The Best Dog Breeds For A Trucker’s Lifestyle

Best Dog Breeds For A Truckers Lifestyle

When you’re out on the road for hours on end, the radio can become a lonely friend.  But instead, who better to spend your time with than man’s best friend. Picking the right dog breed is important if you want a successful trucking partnership.  

I’ve dived into a few of the world’s top trucking dog breeds to bring you my top five best dog breeds for a trucker and ‘the life’.

General Trucking With Dogs 101 

There are a few things you need to keep in mind, and also consider when you’re thinking about which type of dog you want to pick up.  Are you a short run or a long haul kind of trucker? As both of these have a much different daily routine, there are a few different breeds that might be suited to each.

For the purpose of this article, let’s take a look at some breeds that might work out the best for long haulers.  Long haul trucking means it could be hours in the truck before you stop. Therefore, unless the dog has great bladder control, you’ll need to train it to use a special pee mat.  You could even use puppy pads I suppose.

Another thing to think about is how large a space will you be sharing with the dog.  Is it a two-seater cab, or a sleeper road truck? If it’s long hauls, you may just have the sleeper truck.  With this type of truck, you’ll have a lot more room than you would in a two-seater. So, that extra room allows you some opportunities to train the dog to use a pad.  I think the best bet though is to train your dog to ask you to pull over at a rest stop to walk them.

The next obvious considerations are of course making sure your pooch has food and water when it’s the long run.  The amount of water you let your dog drink at any one time may induce the dog to have to urinate, so you’ll have to work out a good rhythm for your pooch.

Life On The Road 

You know it can get lonely out there on the road.  That’s why a dog is a great idea. Just remember that it does mean having some responsibilities that might affect your drive.  You may need to stop more to let your dog go to the bathroom, as I’ve mentioned. In my mind, it’s a small price to pay for a furry companion.  However, it depends on who you’re driving for. If there’s a lot of tight deadlines that don’t give you the option to stop much… Well, I’d recommend finding another run if that’s the case.  When you’ve got a dog, you’ll have to make a few concessions.

Five Dog Breeds Best Suited For Life On The Road

After extensive research, I’ve selected five dog breeds that I believe would suit not only the trucking life but be an amazing friend too.

Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is a great dog for a trucker.
A Boston Terrier contemplates the existence of the tennis ball.

The Boston Terrier is a great little all American dog that originated in Boston as its name suggests.  The breed was first recognized back in 1893 by the American Kennel Club and has been growing in popularity on and off ever since.

Quick Boston Terrier Facts

  • Height: 15 – 17 inches (38 – 43 cm)
  • Weight: 10 – 25 lbs (4.5 – 11 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 13 – 15 years

Temperament

The Boston Terrier is an empathetic and devoted companion.  Sensing the moods of their owners, their compassion seemingly holds no bounds.  This sweet little American dog is all anyone could ever ask for in a little cute furry best friend.

Well behaved indoors, this dog is no stranger to the finer customs and preferred elegant behavior.  Having its origins in the wealthy upper class, the dog breed seems to have carried on the tradition of good behavior when indoors.

However, when our quirky little Boston friends are outside, they spring to life with lots of enthusiasm and playful energy.  Get your ball ready and warm your arm up, because the Boston Terrier loves nothing more than to chase a ball for you again, and again, and again…


Bulldog

A Bulldog.
A Bulldog, another thinker here contemplating if the food will fall from the heavens above.

Who doesn’t know our friend the Bulldog?  Ever watch the Harry Potter movies? Well, Harry’s adopted parents, they have a sister who comes to visit and she brings her dog.  And it’s a cute Bulldog.  

The Bulldog originated in England around about the year 1,200 AD.  The original purpose of the Bulldog was a bit of gruesome animal entertainment which I won’t get into, needless to say, it’s good that these dogs and the bull-baiting practices are no longer legal.

Despite it’s dark and sinister origins, this dog is known as a very docile and loving breed.

Quick Bulldog Facts

  • Height: 12 – 15 inches (30 – 38 cm)
  • Weight: 40 – 55 lbs (18 – 25 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 8 – 10 years

Temperament

Bulldogs are a funny breed.  I say this because they are a walking contradiction, in my opinion.  These dogs have this silly sort of grumpy pouting look, don’t they? And yet, this breed of dog is generally fairly jovial, positive and friendly.  Bulldogs are mellow. They can be fairly docile and pretty much like to just hang out with you, making them a great truck companion.  

Don’t let their docile and jovial nature of the Bulldog cloud your view, the dogs are also known to have a stubborn streak.  They can be very difficult if they aren’t in the mood to do something you want them to do. But, I think this just adds to the individual personality of the dog.  

There are a couple of things about this dog breed that you should be aware of.  First, the breed cannot jump well at all. They should not be expected to jump up or down for any kind of distance.  The dog can break their legs if they try to jump down from a height so always keep that in mind. Second, these dogs are not long-distance runners or walkers for that matter.  If you’re more of a couch potato than an avid jogger, then these dogs are good for you. But, if you do a lot of hiking, jogging or running, don’t expect this dog to be able to do it with you.  Lastly, you have to be cognizant of the fact that these dogs also do not do well with the heat at all. Like they can die from the heat sort of not doing well with it. Yeah. Pretty serious. So, if you are good with just hanging out, no long-distance walking, no long-running or jogging either, and you’re good with air conditioning, then the Bulldog will suit you nicely.


Chihuahua

A Chihuahua with it's owner.
A Chihuahua with it’s human.

One of the best things about the Chihuahua is their devotion to an individual.  If you’re a lone wolf kind of guy or gal, then the Chihuahua might just be the best dog for joining you on your rig. These dogs have a tendency to have a significant bond with a single person.  So, if you’re looking for a devoted and spunky little buddy, then this tiny toy breed is the right choice for you.

These dogs have a really interesting and slightly confusing history.  I’ve read that they originated in China and were brought over by the Spanish.  Another source I read stated that the dogs originated in Central and South America.  It seems that the controversy is as deep-rooted as is the spunkiness of this little dog!

Quick Chihuahua Facts

Height: 6 – 9 inches (15 – 23 cm)

Weight: 3 – 7 lbs (1.5 – 3 kg)

Life Expectancy: 12 – 20 years

Temperament

The Chihuahua is a spunky little dog.  These little guys/gals have a huge personality for such a tiny little dog.  And their courageousness is just as big. They will sometimes try to protect that one special person in their lives, but being so small they really are quite ineffective as a guard dog.  They may not know that themselves though.

The Chihuahua is sometimes known to be a bit shy of strangers.  However, they are typically really good with other pets in the house, so having a cat or something isn’t the end of the world.  Although, if you’re out for days on end driving then you might not have another pet at home unless you’ve got someone there to take care of it.  Rest assured, if that’s the case then the Chihuahua will likely get along with them just fine.


Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is shown in this photo.
What a very, very happy little dog! My goodness!

The Miniature Schnauzer is one of the happiest dogs I’ve ever seen.  I’ve never actually kept one myself, but a good friend had one for many years and I was fortunate enough to get to spend some quality time with the dog.  What a great little breed!

This spunky little ratter was first on the scene back in the late 1800s in Germany.  The breed was originally developed as a small farm dog with the purpose of ridding farms of rodent pests, hence the ratter reference.

Like other smaller dogs, these Schnauzers have a decent amount of energy.  That means they need a good walk or play every day. Remember, an active dog is a healthy dog (and the same goes for you too).

A great little companion to have with you on the ride.  And as a bonus, your rig will be magically free of rats!  Bonus!

Quick Miniature Schnauzer Facts

Height: 12 – 14 inches (30 – 36 cm)

Weight: 12 – 18 lbs (5.4 – 8 kg)

Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years

Temperament

The Miniature Schnauzer is one of the most popular of small breed terriers.  And for good reason too. These dogs are perceptive, compassionate, playful and obedient.  

One of the great things about the Miniature Schnauzer is its balance.  For a terrier, it’s pretty mellow. For a schnauzer, it’s pretty laid back and not nearly as domineering as its larger cousins.  So the Miniature Schnauzer has managed to get the best of both worlds. These dogs are clever and also great with kids, so if you have a pup or two of your own at the house, these dogs will fit right in.  And as they like to be a part of the action, if the action is on the road with you, then a Miniature Schnauzer might just be in your future…


Pug

This little Pug isn't named Frank...
A cute little Pug possibly named Frank.

Of all the cute little squishy faced dogs that bring a smile to my face the most, I’d say the Pug wins the prize.  I always think of the feisty little Pug named Frank in Men In Black. He was a talker and could cuss you out, but what a cute dog!

The Pug has been around for centuries.  The breed is practically partway to enlightenment from all the time spent with Buddhist monks from the monasteries of Tibet, many centuries ago.  But, it wasn’t just the monks who liked the Pug.

Royalty across Europe and in fact the world has been fond of the Pug.  The Pug and it’s famous forefathers have made quite a name for themselves saving princes by sounding the alarm of an attack, to being the pet of choice for royalty across the world.

These dogs are no stranger to Hollywood either.  With appearances in movies like Dune, Men In Black and Kingsman: The Secret Service, these dogs have got their name out!

Quick Pug Facts

Height: 10 – 11 inches (25 – 28 cm)

Weight: 14 – 18 lbs (6 – 8 kg)

Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years

Temperament

Pugs are not only ridiculously cute and playful, but they are also noble and majestic.  They hold themselves high with confidence, yet seem to have an overly silly playful side.  Perhaps one of the most dignified and also amiable of companions, the Pug makes a great little buddy for the ride.

Like the Bulldog, the Pug also does not tolerate heat and humidity.  However, they do need a daily dose of good old fashioned exercise. This could be a good playtime or a nice long walk.  Either way, like most dogs, Pugs need to keep fit or they can run into health issues, just like you or me.


A Few Tips For The Road

What To Do For A Nervous Dog In The Truck?

Try training the dog with a calming cap while the dog is in the vehicle with you.  It stops the dog from getting visually stimulated which can help to control both motion sickness and overexcited behavior.  Sometimes, dogs get just a bit too overstimulated and when that is the case, the calming cap can be very useful.

What About Seatbelts?

Remember that the rules change from state to state and country to country, about having a dog in a vehicle.  Or rather, how you have a dog in a vehicle. Never have a dog on your lap while you drive. Not only is it not entirely safe, but if a police officer sees you, you might just get a big fat ticket.

There are a number of things you can buy to keep your dog restrained in a vehicle like a car seat harness and so on.  The danger of having a dog not strapped in, is in the event of a car accident, or in your case a truck accident. The dog could be killed just from being thrown around.  If you have a harness on the dog, one designed as a vehicular restraint, then the dog has a better chance of surviving an accident. However, a dog is likely not going to find that comfortable for very long.  

You will have to decide your dog’s level of safety within your rig.  Just remember, no dog on your lap and if you aren’t going to get them a car seat harness, then keep the speed down I suppose?  

Stay safe out there and happy trucking!

Thanks to Wikipedia and the AKC for providing so much info for me to sink my teeth into.

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