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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have a 16 month old Golden boy named Alton. He is such a joy in so many ways. He is having a difficult time in one area though... jumping (or even climbing in) the back seat of my car to go for rides. I drive a Subaru Outback and he needs to ride in the back seat, because I need the hatch back section for my scooter. (I am disabled) He is tied in for safety. At any rate, when he was a smaller pup he was good about putting his front two paws up and then I would boost his back end. But now he is too big. And even sometimes resists getting in. I think he may be going through a fear period. Nothing (that I know of) happened to make him afraid of riding in the car. I always try to make it a fun and exciting experience for him. We work with a trainer and she has taught me how to jazz him up to get his front paws in... but when it comes to getting those back legs in gear he says "no way." and just backs out. I'm wondering if any one else has had struggles with their pups and cars and what y'all have done to overcome it.

Thanks in advance!

Jody
 

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I've been through this multiple times over the years with several dogs. Only one of my goldens loved riding in cars so much that he would jump in through an open window if called to go with me. The others didn't have as much enthusiasm and would seem reluctant to get their back ends up on the back seat.
Two things that I tried:
First, and most successful was moving the front seat all the way forward and letting them pile into the floor area of the back seat first.
The second was to play crate games of a sort using the car in the driveway.
Having the opposite door open and using a second person with a high value treat to entice them in, reward them and then continue out the other side. Making it a fun game to get them comfortable getting in and out and used to the car.
When they got older and less nimble we still would get their front ends up on the seat and I'd lift them the rest of the way in although I had no doubt the could easily jump if they wanted to.
I also try to make sure to go for short rides to do fun things and not only for trips to stressful places such as the vets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the tips

Hi Kellyguy,

Sounds like we are on the right track. We are doing all those things with Alton... pushing the front seat forward to give him lots of room... opening the opposite side door... jazzing him up. I guess I just have to be more patient and work on it more daily. One day he will get it, right?! :)

Thanks,

Jody
 

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"One day he will get it, right?!"
Absolutely.
My bridge boy Buddy showed signs of car sickness when we first brought him home. He was drooling, panting and several times threw up. In retrospect, it had to be very stressful being put into a crate and riding for several hours with strangers.
It took a while be he learned to settle down and relax in the car.
When we brought our new puppy home we started out with putting the back seat down so the door to the crate was much closer to us. We also made it a point to stop about every half hour and get out and potty, play and relax. Duffy was an absolute joy on his first trip and was soon fast asleep for most of the ride.
 

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Fellow Sufferer

Hi Jody, my GR Kai, used to be lifted into the hatchback when he was a pup, but got too heavy. Once in, he is fine and we've been on multiple trips both short and long and I don't get a peep out of him, so I don't think it's fear of travelling.

He does exactly the same thing as Alton, he puts his paws on the bumper then just waits for me to lift his back end. I've had surgery last year, and I'm not supposed to lift anything heavy !!! So it's becoming a problem - he's a big GR.

I too have played games, tried tasty treats, been firm, but nothing will make him jump in. There is nothing wrong with his legs as he jumps over and onto walls, hedges, furniture. He's almost an 'Olympic' class jumper !!

I do have a ramp from when I had my Fluke & Harry. So tried this, and yes he'll jump onto the ramp and stroll up it like a beauty queen :)

The only trouble it's quite large and a little cumbersome for my small car and to be honest a real pain. I really wish he would just jump.

I can't do anything with him at the moment as he's just started having seizures, so I don't want to stress him out, but if you find anything that works, please post.

So to answer your question, yes, you're not alone :confused:
 

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We have an SUV and Henry will not get in the back of his own accord. It's me lifting up his forepaws and then heaving the rump in. I only do this if we are coming back from the beach and he is all wet and full of sand. If we are just going anywhere then I get in the back seat and urge him in with "hup hup" and he will jump in next to me, if I am not driving then he will sit on me, all 80 lbs of him for the whole ride. If I am driving then I have to get out the passenger door, close it, run round and close the doorside he jumped in, then I can get in the driver seat. He is a real baby and unfortunatly drools like mad in the car.
 

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I found that when dogs only get in the car for "bad things" (like trips to the vet or groomers,etc) they become reluctant because they anticipate the "bad thing"

Idk if that is the case for either of your situations. But what I did to correct my Bear's hesitation was to take him in the car ALL the time. Driving to the pet store, dropping my husband off at work, my husband will bring Bear when he picks me up from work. Driving to the beach. Basically for every trip to the vet he gets 20 fun trips.

Also, at first, we would just spend 15 minutes a day practicing in-and-out of the car. Lots of treats and praises. You know those parties we throw when they are learning housebreaking? I threw them when we taught him to get in and out of the car.

Now whenever he's out front, he immediately goes to the car door and waits to be let in, even if we're not going anywhere. Hahaha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No new news on Alton and the car thing. Still working on it. I am going to try to add some non-skid tape to the interior of the door jam so when he puts his paw on there it won't slip. He has slipped a couple of times so that doesn't help. I do take him on fun rides when I can get him in the car, so I totally agree on the negative association thing. I will keep you all posted and DEF have a party when he gets it. lol Him going with me places is a huge hurdle in his training. Love this community! Love our Goldens! :)
 

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Our situation is a little different because Max likes to go in the car. He is a big boy, and he had a hard time getting up on to the back seat of our Honda sedan. He is also very heavy to lift. We got a Honda Odyssey van with a low floor. There was room for him to walk onto the floor of the van and then hop up onto the seat. We no longer have the van, but instead recently bought a Nissan Frontier pick-up. The rear seat folds up and Max can make an easy jump up onto the floor, or climb up if he prefers. My wife has a Honda Fit--the back seat is called a magic seat, which folds up like the pick-up and allows Max to walk-in to the car with little trouble. The thing all these vehicles have in common is a low floor that makes it easy for Max to climb into the vehicle.
 

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Rosco wouldn't get into the car willingly from about 6mths onwards. No issues riding in the car, just stubborn about getting in. Tried every dog treat imaginable. Cheese, hot dogs, feeding in car, games, etc you name it.

One day at about 11mths or so, I've got three different kinds of treats and a dog trainer suggested Cheerios for all training so I figured hey why not. That was what he'd go to the car for. Go figure. Took a couple of days of that and then for some reason, just decided going to the car was no issue.

He still never would jump in. Put feet up on back and you could lift him in. His smaller, shorter, sister had been jumping in out and out of my SUV since 6mths old. Murphy at 6mths jumped in, Rosco at 13mths had to be lifted up. Quirky but loveable goof.
 

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We have a six month old. He likes going for rides but doesn't enjoy getting in the car. We only have a Medium sized car but apart from lifting him in (which is getting more difficult as he gets larger) I've found the only way that works for us is to open both doors and I have to go to the other side and call him in.

It takes a while for him to get the confidence to jump up but he is slowly working it out.

He loves licking the window once inside the car, but that's his problem. :)
 

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We have found most dogs are uncomfortable getting in and out of a car because the owner is anxious about the process and dread trying to coax, push, pull, beg the dog to get into the car. For many dogs the motion of the vehicle and the sometimes unpleasant experience of going to the vet can make the car seem like a place to avoid.

We start IN THE HOUSE with the "kennel up" command to go into the dog's crate and give him or her a very high value treat. Make it a game and from another room, I ask the dog to "kennel up" and we run to the crate and I give him the treat and have a party. Move the crate to a variety of different places, including outside, and repeat. Lots of in and out of the crate without ever shutting the door. Be sure to teach a release word so the dog knows when he can come out.

Then, with the crate in the back of the subaru, give the command and toss one of the very high value treats into the crate. I bet he jumps right in. Again, do a bunch of in and outs of the crate without ever moving the car. Now the kennel up command can be associated with the vehicle.

Last step is to open the back door of the car and tell the dog to "kennel up". Most dogs see the opening and jump right in. Again, just do a bunch of in and outs of the car with your treats without ever moving the car. Now getting in and out of the car is no big thing so going for a drive should not be a problem.

Remember to go slow and ignore any insecurity in the dog.
 
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We finally bought stairs from Pet Loader, and it's made a huge difference. He will walk right up those things.

We had two problems. He hated the car, so wouldn't jump in. And he hated the ramp, so wouldn't use that. With the stairs, you can even shape the behavior. Jumping in and the ramp were both an all or nothing thing.

We also traded our pick up truck/trailer for a van conversion camper, and he loves that. We didn't trade on his account, but it was a welcome surprise.
 
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