Is Your Dog Afraid of Riding Cars?

8:47:00 AM

Cookie ride..., originally uploaded by simplycute becka.

Some dogs are terribly afraid of riding cars. Dogs with this fear associate the car with a terrible place or situation. Most likely because the only time these dogs get to ride a car is to go to the vet, an animal shelter, or places where they encounter stress or pain. Thus, the thought of riding a car makes them sick or afraid.
For these dogs, a car can only mean one thing – being taken to a dreadful location.

If your dog is afraid of riding cars, he thinks of the vehicle as a means to take him somewhere awful. Thus, your dog needs to see the car in a new light. In this case, the car is the threat and there needs to be a re-introduction.

The first step is to allow your dog to familiarize himself with the car from the outside. Walk him around the car and let him sniff, sniff and sniff his way to familiarize himself with an unmoving vehicle. This could be done for a few days until your dog is able to relax in the presence of the vehicle.

Next step? Let your dog inside the steady car. Coax him gently by putting his favorite toy or treat inside the car seat. Just let him get used to the feel of being inside the unmoving car until he can stay calm entirely. At first, do not close the car doors so your dog can go out freely in case he feels any tension. After some practice, you can have the engine running without moving the car and see if your dog can maintain his composure.

When your dog shows completely no sign of tension getting in the car and staying in, that’s the time to take your dog for a short ride. A ride around the block will do, just so your dog gets the feel of riding without the pressure of having to go somewhere. Remember that the dog thinks a car ride will take him to a place that he doesn't like. Eventually, when your dog is really ready, take him to a place where he can have fun and play.

Make sure that you take your dog to fun places as often as you can. Take him to the park or a nearby beach. This way, your dog will realize that riding a car isn’t such a bad thing after all but on the contrary, can be something fun and wonderful.

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