Colin Tennant, a leading expert in dog behaviour and training, has worked with East Midlands Trains to create a guide on taking your pooch on the train. Along with the guide, East Midlands Trains is rolling out drinking bowls at main line stations and serving up doggie treats on board selected services to ensure every dog has its day!
Em-Bark On A Short Journey First
Before taking your canine companion on a lengthy train trip, go on a shorter trial train journey to help acclimatise your dog to travelling. A preparatory trip is also a really good indicator of how your four-legged friend will fare on a long-distance journey.
Make Sure You’re All Set-ter For Your Trip
Think ahead and remember some people may not be used to having dogs around them. Look to book a seat in an area which is likely to be less busy, a good spot is the area close to the doors where there is more space.
Before setting off on a long journey, take your dog on a walk in a local park or green area. This will make your pup less energetic in the train carriage and more likely to have a nap.
Teaching Your Pooch To Sit…But Where?
Although it may be tempting to have your four-legged friend sit next to you on a seat, remember that seats are for people! For smaller dogs, sitting under a seat is ideal – or a carrier cage for a longer journey helps ensure your pooch has sufficient space and is away from foot traffic.
For larger dogs, there may still be ample space underneath the table but be mindful of others sat around. If there is no room under the table, it may be best to stay near the doorway where there is more space for your dog to lie down.
Avoid keeping your pooch in crowded areas where passengers are likely to be passing through.
Dogs love to lounge but it is important to ensure your pet keeps a level of decorum. Remember there are some things passengers just don’t want to see!
Boarding Your Dog
Setting your dog at ease should begin before the train journey. We would recommend arriving 15 minutes before your train is due to depart and sit on a seat well away from the edge of the platform. This will allow your four legged friend to take in the station environment and relax before the journey.
Small dogs should be lifted and carried onto the train; this will allow you to find your seat quickly and easily. It will also prevent your four-legged friend’s paws from being trodden on!
Clearly, the loo on the train is for humans so it is best to make sure your pooch has been to the toilet before the journey. Preparation is key but we always recommend carrying a doggy poo bag in case of an emergency.
Reach Fur The Treats
No matter the length of the journey, it is always useful to have a small doggy bag containing a water bottle as well as treats for a distraction. We all know dogs can drool, especially with such delicious treats in close proximity, a cloth or small towel to wipe the dog’s face or paws is essential.
Another distraction is to take dog toys with you but avoid the temptation to bring your pet’s favourite squeaky toy as the squeaking may not be everyone’s cup of tea!
If you don’t have treats to hand or you step out without your doggie bag, East Midlands Trains has dog drinking bowls at main line stations and doggie treats (donuts bespoke for canine consumption) on board selected services, to make travelling with pooches even easier.
Although treating your dog to snacks can provide a distraction, feeding your Frenchie a more substantial meal on the train is not advised because it could bring on a swift need to go to the loo and expose your fellow passengers to the smell of dog food.
Follow The Lead-er
The lead is a dog owner’s essential item and it will come as no surprise this remains true on the train. If you have a choice of leads, we recommend a non-extendable version.
Always remember to keep hold of the lead and don’t tie or secure to train furniture.
Make sure your dog is with you at all times and not left alone to their own devices. This will ensure your dog knows to behave and will make the journey more comfortable for you and your dog.
Man’s Best Friend, But be Mindful of Other Passengers
Remember some people may not be dog friendly so make sure your dog stays close to you.
Be mindful and attentive of other passengers’ signals. If they make it known they are comfortable or try to pet your dog it is okay to
let your dog interact.
So now you are all set to take an adventure with your furry, four-legged friend!
For more information, contact Toby Leston, Natalie Smith or Ed Walton on 0203 950 7566 or firstname.lastname@example.org