How Did You Condition Your Pet To Living In Your Truck?

Topic 15675 | Page 1

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Top Llama's Comment
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Hello everybody!

I was thinking about adopting a dog for when I get in my truck and I was curious how everybody went through that process. Any advice on what age to adopt and maybe good ways of getting them settled into the trucker lifestyle? The more I think about it the more the idea of having a guardian with me and a companion to keep me exercising while out and about is more appealing. Would love to get your thoughts on the best way to go about doing that.

Appreciate all the replies, hope you're all safe and having a great day.

~Top Llama

Brett Aquila's Comment
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By far the most important thing is to pick the right breed in the first place. And personally I wouldn't start with a puppy simply because they're higher maintenance and tend to chew on things all the time. I would look for an older dog that is a little more mellow.

You mentioned having a guardian and doing exercise. That means you'll want a dog that is at least somewhat territorial and capable of doing a good bit of running around.

At the same time you want something that you can get in and out of the truck pretty easily so you don't want something huge.

Shedding is also a consideration of course. There are dogs, especially short haired dogs, that shed very little.

Finally, it should be a dog that is quite happy sitting in one place for many, many hours at a stretch. Not all dogs are happy that way.

Assemble a group of traits and start scouring the web for dogs that seem to be a good match. Make a list of breeds that seem to be a reasonable match. At that point there isn't really much to do. Dogs are very adaptable. They'll learn to adjust to life in the truck. They don't really need too much in the way of special consideration. Just the basics. If they have food and water at reasonable intervals, they're in relatively reasonable temperatures within the truck, and they can get out to use the bathroom and walk around at reasonable intervals they should be just fine.

I've always been a dog person and the biggest mistake by far that people make is choosing the wrong breed for the circumstances. If you do some research you'll find a list of breeds that suit your purpose well. I wouldn't compromise on that list. Make sure the breed is well suited for the circumstances.


When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Oh, and one more very important thing. I would wait until you've established yourself in this career a little bit. You have to get through schooling and on the road training where you won't be able to have a dog with you. You also have to get started with a company that hires new drivers and you may find perfect companies overall but they don't allow pets. And of course it's quite stressful getting started in trucking. The last thing you need is additional responsibilities and concerns on top of the pile of them you'll already have. Finally, until you've lived it you can't really imagine what life on the road is really like. You may not want a dog after you've experienced it for a bit. Even if you do, you'll want some experience so you're prepared for the special challenges you'll face trying to share the truck with a dog.

Wait until you have maybe 6 -12 months solo under your belt. Then you'll be in a good position to make a decision.

Tractor Man's Comment
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I concur with Brett. As a Rookie out here myself, I barely have enough time for myself, let alone a dog. My "Girl" is back at home with my Mom. Do not get a dog right away......please! Once you get out here Solo, you will understand. It would be horribly unfair to the Dog..... and You as well.dancing-dog.gifsmile.gif

Top Llama's Comment
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Appreciate the advice you two! Definitely holding off on getting a dog right away just kind of considering my options and getting the information I need together.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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Cats are much easier cause when dogs got to go they got to go however I have a friend who trained her Yorkie to go in a kitty litter box.

I put my cat on the truck while on hometime and slept in the truck with him at night. That gave him 4 days of exploring and getting used to it. The APU kicked on occasionally and he got used to the truck stop sounds.

I started the truck a couple times over the four days so he could feel the vibrations and sounds. I even drive around the lot a few times.

Once we got on the road he decided he wanted his bed in my cabinet..everyone told me he'd get sick for a week or two to adjust. He didnt. He hid for a bit due to the sounds of brakes and horns...but now he sits in the window and watches trucks park. He's 10 and people said to get something younger but I already had him lol

He feel comfortable on my bed or using litter box while I'm driving but he knows he isn't allowed near my feet. He's a really laid back kind 9f cat.

My Dalmatian Rainy... hence my name..who died 15 years ago could never love on a truck. She needed to run. Certain breeds have so much energy that they will tear up the truck to release it. She also would be trying to jump out to bite people. I volunteered as a foster parent for dogs at a resuce. I can say want a dog who is more submissive than dominant. Don't go for the one trying to jump on all the others...

When I rescued my girl she was 5yrs old and it took me a year to house break her cause she was so dominant. In a truck? Omg the smell alone would have killed me.

Also think about the mud being tracked in if the dog has to go out in the rain... the "wet dog" smell on your blankets when you can't always get to a have extra sheets and blankets. Have towels to dry him off.

Storage is another issue. If you drive a lightweight there is no room for your stuff let alone the water and food bowl.. plus the huge bag of food.

I have the condo so half of my top bunk is filled with kitty litter and food for him.


Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.


Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Terminal Rat ( aka...J's Comment
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Brett, I know you're a German Shepherd guy so I have to ask you specifically. Are GS dogs a good fit? I know my Nova would have absolutely loved traveling with me in a truck. Have your dog (s) been of similar nature?


Terminal Rat ( aka...J's Comment
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Aside from the "SHEDDING" I mean. LOL

Tractor Man's Comment
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Aside from the "SHEDDING" I mean. LOL

I have friends that have 2 Shepherds. You could build a new dog every week with the hair those dogs shed!



Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Terminal Rat ( aka...J's Comment
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It's freakin' incredible, the hair acts like seed pods. It falls off the dogs and actually seems to grow more hair. LOL g

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