In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basic root causes and tips for addressing dog anxiety and behavior issues in the car. This is an area where many dogs have to become familiar and improve their behavior over time, often with assistance and training from their owners.
At Innovative K9 Academy, we’re happy to offer several dog training methods and classes, from our dog training camp to puppy school, dog obedience training and more. While every dog is different, including when it comes to training them for car rides and good behavior in vehicles, there are several common themes to keep in mind here as you move forward. Today’s part two of our series will go over a couple of these other themes, plus dig into dogs who get motion sickness in the car and what you can do to help them out.
As you move through your process of familiarizing your dog with the car and helping them get more comfortable, it’s important to remember that progress is almost never linear. Just because your pup masters a certain step in the process once does not necessarily mean they have it down pay – they may need several repetitions, and even with those they may forget or struggle later on once you’ve moved to further steps.
It’s important to be both patient and understanding here. Your dog won’t understand why you’re getting frustrated with them if you do; in fact, they’ll only get more confused. Expect some slip-ups and be prepared for them.
Progress and Rewards
On the flip side of the above, one great way to keep your dog moving up the progress chart is by rewarding them for positive progress. This may refer to crossing a new step in the training, such as getting into the back seat on their own without help, or it could refer to a new time-related accomplishment – one great training theme for dogs in cars is the duration they’re able to behave for, which should increase as you move along. Rewards can be treats, but can also be praise or other types.
Preventing Motion Sickness
In certain cases, especially with puppies and younger dogs, motion sickness may be an issue. In many of these situations, more basic experience in the car using the steps we’ve already gone over will manage the issue and help them grow out of it over time.
In other cases, motion sickness will remain for certain dogs. Some basic tips for helping them avoid nausea and related symptoms include:
- Keep the temperature cool, including lowering windows to allow fresh air in
- If possible, limit how much your dog eats and drinks in the hours before a car ride
- Exercise the dog just before the car ride to limit stress and tire them
- Speak to your vet about motion sickness meds for dogs with extreme cases
For more on promoting good dog behavior and limiting their anxiety during car rides, or to learn about any of our other dog training courses, speak to the staff at Innovative K9 Academy today.