Sammys Scared of Car Rides?
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Thread: Sammys Scared of Car Rides?

  1. #1
    Sammy8myshoe is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultSammys Scared of Car Rides?

    I am trying to get Sammy used to riding with me in this small town. He is now about 18 weeks I believe, born Sept. 13th. He snarls when getting him into the car, I have to pick him up and set him inside, even though he is on the leash. Once were moving, he lays down in the back seat shaking. If I leave the car to run in the store, he is usually sitting in the front seat and as soon as I open the door tries to get out. I thought with more and more rides he would learn to enjoy it but he isng changing. If I have him sit shotgun he curls in a ball and lays there. I tried bringing treats to show him comfort, petting him, keeping the car parked and letting him investigate and smell but as soon as we are moving he is just laying there shaking. What can I do? :gum:
    Another crazy day here in puppyville. The scratches are well worth it I think!

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  3. #2
    imported_BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Sammys Scared of Car Rides?

    i do believe that at 16 weeks dogs go through a fear period - was he better in the car prior?

    What you need to do is keep bringing him on frequent outings, IGNORE his scared behavior totally. Be happy, upbeat, treat him, make the destination a fun experience for him. If you comfort him when he is acting scared, you are reinforcing his fear reaction and that will make it worse.

    Unfortunately, some dogs never get over a fear of the car. My shepherd Lucy did not like the car, would shake like a leaf and never got over it her whole life. She also had a boat load of other temperment issues, so this was one battle I chose not to bother with much.

    See what you can do to make riding in the car the car the most fun experience in the world each time you go out. He may just mature out of this.

    ETA - one other idea. There are some things available on some websites (like the Drs. Foster and Smith site) called calming aides. I haev used Rescue Remedy (which is a natural flower product sold at health food stores for people) with great success. There are some other things that work off the concept of pheremones - you could spray the inside of the car with the calming spray before bringing him in there. Enough positive experiences while he feels calm and he may just relax without any help. I would not drug him - this is not drugging - it is sort of like chamomile tea for a dog.
    Sharon

  4. #3
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Sammys Scared of Car Rides?

    A couple years ago, someone asked about desensitizing their dog's fear of thunder and I posted the response below.

    The desensitization protocol for deconditioning fears and phobias in humans and dogs is the same -- a very small step in the direction of the feared stimulus or object stopping before the fear reaction is provoked, then away from the feared s. or o., then repeating over and over, each time moving slightly closer.

    I'm pretty sure Dr. McConnell has a pamphlet giving a DIY protocol or you can e-mail her website and ask.

    I suggest you contact Dr. Patricia McConnell's website, http://www.dogsbestfriendtraining.com/index.php which may have a booklet on the protocol and sources for sound recordings.

    CDs or tapes of fireworks and thunder storms are available. Can't tell you where to find a source but perhaps someone on this JL forum can identify a source; if not, Google terms like desensitizing fireworks, firework sounds, and thunder storm sounds

    Follow the very effective desensitization AKA deconditioning protocols McConnell or others give. If McConnell's book or group doesn't have these, Google those to supplement the very brief, general description given below.

    In the presence of your dog, the sound is played at a level below that which arouses any anxiety or reaction. If you EVER get an anxiety reaction, for a favorable outcome you must immediately drop the sound level to the point it vanishes.

    I'd do that several times a day and especially during your dog's meals and times you're playing with your dog. (The object of this is that eating and playing provoke postive emotional responses which can interfere with the negative ones -- providing, of course, you don't screw it up by playing at a level that provokes the anxiety, thereby creating a dog that's anorexic and afraid to play.)

    Then VERY gradually increase the loudness in one small step a day (going to every 3 or more days, as needed, for an extremely panicked dog). The step should never be so large that you get any notice or emotional reaction.

    IF you get any kind of anxiety reaction, you've gone too far; immediately cut back to a non-aroused level.

    Procede stepwise until the sound level is at a "normal" loudness.



    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

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  6. #4
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Sammys Scared of Car Rides?

    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

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