Originally Posted by Die Fledermaus
I'm going camping in a couple weeks.
I've not brought my Shepherd camping with me yet. I have brought my older dog dozens of times and he's a breeze. (now anyways)
One thing I've learned about taking a dog camping is they will surprise you sometimes with behaviors you didnt expect. My Kelpie I took camping several years ago (one of his first times). We were in the desert and there were hardly any people there. It wasnt campground camping, but open camping in BLM land so it was very empty of people and very quiet. We hiked to the top of a hill at night with flashlights (no trees so you could see far if there was light) and he could see people down below walking with flashlights through the wash (about 1/2 mile away). He just started barking furiously like never before. He was beside himself. He thought for sure these were beings out to kill us all. Normally I could stop him from barking with a word, but nothing I did could stop him! I even closed his mouth with my hand and he wriggled free and kept barking. It was as frustrating as it was funny. It was embarrassing because I didnt want to piss off anyone.
After that trip I realized he needs to be inside a tent or a vehicle at night. He is on full alert at night while camping. He turns into this sentry or Golum. Still as stone until he sees something moving in the dark, then he's ready to kill. yikes! Something he doesnt do EVER at home.
The picture is of him at home, but he hears coyotes out behind our back fence. Thats how he looks at night when we are camping. Ready to go. LOL
So I'm a little hesitant to bring my shepherd camping. Not because I dont think I can control him from running off and killing something, but because of the unkown. I dont know what he'll be like.
Do any of you have some good camping stories about behaviors your dogs had camping that you didnt expect?
Nesting. I think my first GSD picked up the habit from a friend's husky, and years later my second GSD learned from the older one. Both of them have a method of swirling my extra clothing and rain gear into a tight little ball around themselves when it's cold. Neither of them ever do anything like this at home - only when we're camping.
My older GSD can unzip tents with ease, inside/outside, both directions. We went on a trip last year that required a ton of gear, so we brought two tents for three humans and two GSDs. I put Tica in a tent with my husband. I had a second tent set up for myself, a friend, and Ayla (who was a puppy at the time). As soon as my husband fell asleep, Tica let herself out of his tent, crossed the clearing, unzipped the tent door and let herself into my tent, where she curled into a ball and went to sleep. Apparently I'm the favored one.
Soooo.... it might be a good idea to bring small carabiners and clip your tent zippers shut. I'm a light sleeper, but my husband slept right through the stealthy dog relocation.
Before you leave, you might set up your tent in your backyard and enforce Tent Time = Settle/Nap Time.
Have a great trip, take pictures!