Dog Training Classes - Tips for Traveling Alone with a Dog
Why are dog training classes necessary? We love to travel and like many, we caught the travel bug! This is still the same now as it was long before we brought our boy home, we knew we would want to reap the rewards and benefits of travelling the world with him and as such began using dog training classes to train him for travel from the get-go! This would ensure that we as a couple could travel with him and would enable my partner to go traveling alone with a dog stress free.
Priming a Puppy with Exceptional Dog Training Classes
Before priming your world travel map for joint holidays with your pets, you must ensure your pet is primed for the adventures first with some professional dog training classes!
How to travel alone with a dog
In this blog we are sharing our best tips for travelling alone with a dog. These tips are to prepare your dog or puppy for travelling so you can make the most of your adventures together. At the time of purchasing a puppy we did not realise just how many adventures awaited us, there is no doubt these pointers have come in handy for both local travels and cross-country travels with our boy Francis.
Dog Socialisation for a Busy World
We will start with our biggest win which has to be ‘early socialisation’. It is the founding principles for adjusting a puppy to the dog world and wider travel world. The principle of socialisation is simple; it is to expose your pets to factors in the world on a slow, steady, and controlled basis so they learn to be comfortable in these scenarios.
Taking car travel as an example, you would break down the task into three key areas: socialisation to the outside world, socialisation to the cars and traffic (yes, that includes those loud motorbikes) and socialisation to movement in the car. By doing so you can focus on each area one step at a time, rewarding and encouraging your puppy to be comfortable and happy with each step before moving onto the next.
Naturally as humans’ babies become socialised to their surroundings and events and it is much the same for our pets.
Looking at puppies, the main window for socialisation to be most impactful is between 3-20 weeks, so the earlier you can start socialisation the better. We built socialisation into our training plan and daily lives almost immediately, covering a range of meetings with different species, weather, transport, and noises. We even went as far as driving to the local airport car park just so he would become accustom to the noises of aircraft in case we take him to an airport.
A Puppy Socialisation Travel Checklist
Here is a link to the puppy socialisation checklist we used, simply print, practice, and tick off! Alternatively think about the types of travels you will hopefully do in the future and begin putting a list together of the exposure your pet should get used too.
Will your travel buddy travel by air, sea, or road? Will they meet other species, such as farm animals, pets in accommodation? If you plan on lots of city travel, how can you get them used to traffic, loud machinery, bright lights? How could weather change across regions, can you get them used to these different types of weather?
The more you can get your pet used to at the beginning, the easier it will be to travel in the future. It may sound over the top and like a pain in the backside to do, but the reward is a calm happy dog which ensures a calm happy life for you. The effort at the start will go a long way in the end.
Training and Dog Socialisation Classes
Jarvis the Dog Whisperer
Next up, a huge impact on future travels with your dog will be training commands and the bond and mutual respect you share for each other. It would be no fun travelling with an out-of-control dog, right? Travelling itself can be challenging so make travelling with pets as easy as possible by creating a strong bond and level of respect from the get-go with some dog training classes.
You will find many dog friendly accommodations on your travels, plus activities, events and eateries will all have a ‘well-behaved pet policy’ in place and you will want to fit into that category especially when you need accommodation with pets. It is important this is respected to ensure businesses remain dog friendly and more can become so in the future.
If you have never trained a dog before, we would strongly recommend reaching out to a dog trainer for some experience, advice and dog training classes/puppy training classes. Not only will they be able to teach the basic principles of bringing up a well-trained dog, but you will also have a direct resource for advice around preparing for travels with your dog.
For our own training we used Goodall Dog training in Hampshire and Jarvis Dog Boarding and Training, who have online courses available. Our reasoning for using two was to ensure we could learn a wide range of topics across different methods, from different viewpoints and it was to socialise our boy with as many other people and pets as possible via the training days.
We used Goodall for hiring a private field to practice our training in a secure outdoor environment and we used Jarvis for day care to help our dog get used to time away from us to prevent the typical French Bulldog separation anxiety as well as have his training practiced elsewhere.
To find dog socialisation classes and puppy training classes just type these search terms into Google, or alternatively reach out to Jarvis the Dog Whisperer to ask for recommendations. If you are lucky enough to live in Hampshire, you may be able to book time in with her.
Who is Jarvis?
A Dogs Routine
Next up, we will discuss routine. This can be a big challenge to keep in check whilst travelling, even without pets! Since routine is an important part of a puppy’s growing period it is an important factor to consider.
To ensure you have the right travel solutions in place and to prepare for routine changes, we had to know our pup inside out. His mood swings, how he would act when hungry or tired, how he would show he needed exercise/to play etc, determining whether he was going to roll in Fox poo (a great French Bulldog shampoo was required many times).
Being in tune with our boy means we can work our schedule around him and where this is not strictly possible be ready to find a workaround. Whether it was carrying a dog backpack for exercise so we can carry him when tired or keeping snacks and water on hand in the car or on the train. All this takes time and training but there is no bond like a bond with your pet and knowing each other inside out, so once again it is more than worth it.
Feeding Dogs when Travelling
Travelling and feeding good food was one of our biggest challenges when on travels with our dog. Since we have a French Bulldog, he has a sensitive tummy and some of the typical French Bulldog allergies we see. As such he generally needs food that suits his sensitive stomach so we raw feed him single proteins. Of course, carrying around raw food and requiring an appliance to chill the food creates a unique set of issues depending on the type of travel needed.
In the early days (pre-COVID-19) we mainly travelled by car, on road-trips around the EU. We would research areas in advance and contact the local pet shop to check the range of food available.
After mainly failed attempts at this (sometimes resulting in long trips to find butchers/fish mongers) we put a plan in place to test many types of foods and brands, so we would have the option to take backup food with us (that did not need to be chilled). An example of this would be freeze-dried raw and cold-compressed meats or other alternatives we could find whilst abroad. This took a lot of trial and error but has allowed us to have more freedom whilst on the move.
Diet really is an important part to consider when travelling and one we wished we had planned ahead better!
Dog Exercise and Play
Finally, an important element of a dog’s day is exercise and play. Without these, dogs can become troublesome, sad, and even aggressive. Thinking ahead, especially if you will not have much luggage space, how can you entertain and exercise your dog? For example, there are many long-life chews on the market which we have found to be ideal for travels as well as lightweight toys that can be easily rinsed off.
We have also learnt to become more resourceful with the environment around us and our puppy did incredibly well at getting used to simple things such as using cardboard packets, milk bottles and nature itself for fun.
We hope our story will help you plan for travelling with dogs, since although there can be a lot to do – However, the incredible joint adventures are worth every minute!