Looking to spend a little relaxation time with your four-legged buddy? It’s certainly doable, but there are some important considerations when teaching a dog to use a hammock. If you happen to have a Chihuahua or a Tea Cup Poodle, no problem. Just scoop up your pooch and ease into the hammock of your choosing. But if your pup is more like a Labrador or a Rottweiler, you’ll want to put in a little training time. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to hang out with man’s best friend:
First, consider hammock types. A Family Sized South American hammock will also provide plenty of room for you and a few furry friends. A South American hammock might also help your dog feel a bit more stable and secure. Travel hammocks provide the same security of South American hammocks, but their breathable and durable parachute nylon provides extra protection against your pup’s paws. Still, make sure your pooch’s pedicure is up to date. Long or jagged toe nails can catch in woven fabrics, damaging the hammock or possibly injuring your dog. Bad news either way.
In any case, it’s important to avoid rope hammocks with large gaps that might allow your canine buddy’s feet to slip through. You don’t want to leave your dog suspended and helpless, all four legs poking out the bottom like furry sausages hanging in a butcher shop window. The sight of it may be hilarious to you, but your dog wouldn’t enjoy it.
Training: Consistency is Key
As with training a dog (or anything else) in other arenas, the most important thing is consistency. Make the hammock a happy place. First try sitting in the hammock with your feet on the ground to provide stability, and then invite your dog to join you. Fido is likely to be suspicious, especially if he isn’t allowed on indoor furniture. In this case, try using a favorite toy as an incentive. If your dog small enough bed, try moving that onto the hammock as a way to make it seem more familiar and less intimidating.
Of course, all dogs can be motivated with food. Go ahead and use a treat or two to lure your buddy up, but try not to use too many or use them every time. You don’t want to create an expectation of food with every visit to the hammock. This is supposed to be a way to relax with your pet, not a venue for your dog to stare at you longingly while drooling on your favorite shirt.
Cats? Don’t Count On It.
Do you want to train your cat to use your hammock? Too bad. Cats as a species have no regard for human dignity and therefore cannot be trained. Your cats will join you in a hammock if and when they feel like doing so, and all attempts to train your cat will be met with disdain.
So there it is. Choose the right hammock and be consistent, and you and your dog will be hanging out together in no time. Your cats will meet you there, maybe. If and when they feel like it.
Fair warning: your dog may learn to love hammocking as much as you do and take over your favorite piece of furniture like this guy does.
There are many ways to sit in a hammock. How many of them do you know?