Macintosh Run Dog Etiquettes

Is Macintosh Run Dog leashed or unleashed trail system? How to react if dog isn’t friendly? What to do if dog owner doesn’t pickup there dogs :poop:.

Dog rules are set by the land owners, so it’s a little bit complicated.

HRM bylaw is that dogs are to be leashed in parks (unless it is a designated leash free zone, which McIntosh Run regional park currently is not). This covers all the land from Clark Kent up to Flat Lake.

Duck N Run and West Pine are on Crown land, and Dept Lands and Forests only rule is that dogs must be “under control”.

I’ve heard that HRM is planning to put up signage soon.


Long Lake all over again. Ugh to poopy tires.

Encounter dogs on the trail more often than riders I would say, have only had a couple incidences of Cerberus-like dogs where I was wondering if I was about to get bit. Most people have seemingly been quick to get their dogs off the trail before I even see them (thanks to my rattley drivetrain?).
I encountered one group whose dog was a fair bit ahead of them, they said just yell “trail” at her and she will get out of your way, thought that was cool but the dog wasn’t on the trail anyway when I passed.

The dog poop one is the worst. As an owner, I’m sure I’ve missed a poop along the way accidentally. I also though flick every poop I see off the trail my dogs or not because, trail karma.

I used to be a full time dog runner (hence the name haha, not just a hobby - it was my gig back in the day) and we’d take 12-20 dogs daily (with staff in multiple runs) to the trails. This was years ago now, subdivision didn’t go much past Katrina & the beginning of Mica. Now I usually only take all 3 of my own during the work week when it’s not as busy - my dogs are fine, but it feels like an over saturation thing to me so I’m cautious. Mine will say hi and then are good to keep going (for racing they’re trained with commands to keep moving on the trail and ignore what’s a round so they’re fairly good). I’m also quick to communicate with others when we meet them.

Want to elaborate on your “what to do if a dog isn’t friendly?” question? Are you asking about how to deal with the owners or how to keep yourself safe or your dog safe?

Thanks for clarifying those differences! I didn’t realize the entire “front” of the system was supposed to be on leash now*. Does MRWA hope to keep the rules for dogs as they are or is there a chance it might be designated off leash? I know this is a potential double edge sword…

*I realize it maybe always technically was.

I’ve had a few encounters with dogs this year and unfortunately on one occasion had an 85lb Samoyed decide to chomp down on my leg.

Usually if a dog is off lead and acting aggressive (only happened twice in the last couple of years) I’ve had good luck getting off the bike and putting it between myself and the dog. Usually the owner can get a leash on it or recall it back before it comes to that though.

Any suggestions that might be better @Sarah?


Oh no. That really sucks. I’ve been bitten a few times too - it’s never a nice situation. (What really sucks is dogs almost never go from zero to bite so there was probably a bunch of missed signs of stress and fear that the owners missed or ignored before this happened. Almost all bites are preventable if we’re paying attention to what dogs are communicating.)

It sounds like you’re doing things right. If you’re being attacked then by all means, use the bike to your advantage - That’s what I would do. In general though because bikes can be scary to dogs I’d try to “hide” the bike behind me, put it down. Move slowly and calmly if you need to move but ideally try to just be still on the side of the trail. Don’t yell (I know that’s often instinct if we’re scared) or make noises that sound angry or aggressive.

It’s a really unfortunate thing that people who don’t bike themselves usually don’t think to counter-condition or introduce their puppies to bikes (if they do at all) before they go through their 2nd fear period (which for most breeds happens after their bodies are ok to take on big runs or hikes like they’d get at a place like McRun) so the dogs are legitimately fearful of bikes.

I make a point to take to everyone we bump into on the trail when the dogs are with me. For one - I call out to whoever they are exactly how the dogs are going to respond and to ensure they’re comfortable with the situation.

It’s a-ok to ask someone to leash up their dog if you’d feel better with them passing on leash. I will say though, leashes can be a cluster-f*ck situation creator in spaces with some on & some off leash. More dogs have issue on leash than off leash so a nothing burger of a situation can escalate.

IDK if that’s helpful or just a bunch of useless knowledge vomit but I’m always happy to toss around ideas to problem solve help dogs & humans get along better on trails. :slight_smile:


Had couple encounters over the year with aggressive dogs, posing menace or in Attacked mode while biking, I usually stay calm and still, but yet almost got my calf legs bitten, good thing I got the bike in between too, but most of the time hard to position on off camber spot.
I’m adog person, I do know it’s Sometimes the owner if they’re anxious, dogs will kinda get out of control easily when not leashed.

Was gonna ask where to report an incident on aggressive dogs and owner who doesn’t get there dogs under control?

Thanks for all the inputs.


I’d start with 311, and call at the time it occurs.

It’s so unfortunate that some people just don’t have common sense, and bring aggressive or unsocialized dogs to public parks and trails. Makes it hard for everyone.