For this Dog training online article I wanted to talk about the importance of training Dogs to behave in vehicles. This is often overlooked and I have lost count of the times I have seen out of control Dogs in Cars. At least I used to. I haven’t seen it for a number of years now. Not one.
Because I live in Spain.
It may sound strange but Spanish Dogs are well behaved in Cars.
Okay, this is partly due to the fact that many Spaniards have what are known as Campo Dogs. This means many of the Dogs in Spain are either left in the countryside to guard properties or they are hunting Dogs that never go anywhere apart from in special trailers hitched to the back of 4 x 4’s.
However, many Spaniards also have house Dogs. These Dogs are given all the pampering and care and attention many of us give to our Dogs. They still behave in the Car though. You see them all the time in vehicles and you never see them jumping or causing the mayhem I often used to see in the UK.
This is simply down to the fact that it is illegal to have a Dog in your Car unless it is restrained. Either with a Dog Car seatbelt or behind a grill in the back of the vehicle.
This is primarily for safety reasons.
Apart from the fact that in an accident an unrestrained Dog is very likely to be killed, it is more for the safety of people. Unrestrained Dogs in Cars can easily kill others in the event of a crash. The force of a Dog hurtling through space in the event of a crash has killed countless people as well as Dogs.
This is apart from the fact that unrestrained Dogs in vehicles can get up to all sorts of mischief. Loose Dogs can be very dangerous. It doesn’t take much to set a Dog barking in a Car or trying to move on to the front seat. There is also the distraction they can cause simply by us turning around to check what they are up to or to see if they are OK.
I have written before about how cheap it is to purchase a Dog seatbelt. They are a few dollars and there is absolutely no reason not to use one. They are probably the cost of driving a few miles if the price of petrol and diesel is anything to go by at the moment.
This Dog blog is often very lighthearted but this is one issue that should not be overlooked and it should be introduced asap.
What I have found is that training Dogs to behave in Cars is almost too easy to be true. The simple fact is that after a few journeys being restrained by a Dog seatbelt they simply begin to settle down naturally. Even Faye the beast of doom is amazingly well behaved when in the Car. She knows that as soon as she gets her fat bum up in to the Car she will be clipped in.
She then calms down quickly and this has been without training as such. They quickly realise that they will not be able to get in to the front seat or cause trouble.
Trust me, if Faye can do it anyone can. When in stationary Cars in the past she has eaten the gear stick knob, a seatbelt, the seats, the steering wheel………..you get the picture. She was a naughty puppy. This was when she was left loose when we simply put her in the Car for a few minutes.
With her seatbelt on she is much calmer, she quickly learnt that she did not have the freedom to cause trouble, but most importantly she could not cause distractions or dangers to the driver.
I provided some links on previous posts about this subject so if you don’t know where to look to find a cheap Dog seatbelt I am sure you can find them if you do a search here.
I you don’t restrain your Dog in the Car then I would start very soon. Apart from the safety aspect it teaches them very easily to behave in vehicles and also gets them used to being restrained more regularly which aids in overall training performances and obeying commands.