Anxious dogs in the car

by Steph Mahrle


It is such a frustrating experience when you're driving a car with an anxious dog pacing back and forth. Or even when the dog is barking at everything it sees as you drive along. It's distracting and overwhelming. I'm sure many of you can relate to this annoying experience. Car anxiety, can really chap anyone's ass...so can pulling on leash, dog aggression, human aggression, leash reactivity, counter surfing, home destruction, marking, jumping on people, rushing out the front door, etc, these are ALL bad behaviors which are just symptoms of not having a calm leader in the dog's life. How can you resolve this particular bad behavior regarding the car? Become your dog's leader. Here is a five step process to follow:

1. Fit a prong and leash to your dog. 2. Heel your dog and go on a nice long structured walk. 3. After your walk with the dog insist the dog lie down in front of your car with the door open. Don't take the dog anywhere, just insist she relax and experience calmness. 4. Allow the dog to enter your car ONLY when the dog is relaxed. -Use this as a training exercise as often as possible. 5. Never let a dog in the car when they are excited. 

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you find that you're still struggling to achieve calm behavior in the car, please reach out to a professional dog trainer in your area that can help you get the results you are seeking. 

  This is the behavior you want to see before you give the command for your dog to enter your car.

This is the behavior you want to see before you give the command for your dog to enter your car.