Gus has always been a little scared of riding in the car. The first time we went on a long road trip he was terrified, but gradually he got used to it little by little, until I could comfortably take him 2-3 hours from home and he'd be fine, and on days-long road trips for vacations with a little pre-planning and calming treats to help him through it. Except for rumble strips in the road. Those throw him completely for a loop, a big SCARED loop. So, the other day I traded in my car for a pickup. It's a 6' bed, regular cab truck so it has quite a bit of road noise, not to mention it rides a lot rougher than the car did and thus makes big scary sounds similar to rumble strips just with normal driving. Gus loves to hear, "do you want to go for a ride in the car?" even though it's scary, because he knows that at the end of the scary ride is usually lots of leash-free running in the woods somewhere. So yesterday I was able to get him into the truck fine with those words, but then the whole 45-minute drive to the state park he sat bolt upright, and was quivering in every tiny muscle, and panting and drooling with fear. I had put his thundershirt on him, and given him the calming treats 2 hours before we left too. (perhaps I waited too long and the effect of those passed, though) After a couple hours of running in the woods he was much better on the ride home and even laid down on the front seat and almost relaxed a bit. At least he was not shaking and panting. I praised him effusively the whole way home for that! So here's my question, training people: Should I make his truck introduction WAY more gradual? Put him in it and let him sit for a few minutes and let him back out, then gradually take him on short rides around home, gradually making them longer day by day? Or should I immerse him in it and let him get used to it quickly? He KNOWS we are going fun places so even on the 3-day drive we did to Colorado last summer he was fine and eager to get in the car each morning and after every rest stop, even though he hated and feared it at the same time. If I have to do the gradual thing I will, but that means weeks of not going anywhere fun for Gus and I hate to do that to him when he so loves to hike with me in the woods. Opinions? I was very glad to see that the passenger air bag did not come on when he sat in the passenger seat though! That makes me feel a lot better about his chances should we ever get in an accident, especially as he wears a dog seat belt harness. He was always harnessed in the back seat on trips in the car, but my regular cab truck won't allow that!