Our 8yr old rescue Bichon has never been in the car before we got her. Her first car ride was coming home with us. She got herself all het up yelping, whining, panting herself silly. Despite trying to desensitise her lots if going in the car whilst its parked just for a sit then going round block etc she is still as bad as ever. She isnt crate trained and I dont want to go down that route her history if abuse means she hates small spaces I cant even shut the living room door whilst we are all in there she needs to know she can get out iyswim.
Anyway we are going camping in Aug the journey is about 1hr. How do I make it bearable for her (and us)?
Do you give her loads of treats when she gets into the parked car? I'd get someone sitting in the back giving her fuss and raining treats down, and really take your time, but do it every day - a couple of days where the doors are all open, she jumps in, gets a treat, jumps out. Then a couple with one door shut, same deal - really slow progress and if her issue is about being confined, then more time praising, high value treat, a beloved toy just being on the drive with the doors shut starting at 30s. If she has confinement ishoos, then it will really take time to teach her that its OK and good things happen with the car
She sits in the back next to my 7yr old who has been relegated to the middle seat so she can be next to the window which we have half open she is attached to the seatbelt by her harness so no fear of her jumping out.
He gives her treats but she doesnt have any favourite toys I dont think she really knows what toys are for.
I looked at the boosters but she would jump straight out as she doesnt like being in something iyswim.
I might put her favourite blanket on the backseat see if that helps.
We dont have anywhere secure to let her wander around the car jump in and out herself the car is parked on a busy road. We might have to see if we can borrow a friends back yard for car practise purposes.