Dog and the car.

(17 Posts)
Poutintrout Fri 25-Oct-19 12:20:05

We have a ridiculous problem with our Collie. I have trawled the internet looking for solutions to no avail and wonder whether any of you wiser people might have some ideas.

Our 12 year old Collie just won't lay down in the car. It's been a growing issue. This wouldn't be a problem if he wasn't so uncomfortable. He kind of half stands, half stretches out in this awful contorted stance. Because he is an old boy now, he is getting sore, stiff back legs anyway and the whole car thing just makes his legs sorer. He also pants and shakes like he is afraid. The problem is slightly worse since we lost his older brother a couple of months ago, his anxiety now seems worse in the car.

When they were younger dogs we tried putting them in a crate in the boot, they hated that. We now have a car that doesn't have a suitable boot anyway for him to travel in (our other dog loved the back seat and looking out the window etc so we ditched the estate). We have tried letting him have the run of the back seat with a hammock cover. Hates it. We have tried putting down duvets and cushions to try and make him recline. He still stood up & was more unsteady on his feet by standing on the duvet.

We are now trying cutting the space he has thinking it might stop the ungainly spreading out and have bought a single seat cover with rigid sides like he is sitting in a box. This has improved his posture somewhat but he is still awkwardly standing up! We are using a harness and seat belt and also recently he wears a thunder vest to try and make him feel safe. Not working!

He knows the lay down command but just won't remain laying down in the car. I am at a loss now as to what to try. He is simply too big for most of the car travel solutions online. They seem to be made for handbag dogs or puppies.

We feel totally trapped as we can only do short and necessary car trips with him. All this is made worse because we lost our older dog recently and can't leave the little one home alone because he has never been left alone. We therefore can't go out unless absolutely necessary and we feel like monsters for making him go in the car. We are prisoners! If anybody has any ideas I'd love to hear so we can give it a try.

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Beetle76 Fri 25-Oct-19 12:29:44

Your poor boy! I’m sorry I don’t have a solution for you. But I wanted to say that I hope someone will come along that does. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have a dog that travelled well.

Poutintrout Fri 25-Oct-19 12:36:04

Thanks Beetle. It is so frustrating that he find the car so horrible and we don't know how to fix it. I hope somebody does have the solution!

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mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Fri 25-Oct-19 12:49:23

My previous dog would always stand up for the whole journey and, pre-restraint days, would keep having to be discouraged from sticking a third of her body through the gap between front seats to look out over the gear stick.
How is the harness attached to the seat belt? My dog has an ANCOL one that has a short strap that clips into the socket of the passenger seat belt fastener. Because it is fairly short (I think it may be adjustable), she can sit up but not really stand up and I guess it could be shortened so she can only lie down with it. Is this possible with yours, do you think? Or, if your dog's harness just attaches loosely to a seat belt (I have another dog one that does this and I find it too insecure), could you consider getting this kind of fastener for yours?

adaline Fri 25-Oct-19 12:52:25

Could you adjust the seatbelt strap so that it's impossible for the dog to do anything BUT lie down?

Try a harness with two ring points (one on the back, one on the chest) and clip them to two separate seatbelt holders if possible - that means you can get him in and settled, then secure him so he has to stay in that position?

I hope you find something that works - mine just moves around constantly and manages to undo his seatbelt by standing on the holder!

Poutintrout Fri 25-Oct-19 12:54:35

MrsJoyful. We have a strap that hooks onto the harness and then slots into the seatbelt. It is adjustable so I will try shortening it and seeing if it is short enough for him to lie down. Thank you for that suggestion, if it works it would be an easy fix!

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BeesKnees4 Fri 25-Oct-19 12:57:49

Have you tried leaving him at home for short periods? Quite unusual you take him everywhere, I hope he’s not left in the car or is there always one person with him? Sounds a big headsche


Poutintrout Fri 25-Oct-19 12:58:25

adaline. That is another excellent idea, We do have a harness with two rings. I will buy another seat belt thing today and give that a go.

I laughed at yours managing to undo his seat belt. That is clever. Made me remember when our old dog chewed up the seat belt clip of my husbands prized "modern classic" car. He was gutted!

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Poutintrout Fri 25-Oct-19 13:00:02

BeesKnees exactly, we have no life at the moment. We will have to work on training him to be left home alone. It's difficult, he's 12 and never been alone, he's always had us or our other dog who is no longer here.

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adaline Fri 25-Oct-19 13:07:09

@Poutintrout - I hope it works for you smile Good luck - I know it can be really distracting when they won't settle in the car.

BeesKnees4 Fri 25-Oct-19 13:08:32

Try leaving him for a short time, just in one room sometimes the whole house is overwhelming, wherever he likes ie the living room if he likes the sofa, no fuss, leave a filled kong, go out even sit in car and listen, go back after 15min see how he is and build up from there.

Poutintrout Fri 25-Oct-19 13:26:52

Thank you for that advice BeeKnees. I will definitely give it a go. It will be interesting though. When I go upstairs he comes to the bottom and barks at me to come down! He hates being alone and has always been a lapdog. He even sits at my feet when I'm on the PC!

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BeesKnees4 Fri 25-Oct-19 13:31:19

I’ve fostered lots with separation anxiety and it’s not easy and can be a long road, he sounds a lovely boy that lives his mum 🐶

BeesKnees4 Fri 25-Oct-19 13:49:02


Poutintrout Fri 25-Oct-19 14:15:51

Thank you smile

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Winterdaysarehere Fri 25-Oct-19 14:20:33

Saw a programme once where they had both back doors open on the drive and allowed the ddog to pass in and out with a treat in the middle!!
Not going anywhere that day just practice seeing the car as a positive experience.
We used to take our dpuppy even round the block to start with. Maybe back to such basics.
We have ddogs who love the car and it is brilliant. Sorry about your other ddog op. Your lovely ddog must be so confused and sad.

Poutintrout Fri 25-Oct-19 18:27:37

The treat thing makes sense Wintersdaysarehere. At this point we are willing to try anything. We do quite a few short trips anyway but it can't hurt to do more of them to try and build his confidence so he might eventually be so relaxed he lays down and gives his legs a rest.

Our dog who died adored the car so it is odd that the younger one hates it so much. Strangely our dogs weren't best buddies and kind of tolerated eachother (our older dog wasn't fond of other dogs really. I think he thought he was human!) but little dog was very dependent on him and used to take his lead from him. This was especially the case during the last few years when little dog started going deaf. It's not been a nice time, we miss big dog so much.

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