"Where Paradise is Just a Howl Away"



Riding in the Car



 

Our pups get their first taste of riding in the car by 3-4 weeks of age. But if you get your pup elsewhere, there's a good chance he's not accustomed to being anywhere near a car.



If you plan on taking your pup with you to work, on hikes, to the vet or even if you plan on turning your pup into an Ambassador, he will need to learn to ride quietly in the car.


 

 To introduce your pup to the car, start by walking him on a leash around the car, with the engine turned off. Let him sniff the car all over (make absolute certain that it is not leaking antifreeze or anything else the pup can lick up and get sick from). 





Once your pup approaches the car without fear, open the doors and let him check out the inside. Sit with him in the car with the radio on. Give him treats inside the car. Let him know that the car is not going to eat him. Leave a bone or toy in the backseat that he can play with while you sit in the car with him.


Once your pup learns the car is a pretty cool place to be, start it up.


It is normal if your pup tries to lunge away from the noisy creature. Remain calm and still. Stand quietly with your pup until he grows bold enough to approach his old buddy the car and sniff it over, inside and out. Work slowly and patiently. Never end this training session on a negative note. Soon, you can get in the car with the pup, close the doors, and start the engine again. Your pup may be anxious at first, even trying to crawl on the dash or climb out the window (even if the windows are closed).


You can either keep him tied in the front or back seat, let him ride in a small crate or have someone with you to hold the pup in their lap. Whichever method works best; sit in the car with the engine on until your pup is calm.


Introduce short drives when your pup can approach the car without fear and get inside without force (if your pup is still small enough to require help getting in, then by all means give him a boost). Drive once around the block, or even to the store and back. Increase the duration of the rides each time.


The first few minutes of the ride may cause some anxious behavior, but your pup should calm down after a few minutes. The ride home should be much quieter once your pup is accustomed to taking trips into town with you.






Rules to enforce include relegating your wolfdog to the back seat OR the passenger side/cab of a truck. Don't let your wolfdog navigate the space of the car while you are driving. Trying to climb on the dash or climb over the driver while the car is in motion is very dangerous.


If you have a truck and you plan on letting your wolfdog ride in the back, a truck-bed enclosure is a necessary investment. This involves constructing a safe enclosure type cage to fit the truck-bed.


A van or SUV where the back seats can be flattened to offer a wider space for the wolfdog to stay during the ride is also a great option. It gives your wolfer the option to pace in the back without distracting the driver.






Like with every training aspect with wolfdogs, consistency is key. Also remember that some animals will love the car after only a few sessions while others will always be stressed even after weeks and weeks of consistent training. Some wolfdogs suffer from really bad motion sickness or anxiety, and no amount of training and conditioning will improve their car etiquette.






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