RVing With Your Pet

By Julee Meltzer

The Best RVing Dog

German Shepherd - developed in Germany to herd and guard sheepAccording to the RVIA, some 1 in 12 US households now own an RV. Most figures state that 63% have a pet. So, this equates to around 6.2 million dogs are traveling with their owners in RVs. But, what is the best kind of dog to travel with? Well, RVers have a reputation for loving small dogs, but in our travels, we have seen lots of big dogs RVing too. So what is the best dog for RVing?

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Well, there really isn't a best breed, but there are some qualities which an RVing dog should try to emulate:

The best type of dog for RVing

1) Barking. This is probably one of the top qualities that an RV dog should have. They should be able to bark at the top of their lungs at all times; when you take them on a walk, when they see another dog, when they see another person, when something moves, or when you leave your RV. The ideal RV dog will get up on the dash, run back and forth, and bark his head off whenever something moves outside, like a leaf being blown past his RV. And, he or she will pick really strange times to bark really loud–like at 3am or 6am, so that the neighbors can know that everything is safe. Look for one that likes to bark the most when you are in a park with sites close together so that everyone can enjoy his beautiful barking.

2) Peeing. This is the second top quality that you should look for in an RVing dog. Find a dog that likes to pee on things, preferably a big male with lots of pee. So, when you take him for a walk, he will pee on everything that sticks up; a tire, a fireplace, a picnic table, a blade of grass, whatever he can find. Neighbors particularly like the smell of pee when they start a fire in their fireplace, so you are being good to the neighbors.

3) Doesn't like a leash. One of the best dogs for camping and RVing is one that doesn't like a leash. That way you can violate all of the campground rules and walk him without a leash. He can run up to other dogs in an aggressive or friendly manner and give the other dog's owner a heart–attack. Or, better yet, he can run out from your site to 'greet' everyone who is lucky enough to walk by.

4) Poops a lot. Pick a dog that loves to poop on other people's sites and won't let you clean it up. As we all know, dogs use this to mark their territory, so it is good to leave it everywhere, so your dog will know that he owns the entire park. This way you can make good friends with all of the neighbors because they can have a little 'piece' of your dog on their site (and on their shoes if they are really lucky!).

5) Is very excitable. For you own sake, pick a dog that is as hyper–active as possible. I recommend a really small, hyper dog that will jump up and down and nip at people's ankles when they stop to talk to you. This will be a good bonding moment for you and the person whose ankles your dog is nipping at. A truly excellent RVing dog will also bark while he is nipping and jumping.

6) Defenders. If you can't find an RVing dog who is afraid of everything that moves, you might want to look for one that thinks he is G.I. Joe. This superb quality enables him to see his site as territory which must be defended from intruders at all costs. Look for one that likes to conduct surprise attacks on unsuspecting walkers–by.

7) Digger. While this isn't the top quality, it is still one to look for when you want a dog that is good at traveling with you to campgrounds. I like to try to find a dog that will dig many, many holes as opposed to one large hole, but this is just a personal preference. You may be a person who prefers large holes on your site. And, I know that campground owners look for this quality.

So, how do you find these kinds of dogs? Just look around at any park!

This week alone, I had to ask someone to put a leash on their dog. And, I have a fireplace which is near the road that gets peed on more than a fire hydrant. I dread the time when my husband wants to start a fire. And, I won't even mention the dog that was across from us for a month that barked at everything that moved.

What kills me the most is dogs that bark and bark and bark and bark outside while the owner is sitting right there. Don't they hear it! Why do they think I want to hear their dog bark for hours at a time?

Seriously, how do I find the right dog for RVing?

Well, you can start at this website: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/ is a good start. The website www.thedivadog.com recommends the following small dogs for apartments and RVs. They also have a few tips:

"The ideal dog for an apartment, condo, townhome, or RV should be relatively small, calm quiet and easy to clean up after. Additionally, they should have low daily exercise requirement. So if you live in an apartment and are looking to add a dog to your life, consider one of the following dog breeds."

Bichon Frise
Boston Terrier
Cairn Terrier
Cocker Spaniel
English Bulldog
Italian Greyhound
Lhasa Apso
Scottish Terrier
West Highland Wite Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier

Source: http://www.thedivadog.com/best–dogs–for–apartments.aspx

Next month we will talk about big dogs!