Training a dog for companionship while wandering+hitchhiking? (1 Viewer)

Aug 3, 2014
In about 2 years I'm planning on leaving to roam and wander the world by any means. But for now, I have a dog at home who I've been considering training for companionship when I leave to roam the world. Having a dog could be very useful for companionship, protection, keeping alert at night and a whole bunch of other things if properly trained. But I also realize the complications that having a dog would cause, like difficulty getting rides while hitchhiking, and it'd make trainhopping and other means difficult if not impossible. But the problem I'm having is I love this dog and do not want him to feel that I abandoned him when I leave on my journey.

Does anyone have any experience or input when it comes to having a dog companion when roaming the world? He's a very well behaved dog who just requires training. He is a 2.5 year old half pitbull half labrador. Attached to this post is a picture.

I've posted on reddit asking for advice as well awhile ago, but when I did I kind of omitted the fact that we'd be wandering the world in such a fashion.


Click here to buy one of our amazing custom bandanas!


campervan untilising nomadic traveller
Dec 18, 2011
Brighton, United Kingdom
I've recently started travelling full time with my dog. I have a van to live in so we have a secure place to sleep but i don't think I could manage travelling with my dog without the knowledge that I have some kind of base. Its really hard work having a dog on the road.

A dog can act as a guard dog for you, but you equally have to keep them safe and look out for dangers they may encounter. It's another mouth to feed and that can be expensive if you feed them the right stuff. I personally don't feed my dog very much human food as it really upsets her stomach, so you may have to consider how and where you are going to get food for your furry friend as I can feed myself for free or next to nothing my dog on the other hand can get costly.

I also spend a huge amount of my time questioning whether my dog is happy with the decisions I have made for her. The fact that sometimes she is probably bored, or tired or cold is my fault. I don't know if this is just me that feels that way or other travellers with dogs do to. I try to factor in my thoughts on how she may be feeling when I plan stuff to do.

The other thing that I never really realised, is the amount of places you just can't go with a dog in tow. I have a van so I can shut her in if I need to go in a shop, but if it's hot I have to be in and out in just a few short minutes so she doesn't over heat. If you have nowhere to call your own, is your dog happy to be tied up outside a shop while you go in? You will be with your hound literally 24 hours a day, I'm used to that and maybe you are too but it can become draining. If you plan on working whilst travelling having a dog restricts the work you can get. i do a lot of outdoor work like farming and picking fruit that kind of thing.

Train your dog to sit and wait, make sure they come back when called and get them happy walking on a leash because sometimes its the only safe way for them to be with you. Get them used to as much as you can, if they are happy with other dogs then that is so much easier. My last tip is even if your dog has been walking with you all day they still need playtime fun like a run about chasing a ball or having a swim, whatever it is your dog likes doing.

I think the fact that you are planning ahead and thinking about your decision to take your dog with you or not is really to be respected. Its not my place to say whether its the right decision because every dog/travel combo is different. One thing that is certain, is that travelling with a dog keeps the loneliness to a minimum.


Aug 5, 2014
Indiana > pittsburgh > new england
i've been wondering about this too. i just found a young (maybe 6 month old) pitbull in my neighborhood in july. he's well mannered- for a puppy. still jumps and bites when he is excited to see people but we are working on that. we are socializing the shit out of him with other dogs, people and children. he has one constant dog companion at the farm that he is staying at right now. i'm trying to teach him basic commands like "leave it" "sit" "wait" "watch me" and "come here!" doing lots of positive reinforcement training as a rule of thumb since dominance stuff, especially with sensitive dogs like pitbulls, can be really anxiety inducing and confusing for them. also getting him used to just being independent, chilling out and chewing on bones and things.

i agree that having a base like a van or a truck might be the easiest way to get around. i'm thinking about taking my dude to california with me if he ever gets over his car sickness... which apparently most pups grow out of.

and of course just being able to read your dog and take time to do that things that make him/her happy.. go to a dog park, play in a lake, off leash time, alone time..

Johnny P

I deleted myself
I travel full time with a dog and initially it was a lot of work..the best way to have a good traveling dog is to train him/her from a puppy and it will be completely immersed in the lifestyle it's whole life. You have to be firm in it's training and consistent.

My dog I pulled from the litter and after two weeks of intensive basic training I started walking him around in train yards....He's been riding trains pretty much his whole life....

I would never take a dog more than a year old on the road...lot of work...I treid to adopt a dog that was about a year and a half and he ran away after one train. Probably traumatized the poor beast.

Similar threads

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $50.00 of $50.00 - reached!
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $75.00 of $75.00 - reached!
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully his will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $100.00 of $100.00 - reached!
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $115.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.