Have Dog will Travel and Train
Have dog will travel. Is dog your copilot while you run errands? This could be a nice enrichment and training activity for your dog.*
If your dog has a tendency to whine in the car, be proactive and give him a frozen treat before the whining starts. Try slathering a Nylabone with yogurt and freezing it before your next trip.
Have a dog who barks when she sees things through the car window? Cover her car crate with a towel so she can’t watch the traffic report.
Eating lunch on the go? You may find yourself playing defense to your dog’s snack snatching maneuvers. (Unless you have someone else in the car with you, you’ll want to park before practicing this training plan.) Reinforce your dog’s impulse control while you eat. Don’t feed your dog if he’s crowding you. He should be sitting or lying down away from you when you reward him. If you reward your dog for being quiet and stationary, your dog’s impulse control will improve!
When the car stops, how do you want your dog behaving? If you reach your destination and your dog starts whining, barking, and pacing, should you let your dog out of the car? If you do, which behaviors are you likely to get the next time your car stops? When my car stops, I want my dog to continue being on her best behavior. Since stopping the car is a huge indicator that the next adventure awaits, I linger for a minute or two before getting out. I want to make sure I’m reinforcing quiet behavior when I let my dog out of my car.
As soon as my dog hops out of the car, I stand still and wait for her to look back at me before we move forward. This helps me gauge her distractibility.
Surprised that running errands is also a training opportunity? Let us help you with your training wheels at www.behaviorunited.com .
*If you suspect your dog is fearful or nauseous with car travel, please consult us and your veterinarian. For more information on how to safely secure dogs in cars, check out https://www.piperswalk.org/.