Indeed, juggling a small dog in your arms, while carrying a heavy bag and fumbling for the car keys, is a feat of multi-tasking that is going to end badly one way or another. Better by far is to have a well-trained dog. Imagine the ease of having your pet pooch wait for the car door to open and jump in obediently on the "Up" command. But this isn't just a flight of fancy because, with a little planning and practice, you too can be the proud pet parent of such a miraculous animal.
All dogs learn at their own pace, so take your time and be patient with the dog. Be sure to reward the small victories and ignore the failed attempts. It is never appropriate to punish the dog if he fails to jump up as required. Instead, think about why he might not have complied, such as the training session being too long or there being distractions in the room. The object should always be to make the training fun, rather than onerous, since this is the best way to have a happy, co-operative pet partner.
You will teach the dog in stages, depending on the method chosen. Start in a quiet room, free from distractions. Once the dog becomes accomplished at one step, then move onto the next. If at any stage the dog is struggling to comply then move back a step to reinforce what the dog already knows.
The training sessions should be fun for both you and the dog. Don't overlook using play as a reward when the dog does well, such as incorporating a game of tug into a successful "Up" onto a step. This way, the dog will work hard to do what's commanded in anticipation of a game at the end.You will need:
I've been trying to train my dog to get in carfor about a year using methods similar to those on your website.Have been working with 2 different dog trainers/ behaviourist, we seem to make some progress and then Ernie stops getting in car. Training him now to use steps to get in, also moved car to quieter street. Any advice welcome
Hello Alison, There are a lot of ways to teach this and honestly what works for your dog depends on your dog. If I were working with you we would experiment based on his temperament. There are a lot of factors here. Is he afraid to ride in cars? Afraid of tight spaces? Afraid to jump up? Has hip dysplasia or something that would make jumping painful or difficult? For the majority of dogs I usually try treats first to make getting into the car fun - because the majority respond best to this (majority doesn't mean all though). If that isn't effective, then a ramp or steps would come next (which is what you are trying - so I would suggest continue working on that to see if that works). If the steps or ramp wasn't effective after a bit, I would want to know if this was a fear issue, or simply a dislike for getting into the car and him choosing to avoid it because he finds it unpleasant - but not an actual fear. If it's an issue of him just not wanting to get into the car but there is not fear, then I would use a more forceful approach like the video linked below. Nothing that would hurt him, but a bit of pressure and then waiting him out until he gave in and got in, to show him that getting in isn't an option - but if he does it willingly you will reward him for it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AivnQUnTy2s If it's a fear issue, and he can't seem to overcome it near the car, then I would suggest working on similar obstacles away from the car to build confidence - work on jumps, ramps, going into tight spaces and other agility types obstacles that could help him get used to the car space. Once he is comfortable handling tight spaces, jumping, and walking on ramps, then we would go back to the stairs at the car, and if needed would use a bit of leash pressure then - since by then I would know he has the ability to do it because we worked on those skills with agility. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OseD7TRwsPQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPxUXvWawpk Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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