Teach Your Dog to Travel Well on the Train
I started preparing Bruce for travelling on the train at the start of the year, knowing that I had a trip planned which involved a three hour train journey there, and another one back home, which he was going to have to endure. Living in London, Bruce is no stranger to hopping on and off the London Overground for a few stops. Sitting calmly for 3 hours though? Not so much. I knew I was going to have to teach my dog to travel well on the train, and that since I had time on my side, preparation was key to ensure the journey went smoothly.
Now that the trip is over and done with, I can safely say that Bruce did very well on the train. In both instances he got a bit unsettled and impatient for about 15 minutes half way through the trip, then settled straight back down again. Apart from when an Airedale Terrier fan tried to play with him on the journey home and got him over excited (he let out a few barks), Bruce was quiet, calm and very well behaved.
So, how did I train him to travel well? I simply acclimated him to train travel. Six or seven weeks before we left for the North East, Bruce and I started taking a few train journeys a week. We started slow – for the first week we only went about five minutes down the line, then we added another stop onto the journey and tried that for a week. After a while, I started pushing the length of the journey even further, until he was calmly travelling for over 30 minutes.
As well as building up the journey lengths, I also made sure that Bruce was enjoying where he was going. We travelled to Battersea Park, or would get the train for 15 minutes and walk back so that he would have an enjoyable walk to take in for his reward.
My other tip for teaching your dog to travel on the train, is to tire them out as much as you can before your journey. So, the day before our trip I had lots of exciting things planned, including an extra long dog walk and some fun games in the garden, and plenty of trick training. The morning before we left, it was more of the same.
For the journey itself, I made sure I was prepared for every eventuality and packed a travel bag just for him so that I had everything he might need on hand. Check out this video to find out exactly what I packed.
If you’re looking for more tips on travelling with your dog take a look at this post from Miss Darcy, which has some great tips on getting through the journey itself.