Traveling with a dog has its ups and downs, highs and lows, fun times, and frustrating times. More then often, the joy of being able to go for a walk with your dog in a new city, watch them smell all the new smells available, and seeing another side of the city is well worth the effort.
We are going to start small and build up with our talks about Traveling with Tucker. The best luck we have had in introducing Tucker to a life on the road is short trips around Iowa.
The majority of his mileage and socialization have come from Andy loading him up into his '92 Beretta and traveling 3 hours to visit Shelly on movie sets across Iowa. Tucker has been going on small road trips since he was 3 months old.
Prior to taking the big leap and cooping him up in the car for 3 plus hours we tried small car rides around town. Most of which ended badly with Tucker attempting to bail out the passenger side window while the car was in motion. Needless to say, we were nervous on how he would handle his first cross-Iowa expedition.
Tucker took his first long trip in the back of Shelly's Escape in his kennel. He was given toys, treats, and towels to keep him busy. He cried nonstop for the first hour and a half of the three-hour ride. He got a break from his kennel to eat at a rest stop/park. Like any good dad, Andy walked Tucker around for him to go potty trying to prevent any accidents from happening in the car. Forty-five minutes later, still walking, no potty. So, Tucker was loaded back up into the car where he proceeded to whine for another thirty minutes. Thankfully, Tucker made it to the hotel without any accidents! The rest of the weekend went so smooth that we have continually brought Tucker across Iowa for the past four months.
Andy deserves the credit for figuring out the magic combination to getting Tucker to sit in the car and not try to break out. Tucker ALWAYS has to go for a long walk before we go on a trip otherwise he will be the worst backseat driver known to man. He has a tendency to wiggle his way up onto the center counsel and lick anything or anyone within his reach. As you can imagine, it's a bit distracting to have such a large dog licking the side of your head while driving.
We also find it best to take Tucker directly to a park after such a long car ride. We would rather he exercise his legs and empty his bladder somewhere other then our hotel room.
In our short time with Tucker, we have learned to look at hotels in a completely different way:
- The air conditiong is always better in the hotel then it is at home.
- The best way to make new friends at a MOTEL; let your dog wander into their room.
- The most interesting things about hotels can be found in the parking lots.
- If you are curious about your new surroundings, simply explore!
What type of road trip you take greatly depends on the personality of your dog. Knowing your dog's limitations and temperament will determine where and what type of trip you will take. We suggest things based off of the knowledge of our dog. We know that all dogs are not the same so please don't get discouraged if your dogs don't react the same way as Tucker in situations!
Short road trips are a great way to teach your dog how to handle new situations and build up to longer even more exciting adventures!