Dog Owner Etiquette

Outdoor recreation is why so many people visit and live in the Mad RIver Valley.  We all need  to work together to make sure our trails, swim holes and roads are properly stewarded. Dog owners have a responsibility to manage their pet’s behavior and follow certain rules of etiquette. Follow these guidelines to ensure that you and your dog are being courteous community members.

  • Scoop your poop. Bring several bags on your walks to be sure you have enough. Many of the MRV’s trailheads have dog poop bags available. Picking up the poo isn’t enough, you also need to dispose of it properly.
  • Always leash your dog on walks. Not everyone is comfortable around dogs. Keep your dog close to you and stay alert to others. Your leash should be short enough to prevent your dog from contacting or jumping on passersby.
  • Be aware of other people’s feelings. If your dog does something to upset someone (jumping up, barking) apologize to them and take measures to prevent the situation from reoccurring.
  • Only let your dog greet a stranger if they ask. The same rule applies if you see another dog and owner approaching. Ask first and respect the other’s response.
  • Don’t play while on leash. If you meet another dog on a walk (and it’s alright with their owner) let the dogs sniff each other for five seconds and move on. Letting your dog play with another dog while on leash can result in injury and teach your dog that all dogs enjoy this kind of interaction, although many don’t.
  • Prevent barking. Practice getting your dog’s attention to easily redirect if he barks at people or other dogs. If you know your dog acts this way, only allow him in the yard when supervised.

Dogs on the Mad River Path

The Mad River Path loves dogs, and to protect our beloved furry friends, other trail users, landowners, and the trails themselves, it’s the Mad River Path’s policy (and the policy of our towns) to keep dogs leashed when on public trails and pathways. Seriously, please keep your dog leashed! Also be sure to pick up after your pup when nature calls—this is very important. To make it easy, we provide free dog poop bags at six trailheads. Believe it or not, unleashed dogs and dog poop left along trails are two of the most significant reasons why a trail is closed or is cited to why a landowner is not interested in hosting a new section of trail. Thanks for your help with keeping our trails open, safe, and clean!

Mad River Valley Recreation District Dog Policy

The Mad River Valley Recreation District contributes to the fabric of life in the Mad River Valley by supporting diverse recreation opportunities, including youth and adult sports leagues, trails and recreation facilities. They believe that dogs are beloved family members, but in order to keep them safe and respect other trail users, dogs need to be leashed when on trails. It’s the way to ensure that our generous landowners will keep sharing their land with the public. Picking up after your dog is also part of this equation, as well as the right thing to do for the land we all share. NOTE: Mad River Park, 236 Airport Rd., Waitsfield is owned and operated by the MRV Rec District and dogs are not allowed on these fields at any time. Thanks for making sure these frequently used fields stay clean and dog free.

Hiking the Long Trail with Dogs

Along with the rewards of hiking teh Long Trail with your dog comes an extra set of responsibilities. As nature lovers, we should all strive to be good hiking citizens and follow Leave No Trace principles. This also means helping our dogs do the same. Learn more about the ways the Leave No Trace principles can be directly applied to your pup:

The Mad River Riders is the MRV’s local biking organization. We strongly encourage riders to keep pets leashed and under control at all times and clean up after them, due to private property, farming, food production, user safety, water quality, habitat impacts, and other concerns. Dogs are not allowed on Marble Hill Farm trails. If challenges arise, our landowners reserve the right to further disallow pet access or close trails. Learn more about the Mad River Riders Trail Rules.

Friends of the Mad River

The Friends of the Mad River is dedicated to stewarding the Mad River Valley’s healthy land and clean water for our community and for future generations. Proper dog ettiquette is an important part of protecting the Mad River watershed. Please pick u after your dog and dispose of the waste properly. The Friends thank you for doing your part.

Mad River Valley Municipal Dog Links

Town of Fayston Dog Ordinance
Town of Fayston Dog Licenses

Town of Moretown Animal Control Ordinance
Town of Moretown Dog Licenses

Town of Waitsfield Dog Ordinance
Town of Waitsfield Dog Licenses

Town of Warren Attention Dog Owners
Town of Warren Dog Ordinance
Town of Warren Dog Licenses

State of Vermont Statutes Regarding Dogs

10 V.S.A. § 4748. Dogs pursuing deer or moose
20 V.S.A. Chapter 191: CONTROL GENERALLY
20 V.S.A. Chapter 194: WELFARE OF ANIMALS