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Advice for training a dog to sleep in a tent!

Advice for training a dog to sleep in a tent!


Postby Teriksen4 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:14 pm

I have a 7 month old sprocker. I'm keen to take her on multi day hill walks in the future. As you may expect she is a coiled spring with loads of energy! I foresee sleeping in the tent and waking at 0330 with her desperate to seize the day. Any recommendations on the logistics of wild camping with a spaniel and ways to train them that bed time is bed time?
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Re: Advice for training a dog to sleep in a tent!

Postby Holly » Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:41 pm

When I take mine camping then they are normally pretty tired by the time we get to where we are going and have seen them trying to get into the tent before its even up properly! The main issue is the morning when they are raring to go. I normally take them a wee dander around where the tent is and let my extremely fit and full of energy dog have a bit of a run around and time for her absolutions before sending her back into the tent to allow me to then get ma coffee on and begin to come alive myself. There are plenty effing and blindings at times when you start to grab a sock for example and they think its time for pack up and go but ,, they get used to it and so to you! It’s midges and rain and messy tent that takes a bit of getting used to but,,, they truly are worth the hassle.
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Re: Advice for training a dog to sleep in a tent!

Postby Marty_JG » Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:58 pm

As said, dog should be tired.

Does your dog (still a puppy really) got crazy at 3.30 am at the moment or do they take their queues to keep sleeping?

I tested my dog 1st night camping by making sure if, all went horribly, I could pack-up and go home. Car not TOO far. Not needed but still a nice safety zone to have.

Other than that, settle down, get the dog settled, calm voice & petting... otherwise if you're asleep usually the pet accepts this. Dawn is another matter but 3am not so much.
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Re: Advice for training a dog to sleep in a tent!

Postby Backpacker » Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:16 pm

I'd advise doing it in the garden for a while as well to get them used to it. Mine (Border Terrier) is still a bit unsure when the tent goes up
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Re: Advice for training a dog to sleep in a tent!

Postby Teriksen4 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:48 pm

Thanks for all the advice. As you say, I think after a days walking she’ll be knackered. She sleeps in a room downstairs no bother.

Just getting out and doing would be helpful to see how she behaves and try to get her used to it. Could try in the garden as I can’t travel now anyway!
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Re: Advice for training a dog to sleep in a tent!

Postby wee black dug » Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:09 pm

Dogs are all different of course, but I suspect the going to sleep thing will, um, settle down as she gets a wee bit older.

I'd definitely practice in the garden, and then maybe a bit further afield - for the weather conditions if nothing else. Me & Jorja (the Wee Black Dug) had a few successful oot the back tent experiences; moved onto campsites further afield, and took the plunge for wild-ish camping thereafter.

I can still see her shaking, scared, and staring around the inside of a tent that was flapping like a loose sail when we had tried a night in the Cairngorms and the weather turned out to be significantly more windy than forecast.

Come morning she was quite the thing, and it's not put her off the occasional night in a tent since, but it was a truly horrible night for the pair of us.

Hope that helps. ;)
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Re: Advice for training a dog to sleep in a tent!

Postby KatTai » Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:13 pm

It does depend on how they react. I choose somewhere local for the first time, that way if it all goes wrong I don't have far to get home. Millie detested camping with a passion, fab hilldog but liked to return to her bed at night and was not one for overnight trips away. Moss was scared of the tent to start with so took a lot of encouragement to come in and settle down but she's now a happy camper. Coinneach just reacted as if it was a crate that we all went into and he thought that was amazing, but he was a nutjob outside the tent when away from familiar territory so he has been banned from camping trips. Zena will hopefully be learning this year, she does join me on the bed upstairs in the morning and is good at lying down sleeping so hopefully she'll be good in the tent. Usually if they are tired they will just sleep anyway. It is just a case of getting them familiar with the tent and realising the tent is NOT for playing around in which I think is going to be the issue with Zena.
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Re: Advice for training a dog to sleep in a tent!

Postby Border Reiver » Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:57 pm

30 odd years ago, my brother and I regularly toured Scotland, climbing Munros and sleeping in a 2-3 man tent. At some stage, I bought a Golden Retriever and when walking in Scotland I thought he would settle nicely in the back of my estate car. I was wrong, he barked constantly until out of desperation, the dog came into the tent with us. At night I would settle the dog down at the bottom end of the tent, but after a short while, he got up and flopped down between us, then proceeded to push and kick until brother and I were jammed against the sides of the tent and my 4 stone dog was happily sleeping in the space he had made for himself. It certainly stopped the barking, but it was very unnerving at times when the dog started growling at some noise he had heard outside.
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Re: Advice for training a dog to sleep in a tent!

Postby tall-story » Fri Jun 05, 2020 11:59 pm

My wee cocker sleeps better In the tent than she does at home, on our first camping experience I was on Jura so she had to rest so what I thought was to take a bit of her bedding with me (familiar smell) and on that weekend and every other time since she sleeps like a log :D
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Re: Advice for training a dog to sleep in a tent!

Postby Marty_JG » Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:56 am

I'm looking at a proper travel bed for my dog for my next set of hiking camping.

There are lots of options (I've seen them go to £300) and I was tempted by an inflatable one by Klymit but lots of people have said it deflates, so it looks like I'll go with this one. By Chuckit! (a brand that few dog owners need to be told about) and looks nice and robust, and a good size. Some brands are sleeping-bag type beds and I think my dog would be wary of that, but she can sleep on a bed and I can drape a jacket over her if need be.

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Pet-Mate-Chuckit-Travel-Bed/dp/B00027466A
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Re: Advice for training a dog to sleep in a tent!

Postby KatTai » Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:45 pm

Marty_JG wrote:I'm looking at a proper travel bed for my dog for my next set of hiking camping.

There are lots of options (I've seen them go to £300) and I was tempted by an inflatable one by Klymit but lots of people have said it deflates, so it looks like I'll go with this one. By Chuckit! (a brand that few dog owners need to be told about) and looks nice and robust, and a good size. Some brands are sleeping-bag type beds and I think my dog would be wary of that, but she can sleep on a bed and I can drape a jacket over her if need be.

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Pet-Mate-Chuckit-Travel-Bed/dp/B00027466A


Moss just uses an old sleeping bag and old inflatable camping mat I had - this was after she decided to join me in my sleeping bag (head-first of course :crazy: ) so I started taking one for her, she loves getting tucked into her sleeping bag :lol:
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Re: Advice for training a dog to sleep in a tent!

Postby Holly » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:22 pm

I use a thermarest closed cell mat for my two. Actually it’s my first mat from many years ago and cut down to size , it seems to be good for insulation. I carry an alpkit cloud cover quilt which gets thrown over the two dogs and me dependent on whether I take it and if not, I use a quilt bag now which is easier than a sleeping bag to share and the dogs keep me warm too :-). The measures we go to for our mutts :-)
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Re: Advice for training a dog to sleep in a tent!

Postby SMRussell » Sun Jun 07, 2020 4:20 pm

We have a 7 month old Border Terrier, Goose (pictured because, why not?). We're hoping he'll be able to join us wild camping once he's a bit older. In similar vein to others we've opted to introduce camping in a manageable way.

During lockdown we have put one of our older tents up in the garden during the day and let him go in and out and investigate. He barked at it, attempted to dig into it and also attempted to get into one of the storage nets. But settled eventually. About a week later we put it up again and spent a night out in the garden. Again there was some apprehension, a bit of digging before he settled. We used our Thermarest RidgeRest SOLite Mattresses (another point for closed-cell mattresses) rather than our pricey inflatable Neoair Xlites to be on the safe side. We're planning on a few more garden camps to build up his tent time. Once we can have over-nighters in the hills again we'll be taking care, as others have said, and choosing safe, easy, short walk out spots to camp initially.

In addition, before lockdown we spent a night out in our van (part converted). Took him for a hill fort walk in the late afternoon before settling down for the night. The walk helped to tire him out and as we were using our camping gear (sleeping bags, mats, stoves etc) he got to witness all of that in the relative safety of the van as opposed to a billowing tent. He was great. A bit of digging at the mats but settled down quickly.

IMG_20200607_131210395.jpg
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Re: Advice for training a dog to sleep in a tent!

Postby wee black dug » Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:08 pm

He barked at it, attempted to dig into it and also attempted to get into one of the storage nets


Dugs are rubbish, when you actually analyse it.

;)
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Re: Advice for training a dog to sleep in a tent!

Postby SMRussell » Mon Jun 08, 2020 2:02 pm

wee black dug wrote:
He barked at it, attempted to dig into it and also attempted to get into one of the storage nets


Dugs are rubbish, when you actually analyse it.

;)


True. Unhinged little beasts. We've called Goose "f*cking fanny" and "poo-face" so many times I am shocked he doesn't respond to them :)
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