Many of us are waiting eagerly for camping to finally get going again! The sun can be seen more and more often, the temperatures go up, but unfortunately it is only possible to drive away at the moment. But the time until departure can be used sensibly, for example to prepare your dog for the journey. Maybe you want to get him used to a dog crate to make it easier for him to drive? Or do you want to keep him from barking so that there is no stress at the campsite?
In this article you will learn which travel preparations are useful, how to get your dog used to a box and much more.
Preparing to travel for your dog
Traveling with your four-legged friend is fun – that’s the theory. However, the fun can quickly fall by the wayside if your dog has trouble traveling. Be it that he does not tolerate driving or barks constantly and drives his environment to despair. If you already have an experienced camping dog, you can assess it accordingly and know where it might still be hooked. However, if you are a first-time dog owner or have taken in a new four-legged friend, many things are new for him and you.
So before you start your well-deserved vacation together, you can practice a few things with him. But first let me address a few basic points that you should check in good time before you travel.
General travel arrangements
“What, my dog needs a titer? Where can I get it quickly now? “
Each country has its own rules when it comes to keeping dogs or traveling with them. For example, a rabies vaccination is mandatory if you want to travel abroad with your animal. In addition, it must be chipped and you should also think about registering with Tasso.
If you leave the EU with your dog and then want to re-enter the country, you need a titer determination. This is the case, for example, if you drive through Albania and then back to a European country.
A titer determination cannot be made at the last minute, but requires a few weeks lead time. If you have planned a trip abroad, you can get information about the entry requirements of the destination country and take care of the necessary documents.
What you should also think about:
- Travel pharmacy
Dressing material, tick pliers, insect repellent and wound spray are a few of the things that should be kept in the dog pharmacy. If your dog needs special medication, you should get it from your veterinarian in good time. You can find more tips in our article “First Aid Dog / Cat”.
Yes, a muzzle can also be one of the things your dog needs on vacation. In some countries he has to wear it if you use public transport. And if your dog is one of the so-called list dogs, a muzzle can always be prescribed for him.
Weight plays an important role when camping. Not that of your dog, but that of all the accessories that you take with you. Therefore, you should first think carefully about what you need. A dog fence? Special water bowls where the water cannot spill? A long leash to secure your animal in place and appropriate floor brackets? It’s best to put together a list so that you can keep an overview.
Get your dog used to the dog crate
Dog boxes are not only suitable for securing in the car or mobile home, but also as a retreat. So that your animal really feels comfortable in it, you have to get used to it step by step and that takes time. Therefore, you should not start training three days before departure, but ideally a few weeks beforehand.
Before you start practicing, you have to select a suitable box. Depending on what you want to use it for, there are different models, from very stable to foldable made of fabric. The nature of your dog also plays a role in the selection. Some immediately feel comfortable in closed boxes, others are afraid of not being able to look out. So here it is asked that you try and be patient.
And this is how you get your dog used to a box:
1.Connect the box to something positive:
Put him treats in it or give him his food in the box in the near future.
Important: do not force your dog to go inside. Practice in very small steps until it works.
- Only when your dog voluntarily goes completely into the box, do you start to close the door. First only for a very short time, then you increase the duration in small stages. The best thing to do is give your dog a great chew that he can keep busy with.
3.Can you close the door and your dog stays calm?
Excellent! Then you can start moving around the room and / or leaving your dog alone for short moments.
Exercise with your dog for a few minutes each day rather than in one go. And end each exercise with a sense of achievement. This will be remembered by your animal and you can build on that next time.
I can sing a song myself from barking dogs. My dog Merle is equipped with such a shrill organ that I often reach my limits. I’m still looking for the off switch, so far without success. So that neither my ears nor those of other campers get damaged, I try very hard to stop her barking. This does not mean that she can no longer bark at all, because that would not be appropriate for the species. The only thing is that she does not bark into rage and if possible stop at a signal. But what is so easy to say is very difficult to implement.
Before you start anti-bell training with your dog, you first need to understand the causes of his barking. Warning, stress relief, fear, aggression, prompting to play or the need to get attention are among the most common reasons.
If your dog barks out of fear, this requires a different approach than if it barks because it wants to encourage you to play. In the first case, it is important to work on fear so that your dog gains safety. In the second example, you should not react to the barking and only play with your dog when it stops – otherwise you will reward him for it.
Tricky, I know. That is why there is no ultimate anti-bell trick, only individual training tailored to the cause. So if you know that your four-legged friend has a tendency to bark, you can use the time until your vacation to practice.
Here are a few suggestions for you:
- You can only train on barking when you are near your dog. If he is left to himself, you have no influence on it.
- Teach your dog what to do instead because you can reward him (go to his place, come to you, look at you, etc.).
- If your dog barks because he is afraid of people or dogs, a retreat at the campsite where he feels safe, for example a box, can help him.
- If your dog barks because he wants to get your attention, you should never give it to him – not even by scolding. Only turn to him when he is calm.
Practice a pause signal
As nice as it is to be able to spend a lot of time with your animal when camping, it is important for both sides that you get some peace in between. You may know this from over-the-top ball junkies who just can’t stop playing. This may seem funny, but it is not healthy for the animal. Your dog needs phases of recovery to regenerate itself. And you definitely want to take a shower, read a book or chat with your neighbors without having to constantly bother your furry friend.
But how do you teach him that there is a break now?
- First you select a signal that you want to use for this, for example “time out”, “pause”, “end” or “over”.
- When you play with your dog, you end the game by saying your pause signal and clearing the toy away. From this point on, your dog has free time and can pursue its interests (as long as it does not endanger itself or others). If you romped around with him without toys, you stop romping after the pause signal and sit down, for example. You are now no longer available for his entertainment.
- Do you practice signals such as “seat”, “place” or the recall by rewarding you with treats or toys? Then you say your pause signal at the end of the exercise, close the treat bag or pack the toy.
This is how your dog learns that after the pause signal you no longer get any attention and that you now have free time. To do this, however, it is necessary that you are consistent and do not let him encourage you to play again. Break means break, even if it is sometimes difficult.
Alternatively, you can put your dog in its place after the signal and give it something to nibble. This way he can reduce his excitement and calm down. A pause signal can be linked to many other things, for example a specific blanket, the dog crate or a specific chewing article.
Even my whirlwind Merle, who is always keen on activities, understood this after a short time. In the meantime I can play with her and as soon as I say “pause” she does her own thing.
This signal is extremely helpful not only when camping and relaxes living together immensely.
The holiday with your dog starts at home
Whether you want to camp with a puppy for the first time or with an adult dog: good preparation is the be-all and end-all! In this way, you not only take the stress out of your pet, but also yourself. It starts with getting the necessary travel documents and accessories and ends with targeted training measures. Then the trip, as well as the camping itself, will be a great experience for everyone involved.