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Tips to get your dogs ready for the road

Maybe your dogs are already used to the adventurous lifestyle. Mine were not. Here are some steps I took or wish I would’ve taken to get my non-adventurous dogs ready

1. Go on walks around the neighborhood or public spaces as much as possible

I adopted Bear straight out of college while I was living in a apartment. Just a few years later, at the age of 24, I purchased my first home and realized it was easy enough to bring a second dog into our home so Kashi joined the family. I had a fenced in back yard and it was as easy as opening up the back door to let them run around. I was working 40+ hour work weeks so when I came home the last thing I wanted to do was take the dogs for a walk. I regret this very much. I wish I would have been more intentional about taking the dogs for walks.

2. Socialize your dogs

The best way to do this is to go to as many dog parks as possible. Unlike most places in the US, the dog parks around Indianapolis are not free. And I was cheap. I decided not to invest in the socialization of my dogs. Luckily, we had several dogs in the family so I do think my dogs were decently socialized without the dog parks. However, when we first started going to dog parks once we began to travel they were a bit rambunctious.

Additionally, whenever possible, take your dogs with you to grab coffee or food or even walk around high pedestrian areas so your dogs can get used to all of the distractions. This is something I am still working on with my dogs.

3. Invest in additional training courses

Although I had taken both of my dogs through beginners dog training courses as puppies, I knew I needed some additional, intensive training. This was not only an investment of time but also money. I decided to enroll both Kashi and Bear into a 10 day board and train course with a professional. This cost me around $3,000 for the both of them. Looking back on this, I think maybe it was a bit of an overkill. I think I could have just taken them through a second level training course and probably been alright. However, after the training my dogs were amazing. I did not do the best job keeping up with their training so they lost some of it. But overall, I think that it really help solidify a great foundation for both Kashi and Bear.

4. Purchase high quality dog gear

This is very important for an adventurous dog life. You can’t go out into the mountains with a cheap leash and think you will be able to properly control your dog. My absolute favorite leashes come from Terrain Dogs. In July of 2019 Terrain Dogs reached out to me and wanted to send over some products for Kashi and Bear. I agreed but made it clear I would not promote them until I have tested out their products. After 8 months, I can safely say I LOVE the rope leashes from Terrain Dogs. They hold up well in many different climates and environments. If you’re interested in the exact leash I recommend you can purchase here. You can use the code WTRF10 for 10% off your purchase. I do make a small commission off any purchase you make. This will help support many more adventures with Kashi and Bear.

The next step is just get out there! My dogs struggled at first, even with the additional training. But after a few weeks and several hikes they got better and better over time.

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