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Dog friendly Travel with a reactive dog


woman with dalmatian in sunset

So you want to go on holiday? Right? and after all, you totally deserve it!


Be it a digital detox, a break from the stress of a busy city or just a change of scenery? I used to think I couldn't go anywhere with loki because of his reactivity and thought that dog-friendly places would always be full of dogs or unwelcoming for reactive dogs, (or dogs beyond what society deems ' a good dog') but the reality is just because we have reactive dogs doesn't mean we are not able to travel, and although some dog-friendly accommodations may not be totally suitable for reactive dogs there are in fact so many that are!, and you would be amazed at how far just asking a few questions or chatting to your host will take you.




Planning A Trip Away With A Reactive Dog


So when planning a trip away with your reactive dog there are a few things to consider and some of these will depend on your dog's reactivity the first thing is timing, if your dog is reactive to children avoid booking anything camping or shared areas out of term time as you will likely bump into families on their holidays with children, or book in the week.


If your dog is reactive to other dogs, I would also look to book time away in term time and at awkward times in the week from late Sunday check in to early Friday check out. this will minimize the likelihood of bumping into others as most tend to go away on weekends,


Avoid bank holiday weekdays Mondays/Fridays as these are particularly busy weekdays are busier than most weekends the perk of booking at these times is they are usually cheaper rooms too ( so you can thank your reactive dog for that )


Something else to consider when looking for places to stay with your reactive dog is looking for 'secure gardens', or 'private gardens ' depending on how sensitive your dog is to noise you could book a shepherds hut for example with its own enclosed garden amongst others if noises do not bother your dog but if your dog is more sensitive to sounds and sights then there are plenty of remote and even off the grid locations,




Ask Your Host

honestly, if you don't ask you don't get, and sometimes all you need to do is explain to your host that your dog has a few special requirements and if would there be anything they can do to help?


For example, if they have dogs that roam free could they keep then in their gardens for the duration of your stay? if they usually greet visitors at the door could they refrain from greeting your dog as they are nervous, or if your dogs are reactive to off-lead dogs could other visitors be requested to keep their dogs on leads in any communal places ect, a little explaining goes a long way and you'd be surprised at how helpful and understanding people can be





If your dog is reactive to other animals like cattle and livestock its always a good idea to query this in the summer months with the host to see if there will be livestock in the surrounding fields ( as rural stays or glamping sites are often surrounded by farmland )



Practice Settle Work

it is not uncommon for reactive dogs to be nervous anxious or unsettled in new environments it is important to practice settle work and settle protocols prior to your trip so that your time spent away from home will be enjoyable for your dog, look up magic mat and other similar settle work games to build value in your dogs settle mat for trips out or time spent outside





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