Here is a great little article on how to deal with dog sickness and hyperactivity. This is important for several reasons. First it is important to make sure your dog is safe and comfortable when riding in the car. Second, no one wants to sit next to the sick dog in the car. Third, what if your dog distracts the driver or causes an accident simply due to excitement? It is your job a responsible dog owner to make sure none of these scenarios actually happen.
Check out these tips on how to accomplish just this:
If your dog is either fearful of car rides or gets car sick, then you must show your dog that there is nothing to be afraid of and no reason to be sick. Many dogs associate car rides with something unpleasant or with previously being carsick. Reintroduce the car to the dog again slowly and in a non-stressful way.
Start out by just sitting in the car with the dog. Don’t go anywhere. Don’t even start the motor. Just sit in there and read a book or listen to the radio. Soon the dog will realize that nothing terrible has happened and that it did not get sick. Keep doing this until the dog is obviously relaxed and not fearful. If the dog does get sick, then you’ve stayed too long and should begin for shorter periods. When you see that your dog is comfortable with this activity, progress a little further and start the engine, but still do not go anywhere. When the dog is relaxed with the motor running, then begin taking very short trips, perhaps just around the block.
As your dog gets more and more comfortable, go for longer rides. Drive to places where the dog has fun. Take a short ride up the block to the dog’s favorite walking area or to the beach, park or a friend’s house. Let the dog associate car rides with fun, pleasant and rewarding experiences.
Some dogs associate the car with good times to the point of becoming overly excited. In this case, begin taking the dog for short rides that do not end up at the park or beach, but back home again. Teach your dog some obedience commands like down-stay. Sit in the car with your dog and practice there. Start out on a quiet street. Obviously do this with the car parked. You cannot drive and train the dog at the same time. Once the dog has mastered the down stay, then begin practicing in more distracting places. Make sure your dog can and will obey before giving the command in rush-hour traffic.
Just remember if you expect your dog to listen to you in the car then you need to spend time training there. They will not always just listen to the same commands you use in the home or even outside on walks. The car is new territory and the dog should be trained in this environment to be the most successful.
Did you have to train your dog on car manners? How did you do it?