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how can i get my dog used to riding in the car?

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Cowboy

Yee-haw
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 7, '12 12:37pm PST 
My dog hates riding in the car. He happily jumps in, but starts whining loudly and yapping when we go anywhere. He tones it down a little at traffic lights but ramps up again when we start moving. If left uncrated he paces frantically. He has never vomited or been obviously ill. I have considered motion sickness and fear of being taken to a new home (he's a recent rescue) but neither seems to be the obvious answer. How can I make him stop freaking out? We have only traveled short distances (under 15 minutes) and trips always involve somewhere where he gets a lot of treats (the vet, obedience class).

Also, I've tried offering a bully stick and his favorite toy but he is uninterested if we are in the car.
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Mr. Jake the- Beagle

I am Murphy's- Law Embodied! <3- Me!
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 7, '12 6:09pm PST 
I would try a thundershirt. That worked well for jake's separation anxiety and they say it works for car anxiety.

You could also try having someone else drive you around and you sit in the back comforting him by giving him praise and a treat (That worked well on my cat. the praising not the treating). Try taking him places that are fun like the dog park or the beach or even the regular park. He might associate the car with something bad.

Jake was an owner surrender and when i first put him in the car to take him to the vet the day after i got him he flipped out. He panted the entire time and started out the window and when we got out was glued to me like i was taking him off to a gas chamber or something. He did that for the first few car rides. But i always mix up where we ride in the car that seemed to help. One day it was the vet, another day its petsmart, another day or maybe a few hours later the dog park, sometimes we go to Old town to walk. Mix up where the car goes if you can get him to patiently sit in the car and that might help.

If your dog starts to associate the car with something good like jake does now he might be less fearful.

If not you can try the Thundershirt, DAP spray (Dog appeasing phermone) or even petese which is an anti-anxiety calming treat.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 8, '12 8:00am PST 
You can also try just being in the car more. Just because you are going places where he gets lots of treats doesn't mean he doesn't worry about the trip. Try hanging out in the car without going anywhere. Try getting in and out before getting to do something you know he loves, perhaps dinner or a walk or playing with that special toy or getting that particular chewy. After a couple weeks of that several times a day sometimes start up the car and after that roll up and down the driveway then go around the block.

Max's favorite part of car rides was the end when he was HOME. He still isn't a fan of being away from home much but after living here for 11 years he has had thousands of car trips and finally he knows that is where he always ends up. Now he asks if he is going in the car.
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