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 Hiking and Backpacking with your Dog Links

Hiking and backpacking with your dog can be fun and exciting--or miserable--depending upon how much planning and preparation you have done. You can't just show up at a hiking spot and expect to be welcomed.

You need to know things like - in many states it is perfectly legal to shoot a dog merely for being in the same pasture as livestock, or for running after wildlife (game animals). Every state allows a landowner to shoot a dog found chasing livestock. Wait a minute i can hear you think - that is a horrible thing to say! Well - better to know about it, think about it, and plan around it, than to experience it! It is, unfortuantely, all too common for city folk to think that open fields mean freedom to disregard the obligation to keep our dogs from making the lives of others miserable. That includes livestock, farm animals and people who expect to be able to roam their homelands free from the unruly, excitable dogs unused to polite behavior in the new environment.

So make sure your recreation doesn't spoil other people's recreation. Before you go make sure you can control how and when your dog approaches people. Not everyone loves dogs and they should be able to enjoy the same space as you without having to deal with your dog. It doesn't matter that your dog is friendly. For many people merely being approached by a dog is frightening. Would you run up to a person and give them a big hug if you didn't know them? Would you expect that behavior would make a person uncomfortable? Well plenty of people never grew up around dogs, and it makes them uncomfortable to have dogs approach them. It shouldn't be too much to ask that your dog abide by normal social rules - ask for an invitation before getting in touching range. Asking before approaching isn't just a human thing, it is correct canine social behavior. Other dogs will also react badly if your dog fails to exchange signals and wait for permission before approaching. There is no reason your dog has to meet everyone and everything for both of you to have a good time.

And finally, before you go, make sure your dog is healthy enough and fit enough to enjoy your planned activities. Practice ahead of time, make some shorter excursions from home. The resources below will provide more details on specifically how to prepare, and how to find places that you can enjoy with your dog. If you are looking for a dog friendly vacation activity also check the camps and trips pages.

California Hike With Your Dog

Find places to hike with your dog in California

Hiking and Backpacking


Hike With Your Dog

A large collection of links and information to hiking in dog friendly parks.

Guide to Dog Packing

This page is a short description primarily on acclimating your dog to a pack. It is hosted by a commercial site offering not only dog packs, but also search and rescue gear as well as assistance dog equipment.

Companion Dog Patrol

The purpose of the Companion Dog Patrol is to contact other dog walkers and encourage them to follow all park rules. By educating and gaining rule compliance dog access to the park system is protected.

The Trailhead

A modest collection of articles and links

Canine Hiking Club of Arizona

A way to join in on group activities. Guidelines for trail manners.

Camping with Your Dog


Best Dog Friendly Trails in California

Tips and considerations when taking your dog on hiking and camping trips.

Del Val Regional Park

(San Francisco Bay Area, California)

East Bay Regional Parks Dog Access Policies

.Dogs are permitted in most of the East Bay Regional Parks (San Francisco Bay Area, California), and off leash walking is permitted in a large percentage of those. Most are not dog parks. By that I mean that dogs are permitted off leash but must maintain company manners - running up to strangers is rude, even if its intended to be friendly. Other park users should be able to enjoy the park as if your dog were not even present. Making the park uncomfortable for other users is a sure route to getting dogs banned.

Dog Lovers Companion Book

Dog Lover's Companion is one of the oldest sources of dog friendly travel.  The guidebook series called The Dog Lover's Companion describe and rate recreation areas, restaurants, lodgings, and diversions for dog lovers who want to travel with their dogs. It also tells which areas are leash-free.

Crystal Wood Lodge

A Southern Oregon pet friendly bed and breakfast near Crater Lake. Crystalwood Lodge — Crater Lake Oregon Pet Friendly Rental Lodging

San Jose/Bay Area Dog and Training Events

A list of dog related activities in the SF Bay Area with the focus on the South Bay Area.

DogPlay: Tips and Comments on Dog Parks

Some tips and comments on promoting dog parks. Also includes links to sites that may help you find a dog park near you. Most of those used to be on this page.


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Copyright © 1997-2003, Diane Blackman     Created: September 30, 1997     Updated: April 6, 2018    

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