If you have a new trampoline, or a new puppy or dog, you might wonder what you need to do to keep your dog safe around the trampoline. And how to puppy proof your trampoline to get the trampoline safe.
Dogs can be curious about trampolines, especially when the kids are having so much fun on it. Keep puppies and dogs from going under the trampoline with either a trampoline skirt or a fence. Watch-out for dogs’ nails on older trampoline mats as they can rip and tear.
Let’s go through various aspects of dogs and trampolines to ensure that both your dog and your trampoline stay safe.
Puppy & Dog Safety Around Trampolines
The biggest danger for dogs is that they wander under the trampoline whilst the kids are jumping on it. The dog is going to be worried about the kids, and trying to figure out a way to get to them and make them safe.
On the other hand, if the kids are having fun, they won’t be paying attention to the dog. The dog may end up right underneath where the kid is bouncing, and then accidentally be bounced on.
This will scare the dog, and in the worst case, may even badly hurt it.
How Do I Keep My Dog From Getting Under The Trampoline?
The most effective way to keep your dog or new puppy from getting under the trampoline is to put an exclusion barrier up to stop the dog entirely. This might be a trampoline skirt, or a small fence. You can also keep the dog inside, or in a separate part of the yard when the kids are bouncing.
The second most effective way to keep your dog safe it to train it to not go under the trampoline. It will take some time to train a new puppy to do this, so be sure to keep an eye on the puppy until you are sure.
To train a puppy not to go under the trampoline, use a high-pitched voice that sounds a bit panicked. When you see the puppy walk close to the trampoline, call out the puppy’s name and say “Get away from there!” in your high panicked voice. You want to tell the puppy that it’s dangerous to go near there.
Do Dogs Love Trampolines?
Your dog may end up on the trampoline when it sees the kids jumping on it, when the kids pull them up, or even just when they are exploring.
There are some dogs who love trampolines. These dogs will find the most ingenious ways of getting up on the trampoline to enjoy the bouncing. However, most dogs find the trampoline surface too unusual and want to get straight down again.
There have been stories of dogs that love the trampoline so much that their owners ended up buying a trampoline just for the dog.
Meet Hugo a 1 year old dog from Glasgow Scotland. Hugo loves his trampoline, and this video of him bouncing will lift your spirits. It’s quite heart-warming really.
Is it bad to put a dog on a trampoline?
Putting a dog on a trampoline can be bad for the dog if they don’t enjoy it, but it can also be bad for your trampoline. Dogs’ nails can tear a trampoline mat as they try to scramble to hold themselves steady.
Whilst there are a few dogs that love trampolines, most find it unsettling and want to get down. If you persist in putting the dog on the trampoline, it can end up traumatized by the repeated fear exposure.
Conversely, if the dog enjoys the trampoline, they may find clever ways to get up on it when you’re not looking. Once up there, they might enjoy chewing on the padding around the trampoline poles holding the safety net, as well as the padding covering the springs.
Can Dogs Damage A Trampoline?
Dogs can damage trampolines quite badly. Whilst dogs are unlikely to damage the steel frame, they can damage the mat, padding and even the safety net. It is generally best to keep them away from trampolines.
A dog’s nails can rip and tear at the trampoline mat. This is more likely in older mats, especially as the mat starts to break down in the UV light. These little rips can lead to more serious tears across the entire mat.
Your dog can also find the vinyl padding covering the springs particularly enjoyable to chew. The padding often has a nice end corner, that the dog can get their jaws around. The padding is now of a much higher quality than 30 years ago, and gives a good amount of resistance to the dog’s chewing.
After your dog has tackled the padding over the springs, there is also the padding over the poles holding up the safety net. These are somewhat like pool noodles, and are again, seem to be endlessly fascinating for dogs to chew on.
Finally, the safety net itself can be damaged. This might be either because the dog has had a good gnaw on it. But it might also be due to the dog scratching at the safety net trying to get in or out.
To protect your trampoline from dogs, keep an exclusion zone with a fence or trampoline skirt, and train it to stay away from the trampoline.
How to Stop Your Dog Barking When Kids Are On The Trampoline
Sometimes, your dog will start barking when your kids are on a trampoline. Your dog will be highly aroused, and may be concerned about the kids. From the dog’s point of view, it would look quite odd to see children flying randomly in the air.
As well as barking, your dog may also try some herding behavior. This might involve going under the trampoline, and trying to nip at the kids’ feet. This behavior is designed to get the kids off the trampoline, and back onto safe and controllable ground.
You might be able to put your dog inside, close the curtains or even put the dog in its crate. Not being able to see the kids will make it easier to not become too agitated.
However, you might want to keep the dog around and not have to put it away every time the kids use the trampoline. In this case, you will have to train the dog not to react.
To Train Your Dog Not To Bark When The Kids Are On The Trampoline
1. Put your dog on a long training lead, and gather any training treats that you generally use.
2. Walk past the empty trampoline with your dog on the lead. Say “leave it” firmly, and have the dog walk past the trampoline without reacting. Give your dog a treat. This is the easy step. Repeat this until your dog doesn’t pay any attention to the trampoline.
3. Have just one of the kids sitting, not bouncing, on the trampoline. Your dog may run up to see what is going on. Using the long lead, and a firm “Leave it”, encourage your dog to walk past again to get a training treat. Don’t move on to the next stage, until your dog can easily leave a single child sitting still on the trampoline at your command. You may have to repeat this several times over the course of a few days.
4. It’s now time to take it up a level. Have just one of the kids bouncing lightly on the trampoline. You don’t want your dog to think that the child is in distress. So, no yelling or waving their arms around or trying to do flips or tricks. Just bouncing lightly. Again, take your dog past the trampoline on the lead. Your dog may start barking to let you know there is a problem. Be sure to have a good look at the child to reassure your dog, and then say “Leave it” with a firm voice. Your dog will probably need a pull with the long lead to move past and be given the treat. Repeat this several times over several days until you are satisfied that your dog won’t try to ‘rescue’ the child with barking.
5. Once the dog can walk past one child bouncing lightly on the trampoline without barking, have two kids sitting on the trampoline without bouncing. Once your dog has mastered the ability to walk past two kids just sitting without barking, have the two kids start to jump lightly. The same training technique applies over several days or even a week. You’ll need to patiently persist until your dog can walk past without barking.
6. The ultimate test is when you have a couple of kids bouncing, and they do the thing that kids do. Noisy fun chaos. There might be bouncing, squealing, jumping and perhaps even falling. Be sure to put your dog on the lead, and walk past with a firm “leave it” to get to the training treat.
Enjoy your now trained dog, and probably still madness and mayhem kids. Go Forth Kids!