Hey, Can You Control Your Dogs on the Trail?

In op-ed for 'Outside,' Brian Metzler slams the presence of pups while he's running in nature
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2024 10:35 AM CDT
My Love for Dogs Doesn't Mean I Want to See Them on Trails
Stock photo of a very good boy that we hope wouldn't bother a soul, on the trails or otherwise.   (Getty Images/Gustavo Munoz Soriano)

How people handle rambunctious dogs has been in the news lately, but Brian Metzler has decided to handle his beef with an opinion piece in Outside Magazine. He acknowledges that he adores dogs—"all kinds of dogs"—but there's one place in particular he wishes he never saw them: on the trails, without a restraint. "There's nothing I loathe more than getting charged by a dog that's off leash while I'm out running," he writes. Metzler says such incidents can be "downright scary," though he notes that he doesn't blame the leash-free dogs themselves but their owners, who "don't seem to realize the magnitude of the problem." "Often I'll hear something like, 'It's OK! My dog is friendly. He won't bite,'" he writes.

His response: "Um, sure, but he has teeth and he's running at me with his mouth open like I have chunks of sirloin steak hanging from my hydration pack, so I'm not really sure I should believe you." There's reason for Metzler's wariness: He's been bitten five times by dogs, four of those times while he was trail-running. "I have scars to prove it, including one permanent scratch mark left from a Doberman's fang in awkwardly close proximity to my junk," he laments. Metzler says he doesn't usually confront the dog owner in question—especially since the one time he did, he was met with expletives by a woman who didn't like him telling her that her dog couldn't roam free. More from Metzler here, including the revenge of sorts he took on that profanity-spewing dog owner, whose dog "Chewy" seemed to enjoy the direction things took. (More dogs stories.)

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