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Discussion Starter #1
This is so petty and minor, but I'd like to solve it if possible. When Brae is alone in my car (a small sedan) he will sometimes perch on the center console and look out the front window. He is not anxious at all, just likes looking. But I don't like this behavior because I like having the freedom to put treats, human food, other other things in the front area and not have him sniff about. I see him pushing boundaries. For example, this didn't used to happen. But also, I see him craning his neck and sniffing around while he's perched. I have no other issues with him in the car. He is perfectly calm and lying down when driving. I'm not worried about leaving him in there for any length of time, and he's not reactive at all to anything going by.

I've only observed and addressed this perching behavior twice so far. I will go to him and tether him so that he cannot reach that far. But even if I corrected him, he could have learned in some ways to 'get me back' by perching. And I don't think this will prevent the problem in the long run. The challenge is it only happens when I'm not there. So my thoughts are:

1. Management, and maybe mildly punishing because it restricts movement. I can make a habit of tethering him before walking away from my car. The downside to this is I don't really like tethering to a collar, which means I would have to harness him, which means I need to remember his harness... Basically, more steps for me and I can see myself running off in a hurry and forgetting.

2. I would not be opposed to using correction in this situation. I won't do an e-collar or anything electric like those mats. But what I'm thinking is something unpleasant to step on that I can put on the center console. That way he can stand up, look out the window, shift position, but not comfortably perch on the center console. With his level of training and stability, I have no issue with using an aversive in this situation. The thing is, I don't want to buy a whole office mat thing (with the plastic nubs on the underside) to cut a ~2'x1' section off of it.

So, any ideas on what I might be able to use? I'm also open to other ideas. Like I said, this is not very important. It irks me just enough that I want to do something about it.

PS. I have tried spying and reinforcing any time he is not-perching. I know I can combine management with more of this reinforcement to teach him this behavior. I am sure of it. Just looking for those 'quick fixes' I so often hate for reasons listed above. Also, I think perching is pretty self-reinforcing for him so plain ignoring it won't really work.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Hold the phone... While typing all that out, I thought of another management idea. I could have something semi-rigid between the driver and shotgun seat so that he can't step over onto the center console. The trick is it needs to not block my rear view... But I'm sure I can rig something up.

WELL THEN. I'd rather do that than put some mat thing on my center console. :D
 

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They make barriers for this, in a bunch of sizes and configurations. They're like grates. Get investigating ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I know of those barriers. I didn't think they made one for a car that small and I don't really want total coverage; I'm not worried about him jumping over while I'm driving or anything and I like being able to reach back there. But maybe they do make a version that fits my needs
 

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Hold the phone... While typing all that out, I thought of another management idea. I could have something semi-rigid between the driver and shotgun seat so that he can't step over onto the center console. The trick is it needs to not block my rear view... But I'm sure I can rig something up.

WELL THEN. I'd rather do that than put some mat thing on my center console. :D
Bingo ^. Plus, I'll bet your right elbow will appreciate it. ;)

Maybe something like this. Kinda like a baby gate for your car. https://www.newfrog.com/product/car-styling-7070-cm-universal-car-trunk-auto-rear-cargo-organizer-storage-elastic-mesh-net-holder-4-hooks-interior-accessories-123332?currency=CAD&msclkid=acc3c144fa3a1f3f206d9a8f2e934a07&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Shopping_CA_gxr&utm_term=4583039345435586&utm_content=all products
 

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You could get a small plastic carpet runner- one of the ones with the little hard spikes on the bottom that holds it in place on carpet. Cut a piece to fit and turn it upside down on the console. Possibly a piece of velcro to hold it in place if needed. Used one on a couch with success. Little spikes dont feel good on pads of feet. Funny story, had another dog that started to get into the habit of curling up on couch when I wasn't home......put the runner upside down on the couch, came home one day and found my old girl upside down on the couch scratching her back on the little spikes lol.
Might be an easy cheap thing to try in your car though.
 

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They definitely do make barriers for small cars - I have a Civic and I have a barrier. I got mine on amazon, I can try to find the link. It covers enough that they can't jump up front or get their front paws on the console, but I can still reach over it and pet them/untangle them etc if needed. It also has a zipper so I can let it down if I need to for whatever reason without taking the whole barrier out (It's made of a canvas type material). There are also other safety benefits of having a barrier if you were ever to get into an accident.
 

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I would find/make/use a barrier. They do have them for small cars and come in a variety of configurations.

I crate my dog in the car or truck, but the barrier is a good option for two reasons. First, it keeps the dog back there as a convenience as you note. The second (and this IS important) it keeps the dog back there if there is an accident. That last is why we crate our dogs in car or truck and not in wire crates than can become impaling weapons for dog or human. That loose dog can be a deadly missile in a crash (deadly to you and the dog!).

I know people use those dog seat belts. I saw a study of those with a crash test dog dummy and most simply come apart in a crash and are useless. I suspect if they worked, the dog would be injured by them.

https://www.travall.com/en-us/pet-barrier?gclid=Cj0KCQjw6rXeBRD3ARIsAD9ni9DSElqaUxG_70vzsXCY-WGEdTEagCS4BMetG0D8XNYbR0rf-EsfQQkaApAXEALw_wcB

Here is one for a Honda Fit.... https://www.travall.com/en-us/honda/fit-2007-2011
 

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Yeah, a barrier would probably work. They do sell that "pet screen" in some fabric stores or online. You know, that screen that they put in fabric crates and and the like? You could easily get some of that, and if you or someone you know is handy with a sewing machine you could sew straps to it and buckle it around your headrests and then maybe find a way to secure it to something near the bottom of the console.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks all for the ideas. Silly of me to write this thread without thinking it through first.
 
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