Car Anxiety?

Tricks, obedience, behavior, and more.
ClydesMommaBear
Newborn Bully
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 7:25 pm

Car Anxiety?

Postby ClydesMommaBear » Mon May 20, 2013 10:40 pm

My dog is terrified of riding in the car. I've luckily been able to work with him enough, and he wants so much to please that I can get him into the car very easily. But as soon as he is in, he starts pouting, and sulking, shaking and he looks pitiful. He works him self into such a state, he almost always vomits. Sometimes more than once. The last 2 times Ididn't allow him to eat for at least an hour before we went anywhere, and made sure he went potty before hand. And it seemed to help with the vomiting, but certainly nothing else. I want to be able to take him places, he loves going new places once we get there!! I've had people offer up suggestions, such as dramamine, thunder jacket, stress pills, stress spray. But only because they've heard of these things, not because they have experience with them. I've not tried these yet...

Thoughts??

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chinchi_&_chupa
Super Bully
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:59 pm
Location: Lake Havasu City, AZ

Re: Car Anxiety?

Postby chinchi_&_chupa » Tue May 21, 2013 10:22 am

I'm going through this now with my Thor except he was screaming like a monkey and flying around the truck like it's an agility course. We've been working on calming down in the car before we actually go anywhere and also calming down once we get there. I don't even start the car until he's calm and I don't let him out of the car until he's calm again once we arrive at our destination (sometimes this takes around 20-30 minutes at each place so don't rush it) His is anxiety not fear, but positive re-association should work either way. Do you always take him somewhere? I've found it to be helpful to just get him in like we are going to leave, and then as soon as he's calm, I get him out of the truck and give treats and praise and then we snuggle (his favorite). I've also found it helpful to not always go to the same place too. I have also found that he likes to be belted in with his harness, no clue why, but it's definitely safer for both of us :)

I have no experience with any of the sprays or things, but they seem like they might be band-aids...there's no magic button, you have to work, but with time it will come. It's also good that he likes places once you get there. Do you find him better on the way home?

ClydesMommaBear
Newborn Bully
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 7:25 pm

Re: Car Anxiety?

Postby ClydesMommaBear » Tue May 21, 2013 9:47 pm

I've never tried getting him in and out of the car without going anywhere, that's an idea... He's never had a bad car experience with the car. Always positive reinforcement with treats. Have never forced him in the car (as if I even could, he's huge lol) I always let him get in the car. There is no difference to or from. But he's perfectly fine the moment his body is back out of the car. Takes no time to perk back up.

randomroads
Matured Bully
Posts: 541
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:43 pm

Re: Car Anxiety?

Postby randomroads » Fri May 24, 2013 1:41 am

If he's taking treats while in the car why not feed him his meals in there? Give him a peanut butter kong and let him finish it up without going somewhere? Sit with him and a laptop or something and watch a short video like you would on the couch while he's next to you?

If he can handle all of that he can learn that freaking himself out and getting sick over it isn't the way to go about things.

My mom has a dog that was car phobic so she took him to the park every single day and they played games and he got lots of food and pets while there. He figured out that the car means they're going to the park. After that it was just a matter of extending the drive and going to new places.


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