Puppy Development & Awareness – Car Rides (Part 4 of 4)
In cases where your puppy truly does not like riding in the car, try these steps. How long you stay at each step will depend on when your dog feels comfortable at that step. If you have been using a crate in the house, also use a crate in the car if possible. Seatbelts for dogs are available. Have your puppy get used to the seatbelt in the house before strapping him in the car.
- With the doors and windows of the car open, use a treat or toy to lure your puppy into the car. If need be, pick him up and place him in the car. Give him the treat, tell him how proud you are of him, and immediately take him out of the car.
- Once he is comfortable getting in and out of the car, close the doors except the one you want him to use. Have him hop in and then out on your command.
- Next, have him jump in, give him a treat and close the door. Open the door and let him out on your command.
- Have the dog get into the car, you get in the car, turn the engine on, give your puppy a treat, and then shut the car off.
- Get your dog into the car, start the engine, give them a treat, drive no further than around the block. Then come home, turn off the engine, open the door and let your puppy out on your command.
Take short trips that are not exciting or scary – in fact, they can be pretty boring. The idea is to have the puppy know that going for a car ride is just something to do. It does not mean being out of control with excitement or frightened of the motion. It just is.
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