Duty Bound

A Bozeman dog-owner quiz.  

As the old saying goes, there are no bad dogs, only bad owners. Same thing goes for good dogs. Point being, dogs are what we make of them. So the question is, are you and your dog well-behaved, or are you the reason we have leash laws and crap-covered trails? Take this quiz and find out where you sit – er, stand.

1. Your dog craps on the trail. You:
a. Don’t notice because you’re too busy taking photos for Instagram. 0 points. Your dog is likely humping people’s legs, too; pay attention.
b. Say, “Well, that’s what dogs do. Get it? Hee hee.” and kick it off the trail. 1 point. Not the best response, but at least nobody’s going to step in it.
c. Pick it up and leave the bag on the trail for someone else to dispose of. 2 points. We appreciate the effort, but there are no poop elves in Montana. Some GVLT volunteer is stabbing voodoo doll in your likeness right now.
d. Pick it up, pack it out. 3 points. Enough said.
e. Don’t understand the question because you taught your dog to shit way off in the woods. 5 points. Nice work; please share your secrets with others. 

2. Your dog jumps on people. You:
a. Are thinking, “But he’s so cute! I love it when he does that, and I’m sure other people do, too.” 0 points. Get a clue; nobody likes a dog that jumps up, especially during mud season.
b. Are thinking, “I know it’s bad, but what can I do about it?” 1 point. Awareness is the first step, yes... but your kid kicks seat-backs on the airplane, doesn’t he?
c. Say “Sorry” but then do nothing to correct the behavior. 2 points. At least you’re polite enough to acknowledge the transgression. But that won’t stop your dog from doing it to the next unfortunate soul.
d. Yell “NO!” and grasp the dog gently. 3 points. You’re trying.
e. Grab the dog roughly by the neck, pull it down, and give it a stern talking-to. 4 points. Now we’re getting somewhere; dogs are physical creatures—sometimes a physical response is in order.
f. Don’t understand the question, because you taught your dog not jump on people. 5 points. Keep up the good work. 

3. Your dog runs wild, charging full-speed toward people and other dogs. You:
a. Continue to walk a quarter-mile behind, listening to the latest T-Swift while tracking steps on your FitBit. 0 points. Off-leash doesn’t mean out of control.
b. Call out helplessly hoping your mutt will, for the very first time, listen. 1 point. Your sense of urgency and willingness to embarrass yourself is slightly endearing.
c. Call out and accelerate your pace. 2 points. At least now Daisy is within view so you can personally apologize to every person she startles.
d. Call Buddy to you and get him back on his leash. 4 points. Your pooch is under voice control, which is key, and you aren’t too proud to walk him on leash even when it isn’t required.
e. Don’t understand the question, because you taught your dog to trot slowly by your side and approach other dogs and people politely. 5 points. The Force is strong with you. 

4. Your dog steps in front of people who are running or biking. You:
a. Do nothing, and roll your eyes at other trail-users like it’s their fault. 0 points. Trails are for people, not dogs.
b. Cringe and jump back like the biker or runner is about to hit you. 1 point. At least you instinctively know that trail-users, canine or otherwise, aren’t supposed to crash into each other.
c. Call to Madison and demand that she heel. 2 points. C for effort.
d. Allow Bailey to be stepped on or run into, causing her to yelp, and other trail-users to gasp. 4 points. You disregard the judgment of others and know that Madison isn’t going to die if a jogger steps on her paw or a biker brushes her rump.
e. Don’t understand the question, because you taught Bridger to stay on the outside of you at all times, meaning he’ll never cross the path of passing runners, hikers, and bikers. 5 points. You can ride with us any time. 

0 points — Take your untrained dog and your oblivious ass and leave town, now.
1-5 points — You’re pathetic. You may remain in Bozeman, but must give your dog away.
6-10 points — Disappointing, but not a lost cause. Take your dog to obedience class, or hire out a trainer.
11-15 points — You’ve got potential; keep at it and one day you won’t be annoying.
16+ points — Right on, Dog Whisperer. If everyone were like you, we wouldn’t have a pet problem in Bozeman. 

Got more common scenarios from Dogtown, USA? Send 'em to i[email protected].