Sometimes He Gets In The Car, Sometimes... Not So Much!


New Member

First time posting here, and first time having a dog. I just rescued him about 10 days ago, and he is so wonderful and gentle and docile.

One problem is the car. Initially when I picked him up from the rescue, he showed no interest in getting into my car. That day the only time he got in the car on his own he went and sat on the driver's seat! A couple of folks from the spca had to come help me get him in the car. I thought he just disliked riding in the car, but his previous owners stated that he loves car rides.

For the next couple of days I struggled. I have a very small 3dr hatchback; he's 65lb. I tried the trunk door, the passenger door... until one day after walking, I opened the driver's door, and poof, he jumped right in. Success! So I thought I had it figured out: open the driver's side and he would jump right in. Maybe that's how his previous owner's got him in car? That worked.... until several days later again he refused. What could it be? Is it the new car? Did he need a potty break? Is it my driving? (I drive pretty well, I think.) Am I not cueing the right word? Does everything about loading into the car need to be exactly the same?

And it's not as though he's consistent in his refusal. He sometimes gets in without a fuss. A couple of days ago while down at the dog park I realized I was late for an appointment. Rushed back to the house with him pretty much by my side, we practically ran the last block, and as i got to my driveway I immediately opened the passenger's side door, barely said 'in the car,' and poof he went right in. Today, I thought to take him to a different dog park and see if the trick is a nice walk / play. After the park he finally went in, but it took a while and he went in s l o w l y. I gave him treats once inside.

I've tried treats to lure him in, a toy, putting a blanket on the seat, keeping one side of the back seat down so his side feels a little more like a den, bringing the back seat back up, bringing both back seats down, opening the trunk door, the passenger door...

To top things off, when we leave my house to go for a walk along the trails by my house, he pauses by the car as if he thinks we're going in!

Any suggestions for this first time dog owner much appreciated...! Thx!!


New Member
Update: much less of a problem. I'm not sure what the issue was. Maybe he thought we were driving back to the rescue? In any event, for the most part, he steps right in.