Julie Winkelman’s column had lots of great advice for people who want to bring their dogs along with them on the trails (Herald, March 21). Her descriptions of good “trail manners” for dogs and how to instill them was spot on.
But one thing she didn’t mention was that other than in the off-leash dog park on the north side of Smelter Mountain, all dogs must be on a leash on trails within Durango city limits. This includes not just paved trails such as the Animas River Trail, but also natural-surface trails such as those in Horse Gulch and on the Fort Lewis rim and Chapman Hill.
Though I generally like dogs, I don’t want your dog, however friendly, running at me, jumping on me or otherwise getting in my way while I’m trail running or mountain biking. And aggressive dogs who bark and make threatening postures toward other trail users shouldn’t be on the trail at all until they’ve been trained to play well with others.
By walking (or running or biking) with your dog on a leash, not only do you comply with the law, but you set a good example for others, you can see when you need to clean up after your dog and you and your dog will avoid conflict with other trail users and with wildlife.
The trails around town are a wonderful resource for all of us. Please use them gently and treat other trail users courteously, so we can all enjoy them.