Dog suddenly afraid of car

(6 Posts)
Tournesol Mon 06-Jul-20 12:15:25

Hello,

Our 6 month old working cocker spaniel has suddenly become fearful of getting in the car. When he knows I'm taking him in the car he will cower on his bed and I have to carry him there and as soon as he sees the car he starts shaking. Once the car is moving he seems fine.

He was OK with the car but I do wonder if this started after we took him in the car to the dog sitters for the first time? He had a great time there but was obviously sad we left him. Other than that every car journey is for a walk which he always really enjoys so not sure what else can have caused it.

Really want to nip this in the bud so any advice gratefully received!

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Mon 06-Jul-20 22:12:16

If yours is scared of the sight of the car, you could maybe play with him or feed him near it, gradually working closer to desensitise him.

Once he's happy to be near the car, you could try crating him in it and giving him a great chew, and just leaving him there in the stationary vehicle to have a good chew.

I should say, I am not a behaviourist but this is the sort of thing I see recommended.

traincarbus Mon 06-Jul-20 22:27:47

Our spaniel is still like this now. She cowers and shakes but once she’s in the car she’s fine.
She’s always been the same.

petalpower Tue 07-Jul-20 08:05:37

One of the Graeme Hall ‘Dogs behaving badly’ programmes dealt with a dog (think it was a lab) who was afraid of cars. Might be worth a watch. All the programmes are on the channel 5 catch up service.

Tournesol Tue 07-Jul-20 09:09:11

Brill, thanks for all the advice! I think we're going to try playing with him and giving him lots of treats in the car and see if that improves things. I just hate seeing him shake sad

OP’s posts: |
PollyPolson Tue 07-Jul-20 09:22:01

Come back and let us know how you get on.

Many dogs the fear is too great to take treats or play in or near the car so this may need another approach. Hopefully not!

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