Whether you are teaming up with some friends, taking the family out, or going solo, camping is always exciting. Camping with dogs also helps your canine friend get some exposure beyond the confines of your home. As is the case with humans, dogs get bored too. The outdoor space that a camping trip provides is not only healthy but also a gamechanger for man’s best friend.
Nonetheless, even with the best preparation, going for a camping trip with an untrained dog can ruin your plans. We have prepared seven tips that will help you train your canine friend. For ease of flow, we shall use a male dog as an example.
1. Understand Your Dog’s Character
Ascertain whether the animal is the camping type. Your first task is to teach him confidence. Also, assess his obedience. When called, does he respond immediately? If yes, your job is halfway done. If not, you need more training on this. Once you know the dog’s personality, training becomes easy. It helps narrow down the areas of focus. If you’re a new dog-owner or you’re struggling with teaching your dog, hiring an expert dog trainer can do wonders to their behaviour.
2. Teach Him the Basic Commands
Dogs are naturally playful. However, there are boundaries you will not allow him to cross lest you interfere with other people. Besides, if he wanders too far, he could get lost in the woods or pick an injury.
By teaching him basic commands, you minimize risk. Train your dog on how to make him stop in their tracks. Also, show him the order to stay still. Another necessary instruction is that of coming to you when you say so.
3. Train Your Dog How to Use a Tent for Sleeping
Whether you are planning to share a tent or will carry a spare one for him, he must know his place. A few days before the trip, pitch the tent in your backyard. Sit in it with him by your side.
It would be best if you planned to do this training for an hour or two each day. Bring a book, newspaper, or magazine to keep yourself busy while allowing the dog space to move in and out of the tent. Better still, put his bed inside the tent.
4. Create Familiarity with People and Other Dogs
If you already taught him to stop barking unnecessarily, he now must learn how to be around other people. Strangers and unfamiliar surroundings make dogs feel tense and defensive.
The sight of other dogs will also make him bark and whimper. Take him on a walk in a park or around the neighbourhood. Once he gets used, you can rest assured of having no issues at the campsite.
5. Keep Him Fit
While camping, you will most likely take walks, hike, or go cycling. You cannot risk leaving your dog inside the car, or on a leash while you are away. For this purpose, your dog must be fit.
Take him on long walks through wooded areas and if there is a forest nearby, the better. That way, he gets accustomed to smells, sounds, and surroundings. Dog walkers can also be an option if you don’t have time to walk him every single day. More so, you help stretch his muscles in readiness for the excursion.
6. Familiarity with Car Travel
For a dog that is not accustomed to riding in a car, using force could make him sick or develop fear. You can tell that your dog has motion sickness if it vomits or drools while you are on the road. Since you do not want such embarrassing situations during the camping trip, you can fuel familiarity.
Get a crate, put him in it before repeating the same, but now with the box inside the car. Let him have one of his favourite toys. Having nailed that part, take him on a few short rides. Praise him at the end of each trip.
7. Food and Water Bowls
While shopping for the best camping cookware, also remember to include food and water bowls for your dog. Collapsible containers are the best as they save on space. All the same, teach the dog how to use these utensils.
Taking your dog on a camping trip is highly refreshing. Preparation is critical to the success of such an outing. To train your dog and get him ready, you must know his character. Also, teach him to obey simple commands.
Dogs learn fast. Introduce him to staying in a tent plus being around other people as well as animals of his kind. Moreover, keep him fit and get him used to ride in your car. Above all, train your dog on the use of food and water bowls.