It’s never advisable to drive with a loose dog in the car as they may cause themselves an injury on a sharp turn or stop, and can hinder or distract the driver. There are a lot of options for the conscientious dog owner, including crates, and doggie seat belts.
FIVE TIPS TO CAR PROOF YOUR DOG!
- Feeding your dog in your parked car is a great way for him to associate the car with positive experiences. You can start by opening up the driver’s door, sitting on the edge of your seat, and letting him eat his chow just outside of the car.
Then as he gets more and more comfortable, you can ask him to hop into the trunk – but be sure to leave the door open in the beginning; we want him to know that he’s not trapped, and if he wants to hop out, that’s completely fine.
- Hide his favorite toy in your car, and make a game of him having to find it. We’re looking for anything that we can do to create a positive environment that your dog can be calm, relaxed, and happy.
- Now that your dog thinks of positive experiences in the car, you should show him that you like being in there too. Open up the trunk and let him in there, leaving the door open; now you can hop in the driver’s seat, and hang out!
Start out just sitting in there for a minute, and increase the time incrementally; you’ll probably find that it turns into his favorite nap spot!
- When starting to drive with your dog in the car, only take short trips.
Just moving forward to the edge of your driveway will do in the beginning, as we’re showing him that it’s no big deal. You can increase it to around the block trips and eventually trips to the store.
- A lot of people struggle with their dogs being destructive in the car when left alone while they run into the store – and that’s because they haven’t been trained to be left alone.
Much like in exercise 3, you’re going to pop your dog in the trunk and close the door. Now, go into your house, and immediately return – then taking up your position in the driver’s seat. Just as everything when teaching your dog, start very slow, and increase incrementally.
Step 10 – To Treat or Not To Treat We’re all read our fair share of articles relating to positive reinforcement when it comes to training dogs. It seems to be everywhere at the moment, and to that, I say – finally!
An animal will never learn, or want to learn if he’s shown negativity and cruelty; but with positivity, encouragement, and just the right amount of incentive – your dog will not only learn but enjoy doing it.
So, where do treats come in? Well, that depends on your specific dog!
Take a look at the list below for the option that will best suit your four-legged friend.
FOR THE FAT DOG
When it comes to feeding treats, you should be careful not to overfeed your dog, especially if you have a dog prone to weight gain; as the associated medical conditions that go along with the dog, obesity doesn’t even bear thinking about.
A great alternative is to make your dog work for his food. Instead of just popping his food down in a bowl twice a day, why not start a new obedience training routine? Twice per day, when you’d normally just give him his food
- you can feed him piece by piece as a reward for him performing the commands that you’re asking of him. An added bonus is that he’s getting extra exercise too!
FOR THE THIN DOG
If you have a thin, or normal sized dog; you can be less cautious when considering the waistline! But, do remember that not all treats are healthy, and even though some treats might not be making your dog fat – they might not be doing him any good either.
Do some research and you’ll see that there are in fact a lot of healthy dog treats available. You can even ask your vet, and they should be happy to recommend a brand!
FOR THE DOG THAT ISN’T BOTHERED BY FOOD
If you happen to be the proud owner of a dog that just isn’t ruled by his stomach, don’t worry; you can still find a reward that he’ll work for.
All you need to do is find the “treat” that works for your dog. For example, does he love playing fetch? Or how about getting a belly rub?
As soon as you’ve figured out what the biggest reward is for your dog, then use that as his treat! For example, doing obedience training can work just as well if you need to take time in between commands to play fetch!