Suggestions for Camping With a Dog

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I have a German short haired pointer and lab mix. He's about 7 years old, but still acts like a pup. We're trying to go camping with him next summer, but we are to afraid that he will either run after some animal, tip our cannon over (and he does not really like water), or get hurt. Any advice on things to bring or something?


By danielle

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August 7, 20090 found this helpful

You are smart to plan ahead for next summer! If it were me, I think I'd use the next year to get him ready for this. You might make a camper out of him yet!

Walk him every day on a very short leash at the "Heal" position. Make sure that whenever you see water or a puddle, make him walk through it. Do this quickly without stopping so he doesn't have time to think about it. If at first you don't succeed, go back around & try it again & again!

Yes, Many dogs will go after critters or go into other people's camp sites. You'll have to run a rope from one tree to another then put his leash on it so the loop that forms the handle slides back & forth on the rope attached to the trees. This way he can run back & forth without getting tangled up but you'll also know he's safe & out of mischief.


Then whenever you leave your camp spot you'll have to put him back on the short leash & walk him in the heal position. I know it sounds boring (to keep him on a leash) but, you probably have no choice if you can't really trust him not to run after things.

In the next year you also may be able to train him to come to a certain sound, like a whistle. Train him with treats, then if he wonders off you can either whistle (or use a whistle) & he'll automatically come right away. This is what I did with my cat & he now comes every time I call him.

Keep in the tent at night, tie him up or put him in his crate so you can sleep without worrying about him. I'm pretty sure that none of these things are new to you & you've already thought about them all. I don't think there's any magic formula to keep dogs in control, just constant, good training & loving discipline.

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August 8, 20090 found this helpful

Cyinda had some fantastic advice! Everything she said was very important to get your dog ready for the trip.


One other thing I'd add though, is to buy a small pup tent (I have one that sleeps 2 that I got at Wal Mart for $24). Set it up and have the dog start sleeping in there. If he sleeps inside, then put it somewhere out of the way, maybe a back bedroom or a corner of the living room, and let him start using it for his bed. Then when you set your tent up on the trip he'll understand what it is.

One trick I've heard of people using to keep their dogs from running off during the night is that they hooked the dog's leash to their ankle. Then if the dog tried to take off they'd feel it and bring it back in. I'm not a camper, but it makes sense to me!

Good luck and have fun!

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August 8, 20090 found this helpful

Yeah, plus it depends on the dog's personality. So if he's curious then he will probably have to be tied to a tree, away from things that can be easily knocked over unless you are taking him/her on a trail.

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August 10, 20090 found this helpful

Hi, I just got back from a camping trip with my Chow, Honey. She had a great time but I think she is glad to be home.


We had her on a tie out (the type you screw into the ground) when we were at the campsite and that seemed to work out well. She could still get around but wouldn't run off. We tried to take her with us whenever we left the campsite and also took her on walks around our camp "loop". She wouldn't really bark at people when she was on the leash, but she sure would when she was at our camp. We were relatively near the bathroom and garbage, so I would try to be at the end of a loop or in an area where people don't walk by all the time at night.

There were a few dogs that were allowed to run free, which always caused an uproar when they came close (although she doesn't usually bark at other dogs at all). In my opinion, dogs should be kept on a leash or tie out in a situation like this. No matter how well behaved your dog is, another dog may react aggressively.


Also, many people, especially children, have a fear of dogs and having a stray dog come into your campsite or jumping in your car can be stressful.

We brought her into our tent at night, which was less fun when it was raining. Wet dog is not my favorite odor :) I like the idea of having a separate tent for the dog, but make sure they can't break out. Our tent closes at the bottom right, so a clever dog can push her way through, given the opportunity. A few years ago, we went camping with my mother and she put her dog in her car for the nighttime.

One thing to make sure of is to put the food away at night, to avoid scavengers coming into the campsite for it. We left dog food out one time and raccoons fought over it right next to our tent while we were sleeping. Raccoons may not be very big but they sound pretty scary when you are woken up from a sound sleep.


My friends brought their dog too and they dropped him right off at the groomer on the way home. I thought this was a great idea, if you usually go to a groomer.

Good luck and have fun!

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August 12, 20090 found this helpful

All ideas are awesome here. One other thing is to mamke sure that your dog is current on all their vaccinations and bring along a flea & tick collar. You don't want you sweetie coming home with anything.

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August 12, 20090 found this helpful

Hi, my husband and I camp with our dogs all the time. We have a beagle/basset mix and an English Pointer.

When you camp with your dog just like camping with anyone with "special needs", you have to make your trip around him. If your dog doesn't ride in a canoe well, don't canoe. If you're worried he'll chase after an animal and/or get hurt, be sure that when you hike or go walking your dog is on a leash and in camp you can bring a tie-out for him. Make sure he sleeps IN the tent with you at night, this will make sure he's safe when you're not there to watch him. If this sounds like too much trouble, find a sitter for your dog or don't go camping.

If you're like me, this dog is like your baby. You wouldn't want anything to happen to him. I love taking our "boys" camping. They're both great on leash, although our Pointer is only good at being tied-out if he can reach his "daddy."
You'll get the hang of it and it actually might take a few tries to get camping with a dog down well enough that everyone enjoys the trip.

About canoeing: Practice! Take your dog out for a very short ride and then get longer and longer. Teach him "sit" and "stay", "down" is also good. Make sure to reward proper behavior too. Make the trips fun for him ALWAYS. He'll just be glad to be with you.

Have a great camp out!

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