Is your dog lonely when you are with them?

As pet parents many of us will have experienced the guilt of walking out the door in the morning to go to work, knowing we are leaving our dog for the day. You know the dog walker will be in to take them out for an hour’s wander, but you worry if they’ll be bored while you’re out. But, have you ever wondered how lonely your dog is when you’re with them?

Anyone who’s heard of clicker training knows that dogs associate noises with certain behaviours. You ask a dog to sit, they sit, you use the clicker, and a treat appears. Of course, a simpler example would be the appearance of your furry family on the rustling of a food bag! Noises elicit responses

Is your dog lonely when you are with them? 4 Legs Photography

Many will have heard of Pavlov’s dog [if you haven’t then take a look here]. Pavlov’s dog learnt that by ringing a bell he would be getting food which caused him to salivate. The response became so conditioned, that even with no food being present the bell still caused the dog to salivate.

Bring that concept forward to modern society. How often have you been interacting with your dog for your phone to ping? You stop the interaction and pick your phone up, maybe it’s for a second or maybe the dreaded Facebook distracts you and you’re there on your phone for the foreseeable future. If you repeat that behaviour enough times then the dog learns that the ping of your phone means the removal of attention. You see it time and time again in human social interactions. You can be mid-conversation with someone and regardless of what you were talking about, if their phone makes a noise, attention is immediately removed and their phone becomes their sole focus.

Dog staring at mobile in owner's hand - is your dog lonely when you are with them? - 4 Legs Photography

So the next time you are interacting with your dog and your phone pings, just stop and think how it feels when someone stops talking to you mid-conversation to look at their phone. Dogs don’t understand the technological lives we lead these days, all they know is that ping means they’re on their own.

Like what you're reading? Well sign up below to my email list and not only will you be kept up-to-date with blog posts, you'll also be first in line to receive any special offers or promotions before they are released to the general public.

Posted by 4 Legs Photography in Uncategorised

How to keep your dog secure when you go camping or caravanning

I love going away in the UK and taking Layla, my beloved whippet, with me; but knowing how to keep my dog secure while away is of prime importance. I have a caravan which I bought 4 years ago so that I could go on holiday with ease, not worrying whether dogs are allowed in the accommodation. One thing I do that seems to be a novelty is the use of windbreaks as a dog garden. When pitched up I am regularly asked about mine and where I got it from. I wanted, therefore, to write a blog about the windbreaks, or dog enclosures, available to buy that you may not be aware of.

The use of windbreaks to keep a dog secure, but still allow them freedom to move without being tethered, is not a new one. It has been used for many years in the agility world, which is where I first came across the practice.

Dog Stakes

Many people on conventional camping/caravan sites tether their dogs to a screw-in stake in the ground.  This gives the dog limited freedom but still abides by the rules of many sites.  I have noticed that tethering this way is an issue for many dog parents who have more than one dog.   I regularly see people trying to untangle their leads or loosen a lead from a leg that has got entangled.  No such issue exists when a dog garden is used.

Dog stake - How to keep your dog secure when you go camping or caravanning

Dog Pens

For little dogs, I have seen people use portable dog pens, or puppy pens, to keep them secure. Although these are great in an awning or as a temporary measure for an overnight stop, they provided limited movement for the dogs and are definitely not suitable for a dog that can jump!

Dog or puppy pen - How to keep your dog secure when you go camping or caravanning

Windbreaks

Although a more expensive option than those mentioned above, windbreaks are by far the most robust and durable methods of securing your dogs whilst allowing them freedom. Here’s the top 4 I see used most often.

Coveva

Made from lightweight aluminium, Coveva windbreaks have a horizontal rigid pole at the top and bottom of each panel, along with the standard vertical poles.  They use aluminium support poles to stabilise the windbreaks instead of guy ropes.

Coveva windbreaks use support poles instead of guy ropes - How to keep your dog secure when you go camping or caravanning

The vertical poles are not driven into the ground like a conventional windbreak. Instead, they use what they call a ground plate. These plates are then pegged into the ground. This makes them more suitable for those that use hard-standing pitches with no grass.

Coveva ground stake - How to keep your dog secure when you go camping or caravanning

Jormax

Like Coveva, Jormax uses aluminium poles (but these are driven straight into the ground like a conventional windbreak) and all windbreaks are 1.2m/4ft high, that’s pretty much where the similarity ends though. Jormax do not use integral top and bottom poles with their windbreaks. Instead, they use an ingenious system of bracing bars that are used to secure the windbreak requiring no extra supports or guy ropes.

Jormax adjustable bracing bar - How to keep your dog secure when you go camping or caravanning

Their windbreaks also come in 3 varieties: Solid, Vision and vision top.

Solid, as the name suggests is opaque and provides complete privacy. Available in 10 colours, these windbreaks are great to stop your dog being able to see out, which is especially useful when you have a dog that likes to bark at anything that goes past.

Jormax 'solid' panel windbreak - How to keep your dog secure when you go camping or caravanning

The aptly named Vision is their transparent version. Available in black and grey, the material used allows both you and your dog to enjoy the surrounding scenery whilst still protecting you from the wind. This style is suitable for the quiet, yet nosy dogs that like to sit back, relax and watch the world go by!

Jormax 'vision' windbreak - How to keep your dog secure when you go camping or caravanning

Vision Top is a combination of both their solid and vision windbreaks. It is a vision windbreak on the top with a solid draught skirt bottom. All Vision Top windbreaks come with a grey bottom and a choice of a black or white top.

Jormax 'vision top' windbreak - How to keep your dog secure when you go camping or caravanning

All 3 varieties of windbreak are available in 3m, 4m, or 5m lengths with prices ranging from £109 to £199. There is also the option to purchase matching 1m wide gates to make whatever configuration garden you desire.

www.jormaxwindbreaks.co.uk

Windbreak Leisure

Windbreak Leisure’s windbreaks are similar in construction to Coveva in that they have a rigid construction with integral bars in the top and bottom of their panels. They also use base plates that are pegged into the ground rather than driving the stakes in. Unlike Coveva, the base plates appear to be made from plastic rather than metal.

Windbreak Leisure base plate - How to keep your dog secure when you go camping or caravanning

They appear to only supply opaque windbreaks, and from their price list it seems that standard sizing ranges from 1.5m x 3m x 1.5m to 4.5m x 9m x 4.5m; although they do state that they can custom build and to contact them for further information. Pricing of their standard sizes ranges from £455 to £980 and the available colours (via their gallery) appear to be grey, blue, green and red.

Winbrak LEisure, some colour options - How to keep your dog secure when you go camping or caravanning

Although they do not use guy ropes, they do use support bars that attach 1/3 up the vertical poles. Like all other suppliers matching gates are also available.

www.windbreakleisure.co.uk

Windbreak Leisure support poles - How to keep your dog secure when you go camping or caravanning

Cornish Windbreaks

Made in both Solid and Vision options, Cornish Windbreaks are available in and 3 lengths 3.6m (11’10”), 5.4m (17’5”) and 7.2m (23’3”). 

They use traditional wooden poles as their stakes, with reinforced steel caps and tips for extra durability. Don’t think this that this means they require guys ropes though, as they have an ingenious solution – extendable tensioning bars. Lighter than their metal counterparts, these plastic tensioning bars certainly do the trick – I can vouch for them keeping my Vision windbreak up in some very strong gales when other more expensive windbreaks have bent and acted like sails!

Cornish Windbreaks tensioning bars - How to keep your dog secure when you go camping or caravanning

When your windbreak is being used as a dog garden/pet enclosure they have peg downs. These are clips that attach to the bottom of the panels and can be pegged down to prevent Houdini dogs from disappearing under the windbreak!

Cornish Windreaks pegg downs to stop escapees! - How to keep your dog secure when you go camping or caravanning

Solid panel windbreaks are available in Slate Grey, Olive Green and Royal Blue, and sold in 2 height options: 91cm (3ft) or 120cm (4ft)

Cornish Windbreaks Solid option - How to keep your dog secure when you go camping or caravanning

Vision Windbreaks are available in Blue, Green or Black and available in 4ft height only. The mesh allows for a small amount of wind to pass through them meaning that they can stand up to some very strong gales without failing (especially when used with the tensioning bars. They also allow you to sit outside and enjoy the view without feeling like you too are enclosed.

Cornish Windbreaks vision option - How to keep your dog secure when you go camping or caravanning

Prices range from £38 for a 5 pole (3.6m) solid windbreak without tensioning bars, to £105 for a 9 pole (7.2m) Vision windbreak with tensioning poles. By far the most affordable option of the 4 companies mentioned. Like all other companies, all Cornish windbreaks are available with matching gates. I have had issues getting the poles into a hard-standing site before and needed to pre-make a hole to guide the pole through the hardcore.  I have only used a fully hard-standing pitch once as Layla hated the stone underfoot and much prefers grass.

Layla enjoying her Cornish Windbreaks Vision dog garden on holiday!

At this point, I need to stress that I have no affiliation with Cornish Windbreaks. On considering my options when buying a dog garden I did my research and ended up with Cornish Windbreaks after seeing the quality of their products at a caravan and camping show. I felt that they provided the most affordable option without compromising on quality.

All four companies mentioned are used widely throughout the agility community and what you consider buying will be linked to the type of dog you have, their temperament when it comes to strangers walking past their ‘patch’ and whether you tend to use hardstanding or grass when you go away.

Have you ever considered using a dog garden when you go away camping or caravanning? Have you tried any of the companies mentioned? Drop me an email or connect on Facebook, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Like what you're reading? Well sign up below to my email list and not only will you be kept up-to-date with blog posts, you'll also be first in line to receive any special offers or promotions before they are released to the general public.

Posted by 4 Legs Photography in Uncategorised
Load more
error: Right Click Unavailable