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Discussion Starter #1
This coming fall my son will be leaving for college in NY (we live in Florida). As I haven't been out of this #*@#! state for about six years, and my beloved only boy is starting his life as an almost-adult 1,000 miles away, I'm hoping to be able to get up to NY to see him there shortly after he leaves (or perhaps drive him up myself).

If at all possible, I'd love to drive up with Naima and stay in some hotels/motels during the trip, rather than leaving her at a boarding facility or something. By September she'll be about a year and a half old (my--how time flies with both children and dogs!).

She's quite well-behaved and, in general, not a destructo-doggie (she does seem to have a thing for nibbling on the edges of the box-spring of the bed, chewing up pieces of paper, and occasionally picking at an old couch downstairs when no one is looking). She's not crazy about her crate (and, again, I've followed ALL the crate-training rules to a T), and if she's left in there she'll sometimes bark for quite some time.

I've been working on leaving her out in the house when I go out to the store. My mother is here, but is not really mobile at all so it's ALMOST like leaving Naima here alone. So far, so good. Sometimes I'll leave her in our bedroom with the door closed for a few minutes while I go downstairs. Again, no issues so far, but she knows I'm in the house and I'm not gone for long.

But I was hoping for tips on how to prepare her for travel and hotel stays (she's fine in the car--usually doesn't move a muscle, so I think she might be a LITTLE afraid of it, but not horribly so--she's willing to be lifted into it).

I just would like to know that if necessary I'll be able to leave her in a hotel room for short periods of time without worrying about barking and any kind of destructiveness at all. I THINK she'll be more or less OK, but I'd love a little greater certainty.

As I've mentioned before, my previous dog, Pearl, had TERRIBLE SA, and I think that's made me a lot more nervous about these things than I'd be otherwise. It was just about impossible to go anywhere without her. Naima doesn't have any issues like that, but still...
 

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Maybe you can do a test run, just an over-nighter, and take a nanny-cam to monitor what she does while you're gone. Definitely take a super awesome high value treat/toy to keep her occupied. I was really worried first time I had to stay in a hotel with my dog (Comfort Inns are great pet-friendly hotels BTW), and I thought she might bark at the people in the halls or strange noises, or... whatever., despite her not being a barker generally. I had a friend staying next door (no camera, wish I'd thought of that) and he said she was silent the whole time I was gone, which was only about two hours. She didn't seem traumatized or anything over it. Sounds like you have plenty of time to get her acclimated to travel situations.
 

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I still think crate training is the golden ticket to traveling anywhere. Getting a dog confident about being put any new place requires a ton of training towards generalization, and a generally confident dog. Getting a dog to just like the crate gives you a tool that the dog is already comfortable about, which you can then use in different places. Of course, being in a crate in a new space won't be totally the same as in your home. But if the dog learns to love the crate your chances of success are way higher than just leaving a dog loose in a new place. Plus, you can always drape the crate which is an added bonus!
 

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I don't leave the dog in the room alone crated or loose. Back when I traveled for agility trials it was concerned dangerous and poor manners to do so. We got take out or left the dog in the car for meals. Bought a sheet if dog slept on the bed. I've used day boarding or somebody opted out of an activity to stay with the dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, everyone. TGKvr, it's funny--just after I posted that I thought, "Maybe I should spend a night here and there in an inexpensive motel and see how it goes and get her used to it." I even thought of Comfort Inn, as I've stayed there a number of times (and it's relatively cheap and yes--dog-friendly)! So yeah...

Naima doesn't HATE the crate, but she does still bark when she's left in it and usually not too eager to go in (not that she refuses). I haven't tried covering it. But yes--I was wondering about the "generalization" thing. I guess I'll have to see how chill she is at 18 months, after a test-run or two. I am fortunate--she is, and has always been, quite calm for her age. I'm assuming she'll be that much better in half a year! :)

Kathyy, it seems that a lot of people these days consider it dangerous and poor manners to leave a dog in the car. I used to do it with my previous dogs back in the day, but don't any more. I've read that even if the dog is OK being left in the car and it's not hot out, the risk of the dog being teased, stolen, or worse seems to have increased. I have left dogs in hotel rooms in the past, and it's been fine. It's just been a really long time since I've started with a non-SA puppy from scratch, so I'm a little rusty on what it takes to get her to be OK in that environment.

P.S. A lot of the more expensive hotels (probably not ones I'll get to stay in with her) have really upped their game as far as pet-friendliness is concerned. Some even provide dog-walking services!
 

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We've stayed with both dogs in a hotel, but it was only to stop for the night, we were there with them the whole time. I generally don't bring the dogs if I think they're going to be left in the room alone for any period of time. However, I did it once when we just had Pepper, she stayed in a crate though and we were gone a couple hours. Kane absolutely could not stay in a room without one of us there with him. We don't really take vacations anymore :-/

It might be a good idea to let the hotel staff know you're leaving for a bit and to contact you if there are any issues (crazy barking).
 

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The few trials we go to where we stay in a Motel, we never leave the dogs in the rooms but take them and leave them in the car when we go to eat. As they are in crates, people would not even know they were in there so have never worried about anybody bothering them. They are winter trials so never too hot and they have heated beds. Most Agility trials we camp in our RV so no problem there.
 

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Depending on your schedule and trip plan, look into "VRBO"/"Homeaway" rentals (as in, vacation rental by owner) for things like stand-alone cabins, mother-in-law apartments etc where you don't have to worry about neighbors at a hotel complaining and the safety of leaving a dog in the crate alone is at least a bit increased since you won't have random maid service that might be an issue.

IMO, once a dog is really comfortable in a crate, they generalize more to the crate than to the location of it. Of course, strange noises outside the room and such may still perk her ears or agitate her, but the crate is the grounding rod so to speak.
 

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I had been a little concerned about this when I was taking Rogue with me on a trip, but it was fine. He was a little more interested in staying in his crate than usual and I brought him some special chews for when I had to leave him alone. He mostly doesn't choose to sleep in his crate at home but at the hotel he went in on his own and would settle in there while we did whatever. If you're worried about the barking you could always bring a beef knuckle with you, those tend to last a long time and they might be noisy but they're quieter than barking.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just saw all the new replies--thanks, everyone.

I guess what I should be focusing on at the moment is getting Naima very comfortable with being left at HOME alone first--in or out of her crate, and that what I'm feeling is anticipatory anxiety based on my previous dog's SA and all the issues that came with that. I don't recall any problems with dogs I had when I was younger surrounding these things--I just went out when I needed to, and they were fine. I would have had no concerns about staying in a hotel or anywhere else with them (and I did do that).

Yesterday I left Naima home with my mother while I went to the store for about 45 minutes (again, my mother doesn't really move from the couch, and it's a big house, so it's ALMOST like being left home alone). When I got back, Naima was just hanging out on the landing halfway up the staircase from the living-room. She didn't even get up at first when I came in.

So I'm hoping that my concerns are just simply slightly neurotic. :) But I will definitely do a trial run or two at local cheap motels and see how she does in less familiar surroundings. I'm certainly not worried that she'd "attack" anyone who came into the room when I'm not there (although she might lick them to death). She's really a pretty mellow and self-assured dog. It's probably just a case of practicing a lot and staying calm about it myself... If I can get to the point at which I'm confident (as I used to be pre-Pearl) that I can go out and leave her alone without worrying about barking and/or ripping stuff to shreds, my life will be perfect. :) I'm hoping that by fall, when she's about 18 mos. old, she'll be even MORE chill about stuff.
 

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I travel with my dogs and collected lots of hotel written references for them.. beyond gong to get a bucket of ice or doing and checking on laundry less then 5 mins, to 10 minutes, I don't go out without them. They are great dogs, well behaved would be perfectly fine left alone for hours, but I would never do that. The dogs are always worked into my plans for taking them with me in the first place. Feel it is good practice if your going to take the dogs with you they should be a part of your plans with you. Even when I get to my families house the dogs are a part of the plan, main thing is spending time with family.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I travel with my dogs and collected lots of hotel written references for them.. beyond gong to get a bucket of ice or doing and checking on laundry less then 5 mins, to 10 minutes, I don't go out without them. They are great dogs, well behaved would be perfectly fine left alone for hours, but I would never do that. The dogs are always worked into my plans for taking them with me in the first place. Feel it is good practice if your going to take the dogs with you they should be a part of your plans with you. Even when I get to my families house the dogs are a part of the plan, main thing is spending time with family.
I totally agree with you in theory, but sometimes things just aren't possible. If I visit my son's campus, for example, I don't know if I'd be able to take her (of course, back in MY college days, everyone's dogs were everywhere--including in classes!). I just want to know that if something comes up it will be OK.
 

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^^ Yes, I was going to say something similar. It's easy to say you'd never leave the dog alone in a hotel room but sometimes you don't have much choice, depending on your reason for travel and why you have the dog with you in the first place, etc. etc. There are lots of reasons why you might need to do it. Should it be avoided? Sure, of course... if possible. Just like I avoid having to leave my dog at ALL if I can. But life happens... weddings, funerals, vacations, etc. It's good to know you can rely on your dog to be stable in the event you have to leave them alone in a different environment for a short period of time. Like others said, having a crate that the dog likes helps too because no matter where you go, their crate is always their crate.

**Incidentally, when I travel I ALWAYS put the "do not disturb" sign on... I really hate housekeeping coming into a room when I travel. If I need towels, I'll call you. Otherwise, stay away!
 

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I was just going to say, whether I have a dog with me or not, I always put the "do not disturb" on the door as I don't need housekeeping coming in when I am not there. (TGKvr beat me to it.)
 

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^^ Yes, I was going to say something similar. It's easy to say you'd never leave the dog alone in a hotel room but sometimes you don't have much choice, depending on your reason for travel and why you have the dog with you in the first place, etc. etc. There are lots of reasons why you might need to do it. Should it be avoided? Sure, of course... if possible. Just like I avoid having to leave my dog at ALL if I can. But life happens... weddings, funerals, vacations, etc. It's good to know you can rely on your dog to be stable in the event you have to leave them alone in a different environment for a short period of time. Like others said, having a crate that the dog likes helps too because no matter where you go, their crate is always their crate.

**Incidentally, when I travel I ALWAYS put the "do not disturb" sign on... I really hate housekeeping coming into a room when I travel. If I need towels, I'll call you. Otherwise, stay away!
Yeah--it just seems that if it's a choice between leaving her in a boarding facility or with someone she doesn't know well and taking her along with me to motels where she might be alone (safely and comfortably) for a while, the latter seems preferable. And I wanted a dog I could travel with. On the other hand, although she is part of my family, I don't think that means that I shouldn't be able to go places without her sometimes (although if she can handle it and I think she'll enjoy it, I will)--that's why I want to make sure she's well trained and confident and secure. I love my son more than anything in the world, but that didn't mean that when he was growing up I took him everywhere I went!

And yes on the wonderful "Do Not Disturb" signs--when I'm in the room or out of it!
 

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Most hotels have a policy that says the dog cannot be left in the room alone, even if they're crated. I would plan to have her with you at all times, left in the car if necessary (obviously with A/C running if it's hot).

Hotels are also loud weird places. One of my dogs is perfect in her crate at home, at class, etc. But in hotels where people are slamming doors and other dogs might be walking down the hall, she's more on edge and I wouldn't trust her to be quiet while I was gone. It's a very different environment.

I wouldn't plan to leave her at the hotel at all, honestly.

ETA: The time I took my dog with us to a wedding I boarded him for the day while we were doing wedding stuff instead of leaving him in the hotel.
 
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