Differing Opinions on Car Training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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Differing Opinions on Car Training

My 3 year old shepherd Kody is godawful in the car. He doesn't chase cars- except when he's IN a car. He just gets so anxious and stressed in the car that he runs all around the car, barks, drools, bites, etc.

My dad and I both agree that I should continue training him to be calm in the car by slowly working with him just sitting in the car while I turn it on, going for very short drives, etc. (so far I can get him to get in the car calmly, sit or lie down in the back, and halfway close the back door... it's a slow process lol). However, we disagree on what we should be doing when he needs to go for a longer car ride than he's ready for (which is any length of ride right now). I want to get a smaller airline crate (his wire crate won't fit in the car) to put him in while I drive. My dad wants to continue what we've been doing- having one person drive while another person stays in the back with Kody and corrects him with the prong collar when he's barking, lunging, etc. (which is constantly). he also wants to start putting a muzzle on him while we do this for the safety of everyone in the car. I think this is a very stressful and ineffective way of going about it. I've tried explaining to my dad why I think this, but he won't listen. I even told him that I'd buy the airline crate myself when I get my next paycheck (if I have the money after all my bills are paid), and I probably still will regardless of what he says anyways since he is my dog. I just wanted to hear your guys's opinions. Thanks!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 05:01 AM
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Yikes, that sounds stressful for everyone. I have my puppy in an airline crate in my minivan. She has no issue with it and she's not able to get into any trouble. I imagine she'd be a handful without it. Also, I can take her places alone.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 05:21 AM
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is it just your car or is it every vehicle. A friend of mine has a husky who hates riding in a car. But does fine in the back seat in my crew cab truck. My 7 month old shepherd mix Hates wife's suv (I think it's the leather) but will ride in my truck for hours.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 06:55 AM
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I would think that a crate would be the safest for everyone. I take my three(all together) on errands without issue. They stay put and don't make a peep, if they did I couldn't take them all with because there is no way I could fit 3 crates.

Has yours always been like this in a car? Or is it just recent? I know that when I got each one of mine, I took them individually with me everywhere. We went to drive thrus, gas stations, and places like that. They got used to people walking by and walking up to the car or reaching toward the window fairly quickly. My youngest did have car sickness and that went away--thank God.

I'm not sure correcting an anxious/stressed dog is the best thing. He probably needs to be conditioned. So maybe start with really high value treats, open door, get him in there and in a sit, treat, repeat until he understands sitting calmly means treats. Then maybe after several days actually shut the door and go through the same process, then move to starting the car, etc. It might take a couple months, but I think that it is going to require baby steps. It probably should be done even if a crate will be used.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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I agree with the conditioning and not correcting him; my dad wants to do both. He's like this in my friends' cars as while. He was fine in the car as a puppy but after a year or so I think we just took him on less car rides so he got bad (same thing happened with dog socialization). I just need to find an airline crate that will fit in the car cause my dad and I both have normal sized sedans (he has a sentra which I'm driving rn cause my car was totaled but my old car was an elantra and my next car will he similar sized; my dad doesn't wanto get me a big car). Thanks for your guys' thoughts, I wanted to have more people to back me up to show my dad.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 12:03 PM
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If you cannot crate him in the car, you can calm him down with a calming mask, made out of mesh so he can see but not as much. That seems to help dogs. Google it.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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I'll google it, but honestly he needs to be restrained. He's really crazy lol.

I talked to my dad again and asked if I could buy an airline crate and if he could pay me back for it as an early Christmas present. He told me not to waste my money and that I could "train him in a few days if you worked with him several times a day for several days straight". I don't know what else to say to him. it took me several sessions just to get Kody to let me barely close the door on him.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulip View Post
I'll google it, but honestly he needs to be restrained. He's really crazy lol.

I talked to my dad again and asked if I could buy an airline crate and if he could pay me back for it as an early Christmas present. He told me not to waste my money and that I could "train him in a few days if you worked with him several times a day for several days straight". I don't know what else to say to him. it took me several sessions just to get Kody to let me barely close the door on him.
Or use it in combination with a harness. You need to be able to drive safely.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulip View Post
I'll google it, but honestly he needs to be restrained. He's really crazy lol.

I talked to my dad again and asked if I could buy an airline crate and if he could pay me back for it as an early Christmas present. He told me not to waste my money and that I could "train him in a few days if you worked with him several times a day for several days straight". I don't know what else to say to him. it took me several sessions just to get Kody to let me barely close the door on him.
So just buy a crate. Get a coupon. Save some money.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-05-2015, 05:26 PM
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Use the crate. I had an enormous male rescue who would not sit still in the car and couldn't be crated. Half the time he was over the seat and in my lap. I finally bought a harness so he could make all the noise he wanted but couldn't leap over the seat and he calmed down. I don't want to start a problem with your father but if he knew what he was talking about it would have worked by now. Can you be firm, assertive and kind and get your way?
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