Does your dog tremble and drool every time you have to take them in the car? We've discovered that
rescued dogs are especially prone to car sickness. Probably because early in their life experience
the only time they rode in the car was to the shelter or on a long trip car trip up north from a
Here are some tips for helping your dog to overcome car sickness. Like any training program,
the approach is to break it down into small steps. Clickers work wonders at "shaping a behavior"
and the behavior you want is for them to ride calmly in the car. Ultimately, you want them to
enjoy riding in the car with you. Here are five easy steps to making car riding with your dog a
joy. Make going near the car a positive experience by giving them treats and praise whenever
they go near the car. Using a clicker makes this training go much faster.
This method has worked wonders with more than a few of our foster dogs.
We hope it works for you too. The use of a clicker makes it so much easier
because clickers afford you an excellent way to mark a good behavior. You're
rewarding them for the behavior that you want to see and they will soon catch on.
For more information on clicker training, go to www.clickertraining.com.
- Every time they walk up to the car without quivering or drooling, click and give
them a treat.
- Once you've established that she can go near the car, without distress, open
the car door let them get in or put them in. Click, treat and exit. Do this quickly.
Give them lots of praise. I often tell people to do a whole week or two of just getting
in and out of the car, gradually lengthening the time that they spend in the car.
- At this point you are able to get them to sit in the car without too much sense
of stress. Start the car and let it idle, while they sit in the car. Start with 30
seconds or less and build from there. Once they can do this without stress, move to the next step.
- Now try backing the car out of the driveway, or if you have a U-shaped driveway,
move slowly forward. Click, treat, praise, return to the driveway, exit the car.
- 5. Try driving around the block. If they last without drooling or getting car sick,
then continue for one week of short drives. At this point you're home free. If at any
point in this exercise, your dog regresses, go back to the previous step and work on
it some more. It also helps to use really juicy treats instead of the boring biscuit type.
We use Natural Balance. It's loaded with good vitamins and minerals, but smells like a hot
dog and it comes on a big sausage-shaped roll that you can easily cut into tiny pieces.
Petco sells it. It's always wise not to feed your
dog before doing this last step until you're sure that they are really over their car sickness.