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Doggy travel woes

Mocha's mum
November 18th, 2006, 12:53 PM
I'm wondering if anyone has some advice on travelling with dogs. My Lhasa is TERRIFIED of the car, and I have no idea why. If I say "want to go for a car ride", he gets excited and runs to the door. Once he's in the vehicle, however, he sits in the back seat and shakes. He doesn't get sick, he just trembles, and wants to get in your lap. He hasn't had any vehicle related trauma (like getting run over), and I've tried taking him on short trips (a few blocks to the grocery store), but nothing seems to soothe him. Does anyone else have any ideas?? :shrug:

November 18th, 2006, 01:07 PM
Did your dog at any point in past enjoy car rides?

Cider loved them.. didn't go anywhere for a decent long while at about a year of age, and then we started agility. First 2 trips to agility she shook the entire trip. Ever since it's been fine.

You may want to come up with short trips your dog would want to take. Like to a different spot to walk, or a park, etc. Not like the grocery store where your dog isn't getting something out of it per-say.

Mocha's mum
November 18th, 2006, 01:40 PM
He used to enjoy car rides, whether is was to go to the off leash park, or just to go for a ride in general. When we go in the car to the park now, he shakes in the back, but then when we go home he's visibly more relaxed. Maybe he's too tired to be nervous! :)

I don't let his nervousness deter me from taking him in the vehicle. Now, Kris and I make it a "family affair", and I sit in the back and pat him. It doesn't help with his shaking, but it pacifies me....

November 18th, 2006, 01:57 PM
Need to be careful about rewarding fearful behavoir. Quite often this just makes them think that the behavoir is good because they get something (your attention) from it. Usually ignoring is a better option. Short fun trips to walks, parks etc are the best for getting them over any car problems.

November 18th, 2006, 02:22 PM
Ember trembles when he rides, too. We just ignore it and try to take him to places he enjoys. He's better than he used to be, but it's been 3 1/2 years, now, so I doubt that we'll ever be able to totally extinguish the anxiety.

We have no clue why he's like that--no trauma, no bad experiences (except the occasional trip to the vet)... I think some dogs just don't like the feeling of being unsteady on their feet. (Ember didn't walk on the bathroom floor for 2 years after slipping on a wet spot--he just doesn't like it when his feet surprise him like that. The car vibrates and he doesn't feel 'firmly planted' because of it--so he gets anxious.)

at least he no longer tries to climb in the driver's lap...all 55 pounds of him!

Amy's Mom
November 18th, 2006, 04:51 PM
Oh I know the feeling of puppy not liking to go for car rides. Amy was really good in the car until we put her in a harness in the back seat. She whines and cries and howls for the whole trip. not fun, that's for sure. What I started doing was using her crate in the car with her in it and she has settled down quite a bit. there is still some whining but it is more of a grumbling than anything.
She would be very happy in the front seat on my roommate's lap however, whether she is driving or not.
so maybe trying his crate if you have one might work. Other than that, take short trips and see if there is a trigger that sets him off.

November 18th, 2006, 05:48 PM
Hunter does something like this too.
He gets really excited and wants to go in the car, but when we start going, especially if it is in a direction that he isn't used to, he shakes, and whines and paces. But then when we get wherever and turn around to go back home, he lies down, and is relaxed.

He has always done this, and we have tried many things to help him relax, but so far nothing has worked:shrug:

Mocha's mum
November 20th, 2006, 04:34 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone! I took His Royal Highness (ha ha ha!!) to the dog park yesterday, and he was still quite nervous. I was by myself, so I just ignored him in the back seat. However, when all was said and done, he was pretty relaxed on the way home. :shrug:

Maybe I'll just have to deal with a nervous dog. That's okay, I love him just the way he is!! :love:

November 20th, 2006, 04:39 PM
Kaos was a barfer from day one, so we started with short car rides, then longer ones (remembering not to feed him before the ride). Now his car rides are okay, but he hums (wierd sound, but it's better than yakking). I take Kaos and Bear to the field, and they're both too excited to worry about barfing.

Bear loves car rides!

Mocha's mum
November 21st, 2006, 05:20 PM
He hums??!! Ha ha ha!! That's the greatest thing I've heard so far today!! Maybe it's his way to keep his mind off of the motion sickness thing!! LOL!!!:D