustrates the problem perfectly.  I think that sometimes having them neutered helps.

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neilh 22 Nov 2019
In reply to BruceM:

100% agree. Unfortunatley I was attacked by a dog in my youth, so am no big fan. I often have words with dog owners when their  animals come towards me leaping  and bounding.

Its deeply unpleasant when they are off their leads.

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RB1 26 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

The section on leaving dog poo needs to be changed- dog poo can contain a parasite which can cause live stock to abort pregnancies. Even if there’s not live stock, particularly in upland areas due to the slower rate of decomposition, poo should be bagged and removed as it can change the physical properties and biological nature of soil. In the new forest there is evidence that areas with high numbers of dog walkers not picking up is altering the acidity of the soil and changing plant communities.

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asteclaru 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Iamgregp:

> That and a lack of desire to bite anybody.  I've never bothered to train my dog not to bite anyone, and she never has.  Why on earth would she want to bite anyone?

'Oh, he/she's never done this before' - every dog owner who's dog just bit someone.

Post edited at 13:22
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Iamgregp 26 Nov 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

Like the farmer whose cow lays down and dies in the field and he says "well she's never done that before..."

Joking aside like I said, for quite a number of reasons, my dog is never off lead around people, she wouldn't be given the opportunity to bite someone even if she did want to!

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Roadrunner6 26 Nov 2019
In reply to BruceM:

It works both ways though, I think climbers (too many anyway), think they have the right to do what ever they want at crags. I was at a climbing area last week and a woman was screaming that there was a bear.. FFS she was 100 miles out from Boston, in a heavily forested fairly mountainous area. She was banging and shouting. 

My dog is rarely on a leash but he's also rarely around people as we run on trails in quieter areas to avoid such areas. I avoid all tourist trails with him.

I do think some dog owners are oblivious to how scary people find dogs. I was out running at dusk last night and could hear something large and out pounced a great dane type dog. I eventually found the owner but he seemed pretty oblivious that people may find a 150+ pound dog scary. 

TBH I find human shit the bigger problem around crags. Just last weekend I was running on the AT just outside of NYC and right on a major trail junction someone had taken a shit. Now we've all been caught short but at least walk off the trail and bury it.

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asteclaru 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Iamgregp:

And good on you for being a responsible dog owner.

Unfortunately, there's many other dog owners who believe that 'he/she never hurt anyone' is a valid reason to let their dogs run amok.

I don't like dogs (as a result of some less than fortunate 'encounters' when I was a child). Just imagine how 'happy' I am when dogs run between my legs or jump at me while I'm belaying someone (yes, I've had this happen).

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Iamgregp 26 Nov 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

Thanks!

Yeah I can imagine that must be really shit.  I think as a dog owner it's useful to be reminded of this, maybe picture our furry friend as a giant wasp, or whatever it is we're scared of and see how we would feel about that.

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Roadrunner6 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Iamgregp:

True but also wasps are part of nature.

The way people react to dogs, scared or not, is not safe.

They are often in sheep fields, at any point a working dog or hunting dogs could pass close by, if they are that scared they panic and could not belay they need to consider where they are climbing.

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Frank R. 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Roadrunner6:

Oh yes, and if somebody has coulrophobia*, they should not belay anywhere any clowns could be even remotely present, it would be so unsafe, smiling clowns or not!

*) fear of clowns, probably just an internet invented word

Really, what's so hard about having a dog on a leash and perhaps politely asking the people around if they would be ok with you letting it free, if it's an obedient one? Perhaps they turn out to be dog lovers all around and your dog is the best behaved there is, no problems if everybody agrees. Just some basic decency...

If was just irony in your post, well, it was lost on me

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Roadrunner6 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Frank R.:

Because the law often/sometimes doesn’t require on dog on a leash. 

if it doesn’t, the dog will not be on a leash. Certainly working dogs won’t be on a leash ever.

its like saying climbing is banned in some bird areas therefore climbers shouldn’t climb anywhere there are birds.

I live in a city with leash laws, few gun laws.. so rarely walk the dog within the city. But once I’m in areas he’s legally allowed off, he’s off. If I see bikers I call him. Likewise if bikers see me they slow. 

I run 3000 miles a year, I’m getting old, I never have complaints about the dog as I’m considerate about where I’d run but I’d certainly run over crags and we’d be climbing over peoples ropes and belayers. If people want to belay across paths they have to expect to see dogs. The laws pretty clear here. Dogs don’t need to be leashes on trails in many areas.

would I take my dog climbing? No. I used to take my collie bouldering in quiet areas but climbing is no fun for a dog in my experience.

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asteclaru 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Roadrunner6:

First of all, I never said that I can't belay if there are dogs around. However, it is considerably harder to do so while also fending off dogs.

Second of all, in the UK, from the law's point of view, the dog owner is responsible and liable for their dog's action, whether they are on a lead or not, whether the area you are in requires the dog to be on a lead or not.

Up to 6 months in prison if 'your dog is dangerously out of control'. What does if 'your dog is dangerously out of control' mean, I hear you ask?

Well, 'your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:

- injures someone

- makes someone worried that it might injure them'

No mention of lead of any kind.

You can also get up to 5 years in prison if the dog actually injures someone. 

I'd like to see your defence approach stand in court.

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Roadrunner6 26 Nov 2019
In reply to RB1:

It’s interesting re the parasite. I bag up on paths but if he does his business away I might not see it. 

so what do we do about activities with environmental impacts?

if you look at a crap exploited for climbing and one that isn’t it is pretty well documented there is a significant environmental cost to climbing. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5540606/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020402072635.htm

As I’ve become more environmentally aware I race less further away. As a runner I’d do 24 hr round trips for a race but I can no longer justify flights just for personal enjoyment.

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Roadrunner6 26 Nov 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

You’ve made a few leaps there.. 

“makes someone worried that it might injure them'

just a dog running past them doesn’t count though.. I’d like to see you test that in court. I’m all in favor of jail sentences for owners of dangerous dogs. Sadly the general approach is to focus on dogs and not the owners.

Post edited at 21:58
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asteclaru 26 Nov 2019
In reply to Roadrunner6:

Did I say I've got a problem with dogs 'running past me'? I didn't and I don't. 

This is what you said:

'Because the law often/sometimes doesn’t require on dog on a leash. 

if it doesn’t, the dog will not be on a leash. [...] The laws pretty clear here. Dogs don’t need to be leashes on trails in many areas.'

That's not entirely true. A trail or area not requiring your dog be on a lead doesn't absolve you of your responsibility over your dog's actions. As long as you're in public space, your dog must be under your control. And I've already said what is considered 'out of control'.

And your argument about 'working dogs not on leashes' is, well, bollox, since working dogs will likely be on the farmer's land (i.e. not public space).

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Roadrunner6 27 Nov 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

> Did I say I've got a problem with dogs 'running past me'? I didn't and I don't. 

> This is what you said:

> 'Because the law often/sometimes doesn’t require on dog on a leash. 

> if it doesn’t, the dog will not be on a leash. [...] The laws pretty clear here. Dogs don’t need to be leashes on trails in many areas.'

> That's not entirely true. A trail or area not requiring your dog be on a lead doesn't absolve you of your responsibility over your dog's actions. As long as you're in public space, your dog must be under your control. And I've already said what is considered 'out of control'.

no, you said you feeling threatened was enough.

> And your argument about 'working dogs not on leashes' is, well, bollox, since working dogs will likely be on the farmer's land (i.e. not public space).

That’s bolloxs. Plenty of sheep dogs work mountainsides. 

Anyway.. night love.. x

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asteclaru 27 Nov 2019
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> no, you said you feeling threatened was enough.

> Anyway.. night love.. x

I've never seen someone so deliberately obtuse. I don't even know why I keep getting involved on threads on UKC - there's guaranteed to be some boomer unwilling to accept that the world doesn't revolve around them and that other people have rights too.

But, since I've already engaged you: can you bloody read?

Yes, someone feeling threatened is enough for your dog to be considered out of control. It's not me who says that, it's the bloody UK government:

https://www.gov.uk/control-dog-public

Go argue with them if you want to argue about what is considered out of control.

Does your dog running past other people make anyone feel threatened? Most likely not. But 'dog running past' can easily turn into 'dog lunges at fellow outdoor person', in which case, yes, they might feel threatened, so, according to the definition, your dog would be considered out of control.

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drconline 27 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

Wow this has all gotten quite personal.

I was just going to make two wee general points:

At the moment we avoid taking our young dog to Crags as its not fair on the dog or on us/other crag users. From my experience, If you have a puppy (under 18 months) don't even think about taking them to a Crag. Just not developmentally ready for the discipline of sitting still waiting around for you.

Also for any dog, as the saying goes 'A good dog is a tired dog'. If you want your dog to settle at the crag, take it for a L O N G walk around the hill first before you arrive. that will make a big difference. This may require patience from you if you are itching to get going, but will pay off in the long run.

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Mike_d78 27 Nov 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

Seriously you think that a court would consider a dog to be out of control just if you thought it might injure you? What would make you think it would injure you? The dog sat down but giving you an evil eye? Perhaps if it penned you a threatening letter, whilst off lead?

I'm pretty sure the dog would need to be giving off at the very minimum threatening vibes.....

Funny!

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Hooo 27 Nov 2019
In reply to Iamgregp:

> Yeah I can imagine that must be really shit.  I think as a dog owner it's useful to be reminded of this, maybe picture our furry friend as a giant wasp, or whatever it is we're scared of and see how we would feel about that.

I don't know why you got dislikes for this, I think it's exactly right. I'm not sure how we managed to disagree earlier, since we seem to have the same opinion. I'll put it down to poor communication on my part.

To spell it out again: If responsible dog owners could visualise that their lovely dog appears to some people as a scary threat (even if this is unjustified), and act accordingly, then we could all get along fine.

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asteclaru 27 Nov 2019
In reply to Mike_d78:

Did you bother reading the link I have provided?

I doubt anyone in their right mind would feel threatened if a dog is just chilling (even if 'they're giving you an evil eye'). Please point to where I've said anything along those lines. You won't be able to because this has never been the argument I am making.

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Iamgregp 27 Nov 2019
In reply to Hooo:

No, I don't know why I got the dislikes either, perhaps some people just don't like me?  Or love wasps?

I was going to suggest the scary threat for me would be "responsibility" but thought it was a bit of a difficult mental image so went for wasps.  I don't really mind wasps, I mean they're dicks, but I'm not scared of them.

I'll hold my hands up to communicating poorly too, think I was probably in a bad mood when I first got involved on this thread and was a bit fiery in my responses so apologies for that.

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The Fox 27 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

so out of curiosity, amongst both the dog owners who take them to crags, and the people who have some degree of reservations about dogs at the crag, is there anyone that feels this post has changed their opinion?

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Tim Davies 28 Nov 2019
In reply to The Fox:

Nope, just an overly long statement of the blindingly obvious. 

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DubyaJamesDubya 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Tim Davies:

> Nope, just an overly long statement of the blindingly obvious. 

If only the blindingly obvious was obvious to all! 

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L AdHy 28 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

We have a dog and take him for walks up the hills, not climbing. If things gets tight on a path and busy, or any sniff of farm animals he goes on the lead, or if he is starting to get carried away he gets called back, but if relatively clear we let him run. Reading the above gives me food for thought on that approach. We do pick up the poo.

Having said that I have seen dogs out of control in pretty dangerous situations, thankfully not often. I was taken out by one recently though up Ben A'an on a very busy day, got put on my back crossing the stepping stones just below the top by a whippet/greyhound/cross thing that took out my leg and spun me around and onto my back. Very lucky not to hit the back of my head landing backwards, just got a muddy hood as it was off the stone. My partner went up to speak to the owner as I was pretty winded and shaken up by it. He didn't even apologise, though he did ask her if I was alright. We had seen them at the top earlier and the hound was looking decidedly unhappy with being up there, lots of whining and some barking while they were sat sheltering. You would think that would be enough to alert the owner things weren't right. Don't know if it slipped it's collar or he let it run, either way not a good result.

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Pefa 28 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Articles:

Why do people want to remove themselves from nature even when they are out in nature? Dogs are apart of nature so unless they are worrying wild or farm animals then leave them alone and let they wander about, have a fight, do a shit, steal peoples grub, it's your own fault if you don't put it somewhere a dog can't reach it.

It's probably because the outdoors in the  man-made sterile UK is so devoid of wild animals that we insist on even domesticated ones being an inconvenience when confronted by one in rural settings and god forbid they behave in a natural way. Dogs are an absolute pleasure OK you want to get a route done and it keeps coming back for you to throw a stick or want a clap but tell it to go away then ignore and it will get the message. And if you are scared of them then tell the owner or if you are an owner check first with everyone as per the article. I think we want to control everything a little bit too much.What about bees, wasps, spiders, flys, seagulls, lizards, mice, snakes? you get all these at crags so how do you stop them if you don't like them? 

Imagine climbing some crag in Africa and complaining to the authorities about getting the crocodiles, lions or hyenas removed from there as it's spoiling your climbing concentration and your worried they may steal your chits. 

Good article btw

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Tom V 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Pefa:

Dogs as we know and treat them aren't a part of nature, any more than guinea pigs or goldfish are.

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Hooo 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Pefa:

You're the sort of person that gives dog owners a bad name.

There's nothing natural about pet dogs. They have been created by humans by centuries of breeding. It's only because of that breeding and training that people will have dogs with them at all. Can you imagine meeting a wild carnivore the size of a dog in the wild? I'd be crapping myself, with good reason, and would get well away from it. In the UK it's extremely rare to be threatened by wildlife, but it works the other way round - I keep my distance from animals and birds so that I don't threaten them. If you're really concerned about nature, you need to keep dogs under control so that they don't disturb the natural inhabitants of the crag.

Post edited at 08:02
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allarms 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Hooo:

> You're the sort of person that gives dog owners a bad name.

Get a grip. 

> If you're really concerned about nature, you need to keep dogs under control so that they don't disturb the natural inhabitants of the crag.

Are you trying to include climbers as natural inhabitants of the crag? I really hope not.

To the people suggesting dogs need to be on a lead at all times:

Many dogs need to be off their leads so they can properly run, sniff and socialise. Where would you suggest people are allowed to do this with their dogs?

Just because some of the contributors to this thread are utterly miserable does not mean my dog needs to be too. 

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Tom V 29 Nov 2019
In reply to allarms:

> Many dogs need to be off their leads so they can properly run, sniff and socialise. Where would you suggest people are allowed to do this with their dogs?

Somewhere where they will present the absolute minimum of risk and inconvenience to other people.

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ianstevens 29 Nov 2019
In reply to Tom V:

> Somewhere where they will present the absolute minimum of risk and inconvenience to other people.

i.e. not the crag

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Hooo 29 Nov 2019
In reply to allarms:

> Get a grip. 

I have a grip. I've been trying to be reasonable and strike a compromise between dog lovers and haters. Unfortunately there appear to be a significant number of people who own dogs and don't give a shit about anyone who doesn't.

> Are you trying to include climbers as natural inhabitants of the crag? I really hope not.

No. By natural inhabitants I meant the wild animals that live there. I thought that was obvious.

> To the people suggesting dogs need to be on a lead at all times:

> Many dogs need to be off their leads so they can properly run, sniff and socialise. Where would you suggest people are allowed to do this with their dogs?

Somewhere where they won't bother anyone. If you can't find somewhere you can do this, then you shouldn't have a dog like that. Get a dog that's appropriate for your lifestyle and location.

> Just because some of the contributors to this thread are utterly miserable does not mean my dog needs to be too. 

What you mean is, your dog is far more important than anyone who doesn't like dogs. So they can just f*ck off if they don't like it. Yeah, we get the message from you and Pefa. There's​ no point in arguing with people like you, but I am going to keep trying to be reasonable with the decent dog owners.

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Phil Swainson 13:29 Mon
In reply to Hooo:

People who don't want dogs around them (not necessarily "dog haters") should definitely be considered, but there was not a word in the article, and not many comments, about the effect of dogs on wildlife.  Given the pressures on birds and mammals, any avoidable disturbance is wrong, and in the context of ground nesting forest, and especially upland birds, could be unlawful.  I get quiteupset reading about people on social media who have managed to lose their dog in the Cairngorms for example.  And not about the dogs. What is a hungry canine going to eat.  Ptarmigan or dotterel eggs or chicks.  We had a free running canine kill a capercaillie last spring.  Have not heard of a prosecution yet.  The "close control" suggested in Scottish Outdoor code should be altered to "on a lead".

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subtle 21:41 Mon
In reply to Phil Swainson:

> People who don't want dogs around them (not necessarily "dog haters") should definitely be considered, but there was not a word in the article, and not many comments, about the effect of dogs on wildlife.  Given the pressures on birds and mammals, any avoidable disturbance is wrong, and in the context of ground nesting forest, and especially upland birds, could be unlawful.  I get quiteupset reading about people on social media who have managed to lose their dog in the Cairngorms for example.  And not about the dogs. What is a hungry canine going to eat.  Ptarmigan or dotterel eggs or chicks.  We had a free running canine kill a capercaillie last spring.  Have not heard of a prosecution yet.  The "close control" suggested in Scottish Outdoor code should be altered to "on a lead".

Hurrah for your post, well put!

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profitofdoom 21:58 Mon
In reply to UKC Articles:

I do not like dogs AT ALL

However I defend the right of dog owners to bring them anywhere they like.... as long as they stay clear of me. Too many dogs have run right up to me, barking their heads off, and - twice - slobbering all over my trousers (once I had to have them cleaned). Barking very near me or slobbering on me I do NOT ACCEPT

Also why do dog owners almost always say (when the dog runs up to me barking) "Oh he / she is just happy today, and he / she wouldn't hurt a fly"??????? I could not care less how happy your dog is today, or hear your estimate of how likely they are to hurt me. JUST KEEP THEM AWAY FROM ME PLEASE

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David Slater 22:14 Mon
In reply to UKC Articles:

As an ex-dog owner who absolutely loved taking his 2 jack russells to the crag, well done with this article, I agree wholeheartedly and feel your love for your companion.  I used to love my dogs meeting and greeting me at the top of a route.  They always, somehow, found their way to where I would reappear!

I dislike people who crap at crags, create other waste products such as disgusting obnoxious smoke, and top-rope loudly without giving a shit that others are waiting to do "their" route.

When these people leave the crag, maybe dog owners will take more care not to upset others.  But until humans stop being disgusting, I hope all dog owners take no notice of the hypocricy being spewed on this thread by dog haters.

Post edited at 22:18
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Hooo 11:36 Tue
In reply to David Slater:

You have to be trolling? No one could genuinely get so much wrong in one post.

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Bulls Crack 12:25 Tue
In reply to UKC Articles:

Plenty of good advice but  letting your dog out of sight? No That is neither close or effective control. 

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