Avoidence Of The Car By Five Year Old Rescue Dog

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by tugidq64, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. tugidq64 Experienced Member

    I am still working on getting him to look at the car and I am also working on him getting in the crate.
    He is better on the leash but still is bolting through the gate and doors. I have a front clip harness and he seems to like it better than something around his neck. I wore the leash and put treats around it.

    My problem is the car. Everyday it seems he is back further looking at it. I have to move 200 ft away and then I am not sure he is even looking at it. He just freezes if I am to close and I don't want to pull him on the leash. I don't want to pick him up to put him in the car because I have a bad back and i don't want to get him into the habit. My husband may have to pick him up to get him in the car to go to the vet to get neutered and have a dental cleaning. (which he is in deperate need of ) I am thinking of calling the vet and getting some meds. Has anyone had any experience with using meds or fear of the car? I would welcome any suggestions.

    Debby, Caydan:sick:
    MaryK and brodys_mom like this.

  2. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I have read about a product called Rescue Remedy, which is all plants, no narcotics, no prescription needed. There is a special pet version, but I found the regular one for people at our grocery store. You can also find them in health food stores. You just put it in their water, and it is supposed to help with all kinds of anxiety, like thunderstorms, fireworks, etc. It's about $17 for a bottle. I haven't tried it yet, but it is supposed to be very effective.
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  3. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Good work on the leash. Just keep working, tiny baby steps. Keep in mind, you've got 5 years of "stuff" to un-do. Keep that in mind when you're dealing with all this other stuff, too. Dogs look away from things to avoid them - things they fear or to avoid confrontation. Trust me, he knows that scary car is there, no need to look at it. If you can get him to look at it from 200 ft away, then how about just standing there on the leash, if he even glances at it for a second, treat him. It works best with the clicker, because you can "click" that exact moment he glanced, and treat right then. Then wait him out. If he has to step back a few feet, go ahead. Let him glance again - "click" and treat. See if you can get another glance - "click" and treat. And start working there. And try to advance literally only a few inches at a time. So what if you only advance 10' by the end of the week? You may advance 25' next week, and 50' the following week. If that car doesn't come at him (and if it's parked, there's no chance of that happening), he'll calm down. If he's not bolting as you advance, then go ahead and treat, just keep offering food. If he takes it, it's a good indication he's still under threshold. If he stops eating, then back up. If he deosn't look at the car, but he'll still eat, ok, he just can't look at his fear. If he tries to bolt, then step back. If he starts looking/acting way too fearful (squirming, shaking, etc), then step WAY back, stop the session, and try again tomorrow - beginning way back from where you ended (you don't ever want the dog to get uncomfortable like I just mentioned - but since he's very fearful, it could happen quickly).

    Does he have to be neutered right now? If he's not around intact females, can you wait, rather than picking him up and putting him into the car? If he's that scared of the car, picking him up, putting him in the car, and taking him to a scary place (the vet) for surgery may just make it worse. Since he is so fearful, any chance you could work with a vet/behaviorist? Not just a vet - a vet/behaviorist. If so, it may make things much easier on you. They come to your home and spend a couple hours with you and your dog, observing, asking loads of questions, etc - and make out a plan, making loads of suggestions, and will prescribe meds if they feel it's necessary, along with a behavior modification plan (so the dog doesn't wind up on meds the rest of their lives). You pretty much are loaded with a plan, you know just how you're going to proceed with training, what most likely will work for your dog (and what won't), etc and at least feel hopeful. Many vets will prescribe meds, but often not the correct ones - and they don't offer behavior modification suggestions or plans to go with them. Sadly, many dogs end up on them forever, just because.

    If you're interested in the vet/behaviorist idea and would like help locating one in your area, just say so and we can help you. Just tossing out that idea, because I used one myself with my boy when I adopted him. He came with lots of issues (fear was not one), and everyone was saying meds would be the answer. The director of our training facility suggested calling the vet/behaviorist instead. She came to the house, spent 2-3 hours with us, no meds at all, but we had a plan, loads of ideas, started work while she was there (so she could watch some things in action and see how he was responding), and altho nothing happened overnight, the turn-around started then and there. Meds very well may help your boy thru this - but better to be given in conjuction with behavior modification, than just dispensed with no end goal in mind.
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  4. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Brodysmom and I were typing at the same time - Rescue Remedy is a good idea. It can be obtained at any health food store. I have a bottle here, and use it for both the dogs and me, if necessary (some in their water over the July 4 "holidays" - which in my neighborhood seemed to extend on for weeks!). It's herbal, and it's effect on any idividual dog or person is questionable, since we're all different. But no harmful effects at all - so I just feel heck, if it helps to make them less anxious on stressful occassions, then good. You may want to get some and put drops in the dogs' water. It won't have any ill effects on your other dogs, so no harm in them drinking it at all.
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  5. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Do you use the same formulation for people and dogs? I know there is a special one for pets, but the dosage seems to be the same. My daughter just bought some for herself for some anxiety, but I was going to get the pet one for Brody.
    MaryK likes this.
  6. jackienmutts Honored Member

    I've always used the same one for all of us - just had it in my water bottle at the most recent Nosework trial cuz I tend to get nervous and didn't want that going down the leash, and put it in Makena's water, too - just in case it did (I knew she wasn't nervous, why would she be? she was having a great time! but I knew I was). My bet - the pet one is the same, just labeled differently for marketing purposes.
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  7. brody_smom Experienced Member

    How long would you say it takes to work, and how long does it last? If you put it in the dog's water, they don't always drink the whole dish down at once, so how do you know they have gotten a full dose? My daughter who uses it is the one who doesn't get along great with Brody. It's her friends who have been nipped by him. She feels we should dose him up with the stuff on a daily basis if it keeps him from going crazy when people come over. I told her it's not a substitute for training, but it will help keep him under threshold. She finds it works well for her as she is learning a new waitressing job and the owner/chef is very demanding.
    MaryK likes this.
  8. MaryK Honored Member

    With Bach's Rescue Remedy, I use the human one for both animals and humans, works the same and as has been said above, I'm sure it's the same formula but just packaged differently.

    I actually just put a few drops under the tongue, make sure you get the correct weight/drops ratio. That way I'm sure the dog/cat/human has the right amount.

    It does work really well and as to length of time, found that depends on the animal concerned. But it doesn't 'wear off' quickly.
    brodys_mom likes this.
  9. tugidq64 Experienced Member

    I have a trainer (who helped me with my fear aggressive dog) coming to my house next week. She is going to see how Cayden is doing along with my other dogs. She will have lots of suggestions for us. Helpful suggestions on how to work with him. He is a puzzle to me. it seems we are doing well on something and the next day or minute he is under the bed. (which is his safe place) He was fine coming into the computer room and the kitchen with me until today. I have no idea what could have happened. I think I will still call the vet about some meds. In a couple of weeks my father is coming for a visit. He will be staying with us about two weeks. I don't think Cayden will even want to meet him. I do have a problem in that we will be taking a few trips of maybe 6-7 hours. I don't know what I am going to do with Cayden. I was thinking he could go with us in the car but I know now that won't work. I could have one of my friends come in and let him out for awhile but Cayden would probably freak if he saw someone different that me or my husband. I don't want to bring him to the kennel but I may have to. of course that would entail getting him in the car and taking him up to a strange place even though he is used to kennels. Later on that month my husband and I have to go on a trip for a weekend that we have been planning for months. I was thinking of leaving Cayden and my other dog together at the kennel. (we are friends with the owner, she is very kind) So much to consider I kind of don't know what to do or where to start. I don't want to freak him out but we have to go on with our life.

    Thanks for the suggestions about the leash he seems to be taking to the leash better and better. I have a harness for him which he puts on well. He loves treats being sprinkled around the harness and the leash.
    Debby and Cayden
    southerngirl and brodys_mom like this.

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