Car Manners For Your Dog

Taking your dog on a ride to the park or on a camping trip should be hassle free and fun. Unfortunately, for a lot of dog owners; even a five minute trip in the car is too much for their dog to handle.

We’re going to run through the three types of undesirable dog behavior whilst in the car, and give you some top training tips to overcome them!

CAR SICKNESS

While we’re accustomed to the motion of a car from the get go, our dogs rarely experience the feeling of riding along in a vehicle. The rocking of the car may make your dog feel unwell, hence causing him to become upset.

FEAR

Some dogs find the whirr of the engine, and the smell of the car frightening, and this can cause them to become destructive, anxious and noisy on car journeys.
Not fun for you, or your dog.

TERRITORIAL BEHAVIOR

If your dog is incredibly protective and sees the car as his territory, he may bark at anything he can see from his window, including other dogs, and cars.

REMEMBER

It’s never advisable to drive with a loose dog in the car as they may cause themselves an injury on a sharp turn or stop, and can hinder or distract the driver. There are a lot of options for the conscientious dog owner, including crates, and doggie seat belts.

FIVE TIPS TO CAR PROOF YOUR DOG!

1.Feeding your dog in your parked car is a great way for him to associate the car with positive experiences. You can start by opening up the driver’s door, sitting on the edge of your seat, and letting him eat his chow just outside of the car.

Then as he gets more and more comfortable, you can ask him to hop into the trunk – but be sure to leave the door open in the beginning; we want him to know that he’s not trapped, and if he wants to hop out, that’s completely fine.

2.Hide his favorite toy in your car, and make a game of him having to find it. We’re looking for anything that we can do to create a positive environment that your dog can be calm, relaxed, and happy.

3.Now that your dog thinks of positive experiences in the car, you should show him that you like being in there too. Open up the trunk and let him in there, leaving the door open; now you can hop in the driver’s seat, and hang out!

Start out just sitting in there for a minute, and increase the time incrementally; you’ll probably find that it turns into his favorite nap spot!

4.When starting to drive with your dog in the car, only take short trips. Just moving forwards to the edge of your driveway will do in the beginning, as we’re showing him that it’s no big deal. You can increase it to around the block trips, and eventually trips to the store.

5.A lot of people struggle with their dogs being destructive in the car when left alone while they run into the store – and that’s because they haven’t been trained to be left alone.

Much like in exercise 3, you’re going to pop your dog in the trunk, and close the door. Now, go into your house, and immediately return – then taking up your position in the driver’s seat. Just as everything when teaching your dog, start very slow, and increase incrementally.