One of the most common concerns that dog owners have when they bring their pet in for animal training is dealing with travel. Many people love the idea of traveling with their dogs but have trouble making sure that their pets behave during a trip. Having a dog as a “co-pilot” on a road trip can make for wonderful memories, but it can also be a major headache if the dog misbehaves or dislikes travel. Dog owners want to make sure that their pets are well-trained and prepared to have a fun and exciting vacation experience and often come to a dog trainer looking for help.
Before a pet can be trained for travel, it’s a good idea to make sure they are well-versed in the basic dog training commands. If a dog doesn’t know how to sit, heel or lie down, then getting them to behave in unfamiliar circumstances is going to be a challenge. If a dog does have the basic commands down, you might want to work on having them perform them in places they are not used to being in. You might take a dog out for a trip to a crowded dog park and have them perform basic commands to make sure they are comfortable doing them when they are in a high-stress environment.
One of the most important aspects of an animal career is keeping pets safe. While many pet owners would love the freedom to have their dogs run without a leash on a beach or at a rest stop, most dogs do not have the discipline to heel or come back to their owners reliably. As a dog trainer, it’s up to you to make this assessment about a dog you are working with and communicate this information back to the owner so they don’t place their dog in danger.
Another important aspect to consider when you train dogs for travel is their ability to go to the bathroom in unusual circumstances. It’s important to make sure that the dog is well housebroken and can “hold” their urges until they reach an appropriate destination. It’s a good idea to recommend to dog owners to have pads for dogs to use – even those that are housebroken – just in case they can’t wait or are put off by being in a hotel or other unusual environment.