While hammocks are really exciting, they are definitely not the best option for all canines. Given their free hanging nature, they are very unstable, and hence unless properly trained a canine will fall down, causing them severe injuries.
But if you are really interested in training your fur baby to use the hammock safely, then you have arrived at the perfect place.
Do Dogs like Hammocks?
Well, the answer varies from one dog to another. Just like us humans, canines too have variable personalities. Thus, where some dogs may enjoy the thrill of free hanging hammocks, others may despise it.
However, once they have mastered the art of sleeping in a suspended position, then most dogs would definitely love to lie down and relax in a hammock. This could be anything, from a regular camping hammock to those that are specifically made for trucks and cars. Also known as dog hammocks, they are specifically made for the purpose, and hence pawrents can rest assured when using these special fabrics.
What are the various types of Hammocks?
Hammocks are of many types. However in this very blog we will be looking at the two most commonly used canine hammock types.
Clear by their name, truck/car hammocks are special made structures that are used to secure a canine when travelling in vehicles. These are generally thick-layered fabrics which arrive with long adjustable straps and a wide sitting area. This arrangement helps the canine to sit comfortably in a tucked position when the vehicle is on move, without risking falls during jerks.
The straps are generally velcro and designed specifically to aid seamless attachment to the car seats. Pet parents can adjust the size and height of the hammock with the simple adjustments, and thus truck/car hammocks are a must-buy if you are constantly travelling with your canine.
Furthermore, given their unique design, your canine can both sleep and sit on it when inside the vehicle. These products are also highly durable and need low maintenance.
Contrary to the truck/car hammocks, camping hammocks are set up outside. They can be set anywhere, from your backyard to a new place that you might have hit up with your furry friend. They come in many sizes, colours and designs, which unlike truck/car canine hammocks are much harder to climb and get out of.
Therefore camping hammocks usually require extensive training and a lot of practice on your canine’s part. The unstable suspending structure can throw them off balance when the weight is not properly distributed, risking injuries to the little Fido.
However, when it comes to quality, camping hammocks are much more durable than truck/car canine hammocks. They are made to be used by both humans and their canines. Hence they are relatively wider, long-lasting, and also quiet on the pricier side.
Which Hammocks are best for canines?
Even though truck/car hammocks are comparatively safer, given their area of application, the answer will vary based upon your specific requirements. For instance, these hammocks are smaller and are usable only within the vehicles. Whereas, camping hammocks are hands down the best option when you are outside. They have long wire type designs that can be attached to stable structures before relaxing on them.
Moreover, a lot also depends upon the height and hammock suspension type. Truck/car hammocks have slight height gaps when attached to the car seats, with some even offering a direct laying structure. Therefore, they are best considered for pooches who don’t do well with heights. On the other hand, camping hammocks are set up a few feet above the ground which could be enjoyable for some and terrifying to other dogs.
How do I train my dog to climb onto hammocks?
If you want to train your dog into climbing onto the car/truck hammocks, then make sure to follow the below-mentioned steps.
Step 1- Attach the hammock onto the car seat. Make sure the buckle or velcro straps are well-fit and neither too high from the seat or too low.
Step 2- Next lure the canine to climb on the hammock by using treats. Most dogs will happily follow the smell of their favourite treats onto the thick fabric.
However if it doesn’t work out, then you will have to be patient with the last resort being tucking them in with the other side door locked. This will prevent them from escaping out and getting into danger.
Step 3- Let the canine explore the piece of fabric without forcing them. Once the Fido is sure that he/she is safe, they will automatically settle down.
Step 4- Before commencing the journey, it is better to put in their favourite blankets or toys if the canine is using the hammock for the first time. This way they will be less terrified and hence will be able to enjoy the ride.
Now training your canine to safely climb onto a camping hammock is definitely not going to be easy. But with constant practice and the right trick, you can have your woofer resting with you in no time.
Step1- The trick is to start from the lowest height. Free suspension is something that everyone is initially scared off and hence start by setting up the camping hammock from the very bottom. The dog should be able to easily climb up and off the hammock.
Step 2- Use ample treats to direct the canine onto the hammock and come out of it. Allow the dog to figure out the right way of distributing their weight without forcing them or intensifying the process at once.
Step 3- Once the dog has no problem climbing up and down the hammock, train them to sit or lie down on the fabric. You can use treats or reward them with praises for the same.
Step 4- Follow the Steps 1-3 regularly, unless the dog is completely okay with resting on the hammock.
Step 5- Gradually increase the height gap between the hammock fabric and the ground. Make sure to go slow, adding each by inch to the gap. This will help the dog to feel at ease and less anxious when on the hammock.
The time required for the acceptance to camping hammocks can vary between different dogs. While some canines may be too enthusiastic to try out the new, super relaxing thing, others will need a bit more coaxing.
Things to Remember when training Dogs to Climb Hammocks
- Never force your canine to climb the hammock, out of their comfort zone. This may hamper the connection that you have with your pooch, leaving them super anxious and untrusting of you.
- If you have a dog that has arthritis, or other major health problems, make sure to get a vet consultation prior to letting them have the experience. The same goes for elderly dogs.
- Always set up the hammock at a proper height. Setting them up too high will make the woofer anxious and also increase the risk of tumbling over in case the dog decides to jump out off the hammock suddenly.
So, in this blog we covered everything that is there to know about hammocks and if or not they are safe for dogs.
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