Your Questions: How can I teach my labrador to jump into the car boot?
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Saturday 29 August 2009
Q. I have an 11-month-old Labrador and I have been getting him into the car boot by lifting him. He's starting to get very heavy, however, and does not seem to want to jump in. When will he start doing it and how can I teach him? Debbie, via email
A. We just assume that dogs can get into cars, but in the early and late stages of life they can have difficulties. Firstly, I would advise you to go to a vet to rule out any medical condition that may be hindering your puppy from jumping into the car. You wouldn't want to force him if he was in any pain.
Next, make sure your car is set up correctly – and remember that by law your dog must not be able to interfere with your driving, so it's advisable that you purchase a dog guard approved by your car's manufacturer. Make sure that the boot is accommodating for your pooch, with no unwanted rubbish or obstacles and a nice bed that will make it more comfortable.
To lure him in, try some simple things first such as throwing a few treats into the boot, or perhaps a favourite toy. If that fails, enlist a dog-owning friend's help by getting their animal to jump into the car so it teaches your dog how to do it. You are more likely to succeed if there's actually a reasonable amount of space for your dog to jump into.
Bear in mind that your dog might need a run up, so try moving a short distance away from the car then take a jog up towards the boot and (with any luck) he'll jump in. If all else fails, there are a number of other options for you and your dog – because, as you are no doubt only too aware, at some point he'll get too heavy to lift.
Ramps and stairs are widely available on the internet. You can look for the best one to suit your needs. There's also a harness you can buy which will help you lift him into the car; all you need to do is to put his front paws on the tail gate and lift with the harness from the back.
Remember that if an animal shows signs of distress or discomfort an early visit to the vet is always recommended
Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando
"Oink! Oink! Hee hee hee!" First interview with the big-screen star
Biohacking group hopes technology will lead people to think about even more dystopian uses
Life & Style blogs
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
£26000 - £31000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Digital Content Manager is re...
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£14000 - £17500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will b...
£41500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...