Travelling with Dogs

Submitted: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 20:27
ThreadID: 86390 Views:2520 Replies:5 FollowUps:3
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I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one, who likes to take the four legged members with us on our travels. If there are others out there who are listing the details of their journeys, can you please include any information that would help those of us with dogs?
It is always a battle to find dog friendly trips that do not have the issue of crossing through National parks or 1080 baited areas. I am familiar with the various publications and most guide books list caravan parks that will take dogs, but any further information would be great. Thanks

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Reply By: blown4by - Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 22:50

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 22:50
There must be lots of travellers that share your view because the Big 4 chain of caravan parks has changed their no dog policy (but left the final say up to each individual park operator franchisee) With 1080 just keep your dogs on a lead at all times and make sure they don't eat anything while walking them. Still a better option than leaving them home. Not sure what State you are from but I was told once that if a gazetted road travels through a WA National Park is not illegal to travel on that road (despite what the CALM signs say) but you cannot let the dogs out of the vehicle. That certainly applies in the Ningaloo National Park if you are travelling from Exmouth to Coral Bay via the Yardie Creek crossing. Not sure if anyone else could comment on that. Also at Exmouth you can leave your dogs in the local shire dog pound for the day in a section separated from the real pound dogs. When I did it you just have to collect them by about 3.30pm when the shire guy knocks off and it only cost about $10 afew years ago. That way you can go to all the spots on the NP knowing your dogs are safe. Not sure what other info you are after but if my dog cannot go I don't go either, simple as that. I find amost without exception people travelling with dogs are very responsible as far as the dog rules in caravan parks etc go and I think that is because if they were not responsible caring dog owners they would leave their dogs home anyway. Before anyone jumps down my throat I am not saying that people who do make proper arrangements for the care of their animals and leave them home are not responsible, but you get my drift. Personally I think CALM need to review their no tolerance policy to dogs in every NP everywhere. I think it is just easier for them to say NO than try to manage it. I do not see how a dog on a lead going from the car to some lookout or point of interest and back to the car can do any harm. I am not saying that should be allowed where native animals sensitive to dog scent are but lets face it some of our NP's are pretty much like a desert so what is the problem? I don't say we should be able to camp in NP's overnight with dogs or let them run around loose. CALM also use dieback as another argument but kangaroos spread dieback too and so do the tyres on CALM's own vehicles. Look at the Hopetoun end of Fitzgerald NP for example.
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Follow Up By: DoubleJ - Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 20:08

Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 20:08
Totally agree, Blown4by, particularly in relation to CALM. We too, always take a muzzle for our dog in likely bait areas which in WA covers most of the pastoral/mining areas. Our chap was trained from a pup to being tied up either on long or short ropes/leads. Beaches are for free running wherever possible.
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Follow Up By: Member - Shelly B - Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 04:53

Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 04:53
Thanks to all of the great replies and helpful suggestions. I have not looked into the local shire for day stays but we have seen a few private boarders who will take them short term. While I prefer to camp out it is great that there are caravan parks that will take them. It is good that Big 4 have changed their policy as it would be nice not to have to go to the only dog friendly park in town which often is on the main road or pretty basic.
Like others who have replied, if the dogs can't go we don't go.So there are plenty of National Parks we do not visit! Our elderly dog needs medication and does not do well if we leave him at a kennel. The younger of our two is fine if he has his walk each day but would prefer to be with us. We did try the house sitters option a few times, but you never know who you will get and some were not taking good care of the pets, which defeats the purpose. They also are not usually keen on a short stay so for our weekend get always the dogs come too. We have found keeping the muzzle on a problem for our short nosed dogs, and they are so quick to find anything edible,even on a short lead, so baiting is a concern. I agree with others that CALM needs to provide a few more options for responsible dog owners can visit the parks areas.Albany area is especially unfriendly. I'm sure there are plenty who travel from the east coast with their animals and find our south west difficult to visit. Still with continued pressure for the tourism dollar it is good to see an increase in dog friendly cafes and accommodation options. Keep the pressure up!

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Reply By: Member - John and Lynne - Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 09:34

Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 09:34
A good suggestion Shelly B. We have always assumed it is OK to drive through a National Park when the main road goes through it, so long as we don't let our dog out within the park. In baited areas we keep her close and do not let her run. She is, however, a very greedy Jack Russell and can be very quick at grabbing anything edible. We are currently preparing for a trip where baiting areas may be a serious issue and are planning to take her racing muzzle (Yes, racing but that is another story!) so we won't have to worry so much because baits can be transported far from baiting areas by crows etc and property owners do not always put up signs. We have met others whose dogs soon get used to a light muzzle and this is preferable to keeping them tied up all the time.
Also we have frequently found that, near significant National Parks that we really want to visit, like Katherine Gorge, enterprising locals or a vet or kennel will offer Day Care for dogs. Also sometimes we can exchange dog minding with another dog owner in the CP or Campground. So we have never really planned our trips around our dog - she just comes with us and has never, in 8 years, caused us to miss out on anything of real interest. And yes, dog friendly CPs and Campgrounds do seem to attract all the nicest people! Lynne
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Reply By: eighty matey - Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 20:08

Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 20:08
My wife and I love travelling with our little dog, Rocky. We also work on the rule that dogs can pass through NPs. A couple of times we have pulld up beside a NP Ramger to say g'day, or whatever, and Rocky has stuck his head out of the window and we have never been in trouble.

Only problem we ever had was at the Red Lillies, in Lakefield NP. We were passing through but when we saw the field of Red Lillies we had to stop. We had Rocky in his harness with a lead on him and I carried him out to the viewing platform and held him in my arms while looked at the Lillies. An APT bus pulled and we got a lecture off the bus driver about having the dog in the NP and how the dogs scent will keep native animals away. When we asked him about the cattle, the pigs and the three cigarette butts on the ground from his passengers he started arcing up, so we left him to it.

As blown4by and John and Lynne replied, coomon sence and coutesy go a long way.

Hoo roo,

Eighty matey.
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Reply By: Member - Richard H - West NSW - Friday, May 20, 2011 at 10:27

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 10:27
Well now I'm on my own, I have the responsibility of two dogs, both greedy buggers, but accustomed to being tied up and on a lead.

On Monday I'm out of here for a couple of months, though six weeks of that is O/S, and I'll leave the dogs with my sister for that time.

When I return I'll pick them up and head off up the NSW & Qld coasts to Rockampton, then head west to Boulia. They are coming with me but will travel in the rear of my vehicle as the larger and older one has a problem.

I've seen plenty of dogs on the road, large and small, and their owners never seem to have any problems. That is something I'm yet to find out, though I believe that if you don't make things a problem, well they won't be.

National parks are another matter. I'll keep away from them because of their belief that dogs upset the wildlife. This theory is rubbish and it's been proven scientifically, as there are so many introduced species in Oz that one extra barely makes an impression.

I've got a dachsy & a black & white Heinz variety, both accustomed to strangers, except the mob down the road who live in the 'last chance motel', and I'm happy to leave it that way. Though as watchdogs I'm sure they would open the bloody door for any intruders.

It's refreshing to see a lot of the caravan parks are now 'dog friendly'. I suppose a lot of travellers are in my situation, plus cannot afford boarding fees, so the dogs go too. I'd say that the parks have realised that they have missed out on trade by their dog policy, and as the window of opportunity to make a quid only exists for a couple of months, it's not good business.

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Follow Up By: Member - Richard H - West NSW - Friday, May 20, 2011 at 10:29

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 10:29
Oh yes, I've got a canopy fitted now, so they won't get cold or wet, and can be securely held whilst shopping or stopping over night.
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Reply By: Rosscotd105 - Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 00:00

Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 00:00
Hey Shelly,

Glad to see some helpful responses instead of the usual DON'T!

Common sense is the key, plan your trip, muzzle in 1080 areas (Or uncertain areas) and try and kennel whenever you can, allows for checking out a lot of what this country has to offer.

It's definitely possible, we have done it for seven years now and never had an issue, and we travel with two 60kg Ridgebacks! The kids keep us on our toes more than the dogs.

Just don't give the nay-sayers an excuse, please! Responsible dog owners have to take a lot from the actions of those who don't give a "hoot" (so as not to offend!), as with most things in todays society...

Hope you enjoy your travels,

Ross, Jo and the family.
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