Teaching your dog good car behavior can make trips more enjoyable for both of you. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Get your dog used to the car: Start by getting your dog used to being in the car. Let them sniff around and get comfortable before you start driving.
Use a crate or restraint: Keeping your dog in a crate or using a seatbelt restraint can help keep them safe and prevent distractions while you're driving.
Train them to sit and stay: Teach your dog to sit and stay in the car, and reward them for good behavior. This will help them understand what is expected of them.
Distract with toys and treats: Bring along toys and treats to distract and reward your dog during the trip.
Practice makes perfect: Gradually increase the length of your trips and practice good car behavior until it becomes a habit.
With patience and consistency, you can teach your dog to be a well-behaved passenger in the car. Remember to always prioritize their safety and comfort, and to never leave them unattended in a hot car.
RULES FOR THE CAR
1. No barking while we are in the car
2. Do not bolt out the door as soon as it is opened
3. Do not jump from the front to the back seat
4. Do not stand on the center console
5. Do not distract the driver
Once you have a clear idea of what you expect for your dog to do in the car, the simplest way to achieve this is with teaching a place command. Owners often focus on punishing bad behavior when the correct focus should be teaching good behavior.
Steps for Teaching the Place Command in the Car
Identify where you want the dog to be. Using a bed or blanket is the easiest way to accomplish this if your dog is riding free in the car.
Reward the dog for sitting or downing on the bed. If you typically use the “Place” command to mean to down/stay, then you may want to change up your command to something more informal if you are okay with your dog sitting to look out the window or if you are okay that they adjust position as needed. An example of a more informal command for place would be something like “rest” or “bed”.
Once you determine what position you want the dog to be in, guide your dog there with food and reward the dog for being in that position. In the beginning you may use a leash to block undesirable behavior. The bed/blanket training doesn’t have to be done in the car, but you should quickly move to that location as the dog shows an understanding of what you want.
Practice!! Once the dog understands to wait on their bed, take a few short “test” trips to get practice in. Have a second person able to reward the dog for desirable car behavior while you drive. Do a few test trips before doing a long car ride.
Be consistent!! Don’t allow bad behavior on some car rides and then expect perfect obedience on others. Also be sure to be consistent even if the car is stopped.
We hope these tips have helped give you a few ideas of how to get better obedience in the car! If your interested in learning more about our training programs, click on over to http://www.ocdogranch.com
Expert advice credit - OC Dog Ranch, Orange County, California.