Anxiety in the car
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Thread: Anxiety in the car

  1. #1
    Mariabruce4 is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultAnxiety in the car

    My 10 month old lab used to love car rides but now he pants, whines, barks and yelps the ENTIRE time. He hates it and there's nothing that calms him down. What can I do? Why does he do this all of a sudden?
    I would appreciate any advice to help us both out! Thanks!

    Maria and #lassenthelab!

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  3. #2
    Dio's mama is offline Senior Member
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    My Kaity does this too. I have no idea why this started either and the only thing that has helped us it to take her on mundane car rides. Instead of only taking her to outings, like the park and such, she comes to the grocery store and waits, we go home. We sometimes just drive around town and then come home. If she's quiet, I treat. It's slow progress, but it's helping.
    Gabrielle
    Dio (Best Bud since July 18th, 2009)
    Kaity (Sweetheart since April 29th, 2012)

  4. #3
    Paddysmom's Avatar
    Paddysmom is offline Senior Member
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    Oh this is a problem. Or just problematic, I guess. I have no idea how to change the car-riding situation.
    Both Seamus and Flynn have always been the dream-car riders. Smooooth, easy, laid back riders.

    Paddy NEVER would settle... he would pace and walk around the back of the PaddyWAgon and lick the driver's neck and pace and pant and slobber the windows ans worry and fret, but he was never exactly "out of control". He just didn't like riding in the car.

    Some take to it, some don't. I guess.

    Seamus and Flynn

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  6. #4
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    I do NOT care much for advice in books by the Monks of New Skete (unless they've
    changed earlier advice) and especially not for Cesar's advice or orientation.

    I DO very MUCH value the advice of Dr. Patricia McConnell in her numerous books and
    teaching pamphlets. She's a senior member of the Certified Animal Behaviorist Society and
    the advice she gives is very much mainstream scientific, very consistent with all we know about
    learning, behavior disorders, and training & therapy techniques for animals, especially dogs.

    For overcoming this fairly common problem of a dog's anxiety about cars & car rides, you
    need to apply the commonly used procedures to de-condition anxiety in both people and
    animals. Very briefly, this involves repeated BRIEF exposures to the feared situation but being
    VERY careful to stop BEFORE any anxiety is elicited.

    I'd have to write several pages to adequately detail this very effective method but you can get a
    better version for a few dollars at Patricia McConnell's website.

    Below is the link to what I think is her most appropriate publication but I suggest you go to
    that website, click on its "contact us" link, and ask which publication would be most helpful
    in teaching you how to resolve your dog's anxiety about this.

    Patricia McConnell | Dog Training Book | The Cautious Canine | How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears

    * Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists

    Last edited by Bob Pr.; 04-06-2013 at 07:55 PM. Reason: insert link
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  7. #5
    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    I am going to purchase the Cautious Canine book to see if there is anything in it I have not tried in almost 7 years to deal with Emma's many fear issues. The thunder shirt helped tremendously with her thunder and fire works anxiety. By the end of last years storm season she would fall asleep during a thunder storm with the thunder shirt on. Prior to that she would pant, pace, try to crawl under you in the middle of the night, etc. The rest of her fears and anxieties are a different story. I would love to make the rest of her life happier. I hate the thought that she is always so anxious, it can't be good for her. My vet is literally 5 minutes from my house and getting her there in the car is an adventure, she gets so worked up. It gets even worse when she realizes where we are...
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

  8. #6
    Samson is offline Senior Member
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    Trick is to start again.

    Put pup in car but don't drive anywhere until they are settled. This may take some time ( Don't forget the treats )

    You could try covering the crate in a cloth too.

  9. #7
    Sedona's Avatar
    Sedona is offline Senior Member
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    Keegan gets anxious in the car. Lays down, butt towards door, head kinda behind Sedona, will not look out window until car stops. HOWEVER, when wearing the thundershirt she sits up and is more calm and doesn't pant. Don't know if will work for you, but did wonders for Keegan.


    Isn't it great to have a sister

  10. #8
    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sedona View Post
    Keegan gets anxious in the car. Lays down, butt towards door, head kinda behind Sedona, will not look out window until car stops. HOWEVER, when wearing the thundershirt she sits up and is more calm and doesn't pant. Don't know if will work for you, but did wonders for Keegan.
    Hmmmm, never thought of this but will definitely try it with Emma. Thanks for the idea. Perhaps her thunder shirt will become something she wears much more often. Her daily fashion accessory!
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

  11. #9
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    For the OP - I would do short car rides that have a positive ending (park, friends house, pet food store) - something fun for the dog. Since he was fine in the car prior, this is probably related to either an negative experience he connected to the car (visit to the vet?) or he is going through a fear period.

    My younger dog was not a fan of the car but he has gotten less stressed in the car as he has gotten older.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

  12. #10
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    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    Why not try crating the dog? It worked wonders for someone I suggested that to recently. Why would a dog feel comfortable after being tossed (or sliding around) in the back of the car at random? It'd probably make me anxious too.

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

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