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Transporting Your Dogs

Transporting Your Dogs

The long and short of carrying your dogs in a trailer.


Hunters and field trial handlers have always been looking for better ways of transporting their dogs safely. Some prefer carts that can be used on airplanes while others have a bigger problem--too many dogs to move at one time. Today we find all sorts of different options on the market, including choices for the trainer that needs to move multiple dogs for training or travel to- and -from trials.

To find out what is available, one only has to pick up any dog-related sporting magazine to find countless ads for all sorts of dog trailers, boxes and crates. The real trick is to determine what is best for your situation and to determine how much you can afford to spend to satisfy your current and future needs. New manufacturers come onto the scene every year and they offer different styles as well as different options from which you can choose. To the untrained, it is a world of sales brochures and terms that don't mean much, but to the pros, it is a different matter.

Some have been down the road with trailers and toppers that just didn't hold up over time while others have discovered that the unit they bought just didn't have the right options. In an effort to make sense of these and other factors, we will look at several current offerings that have the dog's safety and comfort in mind. We will look at the structural components and the problem areas that are inherent to traveling with your dogs. Some of these products are similar in design and, for the most part, are constructed from similar materials, yet, each has it's own differences and benefits.

With today's modern design and construction, trailers are safer than ever before. However, one must keep in mind that they are like any piece of equipment--they need to be maintained. You must check the tires and springs, the bearings and hubs, the coupler and hitch, and countless other areas of the trailer to insure that your trailer is ready for the road. With toppers, the problem is a little different as they are usually made for one style of truck and may not fit properly when you decide to trade it in for a new truck.

Another problem to consider is simply how safe and easy is it to get a dog in or out of the topper. Any dogs that will be transported in them depend on your inspection for their safety. If you are an upland hunter who needs space for multiple dogs, your needs will be different than the waterfowler that may only need to transport one or two labs to the field. Let's turn our attention to the currently available products to see how your special needs for transporting your hunting dogs can be met.

Fiberpro offers sportsmen high-quality innovative products that are made with fiberglass components. They offer a full line of boxes, kennels, toppers, and trailers that have been designed for the protection of your dogs. They provide safe and comfortable transportation for your dogs and are offered in many different styles and sizes to fit your needs. Fiberpro's hand-laid fiberglass construction will last for years and they have blended the basic needs of your dog into all of their designs.

Whether you need a single box for one dog or a trailer that will hold eight dogs, quality and safety are their key considerations. The Double Decker is designed for full-sized pick-up trucks and is a great way of transporting six dogs and still allowing ample bed space for extra gear. It measures 73 inches wide by 30 inches deep by 48 inches high and weighs 160 pounds. This fine unit must be bolted into place to prevent sliding or tipping in transit.

Fiberpro also offers a line of trailers that have been produced for over 35 years and are made of fiberglass mounted on a steel trailer frame. The Standard Sportsman and Extended Sportsman trailers are great examples of their work. They are offered in solid colors and in an exclusive camo inlay. At the present time, they offer these and other dog-related products in Fall Flight, Real Tree and Mossy Oak patterns.

The Standard Sportsman shell is 7-feet 4-inches long by 5-feet wide by 26-inches high, which allows you to carry up to six dogs if you like. Each compartment has a fiberglass door and chrome vent. The storage rack on the top of the trailer is designed so that you can take extra gear along, such as wingers. Weighing only 490 pounds, the Standard Sportsman was designed to be pulled by small vehicles and will tow level, even full of dogs and gear. It has easy clean-out drains and can be outfitted with fans and other options. Each of the six compartments is large enough for big labs as they measure 29-inches wide by 30-inches deep by 25-inches high.

If you need a trailer for eight dogs, Fiberpro offers the Extended Sportsman that weighs 540 pounds and has 13-inch wheels mounted on a 9-feet 3-inches long standard axle with matching leaf springs. The compartments are 28-inches wide by 30-inches deep by 25-inches high and have fiberglass doors with vents mounted on the roof for each compartment. They can also build these with an optional storage box mounted in front if desired. This is a fine trailer that is well-vented and built for rugged use with a sporty design that you will like. It is easy to clean and cost effective.

Fiberpro also offers boxes for those of us that only need to transport one or two dogs to our hunting areas. They are hand-laid fiberglass and have rubber gaskets around the doors. They have also placed rubber boots on the bottom to prevent them from slipping around in the back of pick-up truck or SUV'S as you drive down the road. The doors have full-length chrome plated hinges and handles and some of their fine dog boxes even have storage compartments right on top for easy access.

They offer these boxes in several colors as well as in their exclusive patented camo patterns that are built right into the box and not painted on. Seven-inch vents are standard and options like fans can also be added. One of their most popular models is the BB1-s that measures 36" x 36" x 24" and offers storage and comes in your favorite camo patterns. Call FIBERLITE at (800) 536-4604 and ask about all of their outstanding line of dog boxes and trailers and determine what fits your needs. You can also write to them at 4950 County Road 1510, Pomona, MO 65789 or see their full line on the web at


Crow River Fabricating was started in 1995 with the concept of taking the old wooden kennel to a higher level by manufacturing them of aluminum and stainless steel. The idea for devel

oping trailers soon took hold and today they produce several different models for sportsmen and professional trainers. Crow River offers their fine line of trailers and toppers in two different materials, diamond plate aluminum and stainless steel. Both of these are used with a one-inch polystyrene panel of insulation in the walls and ceiling of their trailers and toppers to help keep your dogs warm during cold weather and to reduce the heat build-up in the summer.

To help control road heat build up and further protect your dog from the elements, they have placed 3 inches of insulation in the floor area. They also offer rubber matting for comfort and each box area has louvered doors so you can control heat loss or offer greater air circulation for the dog's comfort. Options included on their models include metal boxes for holding birds, 12 volt systems for power, stainless steel cleaning tables, fans, screens for the doors to help control insects, water tanks, exterior lighting, and boat racks.

They have standard models but also will customize a trailer for your individual needs if desired. Regardless of whether you choose stainless steel or diamond plate aluminum, these fine trailers are all welded to insure years of service. Inside, partitions are built with rod dividers to provide adequate inside cross ventilation. The all-metal flooring eliminates rotting and is easy to clean with a hose.

Each trailer comes with torsion axle suspension and EZ-lube hubs with 15-inch white spoke wheels that make this trailer track right behind your car or truck. Pop-up roof vents for cooling are standard but can be changed to power fans if desired. They have added 16-gallon water capacity in an all-welded tank for use in the field where water may not be available.

For ventilation, louvered kennel doors and rod dividers for partitions are standard equipment on all of their trailers. They have installed rubber-mounted taillights and side markers so you can see the trailer when backing and have placed a tongue jack with a caster on the trailer. The standard stall size is 24" wide by 24" high by 36" long, which allows plenty of room for large dogs. Stainless steel hardware and gas struts on the storage lids are standard. This is a fine trailer so give Crow River a call at (800) 230-4023 or write to them at CROW RIVER FABRICATING INC., 150 Swendra Blvd., P. O. Box 939, Cokato, MN 55321. They can also be found on the Internet at


For years, Jerry Collett of Creative Sports Supply has been supplying quality dog trailers to the hunting public and, this year, has introduced a few new ideas. Creative Sports Supply produces their fine line of trailers in 4, 6, and 8 dog units that can be customized for your individual needs.

These trailers are fully insulated with large compartments for your dog's comfort. The design starts with a full torsion bar axle and with aluminum wheels. Then the frame is welded to insure total integrity and prevent flexing. Where it attaches to your vehicle, the frame is raised up to bumper height and this keeps the trailer from dragging bottom when crossing ditches or low areas. The body of their trailers are made of tread plate aluminum, are designed to be aerodynamic and are all welded for years of service in the field. They have incorporated a system for storage on the top of their trailers and you can add options like water tanks and power fans.

This year they also offer a special design for those dog owners that drive vans. They have developed a full inside unit that can fit into a SUV. They also offer a diamond plate aluminum truck bed that has up to 8 boxes for those of you that own a pickup. It also has storage on the top and can be customized to fit the customers needs. Call Jerry Collet at Creative Sports Supply and he will be able to design a custom box or trailer for you. Write to CREATIVE SPORTS SUPPLY at P.O. Box 765, Attalla, AL 35954 or call toll free at (877) 442-5244. You can also see all of their current offerings on the web


If you have been looking for a custom trailer or dog box that is unique, then turn your attention to Trailers by Kokes for your needs. They offer innovative customized trailers for the sportsman to safely transport their dogs to and from hunting areas around the country.

You can select from standard models or have one designed for you with all of the options. Using quality construction, their uni-built body is heliarc welded and is made of 1⁄8-inch diamond plate aluminum. The standard dog stalls measure 30" wide by 30" deep by 24" high; however, they will customize this feature to fit your needs. Optional features like interior lighting, insulated boxes, matting, and racks can be added. The whole system is placed on a stable torsion axle that has swift shock dampening with independent wheel suspension.

For years of smooth riding, they have also added heavy-duty accu-lube hubs and spindles to their trailer. They have an air induction vent system on each box to insure that your dog has fresh air at all times and the door vents have safety grills on them to prevent injury to the dog. Each trailer has a 13.25 cubic feet storage box built right on the trailer tong so that you can carry necessary dog supplies. Call Trailers by Kokes at (308) 728-3988 and ask for Charles Kokes. You can write to them for more information at TRAILERS BY KOKES, 303 north 15th Street, Ord, NE 68852-1408 or look on the web at


This year Highway Products of White City, OR, has improved on their line of kennel boxes that were designed for use in pickups. Their new line of dog boxes and kennel saddle boxes come with a full Lifetime Warranty and are constructed of .100 marine-grade diamond plate aluminum. Now old rover can travel in style and comfort in a lockable kennel box that fits into a pickup and that will not twist or crack with use. Their line of kennel boxes has heavy-duty locks and doors that even the most zealous dog cannot destroy.

They have added a lighted storage area on the top of the kennel so that in the dark you will be able to more easily find your stowed gear. With more features than you ever dreamed, the Kennel Pickup Box is

the ultimate addition to your truck. The kennels are easy to clean and have tapered sides.

Automotive grade weather-stripping and a 12-volt lighting system make these fine kennels a must for those of us that drive pickups to transport our hunting dogs. If their standard model doesn't fit your needs, Highway Products can also custom build any size box or trailer for your dog's travels. To see their products for yourself, give them a call at (800) 866-5269 or write to them for a catalog at HIGHWAY PRODUCTS INC., 7905 Agate Road, White City, Oregon 97503. They are located on the Internet at


Ainley has specialized in innovative ideas for the dog owner who is looking for a trailer, dog truck, or kennel box for his pickup. Over the years they have built their reputation for tough, durable units that they stand behind. They build all of their products out of stainless steel or aluminum to withstand the riggers of hard use in the field. The main frame, side-skirting, rear bumper, and rain gutters are all made of lightweight aluminum or stainless steel for years of service. Next, they use only stainless steel rivets and hinges when fabricating the outer seamless skin.

To protect your dog, they use high density Styrofoam to insulate the exterior walls, floor, and roof. They offer water tanks, spray systems, added power vents, and air conditioning as well as many more options. Rubber mats are used to protect your dog from slipping and, if you can think of any other feature you would like, they can design it for you in a nice durable package.

If you really need to move a lot of dogs to and from the field, Ainley also produces a line of chassis-mounted crates that includes from 4 to 18 crates. These can be manufactured for your present truck or Ainley can arrange to sell the whole truck and chassis mount system to you at one time. Their trailers can be designed for both bumper hitch and gooseneck. They come in many different models--from 4 to 22 crates--with a choice of options. Call 563 583-7615 or write to AINLEY at 1450 Radford Road, Dubuque, IA 52002-2122 for more details. They are located on the Internet at


For over 25 years, Jones Trailers have been transporting hunting dogs all around the country in style. Jones manufactures several different styles and models but they are best known for their Airliner Model that has a five-year warranty and has an all stainless steel body mounted on an aluminum frame. This trailer is fully insulated and, this year has the new LED marker and taillights. The stalls measure 29" by 30" by 31" inches and come with heavy-duty floor mats. Stainless steel doors and hardware are standard. Jones has designed their trailer with large roof rack storage compartments so you can carry everything you need. They have 20-gallon water tanks, interior lighting, and 965 cfm exhaust fans on the Airliner.

This fine trailer comes in 4, 6, and 8 dog models, which all have spare tires and rear flood lighting as standard equipment. Jones trailers have been known for years for their quality designs and innovative features. Give Danny Jones and his staff a call and they will be able to fill your needs. They can be reached at 800-336-0360 or you can write to JONES TRAILERS CO. INC. at P. O. Box 288, Woodson, Texas 76491. You can see all of their trailers on the Internet at


A new entry to the U.S. market, the new Royal Trailer by a German manufacturer, made quite a hit at the Central Florida HRC Hunt Test when Martin Deeley drove it onto the grounds. This is a trailer that has been produced in Europe for over twenty years and only brought to the U.S. by the current importer, Peter Webber, under the company name of WT-Thermo out of Chicago, Illinois.

Martin Deeley, formerly from Great Britain, said that these fine trailers have been popular in the UK for several reasons. The first is that they can be trailered behind a four-cylinder car or light truck. Their construction offers the dog trainer everything that he needs. The fiberglass sandwich material is scratchproof and acts as an insulation that is second to none. These trailers have double rubber seals on the doors and rubber handgrips with which to lift the roof.

They have a larger compartment than normal and a unique inner door locking system for added safety. Large power vents maintain air circulation to each box in hot weather and can be cut off in cold weather when the insulation will keep your dogs warm.

This trailer is produced in several styles and models, from one to eight kennels and other available options. Rubber mats are standard and are removable for cleaning. These trailers are available with lift tops in the standard single wheel and double wheel models. Call (847) 426-3364 and ask Peter Webber all about these trailers or call Martin Deeley in Orlando, Florida at (407) 469-5583 and he can tell you all about these trailers first-hand.

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