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Stubborn Hound Will Not Get Into The Car!


Guest psdirector
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Guest psdirector

So Hutch has decided, for whatever reason, that getting into the car (well, my Jeep) is not something that he cares to do. Today we had an appointment at the vet and I could NOT get his 83 lb. self into the Jeep. We always use the rear side door as the back gate is too tall (at least in his estimation). Tried both sides. I have the seat down in back so the whole cargo area is available in my 4-door Jeep, so he has lots of room when he's in there, even with his brother.

 

Tried beef treats. No dice. Tried getting into the car from the other side and coaxing him in. No dice. In the past his brother (who loves the car) jumps in first and after a bit he'll get in. Today I was trying it alone without DH to help. At one point I lifted his front paws and he almost started to get in, then he slipped a bit and that was it. I could not budge him/ lift him again.

 

Short of buying a crane, does anyone have any suggestions? Yes, I know that we need to take him fun places beside the vet, but I have to get him into the car first! The last time he was in the car (to go to PetSmart to get a bath) he shook the whole way there. He had a great time while he was there and made friends with everyone (his brother Tibbs was with us on that trip), but he wasn't thrilled about getting back into the car. Nothing scary has happened in the car since we got him and we've only gone on short rides. He has only had two visits to the vet before this and nothing "happened" while he was there - no shots or anything painful, she just checked him over, listened to his heart, looked at his teeth, etc.

 

Would it be better to try to have him sit / lay in the back seat than in the cargo area?

 

He was getting better about going for rides, then my mom passed away, my dad moved in and we didn't have him in a car for about four weeks. Now this.

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Guest FreeholdHound

Harry's a big boy too at 85 lbs and for a while I had to lift his front end up into my Subaru Forrester & then scoop & haul up his back end... Ugh! Then he started to put his front end up but would back away. So frustrating. He did start to jump in to go somewhere but wouldn't do it to come home. I would end up walking him in circles & leading him toward the car (like putting a horse in a trailer). It would take forever & I would become frustrated. Then I read to try a high value treat - so I tried his usual favorites w/ no change. Then I found the miracle .... Oscar Mayer Bologna!!! He has jumped in like an Olympic Pole Vaulter ever since w/ absolutely NO hesitation. He only gets the OMB when he jumps into the car - that's it- it's his special treat. I don't know what works for everyone else but this has been a God send as we go for rides quite often. Good luck !!

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Most larger males have difficulty jumping in, since they don't usually have to jump anywhere before becoming retired. I agree with finding a higher value motivator. Some thing *super* yummy and probably smelly too.

 

You also might take some time to just train with him, separate from a specific car ride. Practice with him jumping in and out, laying down for a few minutes, doing it all again, several times. Make sure it's either fun fun fun or really YUMMY!

 

I'd also try him at the back again rather than the side. There's more room for him to get up some momentum, and doesn't look so cramped.

 

If all else fails, you can purchase a ramp or stairs to help him get in and out.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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I feel your pain....the one and only time Molleigh jumped into our Jeep was the day we got her 5 yrs ago. After the Jeep was ruined in an accident we got a nice Van thinking it was lower and she would have no problems.....nope I still have to put her front feet up and boost her in. We have tried every treat including liverwurst (uck).

 

Just this past fall she learned to jump onto the sofa...and I thought great now she will get into the car since it is lower....nope.

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Guest shanesmom

Ace was absolutely terrified of getting in the van when I first adopted him. And the van is only a short little step. He's close to 90 pounds and when he does not want to do something he sits and will even lay down making it impossible for me to lift him. He is not at all food motivated either. He is extremely toy motivated though and getting him super excited for a toy and then throwing it in worked. He jumped in after it. I made sure I took him to fun places at first. My mom's back yard is his favorite place. Loves to walk through her little wooded area sniffing around so after a few times he jumped right in knowing getting in the van takes him to his fun place. It was a while though before I thought of the toy. I had never had a dog so non food motivated before.

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If he was my hound he WOULD have gone into the car. I grew up on a farm where I learned there are ways to safely restrain animals to accomplish your purpose without injury. If he tells you once what he will or will not do don't you think he'll continue -and get worse? IMO for their safety they must learn that I am in control and they go where I say and I tell them what to do- they don't tell me.

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Desi is over 80 lb, too. I traded my Chrylser Concorde for a Dodge Journey suv, thinking he'd be more comfortable, have more room......

He would jump in, but he's so tall he banged his head on the roof (and is forever "turning on" the interior "push" light back there.

He also caught his back feet on the tailgate a couple of times, and was getting more reluctant, so I broke down & got a ramp

He's much happier getting in/out (although it can be a PITA setting up the ramp in the pouring rain). It's a bi-fold, and is held against

the side by the very last seat belt restraint.

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.

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I use a set of steps made of foam insulation board to load/unload dogs through the side door of my SUV. My girls have been willing to jump in and out through the back hatch when young and healthy, but there were always some crashes and side door is too narrow to keep them from whacking legs etc. when jumping in and out. The steps take up some space but I can still get 2 dogs (3 for short trip) plus the steps in the back of my small/midsized SUV (rear seats folded down).

 

Greyhound boys here have been reluctant to jump. If I didn't have the steps, I used the boost method -- put front feet up, boost rear. It helps to stand right up against their butt when putting front legs up -- then they can't back up and hop down again.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
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If he was my hound he WOULD have gone into the car. I grew up on a farm where I learned there are ways to safely restrain animals to accomplish your purpose without injury. If he tells you once what he will or will not do don't you think he'll continue -and get worse? IMO for their safety they must learn that I am in control and they go where I say and I tell them what to do- they don't tell me.

 

Me too, but I think the OP's point is that she is (or at least feels she is) not physically capable of forcing him in.

 

I find that I can lift things I never would have thought I could if properly motivated! I would be all kinds of ticked off if my dog refused to get in the car. The old "males can't jump" is bunk. How do you think they get dogs from their kennel to the track? I'm sure at some tracks the kennels are on-site, but they are not at Raynham Park. George has actually jumped into my old CR-V through the tailgate window (window down, tail gate still up!) and not even skinned his back. And this is a dog would is terrified to get on the couch!

 

So it's not a matter of he cannot jump in. He WILL not jump in. Some of us are comfortable having a battle of wills, and some of us are not.

 

I always figure if the dog wins, I am no longer head of the house!


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Guest psdirector

 

I would be all kinds of ticked off if my dog refused to get in the car. The old "males can't jump" is bunk. How do you think they get dogs from their kennel to the track? I'm sure at some tracks the kennels are on-site, but they are not at Raynham Park. George has actually jumped into my old CR-V through the tailgate window (window down, tail gate still up!) and not even skinned his back. And this is a dog would is terrified to get on the couch!

 

So it's not a matter of he cannot jump in. He WILL not jump in. Some of us are comfortable having a battle of wills, and some of us are not.

 

I always figure if the dog wins, I am no longer head of the house!

 

I get that I probably should have been more forceful and not let him get the upper hand. That is sometimes easier said than done. The fact that he started to jump in at one point after I lifted his front feet into the Jeep, then slipped and got scared added to the frustration (so near and yet so far). I did not give up easily, but the fact remains that he is 83 lbs. and I am 130 lbs. and short - once he planted, I was incapable of lifting him off the ground. Yes, I probably should have kept it up and yes I probably should have made him get in - somehow - and I did give myself a half hour to get him in the car and 20 minutes to drive to the vet - at the point I gave up, we already would have missed the vet.

 

 

 

If he was my hound he WOULD have gone into the car. I grew up on a farm where I learned there are ways to safely restrain animals to accomplish your purpose without injury. If he tells you once what he will or will not do don't you think he'll continue -and get worse? IMO for their safety they must learn that I am in control and they go where I say and I tell them what to do- they don't tell me.

 

Would you mind sharing what your technique for restraining is? I will gladly try it.

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I get that I probably should have been more forceful and not let him get the upper hand. That is sometimes easier said than done. The fact that he started to jump in at one point after I lifted his front feet into the Jeep, then slipped and got scared added to the frustration (so near and yet so far). I did not give up easily, but the fact remains that he is 83 lbs. and I am 130 lbs. and short - once he planted, I was incapable of lifting him off the ground. Yes, I probably should have kept it up and yes I probably should have made him get in - somehow - and I did give myself a half hour to get him in the car and 20 minutes to drive to the vet - at the point I gave up, we already would have missed the vet.

 

 

 

 

Would you mind sharing what your technique for restraining is? I will gladly try it.

I am strong enough that even the large greyts I can pick up and toss in basically. If I ever encountered a breed that was too large for this I would do like you do calves and goats etc., flank them to the ground, tie their feet together so they can't resist or hurt you or themselves, and then lift, lay, drag whatever into the vehicle. You probably wouldn't have to do it again. They'll probably figure out that it is eaiser to obey and get in then the alternative is. I come form a equine/large animal background. For safety's sake in particular you have got to instill into those large animals that they MUST do as you wish-no exceptions. It gets to be habit with them eventually and then you have no problems. They learn that they might as well do what you ask from the git go becasue one way or another they know you are going to make them do it anyway. When greyts that did not want to jump into the top kennels would arrive I just would manhandle and lift/put them in. Usually only had to do this once or twice before they would jump in on theri own as soon as you opened the kennel door and told them. They knew they were going in and they knew it was eaiser on them to just jump in per my wish then for me to put them in-especially if they "found" a treat waiting.

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I am strong enough that even the large greyts I can pick up and toss in basically. If I ever encountered a breed that was too large for this I would do like you do calves and goats etc., flank them to the ground, tie their feet together so they can't resist or hurt you or themselves, and then lift, lay, drag whatever into the vehicle. You probably wouldn't have to do it again. They'll probably figure out that it is eaiser to obey and get in then the alternative is. I come form a equine/large animal background. For safety's sake in particular you have got to instill into those large animals that they MUST do as you wish-no exceptions. It gets to be habit with them eventually and then you have no problems. They learn that they might as well do what you ask from the git go becasue one way or another they know you are going to make them do it anyway. When greyts that did not want to jump into the top kennels would arrive I just would manhandle and lift/put them in. Usually only had to do this once or twice before they would jump in on theri own as soon as you opened the kennel door and told them. They knew they were going in and they knew it was eaiser on them to just jump in per my wish then for me to put them in-especially if they "found" a treat waiting.

 

This post makes me sad.

I'm sorry, but throwing my dog to the ground and hog tying them and dragging them across the ground to throw them in the vehicle isn't my idea of responsible dog ownership. I've managed to be the leader in my house without using excessive force like this. It takes more patience and time, but my dogs don't do things because they're scared of me either.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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This post makes me sad.

I'm sorry, but throwing my dog to the ground and hog tying them and dragging them across the ground to throw them in the vehicle isn't my idea of responsible dog ownership. I've managed to be the leader in my house without using excessive force like this. It takes more patience and time, but my dogs don't do things because they're scared of me either.

My dogs arn't scared of me either-far far from it. If you had the appropriate background you would know that this is far far from excessive force too. As I said greyhounds I can easily pick up but something like a 150# St. Bernard might require the alternative. I will also point out here that I would not grieveously injure the animal like the vet techs did my Minny when they stupidly and ignorantly lifted and swung him by his hind legs. Also the appropriate technique does not involve "throwing" anybody to the ground. If you knew what you were talking about you would know there is a 'lifting and placing' component to "flanking" that prevents injuries like scrapes and cuts etc. There is more but I guess I should have stated a disclaimer that one should be experienced in this before attempting it or understanding about it. Also the reason they learn to jump into the kennels or the car or anything else isn't because they were scared for goodness sakes-it is because they are smart-and like I said they soon realize it is preferable to jump in under thier own power than for me to put them in. Do you think they don't notice under which method they will find a treat? They do and they remember. I am a positive reinforcement trainer. I- like you -think it is sad to see an animal perform out of fear. Its so unnecessary and stupid IMO. Its also unproductive and unsafe.

Edited by racindog
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None of my bigger boys ever jumped into our van or truck. We used a ramp when we had our trailer. Paul jumps, still. He was a top crate boy; jumped like a girl. Fuzzy will climb into the van from the side door, but not always without prompting.

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When I first got Lila she wouldn’t get in the car either. None of the recommendations worked; running start, both doors open, super treats, nothing. Like you I had to get her to a vet appointment so I did the two part lift (front half, back half). She screamed like I was murdering her but when we were done at the vet’s she hopped right in and is now one of those dogs who will try to get into any car she sees.

 

 

 

Your guy is quite a bit bigger than Lila, but you could probably lift half of him at a time into the backseat like I did. It might be a good idea to stuff some soft stuff in the foot wells or get a hammock for the back seat so he wouldn’t get hurt if he fell off the seat.

Good luck!

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I was worried about getting my 90# boy into my SUV, when my BF wasn't home, but I helped him in as Jerilyn did above.

 

Stand behind him and lift his front paws into the back (tailgate?). HAt this point, he is one half up and one half still on the ground. I lift his back legs and give him a "push" with my knees. None of us were hurt in the process, and he made it to the vet for his checkups.

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Guest Scarter55

Lady doesn't get in the car either. And to be fair, neither of our cars are that easy for her to get into, so I don't really blame her. She briefly would jump into the back of my truck cab, but won't do that anymore. And she only jumps out when she is excited to go somewhere. I think the problem is the space is too small for her to jump into. I do the same dance many of you do; get her front paws up there and than hoist up her rear end, very elegant.

 

I've seen people with little sets of stairs that they put out by the car to help their dog in, that could help.

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Steak (a grey that has passed) was 80-90 pounds and never jumped in the truck. :lol I was always having to lift his big rear end up for him. He would sometimes put his front feet up on the bumper and then turn around and look at me as if to say "a little help here please" :P

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~Beth, with a crazy mixed crew of misfits.
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Guest psdirector

Success! We decided to bring Mr. Tibbs along to the vet for moral support and to set a good example for Hutch since he jumps into the Jeep like it's nothing. He jumped in first and Hutch sat down on the ground and planted himself. DH picked up his front paws and placed them in the Jeep and the rest followed. On the return trip, same thing, except this time it was me who picked up the front half and placed it in the Jeep and the rest followed. No small feat, but mission accomplished! As long as my back holds out and Tibbs is there for encouragement, I think we can do this. Hopefully Hutch will figure out that he's getting into the car one way or another and he'll decide to do it on his own.

 

Thanks so much for all the advice.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest iconsmum

sort of sounds like it'll solve itself.

I (always) buy a pack of strip steaks $9.00 costco. Then I explain the deal: "you get in the truck you get a steak". I let him watch an eager dog leap in and get handed a steak. no talk, no comment. Then I take that dog out of the way and with the leash in my right hand and the steak waving gently in my left I say "get in". It's always worked and costs me about 5 cheap steaks per dog. Soon, when its a total habit, I throttle back the reward till it's a piece of cheese or dried lung. **but every now and then, when they LEAST expect it, it's gonna be a steak...random reinforcement - the strongest kind going.

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Mover won't get in the car by himself either. I have a Surbaru Forester and I just lift up his front legs into the car and then the back legs. He usually tries to help himself into the car at that point, I think because he doesn't like being picked up. But he weighs literally a solid 90 lbs and I weigh 100, soo...lol But I don't have any issues with getting him.

Edited by adudle00
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Guest iconsmum

I have a Forrester too that I drive with the seats permanently folded down flat. The driver's side back door is the preferred jump-in door however everybody likes to pile out of the tail. You can get 3 hounds and 3 retrievers in and there's still room to squash a border collie into the corner...

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