How to Train Your Dog to Ride in the Car

To teach a dog to ride in transport is, firstly, to make it so that it is not afraid of this transport. Secondly, to teach her to behave decently during the trip, that is, to sit quietly and keep quiet. And thirdly, to make sure that the dog does not drool and that it does not feel sick.

There are plenty reasons your dog might be anxious in the car. It could be that the car’s movement, extreme noise from the sound and vibration of the engine or the certain events (like visiting the vet) for their only car rides. Whatever the reason, a dog’s car anxiety can be overcome with patience. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to do your homework on tips for stress-free car journeys so that you can get your pet out and about safely and without stress.

At the same time, we have public and personal transport, and we have large and very small dogs. As you can see, the conditions of the problem are quite diverse, but you can still give general advice to start with.

To begin with, all dogs are puppies for a while. And it is the puppy age that is most optimal not only for training in general but also for getting used to transport. Thus, the responsible owner begins to train the puppy to treat vehicles positively or at least indifferently from the first puppy ride. Transport in its modern form is found everywhere, and it is necessary to teach the puppy not to be afraid not only of the appearance of various vehicles but also of the sounds they make.

Scientists advise feeding the dog 4-6 hours before the trip and drink it at least an hour before it. Before the trip, you need to walk the dog well.

In the case of a long trip, it is strongly recommended to make stops every 2 hours for 10-15 minutes, be sure to walk the dog.

And it is advisable to always have in stock herbal medicines that relieve stress and the effect of motion sickness. Which ones, your veterinarian will tell you, i.e. your dog.

If your best friend is a small dog with the ability to fit in a carrier bag or backpack, then the problems with the attitude to vehicles practically disappear. By the way, there are also small cages on wheels. The happy owner of a little dog-looking friend only needs to teach him to have a positive attitude towards a bag, backpack, or cage. And transport wherever you want.

No matter how beautiful the photos of dogs traveling in the car are, if you plan to transport your pet in your own vehicle, then it is recommended to transport it in a cage. Why?


  • will not interfere with the driver from driving and will not interfere with anyone at all;
  • will not dangle around the cabin when braking and maneuvering;
  • will not damage or stain the interior and glass;
  • if any embarrassment happens to the dog, it will not happen in the salon, but in the cage.

So people with experience strongly recommend crate training.

As a rule, dogs quickly get used to the appearance of vehicles, but not many like to be inside, and even more so to move inside this beast.

In general, there are two ways to train a dog to ride in transport: revolutionary and evolutionary.

The revolutionary method is scientifically called the over-presentation method. And it consists in the fact that you grab the dog in an armful and – on the barricades, that is, in vehicles, regardless of its opinion, desire and emotions. In 90% of cases, by the 3-5th trip, the dog stops worrying and tolerates the transportation of his beloved much more calmly.

This is the most radical way to prove to the dog that the transport is not as scary as it is painted, that moving in it does not lead to pain, the legs do not break, the tail does not come off and the skin does not come off. And if the trip also ends with a pleasant and long-awaited event for the dog: a walk in the park, a trip to the dacha, to the dog’s playground, to the grandmother, who has been saving up tasty cuts of meat all week, etc., then by the 10th transportation the dog with a large joyfully climb into the car.

If the dog is transported not by personal transport, but by someone else’s and car, then it is desirable that it has a muzzle on it. The muzzle should be so large that the dog can breathe with an open mouth and protruding tongue. It is very important. First, it will be hot in the cabin, and the dogs are sweating their tongues, so you know. And secondly, in any case, the dog will experience the stress of one degree or another, so it will breathe frequently. And she needs to make breathing easier.

If your dog is accustomed to a crate, and the car allows its placement, then it is easier to transport the dog in the cage. If not, it’s best at your feet on the floor. Sometimes zoo taxis are equipped with special hammocks, in which case the dog can be placed on the hammock without a muzzle. Small dogs are also transported on their knees.

In public transport, a dog of any mass must be muzzled. In addition, you should be confident in the reliability of the collar. If your dog is prone to panic, carry him in a harness.

The evolutionary way is as slow as evolution itself.

First, using personal transport as an example:

  1. We put the car, open the doors. We place the dog bowl next to the car, under the car. We feed the dog just next to the car.
  2. We start the car and feed the dog according to claim 1.
  3. We put the bowl inside the cabin and feed the dog just like that. The engine is shut off.
  4. With the engine running, feed the dog inside the cabin.
  5. We feed the dog inside the cabin with the doors closed.
  6. At the time of feeding, the dogs started, drove 10 meters, stopped, and released the dog.
  7. According to clause 6, but drove 50, 100, etc. meters.
  8. We have prepared a delicacy. The dog jumped into the salon for a bowl of food. We take the bowl and don’t give the dog to eat. We close the doors, start moving, feeding the dog a treat.
  9. We decrease the number of treats dispensed during the movement and increase the duration of the movement.
  10. We give out tasty food only when the car stops.
  11. If necessary, place the dog in a cage.

You understand that the duration of the stages is determined by the characteristics of the dog and the heartlessness of the owner. If necessary, if the behavior of the dog allows it, some stages can be eliminated.

If your dog is afraid of public transport, and you are serious about teaching your pet to travel in public transport (buses, trolleybuses, trams, and trains), approach this with all responsibility, that is, stop feeding the dog just like that. Feed her only in the place where she begins to experience fear. Enough strength not to feel sorry for the dog?

When the pet begins to eat confidently in the chosen place, take 2-3 steps closer to the transport and feed the dog here until you feel calm and confident. Etc…

This will change the dog’s transport value from scary negative to positive food.

If the dog does not feel much fear, we will prepare it according to general advice: we get on the bus, pass the bus stop, get out, return to the bus stop where we sat down, wait for the bus, get on it, pass the bus stop, get out, return to the bus stop where we got on the bus, and so on 20-40 times.

While we are driving, we cheer the dog up, feed the treat, lisp, kiss on the nose (this is mandatory), scratch the belly, and say sweet words.

We are gradually increasing the number of stops.

Who said it would be easy?

Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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