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Car Ride Training

How To Get Your Dog To Like Going For A Car Ride

 

Car ride training for your dog, if your dog hates to ride in your car, will take patience and an effort on your part, but you get your dog to tolerate, if not enjoy, going with you in your car. Depending on how much she hates to go into the car will determine how long it will take to get her to enjoy it. But, it can be done.

 

Here's how.

 

Car ride training starts by taking your dog as close to the car as you can (without a fight) or in the car if she will go in, and give her food, or a treat, with constant praise and encouragement. The goal is for her to not be afraid of getting into the car. Once she goes into the car eagerly knowing she's going to get a treat, or at least without hesitation, you're ready to go to the next step.

 

If you can't calm your dog when she's in the car and you have to let her out, don't pet her or talk soothingly to her or giver a treat as soon as she gets out of the car because that will be rewarding her for making a fuss in the car. Just take her back into the house and ignore her for a while letting her calm down by herself. Then try again, only go slower and in smaller steps with lots of praise and encouragement.

 

When your dog goes into the car without much urging, the car ride training can continue. It would be best if you can have someone else help you at this point. With you and your dog in the back seat, have your helper start the car engine.  Continue to sooth and praise your dog. If your dog stays relaxed, and you have a seat belt for her, now is the time to put it on her. 

 

After the seatbelt is on her, more praise and another treat. Keeping her calm by petting her and talking to her in a calm reassuring voice is very important.  Now move the car a few feet back and forth on the driveway continuing to give her praise and reassurance. Then gradually move the car off the driveway into the street and if she still stays calm, drive slowly up and down the street, then around the block.

 

When you get her to stay calm after going around the block a few times you can now do the driving yourself, if you've had someone else help you. But make sure your attention is on your driving. You can also start taking longer trips. Keep giving her praise while you're driving but keep your attention on your driving, and drive safely. Make sure you don't have to stop or turn quickly.

 

If your dog gets car sick there are a few thing you can do to help. Get some ginger capsules at a health food store and give her some about an hour before you leave. Also, if she'll eat them, get some ginger cookies (made with real ginger, not artificially flavored, and make sure there's no chocolate in them) and give her some during the trip. Ginger is one of the best anti-nausea remedies there is. Try her with both a full and empty stomach to see which she does better on. If you have room in your car for a crate, and your dog is crate trained, she might do better in a crate than in a harness.

 

Make your first destination a fun place for your dog so she looks forward to going there. Always give your dog praise when she gets into the car at least until she's eager to jump in.

 

Sometimes you might just have to put her in the car and take her while you still doing the car ride training. That's OK, but still give her reassurance to keep her calm and praise if she stays calm. 

 

It may only take a day, or it may take a week or more depending on what kind of bad experiences she has had in the car. But if you are persistent and patient, you will end up with a dog that likes to go with you for a car ride.

 

For more information on fixing your dog's problems go to: 

 Dog Training

 

A trained dog is a happy dog and has a happy owner.

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