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Opening up a separate thread for opinions, experiences, perspectives and random thoughts about dogs and outdoor adventure. I get the impression that at least one member of the forums has exceedingly strong opinions on the subject ...

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I have met a lot of great dogs backpacking outside of scouting.


I will say, Depends on the dog and the owner.


I have great dogs in camp grounds, the big lug just wanted petted and to enjoy the fire. And others peeing on my gear and trying to get my dinner. I have spent hours searching for a friends dog who took off after some unseen critter in the underbrush. How about the one that barked and growls at every sound all night long.......


Our BSA local camp policies don't allow them. As a Pack leader I will tell a Family no pets, which includes hamsters, gerbels, snakes, ferrets, rats, cats and bats, dogs too.


My scout families don't have Labradors or golden retrievers....several families have multiple pitbulls, great danes, mastiffs. There is a fair share of muts too.


So at a scout event....A big heck no....I don't care if your Pitbull is a teddybear or not, he isn't coming to our camp out. One dog bite isn't worth the risk or hassle.


Obviously the dog couldn't run free, so we are going to have a number of chained dogs in our camp, probably barking because of all the kids running around....Imagine the litter patrol after camp is tore down.....we got to have a poo patrol.


Dogs in the outdoors.....a big heck yes

Dogs in at a scout event......a big heck no

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I love my dog, and she goes family camping with us at camps which allow dogs (PA State parks DO NOT - don't get me started!), but I have never taken her on a scout trip. Even the best mannered dog mixed with a scout troop is a recipe for sorrow. Too many scouts who have never owned a dog and do not know how to treat one and too much opportunity for the dog to be mishandled or be surly. I would love to bring her, but I also respect that not everyone likes dogs.


That is the real problem with many dog owners that I see. They feel that "their" dog is special and no one would not want to be around "their" dog - it is all the others that are the problem. They then proceed to bring the dog to whatever banned activity there is, and problems result. We just had the Komen Race for the Cure (breast cancer) 5K walk, with 40,000 people (actual number). I must have seen 2 dozen dogs on the walk, even though the registration materials, race rules, and website clearly stated "No Dogs". Although most were well behaved, just staying out of the way of the leashes was a problem with 40K other people to avoid. So dog owners, do us all a favor - leave them at home unless specifically allowed to bring them.

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I am a dog lover and have had a number of Belgian and German Shepherds. I trust dogs but not their owners. I have taken them on family campouts and hikes but never, never on a scouting trip. Why:


1-If I am busy I can never 100% be certain my herding oriented dogs are not going to chase after some running or teasing boys. I will be busy working at the campout.

2-We have had some folks bring their dogs -- but probably 40% of our families have dogs do I want 30-40 dogs running around.

3-A lot of families are irresponsible enough with their boys I suspect that a number of them would let good ol rover run free. And yeah how many dogs need to poop and not get picked up to become a hassle.

4-I don't even want to get into liability issues. Here in Florida I am completely uncovered for dog bites with my homeowners.


That said I would love if every Patrol had their own Dog.

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I've seen dogs get defensive around too many Cubs. I've had to take care of messes that the owners ignore. I have smelt tents that were urinated on.



Please keep your pets home when on scouting activities.

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We went to a BSA-approved camp site for Spring Family Camping. This camp site had a ranger living on site and he had two adorable dogs. He asked us if we would let the dog visit, and we said yes. Well the animals were adorable, BUT we had a number of children that were PETRIFIED of dogs. So you can imagine the results.


The poor darlings had to spend the rest of the weekend at the ranger's home. (the dogs, not the kids...although if it had been MY choice...)

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My brother takes his dog to scouting events. The dog is considered a therapy dog and is the troop's mascot. Brother has several youth in his troop with Aspergers, ADD, and other syndromes, who cope better with the dog around. The dog is well behaved/trained and on a leash/chain during events. There have been events where he has been asked to leave the dog home due to rules set forth by the event organizers/owners of where ever the event is held. In those cases, the youth in question have not attended. And, on a couple of those occasions I've been the one to notify him about this.


On the other hand, he's been allowed to take the dog with his troop to summer camp (next council over) because he's a therapy dog.


Dog in question is a mutt and a Hurricane Katrina victim/survivor. At scouting events, when allowed, he has a troop neckerchief on.


Like others have said, it depends on the dog.

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Let me back up a little b/c I may sound harsh. If the dog is trained for a purpose, i.e. seeing eye dog, search and rescue, therapy, etc. No problem. Heck I remember seeing one of my eagles at a council camporee with his dog doing an exhibition and stayed overnite. They were part of a search and rescue group.


But bringing the family pet is a different story.

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I have a basset/ blue tick mix. He was a stray that we adopted.


He is the most loving dog ever who has never met a strabnger in his life.


EVERYBODY is his friend from the very first second he sees them.


But he likes to show how friendly he is by barking, howling, and whining while jumping all over you...and so far, he doesn't do the excited peeing thing yet.


So, 40 scouts who think dogs are great, a dog who thinks everybody is great and always wants to play, scouts who always want to play..and barking and howling.


Nah, not my idea of a good camping trip.


That,s not even considering how the dog would never go to sleep, want to sniff everybody's tent...hopefully not "mark" everybody's tent.. scouts who are terrified of dogs who like to jump and put his front paws on you ( my fault, I rub his head and ears this way) or his barking at any strange noise at night.


A great lovable "people dog" isn't even a good idea.


And yeah, service or terapy dogs are an entirely differnt matter.


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Have to agree w Eagle92


Trained Service Dogs fine, they usually are used to large groups of people. Can't really keep em out anyway.


I had a Sheppard/Greyhound mix. Beautiful dog, loved everyone, was a "Gamma Dog" submissive to a hamster if need be. Yet she was big and if she saw a squirrel might lunge and knock a kid over. Also some kids were just terrified.


I would have loved to have brought my dog to the Pack campouts but it just seemed like too much of a complication. If I was in a real small unit I might feel different. The problem of other irresponsible owners remain.

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I took my dog on Pack campouts in knowing violation of the rules when I was just a dad/ADL. He was well behaved and an asset to the trips.


But when I got drafted into leadership I had to quit taking Max along, because of the example it set. If Leader JoeBob can bring his dog, why can't I?


On the other hand, I would not consider camping without my dog in Northern Wisconsin. When you can hear the wolves howling in the distance and there is bear scat on the trail in, I need my intruder alarm in camp!

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I am very much a dog person.

All three of my dogs are well trained. Two went away to a training camp to be trained as gun dogs, which some might think is silly as I don't shoot or hunt.

These two obey both verbal and hand commands and sometimes I think they know what to do long before I tell them.

We lost our dear Rory he developed a cancer and even after taking him to a hospital in Ohio the only kind thing to do in the end was to say goodbye.

Ollie our English Setter is a rescue dog. He is gun shy. But the main reason I sent him to camp was because he was very birdy, chasing birds and small animals. Once he got running he would ignore me.

The new Goldie Dudley is a wonderful dog who has a vocabulary of about 200 words.

Friday is a little dog that was living over the fields and would have nothing to do with me and Rory for about five weeks. Then one day when the painters were painting the outside of the house she came to supervise that was on a Thursday. The next day she moved in. She has never been on a leash other than to go to the vet and loves to catch field mice. She comes when called, sits. lays, stays when she feels like it and most nights can be found on my lap, with Ollie on the floor to my right and Dud on the floor to my left.

We walk about five miles almost everyday. We cut back when we had the big snows the winter before last.

Still I would never take them camping with me.

I don't like dogs in my cars.

I think dogs can be a very big distraction especially when there are boys are around.

I don't like people other than family members feeding my dogs. (Field mice are OK!)

The dogs are used to having very large fields to do their business in, I'd hate to go into my tent at night with dog poop on my boots.

They know now that if we ever get separated to go and wait for me on the front porch. That wouldn't be the case a long way from home.

While I feel sure that they would never hurt or harm anyone, I don't know what would happen if a group of kids were to tease them.


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"While I feel sure that they would never hurt or harm anyone, I don't know what would happen if a group of kids were to tease them."


Yeah, that's a great point. My dog is very friendly...never met a stranger so far.


But some kids don't know the difference between petting, pounding and abuse. My dog might love all the attention, but get real tired of the boy that is just in his face too much. 3 or 4 pokes and a pulled tail later... I have no idea what he might do.


Let him get caught in the middle when two or three scouts try to play tug o war over who gets to play with him and he just might decide people are not all that cool afterall.



That's not even considering the late nigh cry of "EWWWWWW!" if somebody steps in a dog "cookie" while alking to the bathroom! :o

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"That's not even considering the late nigh cry of "EWWWWWW!" if somebody steps in a dog "cookie" while alking to the bathroom! "

Not trying to hijack the thread.

But this reminds me of my Assistant Scout Leader/Quartermaster, back home in London.

Pete was a super nice guy who was very down to earth.

His wife thought she had class.

They lived in a very nice house in London in an area that became very trendy.

Pete's wife Ann, seemed to come up with a new project for Pete every year. One year it was a formal dinning room, one year it was building a bar-b-Que in the garden and one year it was redoing the bathroom.

The bathroom was completely redone and a bidet was added.

While The bidets are common in France they are uncommon in England.

The new bathroom had been done for about a year when I asked Pete, who was a short fairly chubby chap. "Hey Pete, have you ever used that bidet?"

He said, "Yes one night I was going for a pee and I stepped in some poop that the cat had done on the floor, so I washed my foot in it!".

Ann very quickly changed the subject.




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We've had families bring dogs on pack camping trips, and pretty much kept the dog around their tent. No real problem.


We've been to one of BSA bases where the head guy has a couple dogs that have their run of the camp. The kids love them - they are like camp mascots.


I generally agree with the above posters who don't allow dogs on the trips, but my own personal experience has been fine.

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