Friday, July 17, 2015

Camper Life with Dogs II

I've been here for two full months now. I still wish I had a doggie door and yard for the pups, but I'm getting used to not having those things. I do have an arsenal of things I use to make camper life with dogs better, so I thought I'd share. 

1. Good Leashes
Good leashes that don't fray (ahem, I'm looking at you Martha Stewart leash that cost the most and is already frayed) are a must. Also, having leashes that are each a different color is really important so that when they inevitably get tangled, you can know which one to let go for a split second while you do the untangling. 

2. Gentle Leader
I cannot walk Clyde without {this}. He is so strong and this reins him in gently and painlessly. 

3. Barking Spray
Nugget is a serious and bad barker. {This stuff} was recommended to me by her trainer and it's pretty effective. It's just air and some calming pheromones and I only use it when she's really getting her bark on (not for whining or growling or anything). You just spray it in the dog's direction and it interrupts their barking because it's loud and has a smell. It's probably technically negative reinforcement, but it's completely non-violent and sometimes it's really necessary. The other people around us don't want to hear her maniacally shrieking and stroking out because she doesn't like the look of the gentle pit bull walking by and cowering, terrified of the tiny canine sociopath screaming at him. She's a hot mess, in case you haven't figured that out yet. 

4. Barking Controller
Update: I don't really use this anymore. I realized that it's not as effective as I originally thought, especially when there are three dogs barking at once. And there's no on/off switch, so I need to take the battery out every time I'm done using it. Which means the battery needs to be put in when I want to use it again. And by the time I get the battery in, the barking has usually reached epic proportions and the little sensor just can't make a dent in the fray.

Speaking of barking: we got {this bark control sensor} for inside the camper. When one of them barks, it emits a high-pitched sound that the dogs don't like. It does stop out-of-control barking, but we don't use it very often because it has two major drawbacks. The first is that all the dogs have to hear that uncomfortable noise when only one dog is barking (Nugget...). Also, the sensor misinterprets thunder as barking and so the dogs have to hear the bad sound when they're already stressed about the storm. So, I only put the battery in when I'm there and can control it. It's good for when we're sitting outside for a while and we might need it for Nugget barking at dogs walking by. 

5. Head Lamp
We do our morning walks when it's still dark and picking up poop is not easy when you can't see it. {This head lamp} is essential (well, this is the one I use, but any head lamp would do the trick except those really cheap ones that stretch out and don't stay put). It has a dim red light and also a couple levels of bright white light. 

6. Toys
My doggies love love LOVE {Nylabones} and squeaky {Kong balls}. We keep a bin of these in the "living room" and Custer manages to take almost every single one out every day so that I'm stepping on half-chewed Nylabones all the time. I actually thinks it's super adorable when he goes digging through his toy box, so I can't get too annoyed. 

7. Poop Bags
Grocery bags will do in a pinch, but they have a tendency to have small holes in the bottom that are dangerous. Dollar Tree sells {three or four-packs of poop bags} that fit in those little {bone-shaped dispensers} that clip on your belt (not pictured). The bags are surprisingly good quality for being from a dollar store and they are 60 for $1. Pretty good deal. Also 60 for $1 are the small blue trash bags in the roll in the photo. They're really too small for trash bags but they get the poop-picking-up job done (they don't fit in the bone dispenser though). 

8. Stake and Leads
For sitting in the "yard," we have to have leads for the pups. I don't have them pictured, but I got {this} and three of {these}. 

9. Waterproof Dog Bed
For comfy lounging while we're hanging out outside (and inside), {this is the best bed}. They sell {this waterproof liner} that makes it perfect for outdoor use (or geriatric pups that wet the bed....). 

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