Car issues... - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Car issues...

I adopted a new boy about a half a year ago... My female loves a car ride, so when I trip a couple blocks to the convenient mart she will just lay in the back seat. I know I should be strapping her in (and I plan on getting a harness real soon)

I tried just sitting in the car with my boy Loki and he could not be still. He moves back a forth and tries to come up front. I have a Toyota Camry right now (can't afford a GSD freindly vehicle yet) so a crate will not work.

I know a harness will keep him still, but I'm wondering if this will make him even more anxious? Anyone have similar experiences?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 02:19 PM
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Try using a target area in the back seat Loki is to stay on. Just as an example, say a cheap bathroom rug. Use it to train him in the house...have him sit on the rug and remain there till you release him. When he is really good at there, move the rug outside in the grass (or porch etc.) When he is confident at that move the rug into the back seat of your car. Go from you standing outside of the car, to going to the front seat - to driving down the drive way...etc. Take baby steps with him. Don't expect perfection. Make sure you reward with a big happy dance when ever he does it correctly, even if it's in the house. Every once in a while go back to the beginning (in the house) to keep his confidence up. Always reward!

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 03:25 PM
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Lilie that is a great idea!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the idea, I will try doing that!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-14-2011, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilie View Post
Try using a target area in the back seat Loki is to stay on. Just as an example, say a cheap bathroom rug. Use it to train him in the house...have him sit on the rug and remain there till you release him. When he is really good at there, move the rug outside in the grass (or porch etc.) When he is confident at that move the rug into the back seat of your car. Go from you standing outside of the car, to going to the front seat - to driving down the drive way...etc. Take baby steps with him. Don't expect perfection. Make sure you reward with a big happy dance when ever he does it correctly, even if it's in the house. Every once in a while go back to the beginning (in the house) to keep his confidence up. Always reward!
That is similar to what I was taught. The target area should always be a very happy place. Lots of treats, belly scratches, etc. The most important part is not how long they stay but the fact that they're happy and not stressed out while on the target. Also, the target doesn't stay out. It is specifically a happy place & comes out when you have time to love him up while he's there.

Then it gets moved slowly to the car. It can be a long process, so patience is key. If you see any anxiety, you need to back up immediately. You are developing new neuropathways (according to my doggie psychiatrist) and going slowly is key. It took me several months to just drive around the block.

I also bought the CD's "Through a Dog's Ear" - there is one specifically for car travel. I found the music to be depressing, but apparently dogs love it. It seemed to help for him.

Did I say anything about patience?

To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

Last edited by dogmama; 05-14-2011 at 07:55 AM.
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