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Dog car problems

(15 Posts)
Cath2907 Fri 07-Dec-18 09:33:03

My nearly 12 month old dog has always been pretty ok with the car. He sits in the backseat footwell (with dog harness seatbelt attachment). He will hop in and out on his own. He doesn't cry when we are driving but he doesn't look particularly comfortable - sits looking sad and lip licking a bit. However until recently he wasn't in the car all that often - maybe once or twice a week to go to visit family for the day or for an outing to local woodlands etc.. Now DH and I split 2 months ago and I have the kid and the dog and a full time job (work from home so dog isn't left during the day). I've been trying to find a balance where the dog, the kid and the job get what they need. My solution was to take the dog on the school run and to take him to the fields behind the school after dropping DD off at the gates for a good run. He was getting 30 mins run in the morning (+ a boring 10 mins walking DD down to school) and 30 minutes in the afternoon and something during my lunchtime (15 - 45 mins depending on work load).

The problem I've had this week is he's been refusing to come out, hiding from his lead, refusing to go back on his lead after his walks and generally being really odd! I thought he might be ill at first but I've worked out this morning it is the car. He doesn't want to go in the car. I had to literally carry him out of the house this morning and plopped him on the drive and he refused to move until I reached the end of the extendy lead walking AWAY from the car. Then he galloped after me and we went for a walk - no lead refusal at the end and a much happier dog.

Now the new issue is what the hell do I do about it? I can't walk him before school run (no one to watch DD who is 7) or after school run (got to work). I can maybe squeeze in a short 30 mins but it takes us 10 to get to any off lead spot from my house. Is there anything I can do to make him happier in the car?

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Fri 07-Dec-18 10:15:08

Has anything happened that you can think of that might have scared him in the car (heavy breaking etc)?

Maybe try a soft crate on the back seat (depending how big he is) in case he prefers being enclosed?

Try and reward him with treats just for being in the car and not going any where so he starts to associates being in the car with good things.

You have my sympathies. I have the opposite problem where mine won't get out of the car unless he's thinks he's in the forest because I had to take him to places that he didn't like in the car (a daycare he hated and vets).

pigsDOfly Fri 07-Dec-18 13:33:51

My only thought is that he might find being down in the foot well a bit scary.

He'll be feeling a lot of vibration from the motion of the car down there I imagine and it could well be very noisy as well.

Obviously I've never traveled in the foot well of a car but I suspect it would feel very closed in an unpleasant.

I'd try putting him on the seat if you've got the room.

Pebblespony Fri 07-Dec-18 13:38:23

I presume you can't put him in the boot part ie your car is not an estate or hatchback? I'd agree that the footwelll is the problem our guy loves the car but he can look out the windows as he's in the back of an estate.

GameofPhones Fri 07-Dec-18 19:23:36

Try getting on the back seat of the car yourself, then he might follow you in. I have a similar problem, and this sometimes works.

bertielab Fri 07-Dec-18 19:25:27

Boot and normal beds here in the back. Biscuit every time never get in the car

bertielab Fri 07-Dec-18 19:26:01

Oops meant biscuit every time they get in the car

bertielab Fri 07-Dec-18 19:26:39

Keep car on driveway and not moving and but a biscuit x

tabulahrasa Fri 07-Dec-18 19:49:04

Lick can be nerves or nausea... either might be better somewhere he can see tbh.

I’m not really seeing how a footwell is a good place anyway, with that much of a seatbelt attachment, he might as well be loose if you have an accident, there’s definitely enough room for him to be hitting your DC...

tabulahrasa Fri 07-Dec-18 19:49:59

Lip licking - no clue why that’s just lick confused

Cath2907 Fri 07-Dec-18 21:20:25

He won’t sit on the seat. He chooses to sit in the footwell. If put on the seat he struggles to get on the floor. I will try popping him in the boot and giving him a biscuit without moving the car a few times and see if that calms him.

No recent heavy braking or accidents! Just far more car journeys!

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Sat 08-Dec-18 06:19:16

I wonder how he would be if he couldn't get to the footwell so he just had to sit in the seat? I have a covering that is like a hammock that means mine can not get to the footwell.

Autumnbloom Sat 08-Dec-18 12:22:08

My dog hates the car, although she has got better over the years. But she used to plant her feet and not go near the car. Once in the car she used to drool or wee. She panics in the footwell and on the seats because she can't get a steady standing position, I think the sound is too loud in the footwell too. She is much happier in the boot (hatchback) in her bed where she can lay flat. She's much better now, but it's taken lots of regular, really steady driving and plenty of wee stops (for long journeys) to get her there.

pigsDOfly Sat 08-Dec-18 13:31:29

Wonder if it would help if you put his bed on the back seat for a bit and see if you can get him to settle on that while treating him and then slowly build up to moving the car a short way.

I'd definitely put him on a shorter restraint and have him on the back seat. At the moment he must feel like he's wobbling around all over the place.

It will very likely take a lot more than a 'few times' of treating him to get him to accept the car unfortunately.

bertielab Mon 10-Dec-18 19:08:47

Seat belt . Sit in the back with the kids. They stroke him -put cushions in the foot wells.

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