Q. When I have to put my dog in the car she totally flips out. I put her in a crate and try to talk softly to her. Does not work, what can I do?
AMANDA MILLER COOK
A. Your dog will need to be desensitized in baby steps in order to acclimate to the car.
First of all, consider if she's comfortable with the crate outside the car. If not, start there. Feed her meals in the crate, keep it positive.
Next just have her outside near the car going at her pace and treat her with lots of praise and tasty treats just for being near the car. You will eventually work up to luring her in the car and into the crate rather than forcing her. You can achieve this by using pieces of cheese or hotdog, etc. The goal is to use the tastiest, higher value treats she won't receive any other time.
In baby steps, once she is comfortable in the crate, start closing the door. Do this over several days. After that, turn the car on and keep giving her treats. After doing that during a few days, drive short distances, and so on.
You may need someone to help you keep giving treats. If she is too stressed out, go back a few steps. Also consider rescue remedy, other anxiety treats, and other calming options such as the Thundershirt.