Does your dog not like travelling ?
Many dogs will find the prospect of traveling in a car a very stressful situation but there are things that you can do to help them get more comfortable with car travel
Some dogs will show signs of their displeasure with the prospect of traveling in a car from barking to whining and in some cases flat out refusal
Keeping your dog secure in the car as well as comfortable is very important. Many accidents are caused every year by a dog being a distraction to the driver so please look into the equipment that you may need
CREATE A COMFORTABLE AND FAMILIAR ENVIRONMENT
As with most training it is all about creating the correct environment that is comforting to your dog. If you can, place their bed in the car. This will tell them that this is a safe and comfy space and they have no need to be afraid. The same applies to your dog if they are crate trained
GET YOUR DOG USED TO THE CAR
Take the time to allow your dog to become familiar with the car even if you are not going on a journey.
While your car is stood with the engine off, simply walk around the car allowing your dogs inquisitive nature to take over.They often will start to investigate the car of their own accord building up a relationship with that surrounding
Again, with every step of positive progress made make sure your dog knows they are a good dog by rewarding them
This is a situation that requires patience and it may take some time so build this progress up. Once you are making progress to the stage where your dog is comfortable around the car we can move things forward
INTRODUCE THE INSIDE OF THE CAR
Now what we want to do is leave the car door open or perhaps the boot, generally the door of which you intend your dog to enter the vehicle
Have their safe space prepared, whether that be their bed or blankets or even their crate. Begin to walk around the car like you have done in step 2 but reward them when they move towards the open door and start to investigate
If your dog is looking comfortable around the open door try placing a treat inside the vehicle. This should be close enough that they can reach it without having to hop into the car.
Repeat this process but increase the distance you place the treat within the car, over time they will look to climb into the car in order to retrieve the treat
Now that they are comfortable in the car it is a good idea, with the engine off, to spend some time within the car alongside your dog. A great way to do this is to give them a long-lasting treat
CLOSE THE DOOR
Now your dog is happy in the car it is time to shut the door. Start by getting them to enter the car and reward them with a treat to settle them down. Then simply close the door, being careful not to slam it as this may have a negative impact due to the loud noise and ruin all your hard work
Wait a few seconds and then open the door, what we are looking for here is if they look to exit the vehicle, if so let’s try this step again. If they are content in the car this is great progress and we are ready for the next step
It is time to introduce the sound of the engine for the first time. Start your vehicle but pay close attention to the dog’s behavior. If they seemed stressed maybe start the process again while reassuring them
Continue to follow this process increasing the duration of the engine running to the point that you are satisfied that your dog is happy to go on the road
Now that your dog is familiar with the sound of the engine you can start to take short drives. Don’t go to far initially, maybe just go around the block. Always remember to keep your journeys as smooth as possible, avoiding mototways and unpaved roads.
Once you are satisfied that your dog is happy, it’s time to up the distance gradually.
Just think of all the brilliant places you are both going to enjoy
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