Defacating in the car

Posted by Free-Spirit
Apr 27, 2009
I have two 14 week old boxer pups (bitches). If they are in the boot of my car they poo. If they are on laps (if the kids/husband are in the car) then they don't poo. Although they have been sick instead!

If I need to take them somewhere on my own I need them safe in the boot, but whatever I put on the floor - newspaper, towel, blanket - they poo on it then walk about in it and make a real mess.

Even if they've 'been' before we put them in the car, they still seem to find some to do.

Any ideas?
Posted by KOPsarah
Apr 30, 2009
Hi free spirit,
It can be difficult for dogs to adjust to the unnatural scenario of being in a car and this can lead to many strange behaviors. If you feel the boot is the suitable traveling space for your dogs it is best to get them used to this spot over time. First let them explore the boot and wander round it it while the car is open and the they can get in and out. Even feed them in there every now and then and generally make it so the car becomes familiar and associated with good things. When they are happily moving round in the car or sitting in there happily with the car closed up and not toileting try a short trip down the road and back. Don't worry about blankets etc just make sure they have a clear flat surface to lie or sit on. Make it just you and the dogs so it is quite and calm. Praise them for good behvavior and not toileting. Gradually increase the trip lengths but keep them calm and quiet and fun. Also it should help to take the dogs for a walk before they get in the car as dogs will usually try and use up all the poop they have in order to mark while out! Also try not to put them in the car within a little while of eating as this will encourage vomiting.

This should help with the toileting in the car and the vomiting. Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any other questions and keep us up to date with their progress.
Posted by Free-Spirit
Jun 1, 2009
Thanks for your reply.

I bought a crate for the boot, to make their space smaller and more manageable for cleaning. Now, after several short journeys to a lovely place they enjoy going for a walk, they seem to have the hang of car travel.

I put corrugated cardboard (from the box the crate came in) inside the crate and so far have only had one small accident.

They're nearly five months old now.

My next project is to work on recall and loose leash walking.
Posted by KOPsarah
Jun 3, 2009
Glad to hear your efforts have paid off and things a working out with travel in the car now! Congratulations and good luck with the next step.