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Current blog look inspired by and dedicated to Chance, Blaze, Fiona and Zappa who all kicked ass against cancer and liver disease.

Brut Quote

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Anxious car ride

I'll take us home!!

Chance and Blaze have struggled with horrible anxiety in the car and I have almost given up on trying to help them.  When they ride alone with either of us, they are fine, but put them together and it is like a three ring circus in the back of the van.  Also when they ride alone they are used to having the front seat but with me riding along, they lose their privileges and are constantly trying to reclaim them.  

Our road trip today wasn't any different and it makes for a difficult and exhausting ride, not to mention quite trying on my patience.  Blaze learned to ride in a vehicle with her previous owners when they got her, but I don't think Chance ever did.  If he went for any car rides it was only a couple of times.  I know that Blaze was locked in a room for hours upon a time and there is a possibility that Chance was too.  Maybe the confinment of a car triggers that for them.  Whatever the reason or case, their anxiety is higher in the car when they are together.

Chance on my lap

I have tried Rescue Remedy with no effects.  I have also used a calming spray with dog appeasing pheromones with no results.  Clicker training with both of them does nothing.   I felt like I'd run out of options when these options didn't work.  When Daddy made a stop and I stayed in the car, Chance crawled into my lap and planted himself there.  He was panting heavily and it was at this point that I knew I needed to try something, anything to help them.

When are we going home Mom??

I prefer to use natural products and I found some calming herbal tablets in a dog catalog I receive.   I plan on ordering the tablets tomorrow and a prayer that something works.

I need your help.  I would like to ask for your suggestions and what you have found that works for your dog or anything you might have heard that helps in curbing anxiety for dogs.

Thanking you in advance for your help.

24 Paws of Love    


jet said...

Short trips to their favorite places. That's how I trained mine that car means fun. No stopping and leaving them in the car until they are completely comfortable (can't leave dogs in cars for 8 months of the year here anyway, it's too hot).

Are they too worked up to eat treats? A nice tasty pigs ear or something to gnaw on might help.

To make things safer for everyone, a cargo barrier for the van to stop them distracting the driver...

Shauna (Fido and Wino) said...

I know the folks over at Gopetfriendly tried a little horn thing that really did the trick. They had tried everything and went to this... & it helped one of their dogs to stop barking in the car.

Unknown said...

Mine love the car and are calm but I would try a major walk before attempting the car exercise.
When Haylie came back to live with us after a year she was always whinning in the car - so I figured he never took her anywhere in the car so I would just ignore her and tell her she was fine and eventually she just chilled out and now she is a breeze. Just remember patience!!

the magic sleigh said...

Scampi (my older rescue) still has some anxiety in the car. with a lot of panting, and trying to hide. I suggest a crate if you can fit it in the car. I use it for him, he immediately jumps in and hides in the smallest ball. He will not take any treats in the car. You can also wrap them tightly in blankets or sheets, which is also comforting to dogs.
As Hound Girl said, time and tons of patience!

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

We would recommend a combination of the above suggestions. Lots of good exercise prior to a car ride, then baby steps, and really tasty treat rewards - something so special that you only use it for this purpose. Seat belts might also help. Get them in the car and sitting calmly, then reward. Once you get this down, drive to the end of the driveway and if good behavior, treat and stop. Go one block, then a couple, and so forth. It will take a lot of time but might work in the end.

Brian's Home Blog said...

I can't help you there...talk about car anxiety, I've got it something awful!

24 Paws of Love said...

I bet you do Brian! Haven't know a cat yet that enjoys a car ride for any reason!!

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. This is technically a "new" problem for me, as I've never had any problems with car rides before with any of my dogs. But these two always want to teach me more!
Thanks for the refresher course.

Jet-I have tried their favorite chew treats which only last for a while. And my husband and I have discussed a cargo barrier.

Fido and Wino-I'm interested in what your talking about. I will check it out.

Hound Girl, I know a walk would help, but I can't always do it before a ride and today was a long ride that we couldn' leave them home for very long. Still working on seperation anxiety issues. Ignoring does work, but it takes a long time to work. They are persistant. :)

Kira-a crate would be great, but they are scared to death of confined spaces. Another obstacle we have to work on some day. (sigh) :)

OP Pack-I have heard of this, have you used it? They are so excitable, I don't know we'd make it out of the driveway!! BOL :)

Road Dog Tales said...

Have you ever heard of or tried T-Touch? Here's a link http://www.ttouch.com. Mom worked with a holistic vet once upon a time and this technique was used a lot there. The body wrap and the wand might be useful. The body wrap can be an ace bandage. The wand can be lots of things, maybe a flexible bamboo stick. There is also an older book on T-Touch that you might find useful (maybe find it on Amazon).
Hope you find a good solution!
The Road Dogs

Granite State Pet Sitting said...

Geisha use to hate the car! We started off by going for a super short ride 5 minutes max and then got out for a short walk with a treat, and then back in the car, it seemed to work.
Hope you are able to find a solution.
Have a wonderful weekend.

butcher winnipeg said...

My dog hates car rides with a passion. We try the best we can to make her less scared. It takes time for them to get use to it. She not like the other dogs that can just stick their heads out the window and be in heaven. Al through I don't promote that because it's dangerous.