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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, we tried to take Flynn camping for the first time tonight. He is currently in a state of high agitation. He is running around in the tent, attacking all the sleeping bags, barking with hackles up at every noise, and generally acting crazy like he does when he is exhausted and overstimulated. I'm sure the rest of the campsite hates us. Any suggestions for calming him down? He won't even sit for more than a second.
 

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Like you said he's probably a bit overstimulated and unsure of what's going on. There's a whole bunch of new sounds, smells, sights, animals(?) and people. I would try tiring him out and giving him something really good to chew on to occupy him.
Remember this is his first time so all this might be a little scary for him. Make sure you reward him for being calm. Is he just having a problem in the tent or is it out of the tent as well?

Ive never gone camping with a dog before, so I don't have any first hand tips. Hopefully others will have experience with this.
 

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I would take him home. He's probably too young for camping right now....It's a lot of new smells and sights all at once and a huge change to the routine you have at home. He's obviously overstimulated, and who knows what set it off. He needs to go back home to settle down and he needs more time to get accustomed to camping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's okay! I remembered the dog therapy music we played for him when he was first in our house and scared and agitated at 10 weeks. Worked like a charm. He's sound asleep, even with my teens still giggling in their sleeping bags. Good thing, too, since taking him home would have meant trying to break camp in the dark and drive two hours. He had been doing well until we tried to get in the tent, and then he got upset. All's well now! Thanks, all.
 

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What is this dog therapy music you speak of? I'm so curious, I've never heard of anything like that before.
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Dog therapy music kind of rang a bell for me but it's been ages... so I did a search and came up with a couple of interesting links... According to this one at Dogtime, shelters that play this music have noted that when they play it, adoption rates go up! Because the dogs are quieter and people tend to stay longer when there's less agitation in the air, apparently. I'll be darned.

Here's some youtube links too:

This one calls it 'Sleep music"

Sleepy Animals Pet Therapy Music: Relaxing Music for Dogs
 

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Not helpful now, I understand BUT I camp and hike with my pup a lot... going this weekend, actually. Before her first camping trip, we slept in the tent in the backyard a few times. My neighbors probably thought I was nuts haha. I practice everything at home first- where she feels safe. When I got her hiking backpack, I'd have her wear it on our normal evening walk.

I recommend setting up the tent in your backyard if you want to take your pup camping again. Make sure she's comfortable with it before you head out.

I'm glad things worked out last night! :)
 

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Dog therapy music kind of rang a bell for me but it's been ages... so I did a search and came up with a couple of interesting links... According to this one at Dogtime, shelters that play this music have noted that when they play it, adoption rates go up! Because the dogs are quieter and people tend to stay longer when there's less agitation in the air, apparently. I'll be darned.

Here's some youtube links too:

This one calls it 'Sleep music"

Sleepy Animals Pet Therapy Music: Relaxing Music for Dogs
Interesting!!
 

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We went with our 4 month old puppy camping and a few weeks ago and she was great. I suggest running him out and take him for many walks and just let him explore and also play with lots of toys
 

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Dog therapy music kind of rang a bell for me but it's been ages... so I did a search and came up with a couple of interesting links... According to this one at Dogtime, shelters that play this music have noted that when they play it, adoption rates go up! Because the dogs are quieter and people tend to stay longer when there's less agitation in the air, apparently. I'll be darned.

Here's some youtube links too:

This one calls it 'Sleep music"

Sleepy Animals Pet Therapy Music: Relaxing Music for Dogs
That's fascinating! Filing this away in my brain in case I ever need it.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the ideas, all. The rest of the trip went fine. He woke up pretty frequently at night, but generally went back to sleep pretty quickly as soon as he found one of us in our sleeping bags, and verified we were still there. At one point, he decided my son's pillow should be his sleeping place, which gave everyone a laugh. Today before we left, he hiked two trails and took a canoe trip, so he's sleeping the whole trip off pretty solidly in the living room.



I was thinking last night when he was scared that we should have practiced with the tent in the backyard before we left, but hindsight and all that!

My daughter is a music therapy major, and she found the dog therapy music. I'm not sure how it works, but there are several long tunes available on YouTube. It really does seem to settle him down when he is stressed. We may have to play it quite a bit when she disappears to college on Sunday. We're wondering how he will react to having one less person in the house!
 

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Adorable pictures! I'm so glad the trip worked out well for everyone!

It occurred to me as I was looking through the shots; have you tried out a harness on Flynn? I kinda visualized a nasty fall over the side of that boat and cringed at the thought of trying to get him out of the water with only a collar on. Eeek.

Though all my dogs have a basic harness you can pick up at any Wallyworld, I got a Ruffwear doubleback harness (I found it a little cheaper on ebay though) for our outings. I don't use the rear leg loops, as I don't do much rock climbing in Illinois, ha ha... but the harness is awesome. (I've also finagled a hangar on the thing so I can put her "Ask to pet" and "Nervous" signs on it pretty easily. Not that Flynn needs something like these, just throwing that in. :D) There's also several excellent threads in the forums on different harnesses. (One, Two)

Here's a good link by Emily Larlham (of the famed Kikopup series of videos) about the pros and cons of harnesses versus collars. I realize too, that Flynn's a growing boy, so you could get a cheaper one while he's growing up before you get a better one down the road. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the idea - we will look for a harness before we go boating again. The first time we took him out on a lake, he was barely 12 weeks, and he slept under the seats the whole trip. This time, he was quite a bit more active! (Though he still ended up sleeping.) It would be easier to haul him in with a harness if he overbalances!
 
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