Do any of you RV/travel frequently with your GSD? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-11-2019, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Do any of you RV/travel frequently with your GSD?

As I am doing my research on the best pup for us, our family lifestyle is different from most. We home/road school our kids, and take multiple trips a month towing our second home a 5th wheel camper. For example, when we were studying presidents we took a trip to Mt. Rushmore, when studying landforms we went to Utah to see the arches and to the Grand Canyon, and so forth...

Anyhow, I was just wondering if there are any other RV'ers with info on acclimating a GSD to frequent travel, or any other suggestions on how we should approach this. Obviously I would have the dog in the truck with us, and not in the camper or bed of the truck when traveling, I'm not sure why people always assume that, lol...

John P.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-11-2019, 09:09 PM
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I can't believe how jealous I am right now.

Anyway, I think if you were to get a puppy, it would be raised with all of the travelling and become accustomed to it easily. If you were to adopt an older dog, it could probably get acclimated to travel easily enough depending on its temperament and how the family helps the dog adjust.

There are GSDs that are steady and pretty unflappable by nature, and some that are more high-strung. Much depends on genetics, other factors are environmental. I'd guess that most dogs take cues from their family and just enjoy being part of the group.

My GSD is a working line type, and he's 1 yr old. Up to about 9 mos old he was pretty good about riding in the backseat of a Jeep Cherokee, and then he wasn't so good. We took him on a road trip/vacation from NY to VA and he was good mostly, and an angel in the hotel, but then something changed. Lots of excited barking right in our ears on the last trip to a local training session and that was it for me. I bought a Gunner kennel to use in the bed of my truck and that's how he'll be chauffeured around now!

I imagine an RV or truck like yours might be just fine. Have plans re what to do if parks etc won't allow your dog in, but many parks are good with them if your dog is leashed. Ours liked exploring Antietam with us.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-11-2019, 09:53 PM
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I'm in [email protected]'s camp.....I have been greatly impressed by our bitch's ability to adapt to different environments when we are on the road in the motor home or out in the boat fishing.....this gal of ours is great. Just as [email protected] mentioned ...."and just enjoy being part of the group." so clearly evident in her flexibility and sheer enjoyment of going with us in the motor is a wonderful bonus overall.

The guarding/alerting/territorial behavior certainly exists...... once she figured out the motor home was our living quarters....pretty much the same with the boat.

I was also impressed that a smaller more restricted area at times did not cause any problems for the dog......but I believe by exercising the dog no matter where we are makes a big difference......

Start 'em young in the environments they will live in.......and in short order they will be incredible traveling buds.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-11-2019, 10:20 PM
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Well, if someone had asked me when Shadow was a pup I would have said it would be a nightmare, but over the last few years she has been called on time and again to step out of her comfort zone and do bizarre crap with me. She's been a Rockstar.
She literally got hauled out by the scruff of her neck from our condemned house, after the floor caved in. She learned to live in a motel and hang out with strangers. Then she learned to hitch hike. Then she learned to camp. Then she went on the road trip from h---. We watched TV in the woods beside the fire, then we lived in a motel again, now she has a 6x14 room with our stuff in it.
As much as it sucks, discourage barking as an alert. Folks don't appreciate it. Teach your dog that when you say go pee it means right here, right now. It's a bonus on the road. And teach a place or bed command, it's so handy in small spaces. Accustom to a muzzle, huge help as some folks get iffy about the GSD near their poodle. RV parks are sometimes overrun with small dogs owned by skittish people. It's also a bonus to teach them about being on a rope as you will probably be in places where off leash is forbidden and a leash is very restrictive.

I keep her paperwork as accessible as my ID and I carry a first aid kit for the dog.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-11-2019, 10:44 PM
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I've traveled and camped a bit with my dog, it was hard when she was a pup. As far as long drives, they settle in. Crate and long line are essential
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 12:01 AM
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I've traveled around with my GSD as a puppy, she took it all in her stride. She is excellent in the back seat of the car, she likes to sleep in the foot space or stick her nose out of the window. I bought her a car hammock thing for the back seat so she can lay down also, which she likes a lot. Definitely worth getting a puppy used to travelling when small, ours had already traveled near half of the US by the time she was 6 months old

Staying in campsites / motels etc was fine for us too. There are a lot of dog friendly places in some states. When staying in motels most have crate policies and our girl is pretty quiet after 10pm until morning, so no real issues with barking. Although, asking for a room on the end of the corridor helps a lot with that during the day too! Our girl is not a constant barker (saw far more issues with this from small lap type dogs), but she will bark if someone approaches our space, or knocks on the door etc.

Although on a last note, I will point out that it can be a bit more restrictive when travelling to certain locations with a dog. Many national parks and attractions do not actually allow dogs onto their sights or trails, so unless you are already parked up and can leave your dog somewhere safe in their crate, it might not be as flexible for impromptu stops. However, usually there are many surrounding national forests and rec areas that are just as beautiful and dog friendly (and cheaper!)
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 01:10 AM
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Kinda of surprised that nobody tagged me in this yet lol. I'll be living full time with both of my dogs come March in an old renovated Van. Luckily both of my dogs come everywhere with my anyways, so acclimating to the van was no issue. We travel frequently in it already. The biggest thing for my dogs was getting used to more extreme heat and extreme cold. The actual traveling was no problem, they seem to live for it. They do a lot better in near 0 degree weather, than 80+ degree weather, despite insulation and a fan. They acclimate to the cold far better than we do, but struggle to acclimate to heat. So my biggest piece of advice is always park in the shade and always have tons of water available.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 08:12 AM
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we bought our RV in part so that we could bring our dogs. You've gotten some very good advice here so just let me add this: Check this site. RV Park Reviews - Trusted Reviews of Campgrounds & RV Parks Not only to I check it before we travel I add to it once I've left a park. Of course like most review sites you'll get postings from people who are really happy or very upset, seldom the middle ground. Still, I think it is worth taking a look at, especially for dog policies.

We have pick up truck and a 32 ft travel trailer. The worst part is cleaning all of the dog hair out of the truck, especially during summer. We don't have the dogs ride in the Gunner Kennels while we have the trailer attached. I suppose we could but we chose not to.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 08:30 AM
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I have done day trips. The dogs do well in my suv. They are used to going out and doing things. This is a great app to look up locations where you can take your dogs. As mentioned not every park beach allows dogs so plan ahead.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 08:40 AM
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We've camped often with our girls. Tess was 5 months for her first trip, Della was 10 weeks. We've never had issues with either one, but so much fun. We pulled our camper, they've ridden in whatever vehicle we've had at the time. Farthest trip in one day was 12 hours to the UP of Michigan.
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