Why My Dog Doesn't Like Car Rides

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Cohabitation

 Published


Why My Dog Doesn't Like Car Rides

A dog that becomes too stressed and anxious in the car can be annoying, distracting and even dangerous for the driver. Dogs can start develop this phobia for numerous of reasons such as:

  • Bad experiences – a car accident or a very loud noise that scared the dog during the ride.
  • Negative associations- the dog gets in the car only when it’s time to go to the vet or anywhere else that is not considered fun.
  • No familiarization – the dog had never been introduced the car as a puppy so being the first time in the car as an adult is really frustrating.
  • Car sickness - the dog might feel nauseous because of the motion and vibration inside the vehicle.

How To Make Your Dog Feel More Comfortable on Car Rides

  1. Take some nice treats and reward your dog for being around the car. Leave the doors open and just hang out of the car by playing with his favourite toy and making it all fun.
  2. Get in the car and call your dog in using a very exciting tone of your voice. Use his favourite toy or treats to make it easier for him to get in. Once he jumps in, praise him heavily and start rewarding him for being quiet. Do not force him getting in to the car because this will make things worse and he will start associating with something unpleasant.
  3. Once he is comfortable with the doors open, you can close them and start rewarding him again.
  4. You can start turning on the engine but without moving the car.
  5. Now, you can drive the car for a very short distance (less than a minute) and turn off the engine. You gradually increase the distance so that the dog doesn’t get frustrated and stressed. Keep it slow and create a nice atmosphere inside the car.

Keep your sessions short, relaxing and pleasant for both of you. Be understandable and do not force your dog do something that he doesn’t really seem to like. Be patient and work at your dog’s pace.

You will soon have a dog that finds car rides enjoyable!

Advice:
  • Consult your vet in case your dog seems sick or starts vomiting. The vet could prescribe some medicine to help your dog’s anxiety.
  • Always use a seatbelt designed for dogs so that you keep him and you safe during the trip.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Artemis Gourgouli - Positive Dog Trainer

ARTEMIS GOURGOULI

POSITIVE DOG TRAINER

My passion for dogs started since I was a little girl. My decision to get involved in dog training was first taken when I met a naughty boxer puppy that was not properly socialized and she was struggling to control her impulses. Now, with over 5 years of experience, I mainly train dogs in basic obedience but I've also worked with behaviour issues such as reactivity, fearfulness and aggression towards people and animals.

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