Getting in the car

Share your experience and tell us how using positive reinforcement training methods has changed yours and your dogs' lives.

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Getting in the car

Post by JudyN » Thu May 22, 2014 2:44 pm

I mentioned this in the chat area a while back but it was too early to be sure it was working... now I am :D

Jasper has always been reluctant to get in the car. He's had the odd car phobia we've worked through, but it doesn't seem to be connected to that. Once he's in the car he's fine, he just seems to like to spend some time contemplating the sky, the trees, passers-by... I've tried luring, bribing, cajoling - often I have asked people to say hello to him through the door on the other side of the car, which always works, but there's not always a convenient person to ask.

Recently, I changed tack - as normal, I would open the door, clip his lead onto the clip in the car and ask him to jump in, but I would also pop a couple of treats in the car in between the back of the front seats - if possible, without him seeing them. Then I would sit in the front seat (if it was safe for him to stand there attached on a 6' lead) and wait. My reasoning was that rather than linking the treat with me, who was bribing him into doing something he didn't want to do, he'd come to associate it with the car - the car is like a magic treat dispenser, so what's not to like? :lol:

After a couple of weeks or so, it's definitely working :D He still doesn't hop straight in, but he hardly delays at all, which I'm happy about. I'm no longer nagging him, and he's no longer ignoring what I'm asking him to do. And even if he does take a couple of minutes, I view it as a good chance to just sit there listening to the radio and chilling :D

OK, in an ideal world he's hop in as soon as asked, but I'll settle for this!
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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Re: Getting in the car

Post by ckranz » Thu May 22, 2014 7:42 pm

Sounds like you are making good progress. I know my Chloe can be a little apprehensive but at her age I think its more of a coordination thing rather than any fear of the car. If you haven't already you may want to get to jasper's level and examine the task of getting in your car from his point of view. Often times seeing things how your dog sees them sheds light on how to further address training issues.

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Re: Getting in the car

Post by WufWuf » Fri May 23, 2014 5:32 am

Great work Judy! I'm going to suggest this method to someone I know who has the same issue with her dog :D
Operant conditioning rocks but classical conditioning rules

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