Training Your Dog to Ride in a Car

The Resource for Everything About Dogs


Training Your Dog to Ride in a Car

by Michael Russell



Teaching your dog to ride in your car is not very hard to do in most cases. After careful introduction to the "big monster", most will look forward to going for a ride with their owner: especially when they recognize the preparations for the outing! It's really heart warming to watch a dog when he sees his master or mistress jingling the car keys! The dog seems to say "Oh Boy, Let's Go!" as the tongue hangs out, the smile starts and the tail wags furiously! But some other dogs are not so joyous at getting into a car. Some are even terrified and show visible signs of distress such as shivering, drooling and carsickness. Lots of time this is the result of a dog or puppy that was incorrectly introduced to the "big monster". Sometimes, in extreme cases, no training will help. Your veterinarian can subscribe the appropriate sedatives in these cases.

The dog or puppy's introduction to your car should be an association to things he likes and enjoys doing. A good training program will begin by not feeding the dog for several hours before the trip and also by not giving him any water for about 5-6 hours before departure. This way if he does get carsick and vomit it won't be too hard on his stomach and clean up will be easier. Also, he'll be in a bit sharper mood for his "training".

Since most every dog enjoys a good romp with his owner and loves tasty treats, a good starting plan would be to pack up his treats, put him in your car and drive to a short walking distance of your home to a nearby park or field. Making sure his collar and leash are on, let him out of the car and run and play with the dog on the field giving lots of praise and encouragement, (good dog!!!), with laughs and smiles and really mean it! Stop once in awhile and give him a favorite treat, then praise again and start romping and playing. Do this for a short period of time, about 15-20 minutes. Then, instead of getting back into the car to drive home, simply walk home. This will give the dog the association that the car does not mean the end of fun playtime.

Increase the distances from your home a little further at each outing. When you start to see that your dog is looking forward to the trips, you can then, at the end of your romp, re-introduce your dog to the car and put him in for the drive home. It is best at first to stop for at least one romp on the way home. Eventually, he'll not only look forward to going into the car for a ride, but he will jump into it for the ride home!

Concern for your dog's safety while riding in your car should be an important priority to you, the owner. There are all kinds of safety devices made for dogs on the market today. You can buy safety harnesses, gates and crates to secure your dog while driving. It's not "cute" or "cool" to have your dog running back and forth in the bed of your pick-up truck while you are driving forty miles per hour down the road! It's downright dangerous and in some counties, even against the law. Don't let your dog stick his head out of the window to smell all of the wonderful and enticing aromas either. His eyes and ears will soon begin to develop problems and you might have to take him to the vet for a visit that could have been prevented.

These training tips and techniques should be able to help you introduce your dog to the "big monster"! Don't forget to always ensure that your dog is properly restrained in your car! With your encouragement and love, it will probably take you hardly any time at all to get your dog to eagerly jump into the car for a ride!

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Dog Training

Michael Russell - EzineArticles Expert Author



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