Getting your dog into and out of the car: 3 options

fearful dogs Mar 12, 2024

Is your dog afraid of getting into the car? Or maybe you're just looking for an easier loading up option than the one you've been using? 

In earlier blogs, I've talked about how to train a dog to get into the car happily.  In this blog and video, I focused on different ways of getting your dog into the car- most of which will go more smoothly if you take the time to train your dog to participate! 

The three car-loading strategies I cover in the video below are:

  • Carry your dog in something. This could be a crate, a car seat, or other type of carrier. This is a reasonable option for small dogs, and is even do-able with large dogs if you have help.  I show a couple of examples of car seats and carriers that I like in the video. You can train your dog to get into a car seat or carrier on their own, working in the house first. 
  • Teach your dog to load up themselves using a ramp, step, or stairs. Of course, larger dogs can often jump into the car without help when they're young, but getting them used to using car stairs or a ramp now will pay off when they're older.  Check out the video to see the car stairs I really like for my large senior dogs.
  • Lift your dog into the car. This option is tough for dogs who don't love being picked up. If your dog doesn't mind being lifted, however, it can be a quick and easy option. I originally trained Pancake to walk up a ramp into the car, but later graduated to lifting him into his car seat. This took a little extra training up front, but saved me time in the end.


Have questions about car loading options, or car training in general?  Shoot us an email at and I'll be happy to chat.