BY LEAH MCFARLAND
There has been an increase in irresponsible dog walking on DNRT trails over the last few months, so I thought I would take the time to remind my fellow dog owners and walkers that they are legally responsible for their dog’s behavior and actions while on DNRT reserves. Dogs must be under your control at all times, either by leash or voice command. Only dogs trained in recall are allowed off leash and they must respond to commands. If you cannot control your dog off-leash, then it shouldn’t be off-leash in the first place!
This rule may seem unnecessary, however, this rule was created to keep all dogs and trail users safe! Imagine if your off-leash dog runs up to another hiker and their dog. The other hiker knows that their dog is reactive to other canines, so chooses to keep their dog on a leash. You try to recall your dog, but it does not listen to you and continues to bother the other leashed dog. A fight breaks out and both dogs get injured. You are the once responsible for paying both vet bills, because you are the one responsible for your dog’s behaviors and actions. This scenario has occurred on DNRT trails too many times.
DNRT reserves are privately owned and are open to the public. We have the right to create rules to ensure our trail users are safe. Please follow all posted rules so everyone can enjoy the trails. Thank you, from your fellow dog owner and DNRT Land Steward!