By Cheri Sicard
Endless RVing’s MJ happens to also be a certified professional dog trainer. In the video below she shares her top 8 tips for RVing with dogs.
As a professional dog trainer, MJ works with dogs every day. She frequently sees things going on with dogs at campgrounds that she wishes were different. So she produced this video to help make camping and RV trips better and easier for both dogs and owners. It’s like an RVing with dogs 101 primer.
Tips for RVing with dogs covered:
#1 Desensitize your dog: In other words, get your dog used to the RV environment before heading out on a trip. This goes for when you get a new rig too.
#2 Breed restrictions: MJ says to be sure and check for campground breed restrictions before you leave. Unfortunately, some breeds, like Pit Bulls, have gotten a bad rap because of people mishandling, misbreeding, and mistraining them (MJ owns Pit Bulls herself). Nonetheless, in order to avoid problems, check in advance.
#3 Campground etiquette with dogs: MJ says to avoid retractable leashes as she says they are dangerous. She discusses fences and the etiquette of keeping your dog under control. And, of course, you DO need to pick up after your dog.
#4 Reducing barking at passers-by: This dog training tip goes into the psychology of why dogs do this, why yelling at them to stop does not work, and what to do instead.
#5 Top RV dog supplies: In this tip MJ shares some handy RV dog items to keep in your rig.
#6 How to keep dogs busy when you are out of the RV: Let’s face it, you can’t ALWAYS be with your dog. But how do you keep it from going crazy, continually barking, or otherwise annoying your neighbors when Fido has to stay behind? MJ has tips for that too. Mental stimulation is key!
#7 Be aware of pavement temperatures: MJ discusses the importance of monitoring the heat of the pavement when walking the dogs so they don’t burn their paws. She shows a quick and easy way to determine if it’s too hot.
#8 Monitor the RV’s interior temperature: MJ’s husband, Izzy, discusses interior temps, including if your rig has an auto-generator start, and how to monitor interior temps if it doesn’t.
We’ve found that, in addition to breed restrictions, some places have restrictions on size (40lb or less for example) or number of dogs (limit 2 is common). We check all of these when making reservations because our 2 are 65 & 75 lbs lab mix dogs. If my SIL travels with us, she has a 6lb poodle. Sometimes you can explain your situation (2 dogs for us, 1 for her) and some places will grant an exemption. Some are inflexible.
A very good video on dog basics. We have used most of these tactics for years!
One additional tip that greatly helps is to socialize your dog very very early on to as many people and other animals as possible to get them comfortable with others.
Another is to NOT console or reward a dog for bad behavior! I see many owners saying “oh…it’s ok” and petting them while they viscously yap at passersby. The owner is rewarding the dog for bad behavior and encouraging it to repeat the behavior. It’s different to follow the tip and provide a treat while they are still calm BEFORE a bad behavior erupts.
Another great video. Instead of a WiFi enabled temperature monitor, we placed a thermometer we could read in view of our nanny cam. We can see the temperature in addition to watching, listening and, if necessary, speaking to the dogs while we are away. We have learned to speak sparingly, as they have learned to expect us shortly after hearing us. We also leave the TV on a Youtube dog channel.
Do you have a nanny cam recommendation Ray? I need to get one. I have a new rescue dog who is really good, but I am afraid to leave him as he goes exploring when he gets bored. There is no room in my RV for a crate so I am thinking training with the nanny cam and the “voice of god” reprimanding him from thin air, might do the trick.
Perhaps a dog repellant to apply around your RV site would be useful.