We've come a long way with our almost 11 month old Lab but he definitely still has his moments. We are taking a family vacation in a little over a week which involves a 10 hour car ride. He does great in the car (though his longest ride home was from the breeder about 2 hours from here. My preference is to allow him to sit with our kids. A good chunk of the ride will be in the dark and he will probably be asleep. However, my husband wants to crate him. The issue here is multiple (a) he hates his crate now - long story (b) I think he will be okay to spread out in the third seat with our middle kid. And I also think the kids will love having him.
So my questions are these: Any thoughts on soft travel crates? We do need somewhere to keep him that is safe in the car in the event something happens (or we go into a restaurant to eat without him). Any advice on how to make him like a crate again?
We use a pen at home (which he can escape but doesn't) when we aren't here. He is semi-trustworthy but still eats stuff so we will need something for the times we aren't with him when we get to the beach.
Thanks for any advice.
I drive that distance +/- on a fairly regular basis with several dogs. Some are allowed loose, others crated... and sometimes it depends on available space. :P
If you're crating, use a hard-sided crate. The biggest benefit to crating is that if you're in a wreck, at least know your pup can't get loose and run around the country/city while you're in the hospital or dealing with accident reports. A soft sided crate doesn't do that for you. He's also safer in a hard sided crate.
As to the other issues... 1) Just put him in the crate at home and tell him to deal with it. He can have an opinion but you're still in charge of making decisions about his location, health, and welfare. Regardless of where he rides next week, he still needs to know how to be a well behaved dog in his crate. 2) Make sure the kids like the idea as much as you do. ;-) An 11 month old pup running from window to window may not be as much fun for them as you think!
~your decisions are only as good as the information you base them on~
Lijah UD GO VER RE CGC TDI ASCA-CD (7/10 UDX, 186/200 OM1 pts, 9/100 OTCH pts + UB/OB wins)
Zen UD VER GO JH
Boaz JH CD CGC
Brie CD CGC
Tara (future amazingness!)