On The Road

Welcome to this weeks edition of the Assistance Dogs NZ dog blog.

As you may have gathered, the ADNZT dogs tend to move around quite a bit from the time they are 8 weeks old. Whether it’s to puppy development days, the vets, the ADNZT kennels, or out with their puppy raising families, these dogs need to be comfortable in cars.

In fact transportation is a key element of their training, in preparation for their working lives. They need to be comfortable on buses, trains, and planes as well as in cars.

This week, we’re taking a look at how ADNZT transports these precious animals safely on our roads. We’ll come back to the other modes of transport in future blogs.

NB: the cover photo here was just for fun! ADNZT does NOT recommend dogs learn to drive themselves! 🙂

Before the dogs go to Auckland for training, they are under the wing of the Puppy Development Manager. With approximately 15+ dogs in her care, there is often a need to transport one, two, three or four from A to B and back again. When they are ready for their specific training, they move to Auckland. There are a few dogs all being trained by our wonderful trainers at the same time, and whilst the trainers work with them during the day, they are lucky enough to have some wonderful people close by who board the dogs for them overnight and on rest days. They are picked up early in the morning for a days work, and delivered back to the boarder at the end of the day.

ADNZT has branded cars and vans, some of which are professionally fitted out to transport the dogs safely. Here’s a look at some of them.

The training van is ideally kitted out with fitted water bowls and even some toys! Here’s Rocco, showing us how it works.

There is room for two in the back, so here’s Rocco, with his brother Rufus next door. This photo also shows you the variety of jackets on the back of the grill.

The grill is also lockable, so the dogs can be left securely, with the back of the van up to let some fresh air in, if they need to stay in the van for a bit of time.

Safety and security – all in one!

The training van is augmented by a couple of other vehicles that also have the safety and security measures built in.

Ikon shows us the SUV set up.

Of course, at the beginning of their careers, ADNZT dogs are living with their puppy raisers, who don’t have this sort of advanced safety ride for the dogs.

Assistance Dogs New Zealand therefore recommends that the dogs are transported sitting in the well of the front passenger seat.

Puppy Jojo shows us how it’s done.

If you have a dog that isn’t an ADNZT dog, but your beloved pet, I urge you to think about how you transport him/her/them.

Any loose items in the car can become projectiles if the car stops in a hurry, so loose dogs are not only a danger to themselves, but also to the driver and passengers in the car. We may all think it won’t happen to us, but it’s more likely not to happen if we’re well prepared!

There are options out there such as car seats and harnesses for different types of dogs, in different parts of the car. With a little research, the perfect fit can be found for you and your fur baby. Or you can follow the recommendation of ADNZT and transport them in the well of the front passenger seat. Whatever you decide – keep them safe people!

Assistance Dogs New Zealand is a charitable trust that is funded solely by the generosity of sponsors, donors and supporters. If you’d like to help support this outstanding organisation, puppy sponsorship just might be the way you can. Check out our puppy sponsorship page here. If that’s not your cup of tea, one off donations are all gratefully received. :-).

Have a great week.