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getting a dog used to public transport

(8 Posts)
misdee Sun 05-Jun-11 08:36:06

we dont currently have a car, but want to travel further afield with our dog, and build up to a long journey next summer for a holiday.

any tips for getting dogs used to public transport, buses and trains, no underground.

chickchickchicken Sun 05-Jun-11 20:16:33

i take one of my dogs all over the uk by train and on local journeys by bus.

i started with short journeys, get off train/bus after a short journey and have a nice walk around with dog and then go back home. it was important to me to make sure dog was very well behaved so i wanted him to enjoy the journey but not see it as playtime. my dog is small enough to sit on my lap but i wanted to train him to stay on the floor as not all passengers want a dog sat near them. i would quietly and calmly give him a treat when he was in the 'settled' position. he didnt have to stay still and could change position but he needed to be quiet and sat or led down.

so when dog is doing exactly what you want click if you use a clicker and treat or just give treat. i find it easier to not give a vocal command. gradually increase the time in between giving treats.

on long train journeys i take a thin fleece blanket so dog has the option of lying on that. i try to get a seat with a table and dog lies under the table. i just warn anyone about to sit opposite that there is a dog under the table. i havent had anyone not want to sit there, in fact the opposite as have to gently ensure he doesnt get too much fuss and therefore thinks all passengers would love to stroke him

make sure you take water and a bowl on all journeys. obviously make sure that dog has had poo/wee before you travel

minimu1 Sun 05-Jun-11 20:21:55

This is the bit of assistant dog training I love a day out with dogs!

Just build up to it gradually and the earlier you start the better. I always spend a morning with puppies at train stations just relax and let them see how chilled you are and they tend to follow along. You will find everyone talks and pats the dogs and the dogs quickly work out that trains etc are great places.

Make sure you have a good down command and get on the public transport and ask the dog for a down and click and treat the down position. If you dog will go down and be chilled in most places you will be fine. Enjoy your days out smile

chickchickchicken Sun 05-Jun-11 20:32:33

minimu - i started taking my dog on train specifically to help with his assistance dog training. he loves it

yep good idea to sit on platform and let dog get used to noises

also, with regard to using the bus i took him on a quiet route a few times and then built up to going on a busy route on market day.

minimu1 Sun 05-Jun-11 21:01:00

did I really write assistant ......I am getting worse blush

good idea about quiet routes.

misdee Sun 05-Jun-11 21:06:32


I am wondering if it might be an idea just to sit at the bus station for a bit with him, then progress to the train station.

will take it slow. he is a calm boy, but nosy.

chickchickchicken Sun 05-Jun-11 22:16:23

cant hurt to sit at the bus station. its all socialisation. its great for them to get used to strangers too. although i dont like people to play with my dog as such when on public transport - he is very playful naturally and small cute looking so people like to pick him up and it doesnt take a lot for him to get excited - it is good for him to be greeted by people. kids in particular like him and providing adult gives permission its also a great opportunity for kids to learn how to greet dogs.

chickchickchicken Sun 05-Jun-11 22:17:36

minimu - i didnt even notice spelling error. must be getting worse too!

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