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Old 08-19-2008, 03:15 PM
Simba's Mom Simba's Mom is offline
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Default Question about my dog riding in the car...

This may be a silly question for all you experienced dog owners, but this is my first dog, so... anyway, about taking them in the car. The shelter told us that we should do things to occupy the dog, so she's not bored. And she's part Border Collie which I guess is a smart dog. So, she goes for two long walks every day, one shorter walk, and she has toys -- a Kong, and some chew bones. And my kids play ball with her and tug of war. Also we've been working on some training, sit, down, stay, wait (like at the door, no rushing allowed).

So do you think going in the car is also something interesting for her? I've been taking her everywhere I can that I don't have to leave her (obviously I would never leave her in the car in this heat), like going to pick up my kids from places, or mailing a letter, to church during the week (our pastor and secretary are dog-lovers), etc. She jumps right in the car, and sits up on the seat with her nose glued to the window, ears up, etc., so I know she's enjoying looking out. Do you think these are enough for "new experiences" for now, or should I be trying to take her more places where she can actually get out of the car? (we just got her a few weeks ago, so I didn't want to "overload" her right away.) We haven't done the dog park yet because I'm still investigating them. Plus it's so darn hot that I just don't have the motivation.

And, could you all give me some suggestions of what else we could be doing with Simba? Next month we'll start an obedience class, and the shelter is doing an "agility for fun" series, also next month. Anything else? Thanks very much!
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Old 08-19-2008, 06:21 PM
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GoingNowhere GoingNowhere is offline
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Sounds like you're off to a good start! Going for car rides is certainly a good thing if Simba enjoys it. Boo absolutely loves the car, so we take her for as many short errands as possible. Of course, just going for a ride in the car without getting out isn't exactly intense socialization, so it'd be great to take her out when possible. Let her get used to being out and about in the world even if people aren't giving her attention. I dont think she'll be overwhelmed. You'll just have to judge her and decide. If she's happy to be out, it's probably fine. If she starts acting overstimulated, you may want to take it back a notch while still socializing her. Of course, that's not to say that you should stop going for rides even when she can't get out. She'll get to see new people and things even if she can't interact with them.

You can take dogs into stores like Petsmart and Petco (and most other animal stores), so whenever you have to run dog errands, you could bring her. Just be aware, that there most likely will be other animals at stores such as those, and not all owners are very responsible at keeping an eye on their dogs. So you'll have to use caution to avoid the dogs that aren't being watched. Many users have also had success in bringing dogs into stores such as Home Depot, though I dont know if they all allow dogs.

You could also bring Simba to any kids soccer games, or things such as that.

Many dogs love Kongs, and I know you said that you have one. If she really likes it and gets the food out quickly, there are plenty of methods to make it trickier for her. You can freeze the filled kong before giving it to her, or even tie it off the ground (like from a branch) so she has to work extra hard to get the food out. Just make sure you raise the difficulty as she gets better at it... otherwise she may give up when she can't 'figure it out'.

Make training part of everyday life. You dont have to set aside a lot of time for it, but instead can work it into your schedule in little bits. Have her sit and stay at the door before she goes out. Have her stop on walks and sit. When she does, reward her by continuing the walk or giving her a cookie. Make training enjoyable and you'll have an obedient dog.

There are plenty of dog sports if you're interested in those. I dont do them, but many people do and love them. Sports such as agility and flyball are great for agile dogs who love to be moving. If you're dog adores water, she may like dock dogs. For a dog that loves to play frisbee, disc is something to look into. Other things include tracking, weight pull, canine freestyle, obedience, and plenty of others that I cant think of off the top of my head. Of course, plenty of dogs are happy and content to just be much loved family pets. That's just to giev you an idea of what's out there.

Have fun with Simba!

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