How do I encourage my dog to get in the car? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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How do I encourage my dog to get in the car?

My recently adopted 7 month old male GSD is terrified of getting in the car. I have tried enticing him with treats, getting my boyfriend to get in the other side and calling him, even getting in myself and trying to get him to follow me.

Any tips?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 02:47 PM
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Play with him outside near the car with all of the door open, but no pressure to get in the car. Just play ball or whatever he likes to do. Put a small bowl of his very favorite food in the car somewhere. When you both get a little tired, go sit in the car to relax and don't pull or even verbally coax him to come in. Keep repeating that. Make sure the engine is not running. Just act as if the car with all the doors open and the great treat inside is your sanctuary. No asking him to come in. Hope that helps.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 02:49 PM
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Praise every little step. Leave both doors open so he doesn't feel trapped. If he looks at he car, praise and treat. If he sticks his nose in the care, praise and treat. Paw in, praise and treat!

I would sit quietly by the open door on the ground and have him with me, with a hand full of treats and a clicker.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 03:14 PM
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Just pick him up and put him in the car without a fuss. Stop the babying. Once he's in car, take him for a ride and praise him a lot. It won't take long before he figures out the car is the greatest thing ever.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 03:18 PM
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Just pick him up and put him in the car without a fuss. Stop the babying. Once he's in car, take him for a ride and praise him a lot. It won't take long before he figures out the car is the greatest thing ever.

Agree. Just pick him up and put him in. Tag gave some trouble for a couple weeks about climbing up the running boards and into the truck. And then yesterday he just did it himself. They learn.

Although, as a side note, I rarely let my dogs jump down from the truck and never onto pavement. I'll grab their collar with one hand and put my other arm under their belly and swing them down. I don't like them coming down hard on hard surfaces, to my mind it's not good for their elbows.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 03:19 PM
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Just pick him up and put him in the car without a fuss. Stop the babying. Once he's in car, take him for a ride and praise him a lot. It won't take long before he figures out the car is the greatest thing ever.
LMAO... that's a pragmatic approach! Could actually work too. I would possibly try it as long as the dog isn't freaking out. If he just seems a little scared, but also a bit stubborn to try it, shoving him in and taking some extended and really fun rides might work. Really depends on the dog's general temperment.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 03:23 PM
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Even if they are freaking out. Getting in the car really isn't an option. Once they're in there, you can give them treats, and tell them they're good...but I really find a no nonsense approach is best.

Also, is the car running? Some dogs object to the noise and vibration a running car gives off...My dogs usually seem to object to the heat waves radiating from interior of the not yet cooled by the AC car...Ah Florida!

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 03:24 PM
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It took about Three weeks for Lycan to get into the car on his own. That was a very happy day as I was starting to suffer from Excruciating back pain.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by JKlatsky View Post
Even if they are freaking out. Getting in the car really isn't an option. Once they're in there, you can give them treats, and tell them they're good...but I really find a no nonsense approach is best.

Also, is the car running? Some dogs object to the noise and vibration a running car gives off...My dogs usually seem to object to the heat waves radiating from interior of the not yet cooled by the AC car...Ah Florida!
My dogs here in FL have always hopped in enthusiastically on the command "load up." Never any trouble with dogs not loving a car ride. I think the A/C is a huge bonus too!!
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 09:30 PM
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Just pick him up and put him in the car without a fuss. Stop the babying. Once he's in car, take him for a ride and praise him a lot. It won't take long before he figures out the car is the greatest thing ever.
That's what I do too. And go for a short ride that ends in something really wonderful. Then going back home. Sometimes we just have to try to calmly work our dogs thru these situations.

GOOD LUCK!




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