Crag Culture

photo by @krisugarriza

photo by @krisugarriza

hey, hi, hello, yes, this is dog.

i go with my best friend most everywhere, whether it's to the park where i'm forced to make friends, or to the crag where hikers and other climbers make friends with me! 

Often times, outdoors enthusiasts will come up and pet me...without asking my best friend first. I get it, I'm cute and adorable, I mean, I can't blame them, but I provide a service to my human. When I'm working, I'm working, getting attention like ear scratches gives me the impression that I'm off duty. it's not only always the humans either, sometimes those stay-at-home-dogs don't really get it either.

A few things to remember when you see a crag dog:

  • Ask to pet someone's pup. 
    • Not all doggo's on duty wear vests, and the puppers who are not working dogs aren't always friendly. Not that they're bad boys, but going from the safe confines of a home to the open outdoors can be overwhelming. So, please, let a trusted puppy parent be the one to introduce you to a crag dog.
  • Don't give them people food.
    • Some furry friends have sensitive tummies, and not all food for you is good for us. Not to mention, you may spoil our appetite...for ever. Some parent's are very strict on their dog's diets to prevent bad habits like begging, jumping, vocal aggression.
  • ask if it's ok for your own pet to meet the new dog at the crag
    • just the same as it's new territory for you to meet a new pet, it's even scarier to meet another dog. we're your protector, we understand our group as our pack, and other dogs are the guardians of other packs. dog's are loyal, and we take down other threats before they can take you out, no matter what. 

Also, a few things to remember when bringing your loved one with you:

  • Keep your babe on a leash.
    • This isn't because you're dog may wander or is aggressive, unless your dog does wander or is aggressive, this is in case other dogs are or if wild animals attack your little love bug. It's much easier to break up a fight, defense or offense, or to wrestle your dog free from a predator if you are attached. You never know what could be a trigger for aggression or even fear, and fight or flight is real.
  • Don't leave waste baggies on the trail.
    • some doggy bags are biodegradable, and that's great for the environment, but there are dog bins at the end of trails for a reason. like, think about it. why would you bother to bag it if its going to disintegrate and leave poo out anyway? let's skip around all the logical reasoning of why you should pick up your dog's waste and get to the point, leaving it is trashy and disrespectful to not only the other hikers and climbers, but to the trail itself. don't be rude, pick up the poop.
  • Please check rules and regulations of parks and camp grounds!
    • National parks do not allow pets, some are very strict even with service animals like myself. while other places will have doggy stations with potty bags and water spouts throughout the park. call a ranger station, or check online to see what policies and procedures you need to follow to keep your pup happy and safe! 

i know some of this is obvious, but a lot of it still happens. so, next time you and your pooch head out to the crag, bring water, bring treats, and bring common sense...if not for yourself, then for those who don't understand the world of four legs!



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stay pawsitive.


KariDane Matlock