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Old 01-20-2020, 01:01 PM   #1
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Dog control while camping

Question for you dog folks. I have two 70-80 pound dogs who are "active" but not crazy wild. They are typical dogs in that they are attracted to other animals, which obviously is a serious problem if they take off the first time they see a moose, elk, bear, etc. Just curious how others control / corral your larger dogs while in campsites.



I know that campgrounds have different rules...dogs must be on a leash, tethered to some type of line between trees, etc. That's fine and would be easy to use when I'm at a location for a short time overnight. I also know that methods vary depending on where you are, such as parked in a rv park versus boondocking.


X-pens or similiar light fencing would not work for me...dogs would knock them over. I have investigated portable chain-link type dog kennels, and while that would definitely work, it's bulky and heavy. Also looked into electric bear fencing while boondocking...can make it as large as needed while keeping my dogs in and other animals out. Granted neither of these would work or be allowed in state, national, private campgrounds.


Looking forward to your ideas. Thanks
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Old 01-20-2020, 01:52 PM   #2
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Our dog is only 30 lbs, but I'm not sure the weight matters all that much. For his safety, we keep him on a six foot leash when he is outside the trailer, and that's pretty much always the rule where we camp, in state and national parks, and the occasional private parks - as you mentioned above.
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Old 01-20-2020, 02:17 PM   #3
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I can’t find it online now - maybe they don’t make it anymore - but I bought a “claw” tie down - 3 legs that spike in to the ground with a rotating eye hook to connect a leash. My 75# Bloodhound (sadly no longer with us) did very well with that setup. Never could pull it out of the ground and almost never got herself tied up in the leash.

Fencing wouldn’t work without having a professional crew install it every time you break camp

If I can find it I’ll post it.

Good luck!
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:00 PM   #4
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Dog control while camping

Our dog chills in the camper unless on a leash / attended. It’s a pretty sweet kennel!
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:14 PM   #5
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We have two 90 lb dogs. I use a piece of parachute cord about 18 to 24 inches long with a bowline knot at each end with an opening just big enough to put a sturdy carabiner thru (one for each dog.) This can be looped around a picnic table leg, nearby tree, a (full) cooler handle or sometimes to one of my x-chocks.

The dogs are always on 6 foot leashes when outside of the trailer and it is easy to just attach and detach the hand end of the leash to the carabiner. I would NEVER let the dogs outside of the trailer without a leash on, not knowing how they would react to a wildlife encounter, although I do know what would happen should a squirrel invade their camp. Their favorite pastime in our backyard is chasing the little critters away and only our fence keeps them from taking off.


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Old 01-20-2020, 03:21 PM   #6
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Red face We are going to try an electronic fence.

Hi and welcome to AS,

We are about to try out our first trip in our Airstream Atlas with our two standard poodles, respectively 50 and 40 pounds. Both are very active and excitable especially when they see other dogs. They have also wandered off as far as two miles from home. At home, we put in a buried electronic fence surrounding about 4 acres installed by Dog Watch. The dogs wear collars that warn them with an audible signal if they approach the boundaries. If they get too close, they get a mild shock. The fence works well and our poodles have never gone beyond the limits. We had to train the dogs to respect the boundaries which are also marked with little flags.

Now, we are starting camping, so we bought another device made by the same company called Grounds Keeper. You need to create a perimeter by creating a loop from the transmitter around your camper. So we bought 300 feet of 18 gauge wire and we're going to try it out next weekend. We bought a supply of little blue flags (a color dogs can apparently see well) to use to train the pups. Hopefully, it will work as well as the Dog Watch system. It uses the same collars as the invisible fence so we expect it will work the same.

We'll report on how well it worked after this weekend.

Cheers and happy camping.

Krikati

P.S. The system we have will not prevent other dogs or other critters not outfitted with collars from entering the perimeter. We plan to keep the pups inside the Atlas when we are not outside supervising them; at least at first.
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:36 PM   #7
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We regularly travel with our trailer and 4 or 5 english setters on upland bird hunting trips. The dogs travel and sleep in crates in the back of our pickup truck which has an insulated cap on it. We let them loose in less developed areas for exercise or when hunting. In developed campgrounds we walk them on a leash. As long as they get out for a couple of good runs and expercise a day they are quite content in the back of the truck. We are often staying in places with few or no other campers where we can let them loose for a supervised run and then put them back in the truck. We have a remote thermometer with a sensor in the back of the truck so we can monitor the air temperature there. If its unusualy cold out the oldest one gets to come in the trailer with us. --Frank
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:40 PM   #8
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I've never come across a campground where dogs are allowed off leash. Off leash dogs in a campground can cause all sorts of trouble with other campers. At a minimum they could cause leashed dogs to become defensive, poop in other campsites offending those campers, take food from other campsites, frighten people and or children etc. Giving your dog the run of the campground purposely or accidently is a good way to get kicked out, or worse get hit with an expensive lawsuit.

My dog (70 lbs) is always in the camper or leashed. No exceptions. Its for his protection a much as for others.
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:25 PM   #9
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Just a couple days ago my wife and I and our 30lb 14 year old dog were brutally attacked by a dog that had to weigh in at 90# plus. No provocation, just walking down a path in the campground. The other dog was on a leash but it did absolutely no good because the owner wasn’t big enough or strong enough to hold the dog back. In fact the owner was flat on his back during most of the attack. The dog was literally trying to kill our old boy. I was able to wrestle the dog down and applied a technique to open its jaws. In the mean time all of us were bitten bad and ended up needing medical attention. So for anyone traveling with dogs that large, you best be sure you can handle their size and strength should they decide to take off for ANY reason. The danger is real and like everyone, we thought that it won’t happen to us, you just hear about these things.
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:36 PM   #10
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We show...Pure Breads and follow all the rules.
All our dogs have been socialized accordingly.

Exercise pens, crates and leashes.
Never off lead at a campsite, always in a crate when in a moving vehicle.

Bob
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:02 PM   #11
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We find it easiest to keep the dogs themselves each on a 6 foot webbing leash. EVERY campground requires dogs to be on 6 foot leashes.

Then we have one of those retractable leashes. We have attached a carabiner clip to it with a cable tie on the handle part.

We then can very easily use the retractable leash around a tree, picnic table, or other large fixed item going around and then clipping to the carabiner clip. We then very easily can clip the handed end of the webbing leashes to this. This way the retractable can stay on the tree or table at the campsite, and the dogs can be set up in the campsite quite easily, and then taken off to walk or to go back inside.

You also mentioned kennels. We have brought the flat folding metal grid kennels along with us for trips when temps were going to be comfortable for the dog outside. Then we could put the dog in the kennel in the truck bed if we are hiking or at the store or at dinner. Need to be careful about summer sun. We also would bring the kennel for the first year/year and half or if the dog was a chewer to leave in the airstream.

We also have had to change plans because of high temps when we had the dog with us in Yellowstone and had a heat wave. We were camping with no hookups, and since we had no AC in the camper and it was so warm, instead of hiking all day we had to spend the afternoons driving and seeing sights withe the dog in the back seat to be in the AC. Too hot to leave the dog in the camper or in the truck bed.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:05 PM   #12
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Mayco,
Very sorry to hear of your distressing dog attach. I hope you all are healing up OK.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:11 PM   #13
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We have a 75lb Bernedoodle we travel,with in any campground where someone can be near the trailer he’s either inside or on a 6ft leash. Some remote campgrounds,we have a longer lead we’ll tie him down with but in no case can he get away from the trailer.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayco View Post
Just a couple days ago my wife and I and our 30lb 14 year old dog were brutally attacked by a dog that had to weigh in at 90# plus. No provocation, just walking down a path in the campground. The other dog was on a leash but it did absolutely no good because the owner wasn’t big enough or strong enough to hold the dog back. In fact the owner was flat on his back during most of the attack. The dog was literally trying to kill our old boy. I was able to wrestle the dog down and applied a technique to open its jaws. In the mean time all of us were bitten bad and ended up needing medical attention. So for anyone traveling with dogs that large, you best be sure you can handle their size and strength should they decide to take off for ANY reason. The danger is real and like everyone, we thought that it won’t happen to us, you just hear about these things.


That is such a nightmare scenario - I hope you’re all ok.

I hated being at a campground where someone had their dogs off leash especially because Daisy was always on her leash and as to be expected, protecting her people in our temporary home site.

So sorry you were attacked like this. I hope not only that you’re well but that you hold the errant dog owners accountable.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:41 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the replies...keep them coming. I kind of expected the 6' leash to be the standard response.



My biggest concern is related to the dog attack listed above....having my older dogs on leashes beside the trailer and another unsupervised dog comes and starts a fight. This happens too frequently when I'm walking them in my own neighborhood. I'm always amazed at the other dog owner's apathy at what just happened...no apology or anything.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:46 PM   #16
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I travel with an 80 lb male Doberman, wouldn't feel safe without him, and have a couple of those metal portable fences that accordian closed for transport. I set them out under the awning area in front of the trailer and cover the top edges with either pipe insulation or pool doodles, sliced along the long side. They fit nicely over the wire and help hold the panels of fencing straight and steady, and make a good visual (STOP!!) for my dog, and also soften the wire top for leaning while yakking with a fellow camper.

That said, my boy is NEVER outside the trailer, even in that enclosure, without being on a 6 ft leash with me on the other end of it, or if I need to go inside the trailer, it is tied to a sturdy part of the trailer.

You do have to be aware of temps, as stated earlier, if you plan to leave the dog in the trailer or car. And I am always looking for restaurants with outdoor patios, most will allow you to keep your dog with you while eating in such a patio. AND your dog must be well-behaved and obey standard commands, whether in a restaurant patio or the campground.

For real exercise, i.e., real stretched out running, a dog park is the only safe place while on the road. I know, everyone warns that they are hotbeds of germs and dirt, but if you have an active, athletic fellow, that's about the only place for serious exercise.

Good luck, hope you enjoy camping with your dog guy.

Vivian
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:48 PM   #17
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We've evolved. When we started camping with dogs, we have smaller, well behaved dogs. We used a line in a loop about 4' off the ground, and ran the leashes through them so the dogs could move around freely. Which was fine, except you needed trees relatively close together, and far enough from entanglements to not get entangled. That worked SO well, we graduated to the pet kennels that are essentially just panels of wire grid that attach to one another. We'd set up a corral, and let the dogs have some room. At this point we had two Airedales, so we ended up replacing all the original panels with larger (meaning higher) ones to the Airedales couldn't jump over them in pursuit of whatever. HAHAHAHA. That worked great. These things are really heavy and hard to get into and out of the back of a pickup. When we had a smaller pickup, towing our 22, I could lift the panels over the side of the pickup. Bigger trailer, bigger truck … and now I can't lift them over the side, and have to slide them to the back. I have a herniated disk, so this is no picnic. Our dogs now are a beagle and a Goldendoodle. Our first few camping trips with the new trailer we took the fences. Then we decided to go with leashes. The dogs don't seem to mind sitting next to us when outside, or being inside when we're inside. They don't have room to play with each other, but as long as they get walks they're OK.

The next evolutionary step: Figure out what to do with them when we want to go away for several hours. I was going to ask that question here. What do y'all do?
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:51 PM   #18
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First line of defense. I Never Walk my dogs without my oak walking stick.

It’s very effective.

I also carry a pocketknife and pepper spray. Some might call that overkill but I prefer “well prepared”.

Where legal , a small handgun is a good option as well. Just my opinion.

There are just too many large dogs on the loose (and plenty of pit bulls too 🤬 ).
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:55 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by neck101 View Post
My biggest concern is related to the dog attack listed above....having my older dogs on leashes beside the trailer and another unsupervised dog comes and starts a fight. This happens too frequently when I'm walking them in my own neighborhood. I'm always amazed at the other dog owner's apathy at what just happened...no apology or anything.
I can relate to that: was walking my dog in my neighborhood, leashed of course, and a dog jumped his fence, ran over and attacked my Dobie. I think the attacker was deranged in some way since he was a good 2-3 inches smaller than mine. Fortunately mine is not a killer, so had the dog down on his back but released him in time for the owner to run out and drag him off.

I think the portable fence I mentioned in my earlier post would keep the unsupervised dog out of your dogs' faces and give you a chance to get yours in the trailer before he figured out how to get into the fence. I have the tallest portable fence available: maybe 4 ft? Works well.

Vivian
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:57 PM   #20
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Lily was attacked by a pit mix last September, and it was the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced.

Since then, I’ve been told if you grab the hind legs of the attacking dog, and lift them off the ground, the dog will release it’s jaws.

It then would attack you, of course.

Maggie
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