10 Aug Camping With Your Dog – Rules of Etiquette
Your dog is your family’s companion, friend, and protection. It’s a given that you aren’t going to be able to include him on the family trip to Disney World, but you can go camping with your dog. Camping is fun and can include ALL the members of your family. You are going to need to do a little prep work if you want Fido to behave. Nothing ruins the vacation more than a skunked-up dog or having to listen to him bark at every rustling leaf.
I say this, because not only is it annoying to you, it can also destroy the evening for everyone within miles. This fact is especially true if you plan to pitch your tent in a public campground.
# 1 Rule When Camping With Your Dog
Puppy Needs to Mind His Manners!
Your dog is a lot like a middle-school boy. First of all, he likes to get dirty, and the stinkier the better. His volume knob is stuck on ‘Loud,’ and he eats just about anything he can a hold of.
Then, of course, there is that peeing thing. Wherever, and whenever, right? What’s the big deal? You’re roughing it.
Well, most people find loud, obnoxious children a trial and the same goes for ill-behaved dogs. Like children, you have to train your dog how to behave in social situations. You can’t expect them to enter a new and exciting environment and control themselves unless you teach them self-discipline. So, how do you do that?
First, YOU need to know the rules for proper canine camping behavior.
Camping With Your Dog in a Public Campground
There are a few basic rules of etiquette that other campers will expect your dog to follow.
- There is no barking in the campground for any reason.
- Your dog needs to stay at your campsite and not be tempted “to go visiting.”
- He should be able to resist “tasting” the human food.
- If he is wet or dirty, don’t allow him to shake off near people.
- There is no swimming in the fishing hole or public pool.
- Peeing should be done away from people and camp sites.
- Poop should be picked up immediately.
- Don’t let him chase cars, bikes, small children, or wildlife.
- And for goodness sake, don’t wash your dog in the camp shower.
Is There Such a Thing as a Well-Behaved Dog?
Dogs who don’t receive basic training often turn into wild little beasts, much like those children we talked about earlier. Good behavior only happens when you are willing to give Fido patient and consistent instruction or pay a trainer to do it for you.
The problem is that even when you opt to pay a dog trainer, you still have to do your part. Your dog needs to see you as someone to respect. If you try to take your dog out socially, without some basic training, you run the risk of annoying those around you or worse.
The best advice I can give you is before you go camping with your dog, take him through a Basic Obedience course. Learn how to communicate with your canine friend. Most dogs want to please their owners; they just aren’t sure what you expect from them.
Reap the Benefits of a Trained Dog
I bet you don’t even realize how much help a trained dog can be on your camping trip. For instance, your dog can dig your fire pit. That’s right! Most dogs love to dig and will jump right in to help.
What about carrying supplies? Your dog can easily tote small things in a doggy backpack designed specifically for that purpose. Make him carry his own dog food or the first aid supplies. Your dog can also be trained to locate items by smell such as cast-off antlers, which can be sold to local craft people.
When you go camping with your dog, make him help collect the firewood and of course he can keep the area free from varmints. Just make sure he knows not to engage. Safety comes first, and a nose full of porcupine needles is painful.
Camping with your dog can be a fun and rewarding experience. He will enjoy the time outdoors and so will you. All it takes is a bit of training on your part. So, the next time you plan for the family vacation, set aside a week or two for some Obedience Refresher courses. Every camper will thank you.