Dog Etiquette


Visitors to Missoula conservation lands seek natural beauty, serenity, recreational opportunities, and outdoor experiences that are not often available in a metropolitan area. Dog owners must ensure that their dogs have a minimal effect on nature and other visitor's experiences. Reports of dog fights, dog related injuries, and dogs harassing wildlife on city open space have been increasing yearly. Protect your dog's right to use city open space by practicing good trail etiquette.

For more information contact us at 406-552-6263.

Respect Others

Other park visitors may not want to meet your dog, particularly if they are accompanied by a child, afraid of dogs, elderly, or accompanied by a leashed dog. Never assume that other visitors or their pets will enjoy contact with your dog; respect other people wishes and respond accordingly.

Greet Before You Meet

If your dog is off leash and approaching another person or dog on the trail, call ahead: "Is it ok if my dog comes up to you?" or "Is it okay if my dog meets your dog?" If the other person says no, call your dog back immediately. Under voice and sight control requirements, your dog is expected to come at once.


Parking lots and trailheads are constricted areas which receive heavy, concentrated use. Dogs are often in boisterous high spirits when let out of the car. Anticipate and plan for your dog's excitement. Keep your dog on a short leash around the trailhead to minimize disturbances and interaction with other visitors or dogs, and to protect your dog from backing vehicles and other hazards.

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