The life of a trucker can be a lonely one. Spending long hours on the road, away from loved ones and the comforts of home, can take a toll on anyone. That’s why many truck drivers choose to bring their furry companions on the road with them. Dogs are human’s best friend for a reason – they provide companionship, emotional support and make great travel pals. But with so many breeds, how do you know which ones are best suited for trucking life? In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the best dog breeds for truckers:
When looking for a dog breed that is suitable for a trucking lifestyle, it’s important to consider breeds that are well-behaved, low maintenance, and have low exercise requirements. Before choosing a dog breed, consider factors such as your truck cab’s space and size, the average road trip time length, and your trucking company’s pet policy. While these factors affect the breed that best suits your needs, our top 5 breeds are French Bulldogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Bichon Frise, Shih Tzus, and Boston Terriers.
Here is a list of our top 10 dog breeds for truckers:
- French Bulldog: French Bulldogs are small, compact dogs that do not require a lot of exercise. Although Frenchies can be stubborn at times, they’re intelligent and easy to train. They are also affectionate, friendly, laid-back, and sociable, making them great companions on the road.
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Cavaliers are friendly and adaptable dogs that do well in small spaces. They’re known for their gentle temperament, intelligence, and being easy to train. They are also great road trip companions due to their low-exercise needs and loyal and affectionate personalities.
- Bichon Frise: These small, low-maintenance, hypoallergenic dogs are great for people with allergies and often described as “lap dogs”. They are intelligent and playful yet also low-energy and love to cuddle, making them great companions on long hauls.
- Shih Tzu: These smaller dogs are friendly, low-maintenance, and have low exercise requirements and a loyal temperament. They’re typically social, curious, intelligent, and easily trained dogs that have a laid-back personality and are adaptable to various environments.
- Boston Terrier: These small dogs are playful, intelligent and adapt well to new environments. Boston Terriers are friendly, low-maintenance, low energy and can be easily trained. They’re also known for their protective nature and good-natured temperament.
- Basset Hound: These medium-sized dogs are known for their friendly, calm, and low-maintenance. They’re also good with children and other dogs due to their gentle temperament and laid-back personality.
- Chihuahua: Chihuahuas are small, spunky, and intelligent dogs that can be assertive and have a big personality. They are also very loyal, affectionate and make great companions.
- Miniature Pinscher: These small dogs are alert, protective, and good watchdogs. They’re also low maintenance and moderately active dogs that are known for having a curious nature and eagerness to please, making them easier to train.
- Miniature Schnauzer: These small dogs are intelligent, loyal, and low maintenance. They’re also good watchdogs and have a protective nature.
- Other Toy Breeds: Toy breeds like Yorkies and Maltese are all good choices for truckers. They’re small, low-maintenance, and have low exercise needs.
Older Shelter Dogs: If you’re looking for a companion that’s already trained and settled, consider adopting an older dog from a shelter. These dogs are often overlooked and can make great companions on the road. Make sure you ask the shelter about exercise and maintenance needs, as well as any health issues that could affect the dog while on the road.
The following dog breed options made our short list. They checked off most of the factors that make a dog breed a good option for a trucking lifestyle but did not meet 1-2 of the key factors we suggest are good breed characteristics for truckers.
The most common factor these dog breeds below did not meet was their larger size and exercise requirements. These dog breeds have higher energy levels and require 30 – 60 minutes of exercise per day.
Larger Dog Breeds for Trucklife:
- Border Collie: These medium-sized dogs are intelligent, energetic, and easy to train. They’re also good with children and make perfect companions, however Border Collies do require 60 – 120 minutes of exercise daily.
- Labrador Retriever: These medium-sized dogs are friendly, loyal, and great with children. They’re also easy to train and don’t require a lot of grooming, however, Labs typically require about 60 minutes of exercise per day and are larger in size.
- Pit Bulls: These medium-sized dogs are loyal, protective, and affectionate breeds. They’re also low maintenance but do require about 60 minutes of exercise daily.
- German Shepherd: These large dogs are intelligent, loyal, and protective. They’re also good watchdogs and don’t require a lot of grooming, however they are energetic and require about 60-90 minutes of exercise daily.
Why Should A Trucker Bring Their Pet On The Road?
Truck drivers face a unique set of challenges, such as mental and physical health issues, that can be alleviated by bringing a furry friend along for the ride.
Here are some of the top reasons why truckers choose to bring their dogs on the road:
- Mental health: Spending long hours alone on the road can take a toll on mental health. Dogs provide emotional support and can help alleviate feelings of loneliness and depression.
- Physical health: Truckers are face with a sedentary work life that can negatively impact their health. According to a study by BMC Public Health, dog owners on average walked 22 minutes more per day compared to people who didn’t own a dog. Therefore, owning a dog may potentially increase a trucker’s daily activity during road trips, leading to more walking and exercise than if they didn’t own a dog.
- Great companions: Dogs are loyal, loving, and make great companions. They’re always happy to see you and can provide a sense of comfort and security on the road.
- Great travel companions: Dogs love to explore and are always up for an adventure. They can make great travel companions and help make long drives more enjoyable.
- Emotional support animal: For those who suffer from anxiety or other mental health conditions, dogs can serve as emotional support animals and provide a sense of calm and comfort.
- Separation anxiety: Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods of time. Bringing them on the road with you can help alleviate these feelings and keep them happy and healthy.
- Man’s best friend: It’s no secret that dogs are man’s best friend. They provide unconditional love and support, and can help make life on the road a little bit easier.
If you are a trucker, before choosing a dog breed there are a few factors to consider. Here are some tips to help you choose the best dog for your trucking lifestyle:
- Truck stops and rest areas along route. Consider the types of hotels, truck stops and rest areas that you’ll be stopping at. Some may not allow pets or may have restrictions on the size or breed of dogs.
- Trucking company rules pet policy. Check with your trucking company to see if they have any rules or restrictions regarding pets. Some companies may not allow pets on board, while others may have size or breed restrictions.
- Small spaces. Living in a small space like the cab of your truck requires a dog that doesn’t need a lot of space to move around.
- Long hours. Truckers spend long hours on the road, which means that their dogs will need to be able to handle long periods of time without much attention or exercise.
- Less exercise. While some dogs require a lot of exercise, others don’t need as much. Consider the amount of exercise your dog will need and make sure it’s feasible on the road.
- Extra stops. Dogs will need to be let out to use the bathroom and stretch their legs, so plan for extra stops along your route.
- Cab of your truck. Consider the amount of space in the cab of your truck and whether or not it can accommodate a dog bed or crate. You’ll also want to make sure there’s enough ventilation and temperature control for your furry friend.
- Long distances. Consider the distance you’ll be traveling, state lines you’ll be crossing and whether your dog will be comfortable for the entire trip.
- Long drives. Long drives can be tiring for both you and your dog, so choose a breed that can handle long periods of sitting still and doesn’t get car sick.
When it comes to choosing the best dog breeds for truckers, there are some common characteristics to look for. Here are a few:
- Low exercise needs: Dogs that don’t require a lot of exercise can be a good choice for truckers who spend long hours on the road.
- Lazy or low-energy dogs: Lazy dogs that are content to lounge around are a good choice for truckers who live in small spaces and don’t have a lot of extra time for exercise.
- Low maintenance: Dogs that are low maintenance and don’t require a lot of grooming or attention are a good choice for truckers who have limited time and resources.
- Laid back: Dogs that have a calm and laid-back personality are a good choice for truckers who spend a lot of time on the road and need a dog that adapts well to most environments.
- Protective nature: Dogs that are protective of their owners can provide a sense of security on the road.
- Old dogs: Older dogs can be a good choice for truckers who want a companion that’s already trained and settled.
In addition to making a packing checklist for traveling with your dog, taking your dog on the road as a trucker comes with some safety considerations.
Here are some safety measures to take:
- Seat belt: Just like people, dogs should be buckled up for safety. Invest in a dog seat belt or harness to keep your furry friend secure in case of an accident.
- Certificate of veterinary inspection: Many states require a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) for dogs traveling across state lines. Make sure you have the appropriate paperwork before hitting the road.
- Cab of your truck: Make sure the cab of your truck is safe and comfortable for your dog. This includes proper ventilation and temperature control, as well as a secure space for your dog to rest.
- Rest areas: Plan for rest areas where your dog can stretch its legs and use the bathroom. Many truck stops have designated pet areas, so make sure to take advantage of them.
- Do all trucking companies allow dogs in the cab?
Not all trucking companies have the same pet policy. Be sure to check with your employer before bringing your dog on the road.
- How can I exercise my dog during long hauls?
Plan extra stops at rest areas or truck stops, where you can take short walks or play fetch to give your dog some exercise.
- Are there any specific products I should invest in for my dog’s comfort and safety in the truck?
A dog seat belt or harness, comfortable bed or crate, a sun shade for their car window, and proper ventilation are essential for your dog’s comfort and safety on the road.
- Can I bring a large dog breed on the road with me?
While it’s possible, larger breeds may struggle with the limited space in a truck cab. It’s generally better to choose a smaller or medium-sized breed that adapts well to small spaces.
- What should I do if my dog gets anxious on long drives?
Create a comfortable environment with familiar items like their bed and toys and give your dog plenty of attention during rest stops to help alleviate anxiety. If the issue persists, consult your veterinarian for further guidance.
- How should I train my dog to get used to long road trips in the truck?
Start by introducing your dog to the truck cab and taking short 30 – 60-minute road trips on your days off. If possible, work your way up to a 2 – 4-hour road trip and then select a shorter drive as your dog’s first “shift”. Make sure to plan in as many pitstops as possible. Stopping at state line rest areas is a great opportunity, because state rest areas typically have a good amount of ‘green space’ for walking your dog.
As a trucker, bringing your furry companion on the road can be a great way to combat loneliness and make the long hours more bearable. When choosing a dog breed, consider the size of your truck, the length of your drives, and the specific characteristics of the breed. By choosing the right furry companion, you’ll have a loyal co-pilot to share your adventures with on the open road. So, pack up your truck, follow these tips for traveling with your dog, and hit the road with your new best friend by your side!