Poll 48: Pooch patrol on the course

When you’re out for a day of discin’, many people have different thoughts on what the perfect day is like.

Some want to hang out with some pals and throw plastic. Some are solo and wanting to enjoy nature. Others are serious about doing different things to improve their games.

weekly_pollSome like to go out with their canine pals, giving a reason for both to get out for a nice walk.

Any way you look at it, people have different reasons for being out playing.

But if you’ve been to a tournament or a course where there’s a decent crowd, there’s a good chance you may have heard people’s thoughts about playing a round and having to deal with dogs.

There are some people who bring their dogs with them (though it’s not something you can do in a PDGA-sanctioned event), sometimes leashed, sometimes not.

And, with that, people have different feelings on whether or not these four-legged friends should be out there during rounds.

We’ll touch more on that in a moment. First, let’s go back to last week’s poll and see what people had to say.

We asked how many discs you planned to likely buy in 2013 and 205 of you answered.

An overwhelming majority — 97 votes (47 percent) — said they’d be buying between 6-15 discs in 2013.

In second place was 0-15, with 46 votes (22 percent), followed by 16-25 (34 votes/17 percent), 26-50 (11 votes/5 percent) and more than 100 (3 votes/2 percent).

Let’s now see what a few of you had to say.

Simpletwist said:

I said 6-15 and I’ve already purchased a few this year. Normally I’d say 20 or more but I’m having shoulder surgery so I’ll be out of the loop for most of the year, therefore I won’t be needing many in 2013. But look out 2014; I’ve got to make up for what I’m missing out on this year.

So you’ll be creeping up into those much bigger levels in 2014, eh?

Nikolas H says:

Just started getting into the collector side of it after playing for a year. Already hoping to pick up a few of the newly announced Discraft discs, Innova’s McPro Aviar and the bookstore by me has a few Innova first runs hiding away that I hope don’t get scooped up before I get to them. I voted 6-15. May be closer to the 15 end.

It seems like people who collect disc could easily jump up into the higher ranges when they start finding and accumulating discs, especially when just starting on the collecting side.

Ben said:

I said 6-15,and I hope I actually stick to that. My problem is that I know me, and I’ll probably go way beyond that. I really like getting new discs. There is just something cool about having a new weapon in the bag.

Very true, as long as the finances can handle the purchases!

Dave said:

Boy, I am hoping to keep it down to around a dozen this year. I’ve only been playing a year and 1/2, and I already have an embarrassing number of discs. I pretty much went crazy last year, and I have WAY more than I need.

That said, I went right out and bought a Flywood based on the article on this blog, so maybe I just don’t have enough willpower to keep myself under control!

Sounds like an addiction, eh? Many people succumb to it!

Karl said:

Typically it might be 6-15 but I have chosen 0-5 because of the circumstances. Just before this past Christmas I won a tourney and became the proud owner of 5 new discs after spending my vouchers then Christmas hits and I acquired about 10 more. Needless to say, these past winter months have been brutal battling the cold and trying to get a feel all the new plastic. It has been extremely overwhelming and It has been a lot to take on. I feel like multiple discs in my bag are just wasting away because I have not been able to experience their true worth in my game. Now, I have vowed to never get more than 1 (maybe 2) new disc at a time!

That’s a way to keep the spending down — win a few pieces of plastic via tournaments!

Kent said:

I said 26 – 50 because I am an addict, and I love new plastic, plus I am TD’ing a Vibram Birdie Bash, and will take advantage of the discounted price on all of the molds. I have also already purchased 1 of each of the MVP molds this year, in addition to many limited-run discs. So I’m already at twenty for the year.

Two months in and already 20? Good luck at keeping it at fewer than 50!

You disc golfers really are something with plastic. It’s fun to see the differences of those who don’t add much plastic compared to those who do.

And now back to this week’s question.

Do you think people should bring their dogs with them when playing a round of disc golf?

We left you with two answers — yes or no. Originally, we were going to add a third choice of “I don’t care,” but if you don’t care than it seems you would side more with the yes than the no. Pick your side and tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Keep these things in mind, though. Some might not mind, as long as a dog is on a leash and the owner(s) clean up after said dog. I’m sure most people don’t want a dog running wild on a course and snaring people’s discs.

And, heck, some people just don’t want to be around dogs or maybe hear them barking.

So keep that in mind when voting and expand in the comments. Let us know your thoughts beyond the yes or no answer. And, if you say you don’t care, let us know why.

Some courses are in public parks where walking and dog walking occurs often. Some places are just disc golf courses, so maybe people expect to be able to play without seeing dogs?

Let us know what you think!

[poll id=”53″]

If you have any comments, questions, thoughts, ideas or anything else, feel free to e-mail me and the crew at: pj@rattlingchains.com. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

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0 thoughts on “Poll 48: Pooch patrol on the course

  1. I think the opinion comes down to where people want to see the sport. I think that when people bring their dog out to play disc golf it kind of takes away from the professionalism of a growing competitive sport. If people want to see the sport become well known we need to show that we are serious. Bringing a dog makes the sport a little more casual and we need professionalism to make the sport more respected in the eye of the public.

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  2. I’d love to bring my dog for exercise as much as anybody else, but out of respect for other players…..I don’t. It’s no different than bringing your dog on the ball golf course. People that don’t know your dog have to wonder if he/her is going to make a sudden movement while they’re teeing off or putting. So even the best behaved pooches can create a little cause for pause on the course. Bottom line…..it’s not fair to other players. I take my dog out for exercise on my time…..for the record, I am a dog lover!

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  3. For casual rounds in public parks, anything goes – dogs, cats, strollers, even parrots (regardless if you are a pirate or not). For club events, that’s a gray area – what’s the “culture” of the club like? For tournaments, we do well to be on better behavior for the sake of the competitors and everyone else there.

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    • I would have to disagree with Jeff on this. For me the gray area is the public park – yes, it’s certainly a good place to take the dog(s) out for a walk and/or release some energy; yet I would never take a dog to a ball golf course, so why would I take him/her to a disc golf course? I understand that the disc golf culture is a bit different, but it could be argued that is one of the reasons why disc golf is not considered a sport to the average non-discer. Even though our local club is VERY laid back, bringing a dog along during an event would be highly discouraged.

      There is a local resident (non-disc golfer) who brings his pair of dogs out to the woods of one of our area courses. Although the owner claims that they are harmless, they have scared the bejesus out of a few folks as they were playing. Moreover, those who take their pets out into the woods believe it to be a natural location for their furry friends to defecate anywhere they please. I have found canine poo on the fairways on more than a few occasions. So please, take dogs to the dog park, not to the golf course.

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    • I agree with Jeff Hoots’ comments (three distinct situations).

      On a separate note, I was so put off by most of the other comments that I did not finish reading them. What is the big deal? If a dog remains on a leash and if the owner cleans up after the dog, what is the problem? I would rather hear an occasional bark than have to put up with screaming children running through the course, which is not uncommon at a few of my local courses. I feel like a number of the responders have blown this way out of proportion. I am also quite surprised to see this as a poll question.

      For the record, I do not own a dog.

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  4. Now here’s a question our pooches can really sink their teeth into!

    I vote no, and I have 4 Labrador Retrievers that I leave home when I’m Discin. One of them especially loves catching frisbees, and is pretty good at it. The problem is, she has some difficulty distinguishing between a disc and a frisbee. Being a “Retriever,” she wants to retrieve anything thrown.

    I’m not saying all dogs will run after anything thrown, but many will have a tendency to do so, and even if they don’t, they can become a real distraction to other players on the course.

    Let’s also take into consideration, you’ll never see a dog on a regular golf course. As we strive to bring our great sport mainstream, taking our pets out on the course with us is not going to help achieve that goal.

    Don’t get me wrong! I love spending time with my dogs. Most dog owners do, and should. I also love playing disc golf with my buddies as well as by myself, to unwind, enjoy nature, and work on my game. There is a time and a place for everything. Your local disc golf course is not the place! It may not bother everyone, but will aggravate some people, who are out on the course to enjoy the peace and quiet, and improve on their game.

    Most municipal parks nowadays have put a lot of resources into Dog Parks and dog walking trails. That’s the ideal place to socialize your dog, and toss him/ her a frisbee or a ball. If that doesn’t suit you, then find an open field or a part of a park where you and your pet won’t interfere with other people wanting to enjoy the great outdoors in a manner suitable to them.

    So my fellow DISC GOLFERS, let’s be considerate of others, respectful to the course and it’s players, help create a fun and professional image of our sport, by exercising man’s best friend in more appropriate places.

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  5. I voted no. Dogs are great, but I have noticed that many dog owners have a warped view of how well-behaved their pets are. Owners tend to fail to take into account how the difference in venue and introduction of the stimuli of strange people, noises, and quick movement may affect their pets when away from home. Even the most well-trained dog can have a hard time remembering its instruction in a busy park with strangers and flying discs everywhere, and it only takes one slip-up and chewed prize disc to ruin a round. After watching countless dogs exhibit the exact misbehavior their owners claim to have corrected, it’s just best if Rex stays home.

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  6. I am a dog owner. My pup is 13 months old and went disc golfing with me for the first time when he was 10 weeks old. I mostly take him out for solo rounds and he has been trained how to act on a course. When I throw, he lays down and watches or chews on his stick that he carries. He gets treats to encourage this behavior, and plenty of water on the course. He now does this when out with the club also. No dog is perfect (mine included!), but between the training and being on his leash there are no issues with him taking off towards people. And he also has no interest in frisbees or discs for obvious reasons. He chases tennis balls or his sock monkey.
    In one of the clubs I disc with, half of the members have dogs. When we are discing, there are usually 2 or 3 dogs in the group as long as they are allowed on the course. All are leashed and cleaned up after.

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  7. I don’t mind the dogs on casual rounds. Parks usually have leash laws or prefer you keep them on a leash while in the park. That’s a good thing. I’d rather be able to let my dog run free. Probably best to have some doggie bag(s) or grocery bags for the poop, though, just to be on thoughtful-respectful side of others.

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  8. I voted yes. To the folks making the comparison about not taking their dogs to a ball golf course: That is not a good comparison. Ball golf courses are private. Most disc golf courses are in public parks where dogs are usually allowed to be anyway. Having dogs on a course is not taking anything away from having our sport be a “legitimate sport” what so ever. We are playing in parks people. If there was a pick up softball game at the park do you think people would be saying that the dog is taking away from how “serious” softball is?

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  9. Pingback: Poll 48: Pooch patrol on the course | Keystone Disc Golf

  10. I said yes only as long as a dog is on a leash and the owner(s) clean up after said dog. Even if a dog is well behaved the dog must be on a leash in a public park. The purposes of having a leash include allowing the animals that live in the park a dog free environment. Also you never know what weird event can occur that will cause even a well behaved dog to flip out. Keep that leash on for the animals. Thanks for letting me rant on something that really bugs me. I am a dog owner and am amazed that most owners don’t get this.

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  11. I voted yes, but I wish there had been more choices so I could qualify my “yes” vote.

    Each league should vote on this issue, and revisit it once a year or so. If the dogs are well-trained, and the owner cleans up after the dog, I’ve got no problem with it.

    As for the comparison to ball golf, you’re comparing apples to oranges. I like disc golf because it isn’t as stuffy as ball golf, and the atmosphere is a lot more relaxed. I love dogs, but not every dog has the personality to come out for a round or two of disc golf.

    On my home course, people frequently bring their dogs out for league play. The only issue I have is the occasional land mine in the middle of the fairway. As long as the dogs are well-trained and know how to interact with people and other dogs, I think dogs add to the casual atmosphere.

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  12. I voted “No”.

    The question was “Do you think people should bring their dogs with them when playing a round of disc golf?”

    Should people bring their dogs? No. The reason is that some people are afraid of dogs and you might spoil the experience for other players. This is especially true if your dog is easily excited, not leashed, or does not have an owner who cares to clean up after it.

    If the question was worded “Do you think people should BE ALLOWED to bring their dogs when playing a round of disc golf?”, my answer would be “YES”.

    There is a big difference between should go something and are allowed to do something.

    I, personally, find dogs to be distracting and annoying when trying to play. However, I don’t want to ruin the dog’s owner’s day out either. So, I talk to the dog, pet it on the head, and ask the owner polite questions about it. I enjoy dogs, but its just another thing to keep track of when putting or teeing off.

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    • Brian,
      Yes, some people are afraid of dogs. Some people are irrationally afraid of dogs. I have a relatively small (~35 lbs), nice dog and I have had people be afraid of her coming near them even when she is leashed and clearly not interested. I’m not going to leave my dog home when I go out to avoid offending overly sensitive people. Dog owners should follow the rules/laws of their local park/course and be courteous to other people. But if they want to use disc golf as a time to get some air with their dog I think they should. As others have said, this is one of the things that makes DG better than ball golf. I don’t want to be ball golf – the comparison is apples and oranges.

      – Ben H.

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  13. Obviously with all the responses this is a hot topic and many have a lot to say for and against this. I voted yes, but I certainly can see the other side of the coin.

    Without question your four legged best friend has no place in PDGA or other sanctioned events. But a public park where most courses are? A park where dog walking is allowed? How can you say no? Our sport is moving in the right direction, albeit too slow for some. As private courses, or even public courses designed solely for disc golf grow, then the course manager will decide what’s appropriate. I like the reference to a ball golf course. As the courses become more professionally regulated here’s where this professionalism will come. As far as local leagues and things go, as we as a group grow more professional the dog issue will take care of itself on the non sanctioned level.

    But lets face it, a big allure to our sport over ball golf (Of which I’m a huge fan) is its casual nature. And what’s more casual than bringing your pooch. The key however is the pooch and its owner. How well behaved and socialized is the dog? I have several disc golf buddies who bring their dogs for casual rounds. Some are always leashed, some are not. And like our group as a rule, they are well behaved. Some dogs are even helpful; retrieving discs from ponds, ravines, etc.

    I think its a win/win non issue. At least it is for me.

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  14. Yes.

    I live in a dog-friendly city with 11 courses within a 15 mile radius from downtown. Take a walk, bike ride or drive to any course and you’ll see a few dogs before you get there. Whether they’re jogging a hike and bike trail, splashing with kids in a creek or enjoying the cool shade of a neighborhood bar’s patio, it’s up to the owners of said dog to maintain courteous control of their four legged friends.

    I like dogs but I am not a dog person, with that said, when I see a dog on a course (Leashed or not) I enjoy it. I like the introduction I get when a curious canine approaches me. Actually, dogs unknowingly offer moral support after bad shots just by being around. I know I’ve appreciated petting a dog after far from stellar drives.

    This isn’t ball golf, that argument for a lot of reasons is tiring. Disc Golf is it’s own story, being written everyday by the schoolkids practicing drives after school, the 9-5ers putting during work-breaks or the pro’s breaking and making records… We are the standard, who’s to say that the next great pro doesn’t change the culture?

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  15. To the people saying dogs shouldn’t be at sanctioned events – I have to confess that my dog regularly tags along with me, by way of her other owner, my girlfriend. If a caddy/friend/fan is walking a dog along with the card during a tournament, do you still think that should not be allowed? At the Victoria Open this past weekend my girlfriend and dog were with me for all three rounds and I didn’t have any verbal complaints from other players or the TD, etc.

    – Ben

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  16. There’s some interesting discussion over this topic, which is good. And it seems people are pretty split.

    Allow me to pose this to dog owners (or supporters) — if you’re playing in a round, say a league or a non-sanctioned tournament or even a Saturday round with friends — and somebody is either allergic to dogs or is adamant about not being around them, how do you react?

    I don’t disagree with the PDGA rule. If I’m in a tournament, I don’t want to deal with a dog, whether well behaved or not. There’s always a chance something spooks it. I’ve seen it happen with the best behaved dogs.

    But in other situations — how do you react if you’re paired with somebody who is allergic or something along those lines. Because now it’s infringing on their enjoyment of the game as well.

    I don’t buy the ball golf courses/disc golf courses argument because the two are (usually) quite different.

    It’s one thing to go play a Saturday round by yourself or one other person, have a leashed dog, clean up after it etc., it’s another thing when it could infringe on the enjoyment others are having, no?

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    • PJ,
      I agree completely. If I was playing with someone who said my dog was bothering them, then I would be courteous and do what I could within reason to accommodate. However, I have never had anyone give me trouble for my dog being on the course in casual or competitive play.

      – Ben

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  17. @PJ,

    Do allergies really become an issue when you’re outdoors? It’s not like these folks are indoors, where pet allergies really become an issue.

    If I brought my dog out for a round, and got paired up with someone with a severe dog allergy, I would offer to cleave myself (and my dog) from the group.

    I love dogs, but people come first.

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    • Honestly, I’m not sure. I tossed this out there just as a discussion point. I’ve been lucky enough in life to not have allergies, so I couldn’t say. But I’m sure it’s a situation that could unfold. It’s one of those things where I think the big picture needs to be looked at etc.

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  18. Pingback: Poll 49: Smoking on the course

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