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How to get dog to like to ride

September 3rd, 2006, 02:57 PM
In a couple of weeks, I will be taking a trip to my mom's. It is a 3 hour trip by car. Sydney will be going with me! The only problem is that she hates to ride in the car. She rides in the kennel. She likes her kennel when we are not riding. She is fine when I put her in the car, fine when I start it, but as soon as we start to move, she starts to scream. :yell: I have been taking her on short rides (about 1 mile) to the park, almost every day for the past 2 weeks to try to get her to associate rides with fun places, but things are not getting any better. Any suggestions that might help? I make this trip every 4-6 weeks, and I would like her to enjoy the ride.:fingerscr

September 3rd, 2006, 03:03 PM
Is she really bad if she's not crated in the car? You might just have to drug her if she's really bad.:shrug:

September 3rd, 2006, 04:01 PM
Does she have a favourite toy? You could try giving that to her to take her mind off the ride. Or a nylabone or bully stick might help. Or try taking her in the car without the crate so she can see out the windows. Good luck and let us know how you make out.

September 3rd, 2006, 04:12 PM
What if you got her a seat belt and put her next to you?

September 3rd, 2006, 04:54 PM
What if you got her a seat belt and put her next to you?

The front seat isn't a good idea if you have passenger side airbags, but the rear passenger side seat would be good if that's the case. Then she can see you and out the window and isn't quite as confined. If you don't have one, a good seat belt alternative is a harness attached to the car seat belt with a short (12" or less) leash.
You might want to keep a stash of unique chews and toys in the back seat that she only gets when she's in the car.

September 5th, 2006, 01:10 PM
I recently went on a long car trip (~10 hrs) with my 7 mo old dog who gets carsick, and used acepromazine (not sure if that's spelled correctly) which worked great. Having him in a crate seemed to help as well as I have noticed he doesn't like just sitting/laying down on the seat, either back or front. He slept for much of the trip, but I did notice it wore off after about 8 hrs after which he seemed fine. I'm still not sure if he's got motion sickness or this is all from anxiety and he is not 'cured' after this trip. I've also tried the short car trips to parks/etc but this hasn't helped much. If I were you I'd try out some remedies prior to leaving, and find out what works. I had to experiment some to find out what worked for my dog and what didn't. Good luck!

Amy and Fergus
September 5th, 2006, 01:43 PM
What about giving Sydney some of her favourite treats just after you leave? Make a big deal about how good she's being, and reward her with yummies that she doesn't usually get. Then just before you get out of the car, tell her again how good she is, and more treats.

Good luck!

Angies Man
September 6th, 2006, 01:43 AM
Talk to your vet about some sort of tranquilizer. In my experience, dogs that don't ride well in their crates don't do any better outside of the crate. And a dog bouncing off the windows isn't safe. You need to find a way to lower the terror level from frantic to slightly uncomfortable. Once you get the terror level down several notches, you can lower the dosage and start to work on getting the dog socialized to enjoy traveling. But it's going to take time and patience--you'll have to take the dog on trip around town between the monthly trips to mom's.

Chewys, toys, and treats aren't going to help if the dog is so totally and completely terrified.

September 7th, 2006, 04:39 PM
Does she freak out if you leave her in the car and go back into the house to get something? maybe she's freakingout because she knows that so long as the car is running she's stuck in her crate which makes you inaccessible ?! I'm not convinced its the car itself that's scaring her because she will go into the car and is fine you say until you start it.

What if you start it in the driveway and sit there with it running so long as she's screaming, when she's done, stop the car and take her out.

September 8th, 2006, 06:34 AM
Well, the trip is today, and I think I found a wining combination. We did get a harness/seatbelt, which helped. I guess she likes to see where she is going. Then, Bon Jovi came on the radio, and she just laid down and listened (until the song changed). So, I guess 3 hours of Bon Jovi it will be! Wish us luck! :pray:

September 8th, 2006, 10:47 AM
Glad you found a solution. And Bon Jovi's glad that you've purchased all his CD's. :D

Good luck :fingerscr and enjoy your trip. :)

Angies Man
September 8th, 2006, 11:10 AM
Well, it's probably too late for today, but I thought of some more stuff.

Don't feed her a whole lot before the trip. If she's nervous, she'll probably have an upset stomach in the car and feel and get carsick along the way. If she's got a nervous, upset stomach, she's going to be nervous in general. It's okay to feed her a bit along the way, I give Angie lots of "good girls" and treats when we're out on the road (two weeks ago, we did an almost 800 mile day.) And occasionally stop and get her some ice water in a cup (fast food places are good for this.) On a super long day (like the trip a couple of weeks ago,) she gets a sample bag of the the really tasty kibble from Inova, Solid Gold, etc. (She thinks it's a treat!)

Run her to a state of being very tired before the trip. Not exhaustion, but nicely warmed up with exercise. This will help in getting her to poop before she goes--another source of discomfort and nervousness on a trip. And it will make her more laid back on the trip. On the trip, give her a couple of breaks on a long lead or rope--20 ft lead at least and try to get her to run around a little to work out the knots in her muscles. (don't wake her up if she's asleep, tho.)

If you have a rug or bed with her scent on it, put that in the car for her to sleep on. Or something you've worn--clothes worn for physical labor are best--something that you've sweated in.

If she's being good in the car, be sure to praise her but in a quieter voice than normal--your voice can be a calming factor and a source of comfort--if she's on the seat where you can reach her, softly pet her.

When you get to where you're going (I'm assuming that you'll stay overnight) make sure that it's a fun place for her--treats, toys, and lot's of attention from everyone. My Angie loves to go bye-bye, partly because even if it's just to the vets for a shot, she gets lots of attention and treats. (But also, she might get to go to lake and go swimming!;) ) Yesterday we went to the vet to have her ears checked (been treating her for a yeast infection) on the way home, the funzie was to go to Petsmart for treats and a walk around the store smelling the endcaps--for a dog, these places are like going to the movies. (Yes, she's had all her shots!)

One of the things I've noticed about Angie, after a road trip, she's exhausted for a day (and she's not a nervous rider.) I'd suspect that on the second day of a road trip (or the return trip) you dog will sleep most of the way home. But even for a fairly calm riding dog, trips are stressful and exhausting. :dog:

Hope today went okay, btw.

September 12th, 2006, 07:19 PM
The trip went pretty well. She did great on the way up to mom's, untill it got dark and she couldn't see where we were going, we were getting close though, and she went to sleep to finish the trip. She had a great time while she was there. It was already dark when we started back, and she threw up:yuck:, even though it had been sevral hours since she ate. I think that she gets car sick when she can't see out the windows. Thank you for all the suggestions!