It is a lot more fun to take a road trip with your dog when they are quiet, happy and safe. Many dogs stress about riding in vehicles, and other are overstimulated and bark and pace. AKC GoodDog! Helpline Trainer Breanne Long gives us some great tips for making car riding a joy for you and your dogs.
1. Restrain him. Use a crate or a seatbelt and harness for your dog when riding in the car. Not only could your dog get loose on the road during an accident, he or she can become a projectile and injure the driver and passengers in the event of an accident or even just a sudden stop.
2. Get him comfortable. If the only time your dog ever gets in the car is to go the veterinarian, he may start to view it as a bad thing. Make sure to take some fun trips to the park, pet supply store, or a fun training class!
3. Preventing Car Sickness: If your dog gets carsick, ask your vet about motion sick medications for dogs. It could make your trips together a lot more fun!
4. Barking in the Car: Dogs that bark in the car are often over stimulated by the other cars, motion, and any other sights they may see out the window. Try using a crate in the car and giving a food-stuffed toy to keep your dog busy while riding.
5. Fear of Car Rides: Try some counter-conditioning if your dog is afraid of car rides. Try feeding and giving treats to your dog near the car at first, then near the car while the doors are open, then with the bowl on the floor of the car and the dog standing outside, etc. Continue with this gradual progression until your dog associates the car with good things, like mealtime and treats!
For more tips, advice and help with training your dogs, enroll in the AKC GoodDog! Helpline, a seven-day-a-week telephone support service staffed by experienced dog trainers: www.akcgooddoghelpline.org.