Navi has been scared of getting in the car since we got her. In fact before we adopted her, when I just knew her at the dog park, she didn’t like riding in the car. So I knew that was an issue. Unfortunately it’s kind of a big issue, because of where we live we can’t just head out the door and go for a walk. Rural roads with no sidewalks, just speeding cars with a ditch along the side of the road are not conductive to going for relaxing dog walks. So to get out we pretty much have to go for a drive to get somewhere safe to walk. But poor Navi would strain at the leash to stay away from the car, and then when put in it she would sit in the back seat, head hung down, drooling and miserable. That miserable experience was making every trip a bit more difficult than the last.
Since Navi didn’t like the car, I tried desensitizing her to it by letting them play around the van, hopping in and out freely for treats. Once she felt better about that I would close them up in the van while we hung out and had treats, then let her go. When she was comfortable with that I would close her in the van and back it up the length of the driveway and drive back up to the house. Last week I took her in the van into town (a nice short drive) for a fun walk at the park with our dog friends. Today I took her for another ride just to go pick Dave up at work, and she did fine again. We even stopped at the feed store and she went in with me and said hi to the cashier. Then we came back out and she jumped right in the van with just a little encouragement.
So the car issue is slowly becoming a non-issue. I’m looking forward to being able to just take her for a ride, then we can go for more walks, and go to dog training and stuff like that. Because right now she’s just having fun around the house: