With dog on the mountain

During the pandemic, the number of dog owners has increased drastically. To all new dog owners we say congratulations on a whole new life! There is a lot to keep track of as a dog owner, not least when you are in the mountains. Your dog is a family member and it is always fun with activities where the four-legged can participate. That the doggie should go to the mountains feels obvious, but even if it is not a human being as far as the eye can reach or the expanses feel endless, it is important that you as a dog owner take your responsibility and respect animals, nature and other people. No matter how kind or small your dog is, there are many people who are afraid of dogs.

Also adapt your trips according to the dog's age and ability, and take the opportunity to have fun together by training different elements or giving the dog a very special task on the walk.

Keep the dog tethered
During March 1 to August 20, your dog must be under extra close supervision in nature and prevented from running loose where there is game (section 16 of the law, 2007: 1150). Only extremely obedient dogs are allowed to walk loose, and they should then walk only a few meters away from you, as if they had an invisible leash. The purpose is to protect the wild animals during the sensitive time when they have cubs, but also to prevent the dog from harming or disturbing domestic animals. At other times during the year, the dog may go loose within sight, provided that you can prevent it from pursuing game. A stray dog in the wild may be restrained by a hunting right holder, if it cannot be captured, it risks being shot.

In all of Sweden's national parks, your dog must always be on a leash. It is forbidden to bring a dog that is not on a physical leash.

When you are in the mountains, there is also the reindeer husbandry law, which in some cases requires a leash requirement. In areas with reindeer husbandry, you should keep the dog on a leash throughout the year. It is important not to scare or walk too close to the reindeer.

As a dog owner, you have so-called "strict responsibility" for your dog. Ie. you can be held responsible for damage caused by the dog even if someone else is taking care of it. You are also responsible for knowing which laws and regulations apply.

Adapt the tour to the whole family
Just as you adapt activities to your children or grandmother, you need to consider the age or physical condition of your four-legged friend. Is the young dog old enough to walk for a whole day or to pull? Or is the dog old and tired and has trouble with the heat? Your faithful friend walks until you / the flock stops without understanding that it should rest. It is your responsibility to adapt the stages so that it is equally wonderful for both you and the dog. Fluid breaks are also important for both of you to avoid dehydration. A young dog that walks too far, pulls or carries too heavy can have problems with growth, joints and muscles. An old dog may already have defects, a bad heart or other "retirement problems" that you need to take into account. Be afraid of your friend!

Walking with your dog is a wonderful experience, but it is also time that can be used to train your contact. Give the dog small tasks. Maybe the dog carries his own food in a hoof bag? It does not have to be big things, a jump up on a rock means a reward, pretend to lose a mitten and ask the dog to search, run gossip training where the dog "talks" to you when you meet another dog, see a reindeer or come to a watercourses. Adapt the exercises to your dog's ability and interest. The more fun you engage your dog in, the more interesting you become for the dog and the better contact you get.

Pick up after your dog! If you have a dog, this is as much a responsibility to me as feeding the dog and cutting claws! Of course out in the mountains, you may not always need to pick up. But if the dog has placed a pile in the middle of the trail or in the ski track, at least take a stick and move it on the pile so that no poor person has to step on it. When you are in the village, you should ALWAYS pick up after your dog. What is hidden in snow comes out in the dew. Not funny! Always have dog poop bags in jacket pockets, trouser pockets, bags etc. maybe they will be used for other things? Garbage bag, wet swimwear, cloudberries, chanterelles…

And when we still talk about picking up…

Do not expect that there is a dass on the mountain. It's not just the dog you should pick up after… it's OK to go to the toilet in nature, as long as what you leave behind will not be an unpleasant surprise for someone else. Bring a small shovel. Walk far away from the trail, fire place, windbreak, lake or stream. Dig a pit, do what you have to do and then cover with soil. You always take paper and wet wipes with you and throw them away at home.

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