Continuing our discussion on vehicle desensitization, so far we've made it to the bottom of the ramp leading up to the vehicle.
7. Continue rewarding the dog for taking a couple of steps up the ramp. End the session. Go do something fun.
8. As the days pass, work on getting a couple of inches closer to the door. But don't always make the exercise harder. i.e. today - 1 step; tomorrow - 2 steps; next day - 3 steps; next day - 1 step; next day - 3 steps, next day - 4 steps.. and so on
9. Work your way up to the door, then leave. End the session. Go do something fun.
10. Go passed the door, get treats. Leave. End the session for the day. Go do something fun.
11. Go inside. Sit on mat or sit in crate. Work on relaxation, give a bunch of treats. End the session for the day. Go do something fun.
12. Go inside. Work on relaxation. Turn on engine but don't go anywhere. Give a bunch of treats. Turn off engine. Leave. Go do something fun.
12. Next time, stay bit longer with engine running.
13. Then disengage the parking break. Then park. Then end the session.
14. Then drive 1 foot forward. End the session.
15. Drive 1 foot forward and 1 foot backwards. End the session.
16. Drive down the block turn around, come back home. End the session
17. Try two blocks and so on.
Remember, if at any time the dog becomes afraid or nervous, back up to a place where you were successful and break down the process into more manageable steps.
Try not to take long trips until the dog is ready
If things don't seem to be progressing well, it's probably best to enlist the help of a skilled force free trainer or vet behaviorist.
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