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My dog hates the car

(12 Posts)
strongasmeringue Tue 03-Oct-17 19:43:28

When she was small she used to be sick and I planned to drive her daily for short trips to get used to it. Then I realised I couldn't stop her being sick so didn't. We used the spray for a while but it made no real difference. Then I tired bribery but that doesn't work now. Bought her a lovely blanket which worked for one day. Read last week how all dogs love going out in the car. She's had two trips in two weeks as been spayed so small local walks so Monday was her first car ride to her normal place to walk. Today she really didn't want to get in the car. Any ideas, please ?

Ylvamoon Tue 03-Oct-17 20:39:55

Does she travel in the boot and a crate? If so, put a sheet /towel over it so your dog can only see out of the back window. That should help with the sickness.
I think with the overall jumping into the car ... back to basics.
Let her jump in, give her a treat and straight out .... slowly increasing time in the car .... Than repeat with shutting the boot, .... drive off.

strongasmeringue Tue 03-Oct-17 20:47:04

She's not been sick for ages except for her second check up when she was sick once she got into the house. (Due to not being in the car for a few days I suspect). She dribbles when anxious. She's in the back seat with a hammock and blanket. She can't be in the boot as it's enclosed.

Maybe playing in the car would work.

Thank you.

I did get in the back once which worked as she jumped straight in and on to my lap. Shame no one to drive us and I couldn't reach grin.

strongasmeringue Tue 10-Oct-17 11:09:54

Can anyone suggest anything else please? She'll get in if I'm sat in the back but even that takes a while and she was shaking this morning when she jumped on me. Yesterday I took her for a ten minute ride to school to get dc and I'll do that whenever I can along with extra trips around the block and to the pet shop to look at toys but she just looks so sad.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Tue 10-Oct-17 11:16:42

Don't take her anywhere in the car until til she can get in willingly and be comfortable sitting in it with the engine running and not moving.

You need to desensitise the dog first. Start with what was suggested earlier - in and out if the car for treats, no engine on, just getting her in and out of it like it's perfectly normal. Do this for a day or two then do it with the engine running. Then after a day or two, shut the doors with you sitting in your normal places, not with her. Lots of treats.

Then build up the journeys - end of the street and back. Then the shops or school and back. Then keep building.

It takes time, but you'll reap the rewards when you no longer have to worry about it.

strongasmeringue Tue 10-Oct-17 11:50:28

Every time we find something that works it only actually works for a couple of days. We are stuck again as she was spayed and so only went in the car Monday, Wednesday, Friday then not for almost two weeks when on the short walks plan. I feel if I spend days just getting in and out and going nowhere it won't actually help her as she full stop would prefer never to go in the car, even though when we get to our destination she has a lovely time. I will try throughout the day but will still have to get in the car though tomorrow we can't.

missbattenburg Fri 13-Oct-17 19:19:01

Little and often exposure starting with the lowest level & always partnered with something nice.

For example...

Step 1: Take her out near the car and give her a treat. Nothing more than that. Repeat that several times a day until she shows no fear (even eagerness) from being near the car.

Step 2: Repeat step 1 but with the car boot open - don't try and put her in.

Step 3: repeat but this time pop her in the back seat, keep the door open and sit in there with her. Literally 2-3 seconds in the car, just long enough to have a treat. Repeat until she shows no fear on being popped in the boot with the door open.

Step 4: Give her a treat that takes some chewing as soon as she gets in the back seat and briefly shut the door then open it again. Repeat several times a day (ideally) until she is comfortable with this stage.

Step 5: build up how long you can leave the car door shut for until you get to about 2-3 mins while she eats a treat in the car. Repeat several times a day (ideally) until she is comfortable with this stage.

Step 6: put her in the car, shut the door and start the engine. Give her a great. Repeat several times a day (ideally) until she is comfortable with this stage.

Step 7: put her in the car, shut the door and start the engine then make a very short drive - like just a few metres. Repeat and slowly build up the distance you can drive until you can do 5-10 mins. From then on try and only take her on short journeys for a couple of months or so, so she gets settled in the car. Keep giving her treats when she does well (so long as they don't make her sick) or something she likes to chew, like a kong or a fave toy.

This is desensitisation and counter conditioning and these are scientifically proved methods used by animal behaviourists and trainers to assist any and all animals in getting over fears. There is nothing else except flooding (forcing the dog to spend so long in the car without escape that she has to learn there is nothing to fear) is this is both risky and immoral.

elQuintoConyo Fri 13-Oct-17 19:29:01

Great advice from missbattenburg ^^

We also started with leaving a small treat on the bumper of the car - for about a week!

Dhe was super freaked put by the harness we bought to attach to the seatbelt, but much better in the boot. It took 6 months for her to stop dribbling - she salivated sp much, what looked like a litre of spit everytime.

She was a rescue dog and i think her fear of cars came from that. When we first got her, if she saw a car out on a walk on her lead she's disappear up a bank or half over a fence or into some bushes, poor sausage.

Short trips in the car every day, either somewhere lovely (walkies-home) or just a 5-minute run round the block to keep her used to the car.

Bany steps. Doggy will get there flowers

missbattenburg Fri 13-Oct-17 20:13:50

elQuintoConyo - LOVE the idea of leaving the treat on the bumper as one of the stages!

elQuintoConyo Fri 13-Oct-17 20:21:32

Yes, that way she just saw the car as a bit of street furniture. Everytime we went out for a walk she'd check the car on the way past.

It had to be a highly sought-after treat, like chicken or sausage, dog treats couldn't tempt her near the car.

As i said it took a good 6 months for her to get used to the car sad

georgedawes Sat 14-Oct-17 09:51:58

Great advice above!

We did something similar, main thing that worked for us was feeding every meal in the car. Neighbours must've thought we were mad! When that helped, we moved on to starting the engine whilst eating and after that, we started a short (5 min) drive before every walk til she learnt all walks pretty much start with a car journey.

The other thing that helped the most is having my daughter in the back with her, but not sure if this is an option for you!!

Bubble2bubble Sat 14-Oct-17 12:48:06

I have done exactly as MissBattenburg says above, and it worked brilliantly with two puppies who just started to drool as soon as you opened the car, and initially vomited as soon as you started moving sad
I also had some success using an Adaptil collar with an older dog who hated the car, but long term the desensitisation is by far the best way.

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