How Series: Hammocking With Dogs

HOW did you train your dog to hang in a hammock? Riley and Kona weren’t always so comfortable in a hammock, so like everything else we do we took some time to train.

The first few times I invited Riley and Kona into a hammock, we only stayed in it for a few minutes, I gave them praise and treats for sitting nicely, and assisted them out. As we kept doing this, I gradually increased the time and before I knew it, they were like sleeping babies all swaddled in.

Hammocking is such a relaxing way to catch a sunset, chill after a paddle, or decompress from a long day at the office. And of course it’s even better when you have a buddy to cuddle with.

Here are my top five dog hammock tips:

  1. Always hang the hammock low. A squirrel or a dog bark will send Kona flying! You never want your dog to fall or jump from a big distance, so keep it close to the grass. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you can reach the ground with your foot.
  2. Introduce the swing gradually. Neither one of my dogs like it when the hammock swings, it frightens them. But since hammocks naturally swing, try to keep your feet on the ground the first few times you put your dog in so you can control the swing.
  3. Be the boss. Your dog should always be invited into the hammock, and never jump out unexpectedly. Also, never leave your dog in a hammock unattended. There’s no traction in the hammock for their paws, and they’ll slip, fall, and possibly injure themselves. Always assist them out when you’re done napping.
  4. Choose level ground under your hammock. Because dogs will be dogs, and sometimes even a well-trained pup will jump out, you can lessen the chance of an injury by finding a spot that’s level underneath you.
  5. Love, praise and treats. Always bring along a few treats so your dog associates the hammock with good stuff. And make sure you give lots of love and praise when your pup settles in!


Putting them in the hammock or jumping in?

Treat your hammock like you would a couch or your bed. I’ve trained both my dogs to wait for an invitation into the hammock. I always get in first then call a pup over. Riley and Kona will trot over to the hammock, put their front paws up and wait for me to hoist their back ends up and over. I have pretty big dogs – I wouldn’t want 45 pounds of fur unexpectedly jumping on me if I was napping!

Can dogs rip a hammock?

I’ve never worried about my dogs ripping the hammock. The parachute material Grand Trunk uses is so strong, and the weave is so tight, their nails have never come close to snagging the material. I also don’t let my dogs horse around in the hammock, they’ve been taught from day one to sit politely when hanging. It’s also a good idea to keep your dog’s nails trimmed just in case though!

Single hammock or double?

Like I said I have 2 big dogs so a double hammock is preferred! Even if you have just one dog, I would still recommend a double, the extra material is always nice to cuddle in.

Riley with my husband, John in Virginia. He loves napping with his Dad!

Like everything she does now, Kona is very comfortable and confident in a hammock.

Hanging a hammock in a lake and watching the sunset with your dog is really awesome!

Double sized hammocks are perfect when you need to share with your whole pack!