Dog Training Tips For Traveling With Your Pet
We all know by now that traveling in a car with our dog in the front seat, whether sitting on your lap or even tethered to the seatbelt, is a bad idea. Although cute, it can lead to injury or even death.
In addition to being a distraction to the driver, in the event of a crash your dog can basically become a projectile inside the car and this will most likely result in the dog being injured, if not worse, and the main culprit is usually the airbag.
According to Wikipedia, “in a front end collision, airbag deployment can occur when the car is going as slowly as 8-14 miles per hour.” In other words, NOT FAST AT ALL. So airbags don’t need a major crash to cause them to explode. The best way to go is to use a seatbelt harness attached to the back middle seatbelt or put your dog in a crate that has been secured. We like the crate or middle backseat tether harness systems the best. (Being in the middle avoids the side airbags in the back). Whichever system you choose, you avoid the dangers faced with the front seat airbag and your dog is safely secured in your car when you travel.
While the backseat tether harness is one of the better solutions to pet travel, it does not however, eliminate all problems, namely, your dog’s behaviour. For this you need to look to dog obedience training. Many owners have energetic dogs who are not content to sit or lie still in the car, particularly while harnessed. They tear, bite, and chew at the harness and destroy not only the seatbelt but your car interior as well. The best solution is to train your dog to behave while in the car! Practice before taking that drive could mean the difference between a peaceful experience and a nightmare. Teaching our dogs to mind their manners and exhibit good behaviour in the car is just as important as doing so in your home and it may save someone’s life one day (including the life of your dog!)
Here are some quick tips for traveling with your dog:
- Tire them out by taking them on a vigorous walk or play a game of fetch before you travel. Never put an overly excited or hyper dog into the car. Monitor your dog’s state of mind – if he seems too excited, work on calming him before putting him in the car.
- Practice training sessions well ahead of time, don’t wait until you actually have to travel before running through the scenario. On the way to the cottage is not the time for your dog’s first car ride experience!
- Be patient and calm. The dog will read your body language and behaviour and it will respond accordingly.
- During training, have someone sit in the backseat to monitor the dog.
- Take short trips at first to get the dog used to the car.
- Bring along a favourite toy to keep them distracted from chewing what they are not supposed to.