Curing Your Dog’s Car Sickness and Other Scary Things
Begin by breaking things down into very small steps! Using the counter-conditioning program from a previous post, you can overcome car sickness as well as other fears. It is important to work in small increments to achieve success. (This method will work on all types of fears your dog may have.)
Here’s an example of steps you may use…
You should practice each level of this and not add on a new step until the dog is reacting better to the car at each individual level. GIVE treats each time in or near the car; give the treat at that moment, do not wait until you go back inside.
- Take Fido outside so he sees the car. Treat and return inside.
- Open car door, feed treats and return.
- Place dog inside car, treat and return.
- Place dog inside car, close door, open door. Treat and return.
- Both of you get in car. Treat and return.
- Start engine… treat. Get out of car.
- Put car in gear. Leave car.
- Back up a few feet. Treat. Go back inside.
- Back up 3 feet then drive forward 3 feet. Treat, return.
- Back up or move forward 10 feet. Treat, return.
- Drive ½ blocks. Treat, return.
- Drive one block. Treat, return.
- Go 2 blocks. Treat, return.
- Go 3 blocks. Treat, return.
- Vary going 3-5 blocks. Treat, return.
- If possible, go to a park within a few blocks of your house. Treat, get out, play. Go home…treat inside the car, go inside the house.
- Build distance slowly, but variably. Sometimes you only go a few blocks, sometimes a mile or more.
- Take your dog to your local neighborhood pet store or park and have fun together!
“Remember, if you do not make the conscious choice to be the Trainer…you are by default, the Trainee.”
As a dog trainer, I believe that the most effective method of dog training revolves around teaching your dog what you want them to do, how to behave, how to act in their environment, and what appropriate behaviors are, under given circumstances and situations.
If you’re having a difficult time training your dog, don’t have the time to train him properly, or you would like to learn along with your pup.
Group classes are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 but we are doing private lessons and will reopen group classes as soon as we can. Contact me or call me at 206-799-0521