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Mastering Public Transit with Your Pooch: A Guide to Canine Comfort on the Go

Pomeranian riding the TTC

Are you a dog owner who loves to explore the world but finds it challenging to bring your dog along on public Transit? For those of us who do not drive, getting around with our beloved companion can be a challenge. Whether it's because you're commuting to work, visiting friends, or going on an adventure, having the option to bring your dog along when appropriate would make things simpler.

In this guide, we'll explore some dog training strategies for making your dog comfortable on buses, trains, and subways.

  1. Start Early: The key to success is early exposure. If possible, introduce your dog to public Transit at a young age. Puppies are more adaptable and tend to learn faster. Expose them gradually to the sights, sounds, and movements of buses and trains in a positive and controlled manner.

  2. Desensitization: Gradually expose your dog to the various stimuli they will encounter on public Transit, such as crowds, loud noises, and unfamiliar smells. Start by introducing them to similar environments in a controlled setting, then gradually increase the intensity as they become more comfortable.

  3. Practice Obedience Commands: Ensure your dog is well-trained in basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, and heel. 

  4. Use a Secure Leash and Harness: When travelling on public Transit, always use a secure leash and proper-fitting equipment that your dog cannot back out of or escape from. 

  5. Have an ID tag on your dog: Every dog should always have an ID tag, but it's particularly important while travelling.

  6. Have your leash walking down: If you cannot be connected and have proper control of your dog while walking on a leash, you are not ready to be on public Transit. Master the art of leash walking before you head to bring your dog on public Transit. 

  7. Plan Strategically: Choose off-peak travel times whenever possible to minimize stress for both you and your dog. Avoid rush hour or busy times when public Transit is crowded and noisy, as this can be overwhelming for your pet.

  8. Respect the Rules: Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations regarding pets on public Transit in your area. Some transit systems may require dogs to be muzzled or kept in carriers, while others may have specific areas designated for pets.

  9. Be Prepared for Accidents: Accidents can happen, especially during long journeys. Be prepared by bringing along waste bags, cleaning supplies, and a spare blanket in case of spills or accidents.

  10. Bring their Favorite Treat: Reward calm behaviour with a tasty treat and calm praise.  

  11. Stay Calm and Patient: Dogs are highly attuned to their owner's emotions, so it's essential to stay calm and patient during the journey. If you remain relaxed and composed, your dog is more likely to follow suit and feel at ease.

By following these dog training tips and techniques, you can help your dog become comfortable and confident on public Transit, allowing you to easily explore the world. 

Remember not to rush your dog, it may be a long time before your dog is ready to be on Public Transit.

golden retriever riding public transportation with owner


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