There can be so many things can spook dogs. Cars can be one of them. Someone asked me once what they can do because their dog was terrified of cars when they were out of for a walk. He would spot a car far down the road and start to get anxiety, looking back and forth. I thought maybe others might be having this issue as well. She told me that she decided when walking him, she would tell him to stop and wait when there was a car approaching them. (I have actually done this with my child when out walking the dogs!) I thought that was a great idea! But not everyone might want to stop when a car comes by so is there something else you can do to help ease his anxiety over cars?
Keeping Your Dog Calm Around Moving Cars
Start with a stopped car: Is it the moving cars that bother him or cars in general because he knows they move? You can figure this out if you walk around some parked cars. Take it out to yours and get him familiar with it. Let him go in and out, take him for a ride. Is he comfortable with your car? Good let’s move on to moving cars.
Treat training: Dogs will do anything for treats! (Just like some of us will do anything for ice cream!) When walking your dog down the street, have a pocket of treats ready for when cars go by. Use your training words and a soothing voice. Whatever you use ‘it’s ok’ or something like when he starts to get anxious when he spots a car. If he calms down, even a little bit, give him a treat. If you want him to stop completely when cars go by to the same thing.
Parking lot walking: Just like you would take him to the doggie park for time to socialize, take your dog to a parking lot for training. A place like the mall or a shopping center will be good because there will be cars that come and go. He might not always be able to see from far when they are coming, he won’t have that time to work himself up. That being said, we don’t want to scare him completely either. Keep him close to you, and reassure him that he is ok, and safe with you. Keep treats on hand to reward when he does not get anxious.
No one wants their dog to be spooked by anything. I hope these suggestions will be of help if you have a dog who is afraid of moving cars. Let us know how this works for you if you decide to try these out.
Maybe you have had this issue and tried something different that worked, post your stories below!