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Help! Dog won't go in other people's cars

(4 Posts)
LadyinCement Thu 05-Oct-17 15:00:30

Dog leaps into my car eagerly.

But refuses - absolutely refuses - to get into anybody else's. This is causing a problem as dog walkers can't take him, and he came home with a bad report from his dog boarding billet as the woman couldn't take him out for a walk. He just lay down in the drive and cried when she opened the car door.

Otherwise he is 100% wonderful - honestly! Loving, obedient (mostly!) and friendly to everyone. Excellent recall when out and about.

I really need to sort out this problem as already he has been blacklisted by three dog walkers.

Elphame Thu 05-Oct-17 19:00:57

Heavy duty bribery? He needs to associate cars with nice things! I'd try a high value treat trail into a friend's car. Might take more than one session to get him in but don't force the issue. Once he's in the car and happy then go somewhere which he'll really like. I'd then repeat with the help of another friend and their car and again if necessary

missbattenburg Thu 05-Oct-17 19:10:26

Dogs are a bit rubbish at generalising which is taking the learning from one thing and applying it to something similar. Your dog knows your car is safe but is unable to apply that same principle to any other car. With dog walkers it's even trickier for him because you are not there to help him.

The best thing you can do is slowly help him get used to a few different cars - the more her gets used to the better he will be at applying the principle to more new cars when he comes across them. For this you will need access to a friend's car for a bit. Used treats or toys to entice him near the car, into the car and then sit with him in there playing or fussing or treating him. Once he sits in a variety of cars with you work up to your friend getting him into the car with you near, then doing so alone.

Don't rush him too fast - if he looks overly nervous at any point then ask him to do something he knows how to do easily (like sit), give him a massive treat for that and end the session. Try again soon after as if it never happened.

LadyinCement Fri 06-Oct-17 12:25:30

Thanks for advice. I'm not sure I know anyone who I can practise with, but if I manage to engage another dog walker I'll ask if we can practise getting into their car whilst I'm there... with treats! Actually that's another thing - he won't take treats from strangers. Sometimes he'll politely accept a biscuit etc from other dog walkers and then spits it out. He's well up on stranger danger!

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