A German Shepherd can travel by many forms of transport including boats, trains, planes, trucks and or course cars.
You want to ensure your German Shepherd in car training is adequate to ensure both you and your dog or puppy travel safely and get to your destination without too many issues.
It’s ultimately up to you (and the law) how you travel with your dog, and your responsibility.
Below we’ve outlined car training information, plus given you some car travelling tips to make car trips with your GSD (German Shepherd Dog) easy and stress free:
Common Problems With German Shepherd Travelling In The Car
- Lots of hair dropped, and subsequent vacuuming
- Your seats get dirty, stained and damaged with mud and nail scratches
- Motion sickness, and anxiety for your dog. Car sickness is common in puppies and dogs with anxiety.
- Your dog can jump on or walk across you if not trained or restrained, which can lead to accidents. German Shepherd In Car Training, a dog Car Harness and Dog Crate can help with training and restraining your GSD. You can read about training below.
Best Car Seat Protector/Covers for German Shepherd Dog
Car Seat Protectors/Covers generally come in three types – A front single/bucket seat cover, a back seat cover, and a cargo area cover. The Best Seat Protector/Cover for German Shepherds will be:
- Scratch and stain proof
- Slip proof
- Have some padding for your GSD to make longer rides comfortable
- Made from material which does not ‘color bleed’ onto your seats
- Made from materials that are not toxic or allergens
- Easy and versatile to put in and take out of your car
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Has adequate anchor points to secure the cover to your seat/s
- Has a warranty to protect your purchase
Read more about the Best Car Seat Protector/Cover for German Shepherds at TheDailyShep.com
Training A German Shepherd For In Car Travel
1) Get Your German Shepherd Comfortable In The Car
Park the car in a safe place with the engine off. Put your GSD’s favorite toy, favorite blanket or rug, a treat, or yourself in the car with the door open and encourage them to join you. Praise them when they get inside, and aim for them to spend longer and longer in the car exploring, sniffing and sitting still.
You’re just getting them comfortable with the car at this stage.
2) Get Your German Shepherd Comfortable In The Car With Doors Closed
Leave a toy in the car for your GSD to play with and slowly close the door. You will have the car still turned off. Stand by for the car for a minute and see if they notice you moving out of sight. If your GSD really struggles with this, wind the window down at first so he or she isnt completely locked in.
Generally if your GSD is comfortable in the car, you shouldn’t have issues with this step. If it’s a hot day, find a cool or shady area, and discontinue training if your GSD is panting heavily or visibly distressed.
3) Get Your German Shepherd Comfortable In The Car With Motor On
While the car is still stationary, turn on the car motor with your GSD still inside.
If they start whining, howling or barking, turn off the motor, but not until the complaining has stopped. Your GSD should start getting used to the car not moving with the motor on
4) Get Your German Shepherd Comfortable In The Car While Moving
Your last step is to get your GSD comfortable with travelling short, and then longer distances.
Toys which act as positive distractions, and driving to the dog park to begin with (as your GSD will positively associate driving with trips to exercise and socialise with other dogs and humans).
Use your attention and dog treats as rewards during training. It is important you don’t reward unwanted behavior like whining with rewards, but wait until the negative behavior has stopped until you reward or stop the event which is causing your GSD to act up (unless under extremely scared or anxious).
10 Tips For German Shepherd In Car Travel
1) Introduce your GSD to the car and vehicle travel young, as a puppy.
2) Travel with your GSD in the back seat if possible, or wherever they will be spending the most time during your vehicle travels. If in the back of a truck or a SUV storage area, make sure they are properly restrained in a crate or harness.
3) Consider travelling with a crate for untrained puppies, and for general restraint and safety.
4) Consider a seat protector to protect your seats from scratching, mud, pee and poop, vomit, hair and general staining.
5) Consider a car harness to restrain your dog. Can be used in conjunction with a seat protector if not using a crate.
6) Let your GSD relieve itself before, and at regular intervals on a long drive. Make sure it gets water beforehand and during a trip (take a water container), and wind a window down if its hot. Don’t let your GSD stick its face too far out of the car in case it tries to jump out, or gets hit by a passing object, or gets a bug in its eye (at high speeds it can cause serious damage like blindness).
7) Most German Shepherds will have no issue travelling in a car, apart from some car sickness as a puppy. If they do look a little scared, consider giving them their favorite toy for some positive reinforcement. Keep the drives short at first
8) Only take your scared GSD to the dog park to begin with in the car – they will associate car rides positively.
10) If travelling to a camp site, hiking trail or across state borders, ensure you know a) whether your dog is allowed in the area, and b) whether you need any documentation to take your dog with you.
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