Do you know that?
Your dog can hardly wait to rush out of the car and start running at the dog walk? Sure, the bladder may be pressing, he’s looking forward to a great tour – the excitement is already great!
With all understanding for your dog, it is quite exhausting for you to tame your dog’s enthusiasm for the first 100 meters after getting out. He wants to get ahead quickly, pulls on a leash and maybe wants to free-run as quickly as possible.
Phew! The walk starts with stress!
You can change this habit! Replace it with a new, much better habit!
You can imagine that it can often be stressful to get out of the car with several dogs, because then not only one dog desires urgently, but MANY!
There are now several ways to ensure order or calm when getting out:
My exit ritual:
Rituals are worth their weight in gold! Once introduced and always practiced, your dog will quickly learn how to walk. It is not “worthwhile” to jostle and race.
However, for me, this includes more than a dog sitting in front of the car (…. trembling with tension because he can’t wait to get started!).
The best case is when the dogs actually start walking more relaxed. So I want to reduce the excitement of the dogs before I get out.
Each dog gets a few treats in the box when the door is closed, which they can eat there. The door is opened while you are still eating, your dog does not race out of the door immediately.
You can also sit the dog briefly indoors or at least leave it in the box / car so that it does not shoot out immediately when you open the door. If he can’t do it yet, build it up slowly! It is best not until the end of the walk. In the meantime, I personally prefer not to use blocks! By this I mean the dog who just wants to run out of the box, slam the door in front of his nose again or stand with my body in front of the box or the exit so that the dog does not come out. Instead, give your dog the chance to learn desired behavior – don’t inhibit unwanted behavior.
I like to practice this at the end of the walk:
Send your dog into the box, close the door and ask e.g. Seat off. It may be that your dog can sit great on a signal outside, but has simply not yet learned that the signal also has a meaning in a box (keyword “generalization of signals”).
This also works if you don’t have a box at all but your dog e.g. in the trunk.
The door only opens when the dog is sitting. If this is best practiced after the walk, it does not frustrate the dog so much. Because if you block your dog before the start with great excitement and hit the door in front of his nose again, he will find it rather uncomfortable to get out. This can further increase the stress before getting out.
After getting off:
Outside, the dog is allowed to come loose for now. The dogs are gradually released from the box – first the quieter dogs that stay with the car anyway and later the dogs that are more excited. If everyone is outside, there is still a little quiet search game in the parking lot. You can look for food, movement yes, but not a game with a lot of running – but also no seat, place, stay, because that would increase the tension. I mark calm behavior and calm greetings from other dogs and praise them verbally or with a biscuit.
So you have made the parking lot itself a place where your dog can first satisfy its basic needs and which is linked in the long term to quiet activities. This is useful if you often run in the same places.
The prerequisite is, of course, that the parking lot is secure and that you do not endanger your dog, other dogs or people with your dog.
If your dog comes out of the car on a leash and has to stay on the leash, look for a place to loosen it if possible. Then you can install search games on the next meadow, search for food, commute back and forth and then start your journey more relaxed. Of course, action is important on the go! Every dog needs a valve for its energy. Quiet tasks would certainly not be very appropriate for many dogs.
Short and sweet
The most active dogs leave their box last. First of all, either the new dogs or the dogs come out of the box, which stay with the car anyway.
Throw your dog a few treats into the box with the door closed so that you can teach them to stay in the box even when the door opens.
Establishes a signal that he may leave the box. (e.g. “Ok”, “Run”, “Out”)
Avoid too much tension shortly after getting out (build up “stay” exercises immediately after getting out as they can be very frustrating for the dogs).
Pay attention to your dogs’ need to solve them – let them pee (or the other one) if they urgently need to.