Places to Hike in Austin with a Leash Reactive Pup?

My youngest dog, Patience, (who is actually now 7, but she’s still the baby in my mind with two nearly 16 year olds as the other two parts of the canine triad), is a country dog through and through.  She was a feral puppy who grew up in a kennel/pen in a rural area for the first year of her life, and although she’s adjusted to the joys of being an indoor, city dog I can tell she loves the sights and scents of the outdoors.

This weekend I took her to the small park near my house to walk, and the sheer joy I saw as she pulled in front of me to investigate the grass and sniff the ground (Patience normally walks a little behind me, so Mom can run interference) really emphasized how much being in nature makes my crazy baby happy. I’d love to take her hiking before the weather gets too hot, but there’s a catch…Patience is leash reactive with other dogs, and I’m afraid that a lot of popular hiking locations that allow dogs will have off leash pups that will incite a problem with Little Crazy.

So Austin area folks, do you have a place to hike with your dogs that is less popular that might work for a dog who doesn’t necessarily want to make new friends while she’s on leash (ironically, Patience’s issues meeting new people have decreased when we’re outside of the house as long as I don’t allow them to grab at her)? I’d love to explore this with her while she’s still young enough to enjoy it, but I worry about irresponsible people who don’t get that DINO’s exist and are good dogs; they just need space.




About jlscaife

30 something year old animal rescuer, aspiring writer, and all around geek
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2 Responses to Places to Hike in Austin with a Leash Reactive Pup?

  1. Allison says:

    Hello. I have the same problem with my probably about four years old female German Shepherd. Loves all people but barks and pulls etc. on walks. She’s ok when everyone’s off leash but not interested in making friends, tealky. Likes her own space, mostly. I am so birebored and frustrated by not being able ti cimfirtably take her out on hikes etc. I can do it bit it’d not much fun. When she us in a keash she will react to other dogs in keash as well. What is a DINO? Have you had any luck with kicatuins? Thanks! Allison

    • jlscaife says:

      DINOS is short-hand for “Dogs In Need Of Space.” It can be a reactive dog, a sick dog, a dog in training, a working dog, or any dog that just doesn’t want or need other critters up in his or her space. What is a kicatuin?

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