Training Your Dog to Ride in Cars

Training Your Dog to Ride in Cars

dog7Does your dog accompany you on your vacations? If so, have you been overwhelmed by his/her’s frequent barking? Distractions while driving such as barking, interacting, and petting your dog put you at a great risk of being involved in an accident. After all, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that a mere two seconds of unfocused driving increases your risk of an accident.

When the American Pet Products Association (APPA) surveyed their pool of dog owners, 29% admitted to being distracted by their dog when driving. And when 56% of those respondents bring their dog along in their car at least once a month, the frequency of potential accidents is frightening.

Distracted driving is avoidable. Here are a few tips on training your dog to behave properly while in the car with you.

  • Association: A few weeks ago we wrote a blog explaining Ivan Pavlov’s experiment on classical conditioning. Training your dog to lay or crawl is similar to training your dog to be comfortable inside a moving vehicle. It is all about association and rewards. First, repeatedly lure your dog to the vehicle with his/her’s favorite doggy treat. Don’t go inside the car, you need to ensure that your dog connects the excitement of earning a treat to the vehicle. Once the connection is made, take your dog inside the car and start the engine. Just stall until your dog is familiar with the inside. Once your dog is behaving properly, reward him/her with a treat.
  • Clean out your car: This step is to simply free your dog of any extra distractions.
  • Duration: Gradually increase the duration of your trips. First start off with a ten minute car ride and then start gradually increasing those intervals.

For more information about traveling with your dog, check out this whitepaper.

F.I.D.O., the Federation of Insured Dog Owners, Inc., now offers the Covered Canine Policy, an exclusive product and benefit for F.I.D.O. members only. This policy is presently available in Florida. It will protect you should your dog bite an individual and cause harm. It does not exclude any breed of dog and starts as low as $75 per dog, per year. Click here for a free Florida pet insurance quote.

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