It took FOR-EV-ER for Columbus to jump in the back of the car. Eventually I got him to jump his front legs up and I’d haul up the rest of his 70-pound bad self. My lower back pretty much had a steady twinge going on.
Eventually, with food, I got him to jump up. But I need to have a treat, and if he’s too tired after running around he can regress. (He’s such a baby. I have to keep reminding myself he is a puppy.) I was getting to the point where he would jump up first and then I’d give the a treat, but this morning he totally refused.
I had two options. 1. Put him back in the house and just take Koda on the walk. (I was trying to figure out if he’d make the connection – don’t jump in back of car? Don’t get to go for the ride/walk.) 2. Go get some food.
I chose option two. But as I came back to the car feeling annoyed that Columbus was training me instead of the other way around, I figured out what to do. I gave Koda, who had jumped up already, a treat, telling her “good jump, Koda.” Columbus, figuring he was next in line for a treat, since that’s the way it usually goes, jumped up. And I gave him tons of praise. “What a good dog, Columbus, good jump!” But no treat.
Reflecting afterwards, and then talking things over with Tracey, I think I’m going to have to pretend to leave him next time. I’ll probably really leave him if it happens on the way out to our walk – he’ll be able to see us driving off out the mudroom window. And if we are out and he won’t get back into the car, I’ll tie him to a tree and start to drive off. I did that once with Koda. She was actually loose and wouldn’t come near the car so I got in, started driving, she started running after the car. I stopped, opened the back door, and she jumped right in. Sometimes you have to practice tough love.
As I’m thinking about this, I remember that I’ve already done this to Columbus, when he was a little scunchin’ 6-or-so-week-old puppy. We had a garden wagon we called the puppy wagon. And we would take all the puppies out to the barn and a fenced in area during the day, and into a whelping box at night. We would pull up the wagon and the puppies would all be ready to go for their ride. Except for Columbus, this one time. He sat near the barn door as I called him and he Would. Not. Come. I told him, “okay, you’ve missed your ride.” I took the rest of the puppies in, and wheeled the wagon back to Columbus. He came a-running.
So, I’m thinking this just might work.