Our dog (Velma) likes to meet and greet other dogs and people when we take our trail walks twice per day. It's a fun and enriching experience. But before allowing your dog to socialize on the Denver trails, there are some important trail etiquette rules to be aware of.
Teach your dog to wait - Your dog should be able to listen to a command that signifies he or she needs to wait for your okay before approaching a new person or dog. We use the command "wait" with Velma. You might also use a combination of "sit" and "stay". Our dog stands still if we say "wait" and if she sees a new person or dog, she also lies down to let them know she is not a threat. This is good petiquette in general, as well as good trail etiquette.
Keep your dog close when new people and dogs are approaching - To help prevent injuries, your dog should know how to heel or be kept on a short leash whenever others are aproaching along the hiking or biking trail. This helps teach your dog trail etiquette. But more importantly, it keeps everyone involved safe. The way animals react to different people and animals cannot always be predicted. We like to let Velma run free on the retractable leash. But as soon as we can tell someone will be approaching soon, we keep her close. She is friendly with all people and dogs. But new people and dogs are not always so friendly.
Approach slowly and state the facts and intent - Stay to your side of the trail and walk slowly. You can say something to the person about your dog if you intend for the dog to meet this person or their dog. I always say "Hi. She's friendly and she's a puppy." This lets people know that she is safe and has good petiquette. It also lets them know that because she is a puppy, even though she is big, not all dogs will be okay for her to play with. They always respond with either a friendly greeting from themself and their dog -- or they say "Oh, he doesn't like other dogs" or something similar. When everyone states the facts and acts appropriately, this helps to avoid bad situations. Practice good trail etiquette by never letting your dog fully approach another person or dog before getting a safe response.