All The Sudden Car Stress!

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by Gunnar_&_Me, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Gunnar_&_Me Active Member

    My Aussie Gunnar used to love car rides and going places with us!!
    Then he got parvo and we had to take him to the vet and he had t stay a week!!
    After getting him back and now he doesn't seem to like car rides to much and just acts completely different and stressed!!

    Is if because of the vet experience and he's just stressed we will drop him off again or what does anyone have any tips?
    MaryK likes this.

  2. MaryK Honored Member

    As he loved car rides prior to the lengthy vet stay, I feel this is the reason he's now anxious about car rides.

    What I suggest is to just let him sit in the car, no rides, for a while and click/treat him. Even feed him in the car, play a quiet game (obviously), maybe a dog puzzle something like that, which will help him settle in the car again.

    Also just take him for VERY short rides, around the block, so he realizes he's QUICKLY coming home again.

    You could also try Bach's Rescue Remedy, it's fantastic for helping relieve stress. I do feel that after a while Gunnar will get back to his old self again. How long has he been like this?
    southerngirl and srdogtrainer like this.
  3. Anneke Honored Member

    It could be that he's stressed because of that.
    Like Mary says, make the car fun again.
    Let him go into the car, immidiately let him out again and play his favorite game. Let him in the car, give him some treats(if he will take them, refusing food is a sign of stress)
    Take him to do fun stuff after a short drive. Drive to the park and play ball, or to meet up with some of his friends.
    It may take some time, though.
    southerngirl and MaryK like this.
  4. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    I agree with MaryK! Give constant really good treats at first. You don't want your dog to have time to think about being anxious. If needed give treats going up to the car. See if you can lure your dog into different positions in the car such as sitting/ laying down. Anneke also has wonderful advice, I would only give all the treats/ play fun games in the car and when you let your dog out of the car ignore him (it's no big deal that your out of the car but fun to be in the car). You can also try to find relaxing activities to do in the car such as read with your dog in the car.

    Taking a break from all car rides at first may be helpful and slowly increase the distance of the car rides once he is happy to get back in the car. Take short trips to fun places like the park.
  5. Caiti Experienced Member

    I agree with all the people above!

    You need to teach your dog that cars aren't all that bad, and can lead to good things! Get him in the car, give him some treats and lots of praise, then take him out. Do it again and again. You really want to show him that being in a car, even for a short while, is fun. Gradually lengthen the amount of time in the car, and make the time periods between praise slightly longer.

    If your dog is clicker trained, click and treat when he is in the car, relaxed. Teaching him to relax in the car will really help with his anxiety. Get him in the car and wait, when he sits or lies down and shows signs of relaxation, click and treat. Generally, a relaxed dog will sit or lie down and will stop wagging their tail.

    Eventually, you can try closing the door on him but keeping the window rolled down so you can slip him some treats. Don't praise when the situation is over, you need to build up a positive association during the situation. Gradually lengthen the periods of time, and maybe even go on some short rides! Don't give up on your dog, he'll get it soon. (y)

    After training sessions with the car, which in the beginning may be stressful for your dog, give him a big reward, like a stuffed kong or some playtime.

    Hope this helped! :love:

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