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Thread: Fear of Riding in the Ute Front or Back

  1. #1

    Default Fear of Riding in the Ute Front or Back

    Hi people, my dog has a kind of strange behaviour where by he seems perfectly happy riding in the ute but I just cant get him in to get in it.

    It's so bad that when he knows that I'm about to go somewhere and I call him to come with, he goes the opposite direction! When I go get him he quivers. I hate doing it because he's obviously scared of something but sometimes its un-avoidable and I have to take him with me, and once he's in there he seems as happy as Larry......its just getting him in it.

    Its as though he links the ute with going somewhere bad (I got him from the RSPCA where he'd been abandoned as a pup so who knows what he might link it to). But generally every time I go somewhere in the ute with him its somewhere that is fun for him, where he can run around. Its not as though he links getting in the ute with going to the vet or something like that....

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Or some good ways to teach a dog to get in the back of a ute (its a ute with a canopy) oh and that brings up another point, when he's out at the farm he jumps on the back of my parents ute which is a tray back. But I;ll be darned if I can even get him to put his paws up on the tailgate of my ute.....?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Lala Land!!!


    A lot of dog just do not like to jump up into the car. It is just a task of teaching him that it is a fun thing to jump into and out of the car even if you are not going anywhere.
    So here is one way to go about it. Get his favourate treat/toy, open the ute right up so that it is clear that he can go out the other side. Play with him, make it a good game to run up to the ute, to run around the ute, and then to jump into the ute. Get his excited to be in the ute by giving him his favourate treat when he is in the ute. The get him to jump out of the ute and give him his toy. If you keep this up, do not fource him to get in, encourage him and entice him, soon your biggest problem will be getting him out of there instead of in
    Last edited by Ashaari; 05-28-2010 at 05:49 PM.

    Breeding, Showing, Training and general crazy making!!!
    If you seek understanding listen to the music, not the song.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009



    My dog is the same. I think its because she used to get very car sick. Every day she gets a little bit more enthusiastic but it takes a good run at the beach and a 10cm step before she will hop herself into the car. She got shown up by a beagle today that hopped onto the front seat - from the ground, and across onto the back seat then onto her, then out the back door... And it's a 4WD, not exactly close to the ground.

    If your dog is too big or dirty for lifting, maybe a ramp would help, or a step table thing. Like a crate with a ply or towel floor

  4. #4


    Oh yes I forgot to mention that he used to get carsick a bit when he was a pup. but he seems to have gotten over that now. And for a few months I had him jumping up into the front seat on his own which was nice .....but something seems to have spooked him since then and now he wont go anywhere near it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Gold Coast, Australia


    Our puppy always used to get so car sick so we brought a ute with canopy for her because on the weekend we like to take her places. We always had to lift her in but only last month we started training her with treats to get in. Now a month later all we have to do is lower the tailgate and she is straight in!!
    We started by giving her a treat while in there then getting in there with a treat then throwing the treat in. She really got the hang of it when we got in there. It felt pretty silly doing it at the dog park but she learnt.
    Good luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010


    Something would have happened to your doglet while he was playing on his own, and that has spooked him well and truly (maybe connected with a gear shift, or got his paw caught in the seat, pulled a toe, landed awkwardly - so many possibilities as to what he may have done - but it would have been "ouch" enough for him to figure "uh-uh, not for me"). All the other responses have given great tips for training and positive reinforcement - but I would add to do a lot of that when there is no chance of him actually having to get in for real, so he has heaps of experience getting in and out without getting the quivers as soon as the ignition starts.

  7. #7


    Is there anythign noisey in your tray, lex used to hate my toolbox because it rattled loudly, he did get over it slowly when i showed the toolbox wasnt scary and showed him what was inside it and making small noises to get him used to it (bet i looked like a weirdo at the park that day).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    My dogs are happy to ride in the back of the open ute (cage) but are not so keen on the car (with the exception of one which would go in any car). I know I cannot read a road map in this particular car but can in most others.

    The ute has good air flow which eliminates any sickness, they can take in the sights and sounds and smells which keeps them occupied for the ride.

    They also love traveling in the dog trailer, which has whirly birds on the roof bringing in air, but they can't see out of.

    First impressions with being sick etc can take a lot of repetition to get over, plenty of short trips with good outcomes/endings to the ride.

    To get one of my Whippets past car sickness I fed her meals in the back of the car for 2 weeks straight to get her past the fear then I got her some Stemetil for the actual motion sickness and then did short trips to the dog park which she loved.

    She now travels very well, but still prefers either the ute or the dog trailer.

  9. #9


    thanks folks, i think i'll get there with him one day. I made some progress two nights ago where I managed to get him to put his front paws up on the tail gate voluntarily. I did this by walking him around on leash walking near the ute but not necessarily to it every time just get him comfortable and not scared of what i was doing or where i was going. then picked him up and put him on the tail gate a few times and let him get down and reward him with a treat or two. The tapped the tail gate with my hand and said "up" a bunch of times, which he didn't do, but after lifting his front paws onto the tailgate of the ute and rewarding him with a treat about 15 times he started to realise that tapping on the tailgate and saying "up" meant a treat. Now he does that every time!! Didnt take long. So i'm encouraged by that to think that with persistence I'll get him into the ute eventually.
    The thing I find the most difficult about overcoming this is that when he is in his scared and quivering frame of mind he's not interested in food or treats. I could put a scotch fillet steak in the middle of the ute and he wouldn't even look at it while he's in there. As soon as i let him out, he'd swallow it whole!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Rural NSW


    Could there have been a rattling tool box, something that spooked him badly while in there?

    Could he have burned his paws in summer?

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

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