- Jan 22, 2010Perry,
Interesting idea! I have a much bigger dog, so his insulated hammock hangs under mine. See photos here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hammockcamping/photos/album/786007485/pic/list
What I have learned (from him) is that he will use it if he is cold enough and if I tie out the sides securely so it doesn't swing. He prefers a stable bed, preferably with a warm person in it. I prefer not to share my hammock with 70 pounds of cold, wet dog.
What has worked best for him if we're camped on a hillside is to tighten the downhill end of his hammock to lift it up, but let the middle and uphill parts rest on the ground. This keeps him from sliding downhill or looking for a flat place that's not under the tarp. Dogs get up and turn around (3 revolutions) several times during the night. When my dog does that his back bumps into my butt. It appears to bother him more than it does me.
Supplex is a good fabric for dog hammocks - strong enough to resist toenails, but comfortably soft.
Get your dog used to the hammock by putting it on top of his/her dogbed at home. Then move the dogbed and hammock to your back yard setup. Once the dog associates the hammock fabric with "home" it won't be as scary when it's off the ground and moving under him/her. In this, as in all the other things I suggest, remember the guiding principle: YDMD (your dog may differ). On a side note, if your dog gets lost in the woods and darkness forces you to call off the search, leave a jacket or shirt (or dog hammock!) on the ground. When you come back the next morning, the dog will probably be curled up on it.
I like the idea of suspending your dog above you in the hammock. See if your dog likes it, too. You could lower his/her hammock just enough that there's some contact, but most of the dog's weight is off your bladder. :) It could simplfy insulation, too. YDMD.
Good luck to you both!
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