Car Rides.


Honored Member
Don't put the dog on your lap, it's not very safe.

Sure she will stop crying, so did my cavaliers when they got what they wanted and both ended up on my lap (even better if the window was open a bit for them), but it is not the safest choice and you should avoid it, especially in the front seat. Sitting on laps in the back is bad enough, but the front is so much worse, I always got angry when me family let the dogs sit on laps in the front passanger seat. You can just imagine them flying out the front windscreen if there was a sudden stop.

You could try harnessing the dog and seatbelting it in so it can't move much. Being harnessed helped with my cavaliers (although they would still whine, it wasn't as loud or intense), it meant they could not ask for attention or to sit on laps or move around the back seat.
That's why I think it's an attention thing, because they didn't cry when there was no other passangers when in the back or front (no one to give attention) and cried less when harnessed in (couldn't walk over to the passanger and ask for attention).

It's easy to see how the dog could learn this behaviour too - when the dog is young and getting used to the car it cries once so gets a pat or cuddle (or even a "shhhh") to "reassure" it. So the dog learns that crying etc, earns attention in the car. I'm pretty sure that's how my cavaliers learn't that behaviour (and they would already be excited about being in the car which made it all so much worse).

I would be careful about "distracting" the dog in the car by giving it treats, doing tricks etc, it could just increase the excitement assossiated with the car and mean that the dog is being reinforced by giving it attention in the car (if that is in fact what the dog is after). Then on longer trips you would be having to entertain the dog the entire trip O_o

With Holly, we harnessed her in right from the start and never gave her attention in the car (we're lucky she didn't learn the whining from Paris). But I don't think Holly would have had a problem anyway because she seems to hate being in the car (pulls away from it when it's time to get in) so she falls asleep as soon as the car starts (I guess that's her coping mechanism). I have wondered if the car makes her feel a bit sick, but she seems fine when she gets out and she just sleeps (even in the front seat) so there isn't much I can do about it.

I hope this helps :)


Honored Member
After hearing about what happened to Elicia Calhoun's dogs a few days ago I have been thinking a lot about car safety for Missy. When I have the money I'm buying her one of those dog seat belt harnesses. For now I'm going to see if I can run a seat belt through her walking harness. She isn't usually allowed to sit in my lap(35 pounds of dog on you is not comfortable) it was just that one time, I make her sit in the floorboard. Thanks for all the help tigerlily and 648117. I will start applying you guys ideas on our next car rides (window open and strapped in a seat).


Honored Member
You might be able to get a seatbelt attachment without having to get a new harness (if you think the harness you have is suitable - eg, the straps arn't too narrow that they could hurt the dog in the event of a sudden stop).

Holly's attaches to her harness like a leash and has a beatbelt bit at the other end to plug into the seat. I think the bit between her harness and the seatbelt plug is about 15cm (as short as I can make it), you might need it to be longer so the dog can comfortably sit on the seat.

I would think it shouldn't be too expensive to just get the seatbelt attachment.


Honored Member
Sorry I can't help. :(

Shiloh used to be terrified of the car. She would drool and shed like crazy, and whine and stand on me. It wasn't pleasant.... One day we opened the car door, and she jumped in the front seat ready to go. She was nervous, but we were all thrilled she wanted to go on a car trip. I've been working with her since then, and now she is much better in the car. She rarely tries to sit on me now. :)


Honored Member
//I would be careful about "distracting" the dog in the car by giving it treats, doing tricks etc, it could just increase the excitement assossiated with the car and mean that the dog is being reinforced by giving it attention in the car (if that is in fact what the dog is after).//

true! could happen!
but CLICK/TREAT for calm behavior in a parked car, and then advancing to CLICK/TREAT calm behavior in moving car, is another matter, imo, than asking for tricks in a car. It's similar idea to kikopup's video on "Capturing Calmness" on page one.

//I make her sit in the floorboard. //

IF IF IF IF Missy is queasy in a car,(?)
the floor board might not help at all. In fishing boats, they say, "stay where you can see horizon, not inside the cabin", if you are prone to seasick, which is much like carsick.

64's dogs sound slightly different to me, than Missy, cuz Missy was calm in front seat facing fwd, which makes me wonder if it is mildly carsick. But, it could be Missy just wants att'n, who knows. but, i'd read up on "signs of carsick dogs"
or "managing carsick dogs" and rule that out, just to be sure. Might not be it at all, but, not too hard to rule it out, either.

It'd be interesting to know, what would Missy do, if Missy sat in front seat, facing forward, with window open, chest harness or leash to seatbelt so she can not jump out,
and passengers in the back of car. Just as a diagnostic exercise, to see.


Honored Member
I keep her in the floorboard because we have leather seats, but I'll find a blanket to put on the seat. Hopefully this weekend my mom will take me and Missy somewhere so I can see if having her strapped in the 2nd row seat with window open helps her. She's not allowed in front because of the air bag and we usually go places with my family (6 people) so my parents are in front and would never allow Missy to seat in their lap especially my dad, but I can still see if it helps her. If not than I'll start working on capturing calmness. I'm off to ready about carsick dogs.:D Thank You!!


Honored Member
I had the same problem with my darling Tiger Lily. She HATED being in the back seat. I think the problem is that some dogs are like some people - they get car sick in the back seat. You say 'she rides in the front' with my Mother, and she's quiet then. Seems to indicate car sickness., claustraphobia. She would travel without ANY fuss on trains though.

Tiger Lily never really 'got over it' but I did try 'Bach's Rescue Remedy" a natural product, which did help her a lot. If she didn't have it, she was a 'nervous wreck' and would try to get to the front all the time. When I gave her the Bach Rescue Remedy, she quietened down a lot.