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Old 09-04-2003, 11:30 AM   #1
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Dogs in the Airstream

We have one crazy Cocker Spaniel who still thinks he is a puppy (actually 9 years old!) who is a pain in the a** in the tow vehicle when we are travelling. So the question is does anyone travel with their dog in the trailer? We are thinking of putting him in a travelling cage in the trailer, but not sure if it is safe, legal, etc.

Would appreciate any thoughts and suggestions to keep him calm, other than resorting to drugs.

Thanks a bunch, really enjoy this forum, always informative.

Malcolm
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Old 09-04-2003, 11:45 AM   #2
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Dogs

Hi Malcom:
We're new to traveling with an Airstream, but our dog (18mo dobie) always rides with us in the extended cab of our truck with a harness-seat belt. I expect all of the vibration and noise would frighten him if he were in the trailer, and a sudden jolt would make him a 70lb airborn projectile.
He's also crate trained. If you travel with your dog in a crate I'm sure he'd be more secure than if he's loose. If he's new to a crate, I would do a little homework with it first. Introduce him to it as a positive place.

Linda
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Old 09-04-2003, 12:16 PM   #3
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Hi Malcolm,

I don't know Canadian laws but here in the US it is illegal to keep any live animals (and people) in the trailer while in movement/towing.

I know some people do but I strongly reccomend you not to for many reasons.

Besides the obvious, in case of an accident, just remember that strange noises of objects moving in the trailer, or falling out of cabinets, might frighten him and the fact he can't feel your presence will make him even more nervous.

Keeping him close to you is the best and safest option. A dog seatbelt is a wonderful restrainant and a crate (after the getting used period) in your trunk is also a safe and comfortable place for your pup.

We keep both our dogs free in the trunk and use the third row seat as our loading area. We have no gate or net to stop them from jumping forward, just trained them not to.

Sasha, our newest pup, used to hate the car and get awfully nervous...yes a real pain. We followed the "Monks of New Skete" advise and slowly car trained her by taking her on short car trips to fun places:dog runs, park, friends house. She now jumps right in and calmly sits down during the ride. We only gave her medicine, half a pill, the first three long trips. Never needed to again. There are many natural (homeopathic) calming substances you can give him that don't have side effects...except drowsiness of course.

Hope you find the best solution for your pup.

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Old 09-04-2003, 12:44 PM   #4
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typo?

Hi Kimili:
<trunk> you meant truck, right? L.
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Old 09-04-2003, 02:00 PM   #5
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oops...no, not really...

What I meant was the "cargo area" in an SUV , which is the equivalent of the "trunk" in a sedan.

You're right though, I don't want anyone to close their dog in a crate inside the trunk! Please don't!

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L.
Congratulations on your 16' POD. We loved it! I grew up with 2 dobies, what colour is yours? They're great friends!
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Old 09-04-2003, 02:55 PM   #6
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Thanks, we have some QC issues to deal with, but so far we LOvE our 16CCD.
My current dobie is my third. My first was red, and then two black.

Thanks , Linda
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Old 09-04-2003, 03:00 PM   #7
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Hopefully no one here would put their dog in the trunk

Our 7 yr old eskimo, Alki, has always done great riding in cars, but she hates the van because she can't see out like she could while riding on the seats in the mustang, and because the ride is harsher. Every bump in the road scares her more.

We have gone back to making her ride in the crate, and it does calm her down. It's also much easier on us, because otherwise she is up in the passenger's lap, and then gets back off, about every 30 seconds! She was crate trained as a puppy though, and likes her crate, even plays in it at home.

The dalmation, Chester, climbs up on the backseat of the van and sleeps until we get where we're going. Funny how different their personalities are.

Also, do you take your dog for rides around town? A little training around town might make the longer trips more bearable. Our dogs have never gotten used to the doggie-seatbelts, but those might be an option for you. But there is a little training involved.

Good luck!
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Old 09-04-2003, 03:07 PM   #8
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seat belts

My dogs are large, and I don't like the design of the 'seat-belts' sold at pet stores. I use a regular dog harness and have rigged my own clip that fits through the seat belt. If your dog is loose in the vehicle and you hit the brakes.... not good!
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Old 09-04-2003, 04:23 PM   #9
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Of course, my dogs have never really been treated as dogs. But I figure if it's not safe for me to ride in the trailer, then it's not safe for my dog either.

I have two books by the Monks of New Skete, "How to be Your Dog's Best Friend" and "The Art of Raising a Puppy." I've read loads of training books, but these are my favorites. They helped me with problems I didn't even know I had, and they prepared me for new problems when they arose.

The seat belt harnesses for dogs that are sold in pet stores look okay, but our Great Dane outgrew it so fast we hardly had time to use it.

I've just trained the dogs to lie quietly on the seat. For one dog, it took a LOT of trips to nowhere. We'd just drive around the block at first. Then we lengthened the trips. He finally settled down.

I find a favorite chew toy helps to calm and distract nervous riders. And a blanket or towel that is the dog's "spot" helps them know where to stay put.

Good luck finding the right solution for your cocker!
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Old 09-04-2003, 05:11 PM   #10
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We have two Maltese who come with us in small carry cages in the back seat, though the cages are open and they can come out and sit on the seat.

Kimili, you are correct that in most (perhaps all) states it is illegal to have humans ride in trailers, but I don't think that is the case with animals. Witness horse and livestock trailers.
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Old 09-04-2003, 06:37 PM   #11
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I have to admit, I am definitly in favor of seatbelts for humans. I have been a passenger in three very serious accidents that totaled the cars, but I am sure my seatbelt saved me from injury.

I would like to teach the dogs to wear doggie-seatbelts in case we are ever in an accident with them in the car, but they just hate them. They get all twisted around and tangled in them and scared. I have even tried sitting next to them and offering treats as we drive slowly around the neighborhood without much progress. So the dogs are without seatbelts. I have seen on the web a doggie-seatbelt that allows them to completely turn around in the seat, sit up or lie down, and not get tangled up. If I ever find the link again I'll pass it along.

Friends of ours use a regular doggie-seatbelt harness from Petco on their hyper deaf dalmatian and are very happy with it. We have watched with amazement as she politely jumps up in the van and sits down and waits to be buckled in!
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Old 09-04-2003, 06:50 PM   #12
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homeopathic

re.......

...There are many natural (homeopathic) calming substances you can give him that don't have side effects...

I have used "Bach Flowers Rescue Remedy"tm for animal and human emotional and physical stress for years.

You can get at any good natural health store.

It works better in some than in others, but it certainly doesn't hurt to try. There is no way it will do any damage.

I had to be beat on the head, but understand it or not, homeopathy sometimes certainly does work!
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Old 09-04-2003, 07:07 PM   #13
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We have watched with amazement as she politely jumps up in the van and sits down and waits to be buckled in!
That reminds me of Caesar when he was a puppy. He was about 90 pounds and 6 or 7 months old. He was bonkers in the car and it was getting dangerous to drive.

I took him to obedience classes and the first thing the instructor told me was that I shouldn't let him run over me and jump out of the car before I was out. I gave the instructor a look that told her what I thought of her idea. It would be nice, but if I could do that I wouldn't need lessons.

The instructor explained that dogs are smart, and will figure out how to get what they want. It was my job to teach him what he had to do to get what he wanted.

She told me to not open the door until he was sitting calmly like a gentleman. If that meant I had to wait in the car for 15 minutes until he got bored, so be it.

He eventually learned that I wouldn't even put the car in gear to go somewhere until he sat down and stayed calm. If he started standing while I was driving, I told him to sit. If he didn't sit, I'd count to three. If he wasn't sitting by number three, I'd check my rear view mirror and then tap the brakes. His front feet would slide off the seat and he would lose his balance. He learned that he didn't want to be standing past "3".
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Old 09-24-2003, 01:42 AM   #14
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We have a 1 yr. old Papillion. She weighs 11lbs. I have an old pillow that usually sits on my left leg. She gets on there where she can see out. In a very short time, she is sleeping. But, if I blow the horn she is up in a second "shouting" at the problem. When my husband and I are in the truck, she is content on the pillow between us. She knows that if I get out and say "stay" she is to move to a vacant place on the seat. She will not eat while we are gone. I don't know why.
The harness sounds like a good idea -against her falling off the seat with a suddon stop. So far, nothing like that has happened.

Woodalls travel book has a paragraph for each state and the rules about anyone/animal in a TT. There are a number of states with different rules than we have here in WI.

Thanks for contributions to the Forums. really is a life saver for me. Carol
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