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Old 02-04-2021, 10:18 PM   #1
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National parks and dogs

Seems like most national parks have some draconian rules against pets, and I don't go camping anywhere without Waylon. I understand the park rules, and I know why they're in place.
So what are some creative ideas folks have employed to still enjoy places like Yellowstone, GTNP, and the Badlands with your dog?
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Old 02-04-2021, 11:36 PM   #2
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National parks and dogs

We have 2 dogs. Well, one dog and one puppy They love the airstream!

Unfortunately if everyone brought their dogs on national park hiking trails, to visitor centers, etc. inevitably people would get bit and get scared by the < 1% of dogs that are not trained and/or controlled by their owners. That's still ~1-in-100 dogs that would cause problems for normal and good people who just want to enjoy our parks in this simple example. With millions of park visitors each year that is a massive liability for the NPS, and people who are hiking don't want to be disturbed by a nuisance dog barking at them and nipping or biting them.

The good news is that dogs are generally allowed in NP campgrounds with a leash, or inside your trailer. If we go out and about for the day we leave the dogs in the trailer, with Air Con running (massive lithium bank is a wonderful thing when no hookups are available). So I guess our solution was to spend $$$ on a power system upgrade with the added benefit that we can allow for the dogs to stay in comfort for a few hours during the day while we are not there / out exploring the parks.

Bottom line if you want to hike and explore the outdoors with your dogs at your side national forests and BLM land are better places than national parks.

PS- of any of you are out and about in Colorado we will be camping in Moraine Campground, Rocky Mountain National Park this weekend... with the dogs!
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Old 02-04-2021, 11:49 PM   #3
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National parks and dogs

We travel with four smallish dogs. They think the Airstream is THEIR big silver doghouse. If they get off leash in unfamiliar territory they run straight back to the Airstream, no matter where it is.

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Cash and Karey. Brothers totally bonded to each other.

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Teddy. Big goof. The very tolerant Alpha male of the dog pack. He’s in charge, period.

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Vader. Stealth Pomeranian/chihuahua mix (The dirt in the flower pot was much warmer to stand on than the cold concrete patio!)

These crazy pups are all rescues. They all enjoy traveling.
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Old 02-05-2021, 03:14 AM   #4
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Our dog loves the truck, so if it's cool enough we sometimes crack the window and both of us go on short 15-20 minute hikes. Otherwise we take turns on short hikes while the other walks the dog or just hangs out. In Denali we each took a day to go on the bus ride from Teklanika River Campground to Eielson Visitor Center while the other did things around the trailer. We don't leave him alone in the trailer for any length of time.
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Old 02-05-2021, 04:51 AM   #5
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I can't speak much for the NP's out west, The only one I've been to is Yellowstone, and I just know it can be a dangerous place. The free roaming wildlife could pose a serious problem with pets even if folks had them on leashes out on trails, and at the attractions, etc. Not to mention the many dangerous thermal areas. All it would take would be one slip or snatching a leash out of one's hand and you would have instant par-boiled pooch.
All this said, I would not take my dog out in these areas even if it was allowed.
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Old 02-05-2021, 05:11 AM   #6
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Over the years I've just learned to avoid National Parks. I have no issues with rules and I strictly follow them. As long as I know what I can and can't do, theoretically, I'm good and can make a plan that works with the rules. The problem I ran into, and it was a big problem, are the rangers who make their own rules that don't match the posted rules. In Yellowstone I had a particularly obnoxious ranger who insisted I had to leave the park and walk my dog outside the park, in spite of what the written rules said. It really put a damper on my stay as I surely didn't want someone of his dog hating ilk impounding my dog. I ran into the same type at Glacier, different issue, same result. After that I pretty much stuck to state parks and national forest type areas.
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Old 02-05-2021, 06:25 AM   #7
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We just keep the dog on a leash in the NP as the rules often indicate.
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Old 02-05-2021, 07:26 AM   #8
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We camp with our dog. She’s a Great Dane. I hate the fact that we can’t take her on trails in national parks, but rules are rules. We keep her on a long cable leash in campgrounds, and we tend to camp in more state parks or private campgrounds where dogs are allowed.
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Old 02-05-2021, 07:27 AM   #9
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Dog poos are not friendly to water.
Either is any of mother natures critter poo...WTP?
We don't, and our dog does and we dispose of it.👍

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Old 02-05-2021, 07:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by wulfraat View Post
PS- of any of you are out and about in Colorado we will be camping in Moraine Campground, Rocky Mountain National Park this weekend... with the dogs!
That sounds great - I wish we could join you. Our Airstream is in winter hibernation at the storage facility down in Denver until late April.
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Old 02-05-2021, 07:42 AM   #11
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We were enjoying a hike in Utah when we surprised a pygmy rattlesnake sunning on the trail. It slithered under an overhang and watched us as we warily stepped around it. On the way back, we warned a couple with an adorable corgi pup about the hazard - they seemed totally unconcerned. I hope that ended well.
Robert Cross, yes, there is poo and there is POO. Research why there are no longer any wolves on Isle Royale. I’ll give you a hint - it involves one scofflaw hiker with a parvovirus infected dog.
I love dogs, and I love considerate dog owners even more. Somebody once told me that a dog is like having a kid that never grows up. There are joys, and there are responsibilities and sacrifices.
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Old 02-05-2021, 09:11 AM   #12
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Hi

Indeed dogs *are* allowed in most National Park campgrounds. The gotcha is that things like Bison also are allowed in the same campgrounds. When the Bison decide that *your* campsite looks like the one to bed down it, taking the dogs for their evening / morning walk .... not so much. I have data on this ...

Indeed, even inside the truck, dogs and large wildlife can be a challenge. When the dog in the back seat decides to get excited about the Bison wandering past, things can get a bit tense. Nothing bad came of it in our case, but I can see things going a bit sideways ....

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Old 02-05-2021, 09:14 AM   #13
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As a former ranger in the NPS (Yosemite) and a dog owner I don’t take my dogs to National Parks. There are many issues and potential problems, for dogs, wildlife, and other park visitors.
We much prefer BLM and National Forests.
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Old 02-05-2021, 09:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drmox View Post
Seems like most national parks have some draconian rules against pets, and I don't go camping anywhere without Waylon. I understand the park rules, and I know why they're in place.
So what are some creative ideas folks have employed to still enjoy places like Yellowstone, GTNP, and the Badlands with your dog?
We also travel with Heidi. She is our 7 year old Rottweiler and I understand your pain. We have never had a major issue with rules but we only go camping where they allow that breed. It's not usually a problem except during the busy season when options are fewer. It's sad that most pets are penalized for the un-responsible owners who don't train their pets to behave.

"There are no bad dogs. Only bad owners."

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Old 02-05-2021, 09:26 AM   #15
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We just keep the dog on a leash in the NP as the rules often indicate.
Yes but for most of the trails in NP other than the short jaunts around the visitor center, not even leashed dogs are allowed. I have learned to find out the specifics well ahead of time and just avoid the np unless there is stuff to explore where dogs are welcome. I find that state parks are always more accommodating and at least out west, they kept us busy.
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Old 02-05-2021, 09:33 AM   #16
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State Parks often allow dogs on trails and campgrounds. And contain just as many jewels as the National Parks.
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Old 02-05-2021, 09:56 AM   #17
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I once thought that you couldn't walk your dog on any trails in the national parks. I have come to find that some do have designated trails where you can take a leashed pup. When I go to the visitor center I ask if there are trails where I can take the dog and have been pleased with the results. Otherwise, a few walks through the campground seem to keep the pup happy.
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Old 02-05-2021, 09:59 AM   #18
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Several years ago, when I worked in management at Mt Rainier NP, Ihad a list of dog sitters/walkers in several of the surrounding towns near the park such as Ashford and Packwood. Check with the locals or Bark.com.
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Old 02-05-2021, 10:46 AM   #19
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My observation is that few dog owners know (or care) that the dogs they leave behind in the trailer might bark for hours unattended. I think that you should not bring pets unless you can attend to them. Given that few can realistically do that, then...

I think traveling with pets is like traveling with small, sometimes ill-behaved children. There are some places you just should not go.
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Old 02-05-2021, 11:18 AM   #20
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You've put up two great discussion topics. We get our first AS in June and I've been reading to learn!

Thank you for sparking things up!!
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