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3 Tips to Train Your Dog to Love Car Rides

Written by Cassandra Mathews


Posted on 04 September 2023

3 tips to get your dog to love the car!

Your pup's finally settled into their new home, they are best friends with the kids and they crash-tackle the cat to the ground daily, great! Now you want to take them on adventures but they're a fluff ball of nerves in the car! What do you do?

The car can be a scary thing for a young doggo, but with a little patience, your pup will realise the car is a safe space and a portal to adventures! Here are a few tips for introducing your pup to the car and creating quality adventures!

 1. Go slow and make the car a safe space

The first step is to secure your pup in their favourite travel dog bed or with a safety harness and sit in the car with them. You can also bring their favourite toy or put a blanket down that smells like home so they feel secure. Don't turn the car on, listen to calming music or read a book. Allow your pup to become familiar with the feel, sight and smell of the car for a few minutes. Reward your pup with a treat or a pat when they relax and get comfortable in the car seat.

Go back inside & repeat this step a couple of times.

2. Short & frequent trips to begin with

Once your pup is happy to get in the car, begin going on short drives. Limit your first couple of drives to 10 minutes around local streets and then return home. Always monitor your pup's behaviour. It's best practice to begin this training with another person in the car so that you can concentrate on the road. If they are whining, monitor them, but don't speak to them and return home. Use positive reinforcement by speaking to your dog joyfully and giving a treat or pat. Remember to take it slow, this time is all about getting your pup familiar with the new feeling, sights and smells of travelling. 

Thank Once your pup is comfortable with the motion of the car, you can increase the drive length and introduce a destination (park, cafe, beach!)

I take Rudi with me everywhere, even if it's just the Zarrafas drive-thru!

3. Make it a positive & fun adventure

Not just to the vets! Make sure the fun adventures outweigh the not-so-fun adventures. Try new experiences with your pup like nature walks, camping and pet-friendly hotels/Airbnb.

Make this a positive time by having yummy treats and using a joyful tone of voice. If your pup suffers from motion sickness, pop the window down a couple of centimetres and allow fresh air to flow through the cabin.

There is only one thing your pup loves more than adventures and that's being with their humans. Taking your pup on car trips means they get to spend more time with the ones they love the most. And they may even get to sip a puppuccino at the local cafe! Bonus!

So there you have it! 3 tips for getting your dog to love the car, I'm sure with a little bit of patience and some positive associations with the car, your dog will be comfortable cruising around town in no time!

We'd love to hear what your pup's favourite travel adventure is! Let us know in the comments below!



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