I love the outdoors. If I could, I would go camping every month. And not too long ago, I tried to bring my dog with me while camping. It was a great experience, especially because I tent-trained her beforehand.
I have a Labrador and Husky mix, which is a great mix for a dog, but also a hyper one. So I knew that bringing her into the tent to sleep would be pretty tough. That’s why I searched all over for tips on how to train your dog to sleep in a tent.
And I found that it wasn’t that hard! All it takes is some time, patience, and effort. So if you’ve been wanting to hit the outdoors with your dog but don’t want it to soil or ruin your tent, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we discuss all the things you need to know for training your dog to sleep in a tent. Read on to learn more.
How To Train Your Dog To Sleep In A Tent
When training a dog to sleep in a tent, the first thing you’ll need is time and patience. It won’t happen instantly, but if you put the work in, you’ll find that it isn’t that hard and you can bring your dog camping with you in no time!
In this section, we explain a couple of steps to training your dog to sleep in a tent.
1. Practice In The Backyard
The first thing you’ll have to do is introduce your dog to a tent. There are so many stories of people bringing their dog camping without getting them used to a tent first, and that will usually result in your dog panicking inside the tent and damaging it.
To do this, you might want to buy a cheaper tent to practice with (you don’t want your dog to rip through your $200 tent, do you?).
Once you have the practice tent, you can set it up in your backyard and introduce your dog to the new environment.
Take it slowly, so you don’t panic the dog. And it’s important to make sure your dog knows where the exits are and that there is a screen blocking the door, otherwise your dog might try to jump through it and ruin the tent.
2. Set Up A Camping Environment At Home
This will get your dog used to the whole camping experience.
You can do this in the backyard and have a mini-camping trip all in the comfort of your own home. Not only will this get your dog used to the whole setup, but it could also be a really fun activity.
By doing this, you can also practice sleeping in a tent with your dog. It might take some time to get your dog used to the new environment, but if you do things slowly and be patient, your dog will be very comfortable and happy sleeping in a tent with you.
3. Set A Command For Sleeping In A Tent
Once the dog knows how to act when in a tent and is acquainted with the camping experience, you can also set up a command for when it’s time to sleep. This may not be the easiest thing to do, but camping with your dog will be much easier if you do this.
The best way to do this is to train your dog to settle in the tent.
Before you can do this, though, your dog has to know that a tent is a place to chill and relax and that there’s no reason to panic. It would help if your dog already knows a similar command, that way you don’t have to start from scratch.
To train your dog to settle on command, you need to practice in a distraction-free environment with a mat or dog bed; it depends where you want it to settle.
Then, you need to stand a few feet away from your dog, then lure it to the dog bed while saying the command and giving a treat.
This will take some time for your dog to get used to, but once it does, you can simply apply the same method, but this time, with a tent instead of a mat.
4. Use A Leash
Having your dog on a leash when camping will ensure that it doesn’t go anywhere too far and it will stay put.
And plus, most national parks only allow dogs inside when they are on a leash.
A leash would be a great tool to use when training your dog to sleep in a tent.
It is a way of controlling your pet and making sure it knows to stay with you in the tent or to stay near the tent.
You can use the leash during any part of the training process. You can use it to make your dog sniff around the tent and get familiar, and you can also use it to keep the dog inside the tent when training it to relax inside a tent.
5. Know Your Dog’s Personality
This is one of the most important steps in training a dog. If you know the way your dog reacts to things, you can adjust your style to truly suit your dog’s personality.
For example, Labradors and Golden Retrievers are well-known for being happy, excited, and energetic dogs. Because of that, you’re going to need to make sure that there are no distractions around when you’re training them, or else they’d just lose focus.
Another example are smaller dogs such as chihuahuas. They are known for being a feisty breed, which means you have to make sure to approach them calmly when training. Being too strict or harsh might aggravate and stress the dog out, which will make the training process slower and harder for you.
No two dogs have the same personality, which is what makes them very fun and exciting pets. But this can also make training pretty tough, as there is no one right way to do things. However, if you know the way your dog reacts to certain things, you can tailor your training style to that and make things easier for you.
1. Make Sure To Clip And File Your Dog’s Nails
This to avoid unnecessary damage to your tent. We all know that a dog’s nails can rip through things, even if they don’t mean to do it. Sometimes, a dog can simply paw at a surface and end up ripping it.
To make sure this doesn’t happen, you can trim and file your dog’s nails, but make sure to do it carefully! If you aren’t confident in doing it yourself, you can always hire a professional to do it, but expect to pay a certain fee for it.
2. Train Them To Pee Correctly
This is one of the most important things to train your dog to do. You don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night because you can smell or feel something gross while camping.
Training your dog to pee in at the right time in the place can be tough, but you can read up on how to do that here.
3. Training a Hyperactive Dog to Calm Down
If you do this, you can avoid a lot of stress and hassle while you’re in the tent. This can be really hard to do, especially if you have a hyper dog breed like a Golden Retriever or a Siberian Husky.
The best way to do this is to keep your dog active. That means regular exercise such as walking, playing fetch, and even running around a field. If your dog gets a lot of exercise and movement, it will be easier to train them to relax when they’re being hyper.
- Read more: Bring Shiba Inu to camping trip
4. Set Up A Sleeping Area For Your Dog
If you set a designated area for your dog to sleep and relax, you can avoid it moving around too much in the tent. If your dog usually sleeps on a mat or dog bed, you can simply put it in the tent and show your dog that’s where it’s supposed to lie down and sleep.
This works especially well if you trained your dog to settle and relax on command.
- Read more: Make sure your dogs warm in campsite
There you have it. A couple of tips for training your dog how to sleep in a tent. The outdoors are a great place. You can explore, relax, enjoy nature, and free your mind. And it can be an even greater experience with your dog, especially if it’s well-trained and familiar with the whole experience.
So if you’ve been wanting to bring your dog with you on your next outdoor adventure, all you need to do is use these tips laid out in this article, and your dog will be tent-ready in no time!