Car Training Part 1: Before You Hit The Road

fearful dogs reactive dogs Oct 04, 2021
Golden riding in car

Does your dog absolutely HATE the car? In this week's video, I talk about measures dog parents can take BEFORE a car ride that might make the ride more pleasant for their dog. Our dog Pancake stars in the video again this week- check out what worked for him, and what didn't. 


Before You Get In The Car

Here are some things that you can change right away, that don't involve training:

1) Activity before a drive. For some dogs, exercise or enrichment before getting in the car can reduce problem behaviors during the ride. A walk or run, some scent work, a training session, or even a game of fetch may improve behavior in the car.  

2) Medication. Your dog's veterinarian call tell you whether they think anti-nausea, anti-anxiety, or both types of medication are worth trying before your dog's next car ride. For some dogs, they make a big difference. 

3) Car set up. How your dog rides in the car can affect their experience of the car ride, and their behavior.  Some dogs prefer to be in the front, or back, of the vehicle. Confining dogs in a crate, especially if combined with visual barriers like blankets over the crate, can reduce reactions to outside triggers (check out our video on car barking). Food toys or chews keep some dogs occupied with eating during car rides, replacing behaviors like barking that we don't enjoy.


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If you try these tips and have success, or trouble, we want to hear from you.  Join our Facebook group and post your questions or comments there, or email us at [email protected]