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Old 08-12-2012, 05:28 PM
 
1,318 posts, read 2,363,827 times
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I have a little chihauhua who absolutely hates riding to the car. I've taken her for rides as a puppy and continued to do so even though she always hated it but it hasn't change. She is 4 years old and still hates the car to the point where she pants and cries the whole entire time. We purchased a vacation house about 2 1/2 hours away so looks like my little girl is going to be in the car quite often for an extended period of time. Does anyone have advise? My vet recommend kava kava which I haven't tried yet. I tried rescue remedy but that did nothing. Any suggestions would be so appreciated to my family and I who going crazy listening to her cry for over two hours there and two hours back. UGH! Not pleasant for all of us. HELP!
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:53 PM
 
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How does she ride in the car? In a crate by herself? In someone's lap? If the former, I'd try taking her out of the crate for the ride.

I'm no expert but this is what I would do. When you're at home and not planning on going anywhere, put her in the car and give her some treats there. Do this for a while, even when you are actually going for a short drive. Eventually, I would think that you'll be able to wean her off the treats in the car routine and she'll give you a peaceful ride to your destination.

Worth a try!
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Old 08-12-2012, 09:42 PM
 
1,318 posts, read 2,363,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atina33 View Post
How does she ride in the car? In a crate by herself? In someone's lap? If the former, I'd try taking her out of the crate for the ride.

I'm no expert but this is what I would do. When you're at home and not planning on going anywhere, put her in the car and give her some treats there. Do this for a while, even when you are actually going for a short drive. Eventually, I would think that you'll be able to wean her off the treats in the car routine and she'll give you a peaceful ride to your destination.

Worth a try!
I've actually tried it all. In the crate, on someone's lap, in a carry travel bed for cars and in a seat where she can see outside. None of the above works for this dog. The only way she will be a little more quiet is on my lap but that is just not safe when you have airbags. I've put her on my lap when I was like a block or two away from home just to see her reaction and it did help but unfortunately, that is not the solution.
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:06 AM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,118 posts, read 6,053,544 times
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Like with many things, for some dogs car rides are something they'll just have to learn to get comfortable with in time and on their own terms. Many dogs get anxious when in the car just as many humans get anxious when riding in airplanes.

The first thing you should do is take puppy for brief car rides locally whenever possible. A quick ride to the bank, to the gas station, to drop off mail at the post office etc. Or maybe just drive around in a circle.
Lots of praise and rewards.

Another thing you should try is feeding puppy in the car. Not while the car is moving, just take puppy in there for a meal. You could also practice getting in and out of the car with puppy and lots of praise and rewards of course. Make a game out of it. Gradually extending the time for sitting in the car calmly.

If you have a place to do so, I would definitely find a spot in the car where puppy can look out the window. Be sure to restrain puppy in some fashion such as using a seat belt harness. With one of mine, I put him in the front seat in a box on top of a super cushy pillow dog bed so he's always got me in view and he's comfortable and he can look out the window. Turn your passenger airbag off if you do.

When you're on long drives, when you're about 45-60 minutes into the drive, let puppy out to potty #1 and #2. Puppy will be much calmer once that is taken care of.

And lastly you can also just ignore it. Eventually they'll stop. It may take an hour or so but eventually they'll calm down. Some dogs will always be anxious when you first get going in the car although they may overcome some of the stubborn things they do to avoid riding in the car such as hiding when you're getting ready to leave or turning into concrete when walking to the car.

This probably goes without saying but be sure to stop and offer drinking water to your puppy because the panting will make them very thirsty.
And unless you drive long distances on a daily basis most dogs will remain awake for the entire drive, even the ones that are very comfortable with driving. So once you get to your destination, just keep in mind that puppy has lost a lot of sleep they would have ordinarily had.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:50 AM
 
28,899 posts, read 51,498,220 times
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Why are you forcing your dog to do something it hates? Really? My cat doesn't like water, yet you don't see me flinging the thing into the bathtub. Just do you and the dog a favor and board it while you're at the beach or wherever. It will be a lot happier.

Last edited by cpg35223; 08-13-2012 at 12:10 PM..
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,330 posts, read 31,067,395 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post

The first thing you should do is take puppy for brief car rides locally whenever possible. A quick ride to the bank, to the gas station, to drop off mail at the post office etc. Or maybe just drive around in a circle.
Lots of praise and rewards.
This is what I did when Artie came to live with me. I was told by his previous owner that he wasn't good in the car. Well, I wanted to be able to take him places, so I did what cittic10 is talking about. I also didn't want him to think that the only time he was in the car was to go to the vet, so it solved two problems.

Another few things:

1. Artie likes to stick his face out the window sometimes. I think maybe sometimes he feels queasy in the car and, just like with humans, the fresh air helps alleviate that. He doesn't stick his head out often, but when I see him going up to the window, I open it for him. He sticks his head out for a minute, then he lays back down, and I close the window again. Perfect.

2. Artie HATES city driving. HATES IT! He lies down, gets back up, yawns (that's from anxiety), and repeats the cycle. Once we're on the highway, though -- smooth sailing, no stop and go -- he lies down and goes to sleep. So you might find that your dog hates driving in town, with stop signs and traffic lights, but that she's fine on the highway.
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