Six Canine Trail Etiquette Tips

July 8, 2015

Dog Photo Contest Honorable Mention: Nathan, a rescued Great Dane, runs free on a Pacific Northwest beach with his buddy Jen Chantrill. Nathan and his human, Laura Scoccolo, are from Seattle. Photo by Sonja Bert


A hiking dog is a happy dog. Here are some etiquette tips to making sure everyone on the trail is happy with both you and your dog.

  1. Keep your dog with you and under control when hiking by keeping your dog in sight and within range of your commands.
  2. Avoid disturbing flora and fauna. Keep your dog on the trail as much as possible.
  3. Follow the Leave No Trace principles when cleaning up after your dog. Please carry out all dog waste or bury the waste 6 to 8 inches deep and disguise the spot with duff or rocks. Be sure the hole is at least 200 feet from any water source.
  4. Give hikers without dogs the right of way. Greet them with a friendly hello to signal to your dog that a friendly person approaches.
  5. If you encounter a loose dog on the trail, put your own dog on a leash. Speak to both dogs in a friendly voice, allowing them to sniff each other. Continue walking with your dog and ignore the loose dog.
  6. Limit the total number of dogs in your hiking group to two, regardless of the number of humans. Two dogs can be controllable, but three or more loose dogs together can be intimidating to other hikers.


Mother Nature Network:
Leave No Trace: