Wind Rivers and dogs


Dec 8, 2014
I am planning a trip this summer up to the Wind Rivers. I have been going up there ever since I was a kid and we always took our dogs with us. It has been about 5-6 years since we have been up there though and I was just wondering if any of you would have any concerns in taking your dogs up there because of Grizzlies and Wolves in the area. I know bears have always been up there and I have seen them more than once up there, but with the growing ranges of wolves, is that of any concern when talking dogs up there? Just curious to everyone's thoughts.

I would have never really thought about this, but as my dad and I have been planning for the trip, this topic came up and I thought I would get everyone's opinions. Thank you!
I wouldn't hesitate to bring dogs that are good on the trail and respond well to commands. I've had people ask me what I was thinking bringing a dog up there though. People who we bumped into on the trail. I'm not sure exactly what the problem is. Maybe dogs chasing wildlife? I kind of doubt that would actually attract them somehow. Interested to hear other's opinions.
I've taken my dog Mya to the Wind Rivers, and will be taking her this Summer as well.
If we didn't take the dogs anytime we were in grizzly country, we wouldn't be camping much with them. We and they have bumped into both grizzles and black bears on more than a few occasions and if anything, we were happy to have them along. If you pay attention to the dogs, it is highly unlikely you will have a surprise encounter with a grizzly or black bear. They know the bears are there way before we usually see them. Also a very good early warning system in the tent during the night.

In short, take the dogs!
Thanks for the reply's. I have taken my dogs backpacking everywhere I have ever gone, and don't know it any different. I have never had any kind of problem and my dogs respond very well to commands. My only concern is that my dogs range quite a bit and they aren't always within sight. They do a lot of roaming off trail, but like I said, have never had any kind of concern and just wanted to other opinions on it.
Some dogs will give their last breath for you. Others will run a bear right back to you.

In some ways dogs are just like people. Some of them belong in remote wild places, some don't.
Some dogs will give their last breath for you. Others will run a bear right back to you.

In some ways dogs are just like people. Some of them belong in remote wild places, some don't.

I suppose that is true. For the last 23 years, all of ours have been border collies and they have all had the same reaction to bears: they take a position about 25' ahead of us between the bear and just hold their ground. The charge scenario hasn't been tested yet but my best guess is that they will be trying to get a piece of said bear. If nothing else, should give us an additional second or two to respond.
The only time I don't take my red heeler with me is when they are not allowed like in Coyote or Grand.

She loves to be outside and spends the time checking the trail ahead and then running back to make sure no one is sneaking up on us. The only time anyone has said anything was near the boundary to Rocky Mountain National Park.
In 2010 I was taking care of a buddy's Brindle English Mastiff for a month on the Ranch pictured in my Avatar. I was working fence a few miles from the complex the first or second of June and we got charged by a Black Bear Sow. When she closed in at about 15 yards I let Stella go and she chased the sow for about 200 yards and came back. Didn't need the bear spray that day but it was out with the safety off. I was very glad she was with me so John I entirely understand. Stella simply has no fear; both a good and bad thing.

I love letting dogs bounce around freely in Colorado and elsewhere, but here in Grizzly/Wolf country I don't hike with dogs that even begin to get out of sight and don't immediately respond to commands. Dogs for the most part are awesome and its obvious we've got a lot of awesome humans here too. Hike on!
Dogs are fine .................. unless they are barking OR they come into my camp or meet me on the trail unattended ......
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