Are you looking forward to traveling for a vacation? Are you traveling alone, as a couple or family? Is it a long or short trip? Will you be traveling by road in your private car, by train or on an airplane? All these run through the mind of a dog owner or would-be dog owner with travel plans in which they hope for Poochie to be a part of. Things to consider that may run through your mind include but are not limited to, the size of the breed, attitude to outdoor activities, adaptability or rugged nature when faced with changing environments. Most dogs love the outdoors but these ten are purpose-built for trips.
Picking by Size
If you are traveling by air, size becomes a big factor in choosing a dog breed due to space constraints that air travel inevitably come with. Many travelers can recall coming across at airports old ladies with a super small-sized dog excited yapping away at other commuters from the safety of its owner’s purse. Does the idea of an itty bitty dog that small enough to fit in your purse excite you? Or the idea of traveling cross country with a dog the size of a miniature lion tugging impatiently at its leash, eagerly to chase small animals and children more your style? Whatever dog rocks your boat, here are a few breeds for you to choose from.
For small-sized breeds, there is the Pomeranian to consider. With its small body weighing in at less than seven pounds (three kilograms thereabout), it sure packs a punch fronting like a big dog with its confident demeanor. The Pomeranian is a breed famous for its intelligence and ability to quickly learn new tricks. However, this dog is an indoor one. If you have allergies or for any other reason prefer your dog remains outside of the house, the Pomeranian is not for you. A word of caution though, the Pom, as they are also called, are best owned by families with older children. There is a tendency in very young children to mistake a Pom for yet another toy due to its small size.
Take a look at our review of Dog Food For Pomeranians.
Coming in second is the Maltese, which doesn’t weigh more than three kilograms. The Maltese is gentle and playful yet very alert. It does well in small spaces but they are finicky eaters with peculiar culinary tastes. They require daily grooming of their fur and eyes with frequent baths too. If you will have the time during your trip to attend to your canine diva, do travel with the Maltese.
Find out more about Dog Food for Maltese.
If you need some security while traveling with space being a challenge, then you can go for the third dog option by size, which is the Chihuahua. This is the smallest dog in the world. It can weigh as little as one kilogram and is not taller than five inches. A Chihuahua is a true embodiment of small but mighty. Do not underestimate this pooch because of its size. They are a lap dog but are very active and have been known to lash out at strangers, pawing anyone and anything they have deemed a threat to them. They also can be very controlling of their owner’s space and sometimes are aggressive. If you prefer to travel undisturbed by any idle chit chat from an enthusiastic co-traveler, especially when you would rather just enjoy the ride sans any intrusion, taking your Chihuahua along for the trip is a sure-fire way to keep folks at bay.
For more options, check out our detailed review of Dog Food For Chihuahuas.
Breed by Attitude
If you prefer dogs that are more on the canine than toy look-alike spectrum, here are a few worth considering.
This eager and sociable dog with kindliness written all over its eyes are an excellent travel companion. They are very friendly, great companions and socialize not only with humans but also with other dog breeds. This large-sized dog is great for road trips, especially if riding in an SUV or RV. When you break camp at nightfall, you can easily feel safe with your loyal Lab nestled at your feet keeping surveillance over you. Their easy and friendly mien should not be mistaken for low energy as they are also mentally and physically fit.
See our round-up of the Best Dog Food for Labs.
Another great canine companion for a trip is the Golden Retriever. Sturdy, muscular and medium-sized, this Lab cousin is a dog that is both friendly and intelligent. It is a very playful dog with a puppy like behavior and is energetic with a love for the outdoors. Remember this dog was built to retrieve so it’s good at swimming and fetching things too. If traveling with your family, the kids will have a blast swimming in the lake or playing catch with the Golden Retriever for company.
You may also like our guide on Dog Food for Golden Retrievers.
Rugged and Adaptable Breeds
All you looking for a companion with a whole lot of personality that is both adaptable and easy to handle? If so, here are a few to consider;
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Sixth on the list of best dog breeds you can make a possible great trip with is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. This beautiful dog has a great temperament. It is a sweet and gentle dog with adorable eyes that can melt even the hardest of hearts. The switch a cavalier makes between comfort and discomfort is so amazing and they get along with children, other dogs, and pets as well as strangers. The cavalier does not dig or bark excessively but loves to explore sniffing and chasing in its quest to discover all the world has to offer. This ideal canine travel partner is gentle, playful, quiet, given to open displays of great affection and would go to great lengths to please its owner.
Want a travel mate that is small, cute, rugged yet adaptable to the rigors of travel? Add to the list a seventh breed, the Boston Terrier aka the American Gentleman. The nickname comes from their gentle looks and ‘dignified’ behavior. This breed has energy and agility combined. It plays hard and can run after you down the departure/arrival halls or bus/train terminals. Tiny as they look, those little furballs sure are fast.
Another great reason this dog this list is its love for people. They love to display their agility in front of people. Such a vain pooch! As excited as they get when outdoors they are equally content when indoors. They are really sensitive dogs and pay loads of attention to your needs and moods doubling as highly alert watchdogs should the need arise. They are also great communicators and use different combinations of sounds to pass on their messages. Wheezes, snorts, grunts, and snuffles are the lingua of choice. Note though, they snore very loudly when they are asleep.
Another on this list is the Brussels Griffon, a smart and sensitive dog with a demeanor filled with the “I am important” toga. This breed has a lot of antics up its sleeve and can keep you and your travel partners occupied with amusing acts during those annoyingly long layovers at the airport. This dog seeks constant attention for those that may need companionship during trips to new places. The griffon has varying temperament and swings from outgoing to shy. It also can be very naughty though that part rarely comes to fore except when left unsupervised or starved of attention. Their compact nature, agility, intelligence, and loyalty make them a good travel mate that can adapt to different situations while on a trip.
The Trophy Dog
Our ninth and tenth to make the list of dog breeds ideal for travel are the Clumber spaniel and Shih Tzu which both make great showstoppers for that luxury lifestyle travel.
Clumber Spaniels are smart and easy-going friendly dogs that bark only when they have to pass on a message (so are not the best watchdogs in town). The personality swings being reserved and graceful to playful and naughty. The clumber has a knack for curiosity, is playful and allows people to approach it while it does same to people around its owner.
Rounding off the list is the Shih Tzu (“sheed-zoo” or “sheet-su” pronounced by the Chinese as “sher-zer”) a definite show stopper when well-groomed. Cute and beautiful is normal to this dog breed as a fur to any dog. The Shih Tzu is very friendly with children and affectionate with its owner. Its idea of fun is sitting in your lap. The Shih Tzu appears snobbish but is friendly, can be lively and devoted to its owner. It certainly doesn’t allow anyone to abandon it and has a way of reaching out with a lot of affection.
The dog is also alert and barks at strange faces but within a short while become friendly and certainly disarms the strangers with its charm. If being the cynosure of all eyes while on a journey is your style, with both you and your pooch dressed to the nines, strutting like the divas you are, the Shih Tzu would make a great companion for you.