I was in Roswell last Wednesday working with a new Home Dog Training client and his Miniature Bull Terrier named Pappie.  I haven’t worked with Miniature Bull Terriers for several years and always enjoy the opportunity to work with these great dogs.  Pappie was nine months old and just full of vim and vigor.  His biggest problem was that he just wouldn’t listen to anything my client wanted him to do.  This made my client mad and my client’s animation simply made Pappie think everything was just one big game.  As soon as I spent some time teaching my client the proper behavioral approaches, Pappie understood and settled right down.  My client was amazed because the solution was so simple to implement.  We then worked through obedience exercises and reinforced some standard behavioral requirements.  As I was in finishing up, my client had one more question.  He said that Pappie had no problem in getting in the car and didn’t to have any fear of car travel.  He wanted to make sure he was transporting Pappie in a safe and secure manner.  How should Pappie ride in the car with him?

I told my client that this was a great question that we are asked all the time.  Cars normally aren’t designed to easily transport dogs and most of the “things” you can buy in pet stores or over the internet aren’t necessarily safe.  The answer can be found in some simple “Do’s and Don’ts”.  I provided my client the following list:


  • have your dog in a car seat elevated above the rest of the people in the car.  This gives your dog heightened dominance and can cause annoying barking.
  • let your dog loose in the car.  Everyone’s safety will now become an issue.
  • let your dog stick his head out the window.  Even though everyone else does this, don’t do it.  The wind or a sudden jolt could cause neck injury
  • leave your dog in the car for long periods of time when you are running an errand.  Extreme temperature and anxiety can lead to dangerous results.
  • have your dog on your lap or on the front passenger seat.  If the airbag goes off, it could cause harm or death to your dog.  This is important, DO NOT DO THIS!


  • have your dog restrained either on the rear seat or floor.  You can also use a properly restrained crate.  This makes sure the dog is safe in the event of an accident.  It also keeps him at a proper, non-dominant level in the car.
  • have toys or other “goodies” to keep your dog focused.  Boredom can lead to inappropriate behavior on long car rides.
  • stop often on longer rides to let your dog stretch and have potty breaks. You probably need a break too!
  • take your dog with you  on your errands.  This helps stimulate his mind, provide socialization, and demonstrates your ability to keep him safe.

As with most things, the right answers are the simple ones that you can easily implement.  My client was very happy with both the results of the training and my suggestions on having a safe and happy car ride.

We hope you will call us at (770) 718-7704 with all your dog training questions. We are blessed to have been your local dog trainers for over fourteen years. We have trained over 5,000 great dogs and loving families and are ready to help you.