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Jumping Into The Car


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Guest cookies4cookie

Hi...newbie owner of a petite girl who should, conceivably, be very able to jump into the back of an SUV having much experience at the track kennel. However, she won't budge. I've tried helping her (putting her front legs up first), coaxing, cheering, saying "kennel up", throwing in tempting treats/toys, creating a comfy space, taking a running start...everything that has been suggested to me by experienced and wonderful owners, but nothing works. She enjoys the rides and we always go somewhere she wants to go, so I don't think it's an aversion to the car itself. She just becomes stubborn and won't budge. I don't know if she's unsure of herself or just wants me to pick her up! But, she's getting a bit heavy to pick up every time we go somewhere (and people laugh when they see me do it!)...any other suggestions to try?? Incidentally, she's stubborn about other training as well. I can't get close to getting her to go down or sit or anything. She's not hugely food-motivated, but I'm not sure what WILL motivate her! Thanks for any help...

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Guest dblgreys

When we adopted 2 greys last year, Dude and Dream (brother and sister) our boy, Dude (80 pounds) would not Jump into the back of the car. We were constantly picking him up and trying to get him to do it himself by putting his front feet in and then his back feet. His sister has never had a problem jumping into the car she would always go in first and wait and wait and wait. We even tried not taking her to the car and getting him in first thinking maybe he was worried about room (I drive and Dodge Durango with a third row seat and all the seats lay down they had plenty of room really). Then we thought if he saw her do it enough he would just say "Oh that is how you do that." So we started letting her go first again. No such luck still had to pick him up. It took us probably close to 6 months of trying different things but what finally did it was is one of us would stand at the back of the car with him on his leash then the other one would be leaning in as far as we could through a side door and do a bait and switch. He likes dog biscuits but likes rawhides even more. So we would coax him with the rawhide by getting it as close to the edge as possible and letting him smell it and pull it away just a little bit so he would have to get closer to the car and then we would give him a biscuit. (we still had to lift him into the car for a while) and give him the biscuit with lots of love and rubs and excitement. Eventually one day, with just a biscuit as motivation, he just did it when we were leaving to go to the park. The funny thing was at that point we were like YEAH!!! He did it!! When we were leaving the park to go home, expecting him to jump in the car, he just stood there and we had to pick him up. LOLOL But now he will jump in as long as he sees the biscuit. Which I would much rather give him a biscuit and love and praise than pick him up every time. :nod

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Guest cookies4cookie

Cookie did actually watch other greys jump into other vehicles. We tried to get her to jump into another vehicle with other "friends" of hers. It was the same size vehicle and looked very inviting, but no such luck. So, it's not just my SUV. I forgot to mention that a trainer suggested that I get into the back of the SUV first with a treat, but neither I nor the treat was enough to entice her...sigh...I guess time and patience may be the answer...thank you for your suggestions! I'm glad I'm not alone!

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Guest sireltonsmom

We picked up a boy from the track in May to foster. He is 83 lbs. so didn't want to lift the reluctant to get in the SUV boy. A man who works at the track patted his 'cheeks' and he jumped right in. No dog was hurt in this transaction LOL. It worked great. Good luck.

 

:ghplaybow:gh_runner

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

I would venture to say your girl isn't "stubborn" she's overstimulated and doesn't understand what you want. How long have you had her? The fact that she isn't very "food motivated" is another sign that she is stressed or otherwise has some trepidation. I am not sure how much training you are trying with her, and how long you have had her, but it sounds like your girl is overwhelmed and needs the level of things brought down a bit. Just a thought.

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Guest cookies4cookie

Greyt_dog_lover: thanks for the insight. I have only had her three weeks, so I suppose it's possible she is stressed when going in the car if only because she doesn't know where she's going! But, she does settle down quickly and seems to enjoy the rides. I heard that greys are often not food motivated, though. She's very particular about treats, so I'm always trying new things. My next attempt will be some home-baked goodies with pumpkin and liver--not together!...we'll see how that goes. Cookie is very comfortable and relaxed in the house and I admit to not having kept up with the training tips I was given. I had a trainer come a few times to kind of get me started on the right track in terms of positive training, but I really did not want to overwhelm Cookie, particularly as I saw that stubbornness set in. I would rather get to a point of more trust between us before attempting too much. So, what would you suggest? Should I just continue to pick her up and put her in the car each time we go out rather than try to get her to jump in?


sireltonsmom: the "cheek" pat didn't work... :wife

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

If you are in a training session and she suddenly gets "stubborn", she's mentally shutting down. Its not really being stubborn, its probably being overwhelmed. What I would suggest is many small training sessions. All of my hounds, including fosters, know sit, stay, come, go upstairs, go downstairs, back up, go outside, go to bed, lay down, and the best - out of the kitchen. Then my three know a few extra "tricks". We do daily training which usually lasts about 5-8 treats per hound, that's it. Maybe try only having two or three short training sessions a day, or maybe even just one a day. When they start getting distracted or bored, learning has stopped. Don't let any tell you that greyhounds cant sit, or go up and down stairs, or anything else, they can. You just have to find what motivates them, as well as establish a trusting relationship. The trusting relationship is the cornerstone of your hound learning. I always suggest when I do an adoption that people take their hound to a greyhound obedience class to help start the bonding relationship.

 

There might be a problem with something in the vehicle that she doesn't like, so maybe try the side door instead of the back hatch. Usually hounds don't like the side doors because its normally a weird angle that they have to jump in and twist as they go for most vehicles, but maybe not yours, not sure. Also, have you tried hot dog slices, or liverwurst? Both very aromatic which usually gets the hound's attention.

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Guest cookies4cookie

The trainer was very aware of the "short" sessions needed. She definitely saw when training was done and it was always after a short time. But, even she didn't get very far. I just don't know exactly where to start when I do it myself. I have been praising with the words "good bed", "good down", etc. every time I see a behavior done...but I get nothing when I ask for even the slightest action...I've tried putting treats close to the floor to get a "down" and I don't even get her to put her head down! A trainer I will never be...I did try hot dogs pieces today, in fact. She liked one when I gave it to her BEFORE we left the house to go to the car, but didn't give it a second glance when I tossed it in, even when I gave her a quick lick so she'd know what she would be getting when she jumped in. I've seen plenty of hounds do the tricks you mention; I just have no idea how to get them to do it! I know it's early on, but if you say your fosters can do these things, I have to assume you teach them pretty quickly. I will continue trying daily short sessions, although I don't hold out much hope for myself. :-) And she didn't like the side door...tried that one already! Thanks!!!!

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Guest lemon

I don't really have a solution but I empathize, Tosh doesn't jump in or out of cars either. My temproary solution for getting him into my Honda Civic was to get him a set of stairs so he can just climb in on his own (there is a theard somewhere on here about building cheap stairs for cars). I just keep them in my trunk and while I'm sure it looks really weird as he climbs in it saves me from having to lift him everytime. I use treats to help lure him in and the only problem I've had so far is at our last greyhound walk. When it was over he was more interested in watching all the other greyhounds (who of course obediantly jumped in their cars) then in the treats I offered. We had to wait until every single greyhound car had left the parking lot until he decided to get in- lol. The treats (liver) were the same ones I normaly use but the uber exciting environment just overode the treats.

 

Tosh does not seem very food motivated but the more he settles in (I've only had him a month) the more he is coming to appreciate food and he'll now eat treats (such as milkbones from the coffee shop drive-thru) that he previously wouldn't though I'm still trying to find that elusive "I'll do anything doggie crack".

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Guest cookies4cookie

I did think about getting a ramp or something, but they're expensive...and she's a girl...she HAD to jump into a crate in her former life! I would think the back of an SUV is even bigger! The boys I can sort of understand it might take some time. I guess it must be some sort of trepidation as greyt_dog_lover suggests. Anyway, I appreciate all the comments (and cute pics), helpful and/or empathetic. Keep them coming! :-)

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I bet I know you! Just give her time. Put her front feet up and then hoist her rear. She will eventually do it on her own. If Kramer could be taught to jump in the car, Cookie should do just fine. :)

 

Cindy

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Cindy with Miss Fancypants, Paris Bueller, Zeke, and Angus 
Dante (Dg's Boyd), Zoe (In a While), Brady (Devilish Effect), Goose (BG Shotgun), Maverick (BG ShoMe), Maggie (All Trades Jax), Sherman (LNB Herman Bad) and Indy (BYB whippet) forever in my heart
The flame that burns the brightest, burns the fastest and leaves the biggest shadow

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OK - I "do" think you can get her to jump into the back of the SUV. Maybe just not yet. Everything in time. Just because she physically "can" do it - and she enjoys it once she's in - doesn't mean she's ready for the jump. And I don't think lifting her is a great idea - for you.

 

So - here's an option I'd try. You want her in the SUV. The back hatch door is not the only way in. I'm pretty sure the vehicle has a back seat, with a door, right? Try putting her in the back door - up on the floorboards (push the front seats forward so there's some room), then onto the back seat. Part of the back seat folds down - and she walks into the cargo space. It's not a huge jump, it's a big step (not a jump) onto the floorboards, then the seat, then into the back. My Diana has almost always gotten into our SUV this way - not because she wasn't willing to jump in the back hatch- but because I prefer to put her in through the smaller, more controlled opening of the back seat.

 

Now - if she absolutely won't enter a vehicle at seat level - let me know - that's a different issue. I had a big male (Sobe - that would NOT get his feet off the ground for anything) - and I learned how to get him in the backseat of a car. Him jumping into the rear gate of an SUV was BEYOND impossible. But - once I taught him to get into the backseat of a car - and transition -I got him into our SUV through the door - floorboard, backseat - then cargo space method.

 

Don't take this the wrong way - but - try to get the result you want - without getting stuck on the "way" you expect it to happen. You have a very new dog - so - you have to think creatively - to accommodate the dogs' transition time.

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Teague wouldn't jump into the back of my car for the longest time. I got him to put his front paws up and then I could lift his hind end in, but it took awhile for him to jump in on his own. This sounds ridiculous but I ran with him on leash and jumped in myself, and the momentum made him jump in as well. I also think my other dog probably helped as well, but it just took time. :)

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Guest cookies4cookie

Hi Cindy, yes you know me! You helped hoist Cookie in last Saturday! She watched Robin's dogs all jump in to her comfy car, but she just will not do it herself. I was thinking that if she's concerned about where we're going, she should be eager to jump in when we're leaving to go home, but that doesn't work either. All the suggestions are great and I will continue to try each one without getting frustrated. See you in two weeks!

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I read a great help column question/answer in "Gun Dog" magazine once (I grew up with hunting breeds). A gentleman had the same problem you did, but with a 35 pound Brittany. He had tried pretty much everything. The answer man wrote back that since he was obviously quite able to just pick the dog up and put it in the vehicle, why was he spending so much time worrying about it?

 

Three weeks is NOTHING in terms of your time together. Clearly the dog is able to jump in; she is choosing not to. If she's a "petite girl," I'd just hoist her up and put her in and be done with it.

 

If I waited for George to do everything of his own free will, I'd probably still be standing outside the elevator at my old condo, trying to coax him in!

 

I have found that George looks at things in a completely different manner than did any of our English Setters or our one Lab. Those dogs were all about pleasing us. George could not care any less about doing so. He simply refuses to do certain things, and despite my best efforts at trying a kinder, gentler method, I found the only thing that worked was physically (but kindly) forcing him to do certain things including: stairs, shiny floors, elevators, automatic doors, and no doubt other things. Other stuff, such as boarding a ferry boat didn't phase him in the least. And one day he actually jumped through the tailgate WINDOW of my SUV! So much for "boys don't jump"!

 

Something about that hound disposition is just different than a "regular" dog.

 

I know my take on this is a bit different than many of the other responses you got. Take it for what it's worth!


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Guest Waterdog66

I had a very interesting experience teaching Audrey to jump into the back of the Van.

 

We were driving to Colorado and stopped in Baker (At the Baker Bun Boy) California for a nature break. I got her out of the van and we took two steps in the parking lot and she turned right round and JUMPED right back in the van and looked at me with a big stink eye. (Baker is on the edge of Death Valley and it was 118 degrees that day) After a bit more coaxing, I got her out for a very quick "Potty Dance" before she jumped back in again. (It was 68 in the air conditioned van)

 

It seems that all this time she COULD do it; but it required her to "Want To" do it. Now that we both know she can do it, she does jump in most of the time.

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Guest FreeholdHound

Lifted Harry's 85lb fat butt into SUV for a month or so. Then he suddenly started jumping in to "go" somewhere but not to come home. Grrr. Someone here suggested a high value treat that you only use for this task, he too wasnt food motivated, so I didn't think it would work. I was wrong. The miracle back saving cure? Oscar Mayer Bologna!! He has never refused again. Now he just goes in w/out the treat, but I do give him some every so often. Good Luck - I'm sure it will happen for you.

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I have a ford escape, I am able to put the back seats down which than opens the cargo area. I use my side door for Jerzi to get in and out. Personally I do not like use the back of the SUV. My fear is if she decided to try and jump out well I was closing the door. I feel more control over closing the side door.

 

Our lab would never jump in from the back either! I am not sure if he was unsure of the hatch being up in the air or what. But once we opened the side door in he went!

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Guest psdirector

Getting Hutch into my Jeep can be frustrating, but never so much as tonight. We went to our obedience class and, of course, Tibbs sailed sweetly into my Jeep. As usual, DH had to lift Hutch's 84 lb body, paws first into the back of the Jeep while I hauled his fat butt up. Every time it's like that. I asked our trainer toward the end of class if she had a suggestion. She said that she would watch us load the dogs into the Jeep to see what was going on. Tibbs sailed in, as usual. The trainer barely touched Hutch's collar... and he sailed in. What the heck!?!???? DH and I stood there dumbfounded. Boy, did we feel like bad parents!

 

I can hardly wait to see what happens the next time we try it for the M&G this Saturday.

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Guest javakaty

We had to lift Nica into the backseat of our cars (Civic and Camry) the first several times we took her for rides. One day we spent the afternoon at the beach and she was ready to go home, we were loading the car and I opened the back seat to put a backpack in and she jumped right in. We haven't looked back! She jumps in every time and loves car rides....in fact, every time we walk by one of our cars when we leave for walks at our house she stops by the car door as if to ask if she can go for a car ride!

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Guest cookies4cookie

Cookie update: well, still no luck, but I really love all the stories and comments...particularly the "big stink eye" and "Harry's fat butt"...ha ha...I'm a little hesitant about using the side entry approach. I often have stuff and kids in the back seat and it will get a little time-consuming and difficult to maneuver if I have to put seats down. I doubt she'll go in anyway. This seems to be, as one poster noted, an issue where Cookie wants it to be HER decision, not mine. Case in point: when I need her to go into her crate for a few hours during the day, she will generally not come (or will come and then as soon as she sees me near it, she'll run away). But, if I just wait a few minutes quietly, she ALWAYS comes running back! She knows she's getting a yummy Kong or marrow bone and her crate is nice and cozy. It just has to be HER decision, not mine. So, I'm just continuing to offer a tasty treat (I've tried fresh turkey slices and even homemade liver snacks which are disgusting to make and she loves them, but not enough to jump in the car for one!). She gets a lick, but still turns her head away and won't jump in for it, so I just put her front paws up, lift her rear, praise her and let her have her treat. I was also hoping she would jump in to go home if we've been somewhere that she didn't particularly enjoy, but that doesn't work either. Maybe someday soon she'll do it on her own...sigh...I'll update if anything happens. Thank you all, greytalk posters...what a greyt community!

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Guest RMarie

Perhaps she doesn't want to leave? James loves to ride in cars. He loves to go places. Once we're at those places and it's time to leave....he pretends like he can't jump back into the car. Why??? Because he doesn't want to leave. Perhaps she knows that getting in the car means she's leaving home and maybe she doesn't want to leave home?

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Guest driser

Thanks for bringing this topic up! I have no answers for you. We have same problem. Our boy still doesn't get it. He is WILD about getting in the truck to go somewhere and eagerly puts his front paws in, but then a human has to boost the heavy half :) We've tried toys, food, running start, showing him another GH do it ... no go.

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