PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A car can be a scary, confining place for your dog initially with too much sound and movement. Recondition that experience and make it fun for your dog.
Start by having him stay in a parked car with you. Get in together and make it a positive experience. If he is afraid to get in, use his favorite treat and lure him in gently. Comfort and soothe in a calming tone.
If it doesn’t work the first time, don’t get frustrated, simply stop and try another time. When he does finally enter, do not start the car. Just simply praise and treat when he sits in the back seat calmly, even if just for a few seconds. Take him out and try again tomorrow. If he is still too excited, don’t correct him, just simply remove him calmly and try again. (This may take some patience but do not become tense, as it’s counterproductive and will only scare the dog more!)
Keep increasing the amount of time with treats and praise and follow up with starting up the car, stay parked but now turn on the radio softly, again praise and treat.
The next step is to take short trips around the block as long as he remains calm. Make him curious about the car harness by leaving it out in clear view at home and rewarding him as he approaches it so that he associates it with a treat and the car, making it a positive experience.
Reported By Nan Talleno, KYW Newsradio