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Old 05-06-2004, 12:21 AM   #1
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Question Tak'em or leav'em??

Well we are about 2 weeks out from attending our first ever Rally, as well as our first ever A/S Trailer experience or any trailer experience for that matter.

As some may know we have too lovely dogs - Taz & Haily who love to go boating with us, hikes, walks and pretty much everything.

However they have never experienced Trailer life in a camp site never mind attending a Rally in an open field with over 70 Trailers and who knows how many people and dogs, cats, kiddies and "Tin Hut" - just kidding not in the same region.

The girls are not used to being tied up, nor are they used to so many people all at once. They have been fine on our boat - but that is docking at locks with maybe 3-5 other boaters - there are usually trails near by that they can get a good run in (off lead- cause exercise on a lead well just does not cut it for these two).

So the big question - should we take them and hope that they do not get spooked before we have a chance to go on a nice quiet camping weekend with them. Or do we leave them at home (our home with Nana & GranPaw) and promise to take them the following weekend camping at a nice park somewhere.

What is it really like at Rally's are people dog friendly? How do you cope with your dog(s) early morning walks/runs etc? What if they bark a bit - as they will not be used to all the different noises/sounds of people so close?

We have an Awning - a bit old and shaby but will provide lots of shade. There are two fans in the coach that work great for taking the hot air out of our little GT and lots of windows that open all the way. They are great on their leads and know they will be polite.

When we start packing up the A/S they will know!!! and with looks like this....what should we do?
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:09 AM   #2
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Red face Such woebegone faces!

Being that it's your very first rally and a large one at that, I would say leave 'em as tough as that may be.

You are going to want to be running around checking out all the other trailers, entertaining visitors who want to check out the "new" trailer in the bunch and "the kids" might get a bit freaked out with all the commotion. Not to mention your own "first-timers stress" of dealing with everything for the first time.

Introduce them to everything once you feel more comfortable with the trailer and the group of folks you'll be rallying with. Just my 2-cents...you know your dog's (& your) dispositions best...

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Old 05-06-2004, 06:14 AM   #3
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"We have an Awning - a bit old and shaby but will provide lots of shade."

I try to discourage it , but my pup finds shade underneath the trailer. The problem
being that is she finds shade under anyones trailer. My fear is that someone will drive away with her underneath.
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Old 05-06-2004, 06:57 AM   #4
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Doggies

Sorry, reality check time.....
These pups need to learn about tie-outs and leashes. If you are planning on visiting campgrounds, the quickest way to get a visit from the park ranger is to have a loose dog at your site. They will live, no matter how sad their little faces are.
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Old 05-06-2004, 08:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sander17
Sorry, reality check time.....
These pups need to learn about tie-outs and leashes. If you are planning on visiting campgrounds, the quickest way to get a visit from the park ranger is to have a loose dog at your site. They will live, no matter how sad their little faces are.
Hmm. I disagree, at least with the tie-outs. We use three sections of 42" exercise pens (available from places like http://www.petedge.com/ or other supplier) to contain our two standard poodles, plus friends' dogs. This gives us enough fencing (aprx 48 feet) to fence in our awning area, plus a little extra. The x-pen panels are bungee corded to chunky plastic electric fence posts 'stepped' into the ground. this gives us an area about 12 foot by 20 foot. We sometime increase this area by setting up crates at one end and running the x-pens further out from the coach. This is not sufficiently heavy duty to leave dogs in without supervision but gives them a nice area when we are there with them.

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Old 05-06-2004, 08:02 AM   #6
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I try to stay away from campgrounds when I have my dog with me.
It seems that there is always a crabby dog hater ready to jump on me.
I have a small pooch, and I am against tying her up, to avoid a loose
dog from cornering her. I either have her on a leash or in the trailer.
She is a great dog tho, and everyone enjoys baby sitting her.
She says " Woof, there are no bad dogs, just bad dog owners"
Her name is Layla, and she likes my mandolin, way more than she likes
my banjo. Layla wants me to add that there are no bad banjos, just
bad banjo players. I love the way she thinks.
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Old 05-06-2004, 08:03 AM   #7
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I'd say it depends on their dispositions. If they are laid back and not the barking type, go for it. I would have started to get them use to the coach by letting them stay in there before the trip a few times under the same conditions, with their food and water in the coach with them, fans on if necc and any toys that they have also placed inside the coach.

I did this for our shep mix (12 years old). She loves the Airstream, but it's taken her about 2 hours on 3-4 seperate occasions to get her used to the coach. She has her favorite spots now and knows what the lay of the land is....similar to when she's home.

If your dogs are like wildfire, and you haven't taken the time to get them adjusted to the coach yet, and being alone in it, I might be inclined to not take them this trip. As Shari said, it will only add to the stress level, particularly with the first trip and all.
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Old 05-06-2004, 08:30 AM   #8
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We take our two with us all the time. While we do tie them out from time to time, it is only in a situation where we are outside with them also. Nothing worse than a barking dog(s) tied outside and the owner is no where to be found.

We walk them for exercise and use sandwich bags to clean up their deposits. If we leave to go somewhere else, they go inside the trailer, and dependent upon weather we will turn on the A/C or fans. We prefer the A/C so that if they do bark for any reason, no one will be bothered.

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Old 05-06-2004, 11:25 AM   #9
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We take our two dogs sometimes, and sometimes we give ourselves a break and leave them home! Either way, if they're with us they are either in the trailer with us, or walking on a leash.

Please don't let your dogs run loose on a trail!!! My big dog doesn't like running into loose dogs, and he growls at them, and sometimes they don't listen to their owners so good once my dog starts growling. Believe me, the ensuing squeeling, ear-pulling rukus will put a damp spot on anyones vacation! Likewise I don't want any strange dogs, friendly or not, running up to greet my little dog who is bite-size. So if everyone just keeps them on a leash, and let them run loose at home in familiar territory, it would be better for all of us. We have never had a problem encountering leashed animals and their walkers on the trail or beach. Encounters with off-leash dogs are always stressful and occasionally eventful! Sorry, not to put you guys down, it's just a pet peeve of mine.

Flexi-leashes are great for letting them run a little and then reeling them back in when you need to. I like to let them run it out a little on the straightaways and then keep them close in crowds or where we can't see who's coming around the corner.

You should spend some time teaching them how to behave in the trailer, and particularly how to enter and exit politely. My Dal almost hurt me one time leaping out of the trailer as soon as I opened the door, dragging me down the steps behind him!

But once you get that stuff out of the way, we've had fun with them at rallys, everyone we've met so far has been dog friendly, and a good time can be had by all.
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:51 PM   #10
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Tak'em or leav'em?

I have two dogs that try to beat each other to the Airstream when we start loading. One is a 100 pound German Shepherd and the other is a 40 pound English Setter. They know only one of them gets to go and they both love to go camping!
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Old 05-06-2004, 02:38 PM   #11
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I have a wonderful Doberman, loves people, loves other dogs, loves varmints too. But he is still a dog. I keep him on leash, supervised, and never a nusance to others.
Sorry, but I'm with Steph. I work long and hard to train my dogs, and it isn't fair when others are loose, owners do not have control, and expect everybody else has to put up with it.
If you have been involved in obedience training, you know that a dog off leash is NEVER absolutely under control.
On occasion loose dogs will come to 'visit', and more often than not become aggressive. A dog off leash knows the other dog isn't, and they know they have an advantage. The first thing they will do is decide which will be the alpha (the leader), and if they are both confident dogs this is going to cause a conflict. These aren't children - they are dogs - they don't need socialize with other dogs, they are for you.
Introductions have to be carefully controlled by the owners, and most of us (I think) like the option to decline.
Other dogs may have viruses and parasites that can infect your dog as well.
Please keep you babies confined, on a leash, on a tether, in your arms or whatever works for you. Thanks...
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Old 05-06-2004, 03:32 PM   #12
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Before you all get too far off - maybe I misslead you - our girls are not used to being on a leash or tied up - but this does not mean they don't know what a collar and lead is We do visit people in subdivisions and some of our friends and relative do live in the civilized world - you know that requires by law a leash - and not the expandable kind either.

We are on your side!!!! As boaters we keep our dogs on very short leashes!!! And the trails I am talking about are usually only accessed by the boaters at particular locks - so you pretty much know who is on them and who is not.

We do have exapandable leads and where dogs can not run free they are great for letting them in the water (they can not swim off - or get caught in any unexpected currents) - There are always great spots for the dogs to swim - and once in the water they really don't care about anyone elses dog or people for that matter - and if there are frogs well that occupies Taz for hours.

There is nothing more anoying than having our dogs under control and having someones elses dog, cat or even KIDS for that matter - running up and creating havoc!

Both our girls have gone through their obedience classes - Taz is excellent - Haily well she is going through her terrible two's right now but when out in public she listens and is very well behaved on her lead - but at home she does not!

They are both very polite and having both been taught boating etiquette - the trailer will be a breeze for them. Through the restoration they have been in and out of it 100 times, have had lunch with us and fallen fast asleep - Haily is affraid of jumping out and has to have a little coaxing - Taz makes a move only when we say to and is very aware of us humans and does not like to get under foot.

With a very small ganway in our 20' boat they both have learned to get up on the seats and stay clear when we lock through and dock - the rest of the time they laze around and sunbath. They seem to think this is a stationary boat, as soon as they get in they are up on the seats out of the way - but once we sit they jump down onto the floor - cool dogs

Swimming is a great source of exercise - and you don't run into too many crowded beaches - when you have access to many Islands - or just anchoring out in the middle of the lake. But we are well aware of the Provincial parks that are not into letting dogs be dogs and romp around in the water - beaches are not our thing - so it won't be for the girls either. We rather would find a little spot further down where they can get their feet wet and shake without getting the LOOK!

So with all the "niceties" behind I was more interested in the general behaviour of the dogs at Rally's and what you do with them - for instance there are kids activities, adult activities - other than a dog shows at the International are there any activities for dog owners (as there seems to be quite a large number of dog owners).

The exercise pen is a great idea but we would have rig a light weight one.

Taz would love to sleep under the trailer and has already started to. When I am in and out of the trailer - they have the whole 4 acres to play but they are right outside the trailer.

Thanks for all your responses - I wanted to try and get a feeling of the canine involvement from both dog owners and of course the non-dog owners.

By some of the responses it seems that there are irresponsible dog owners everywhere that make it miserable for the "good dog owners" to the point that many of you assumed that we may have been the type of people to let our dogs run wild - this is sad in a way - as many comments about there is never a bad dog just bad owners is so true - no matter where you go.

Why our last boating vacation we spend many days at Cl. By Island in the Rideau system. This is with Taz and our previous Golden Aby who was the best swimmer. There was a family 2-kids and the family dog. The kids were fairly well behaved but their dog was a roamer and allowed to roam all the time. He would come up to our boat and make the girls go nuts - as they would not leave the boat - to the point the dog would jump on our boat!!!

In Jones Falls we asked a couple to keep an ear out for our girls - they had been swiming all day and were exhausted, we have a fairly large cuddy with a large hatch, hull screened windows and the cuddy door is louvered - so lots of air. We returned 40 minutes later (fastest dinner ever) to a note left inside the cockpit - about how cruel we are to leave our dogs in the cuddy and that they barked all night long for hours (hmm 40 mins). We asked our neighbours and they said the dogs barked a couple of times at a bunch of teenagers that where diving off the cliff and screaming - but once they left they were quiet - until some people came over to the boat and started talking to the dogs - they went berserk barking and even more so when the man actually got onto our boat - now that is a really smart move.

Anyway it takes all kinds out there and we just want to say we are not one of them - we don't have kids thus our dogs are our top priority and responsibility.

I had pretty much made up my mind before asking my question - and thought maybe there might be something that would say - yes no problem bring them along you will all have a ton of fun - but I guess not.....
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Old 05-06-2004, 03:44 PM   #13
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I didn't assume you were the irresponsible ones who make trouble, but I always take an opportunity to point out my side of it, in case any of those folks are reading along!

If your dogs can behave themselves on a boat, then they can probably behave themselves in a trailer, so go for it. I haven't seen anyone who had problems with dogs at a rally, except for ones who were allowed to wander loose. Since most of the airstreamers have little-bitty dogs, you can see why they would particularly get nervous about that. But otherwise we left our dogs in the trailer while we went to dinners, and took them with us on walks and hikes. We ran into other dog owners in the potty area and chat with them. It's really pretty laid back. I know not all units are as friendly and welcoming as ours, but we've really just met a lot of nice people and had a good time at each rally we've been to. I highly recommend you give it a try.
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Old 05-06-2004, 03:56 PM   #14
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Hi:
<Anyway it takes all kinds out there and we just want to say we are not one of them>

I didn't take you for someone who was not on the same page. I did not intend to seem as though I were directing my post at you personally. I appreciate the timely thread.

<I had pretty much made up my mind before asking my question - and thought maybe there might be something that would say - yes no problem bring them along you will all have a ton of fun - but I guess not.....>

Not at all! I wouldn't leave my dog at home because of other owners who haven't gotten the clue.
I would love to see your babies, they are adorable. They are a part of our families, and I enjoy taking mine with me on trips. In fact, that's one of the reasons we wanted to get the trailer, so he could come with us.
As much as I do not like loose aggressive dogs, (actually the irresponsible owners), I REALLY appreciate those who are considerate.

Thanks for opening the dialog.
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