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He's a smart, very calm dog, until he gets in the car. He doesn't seem scared, but more like anxious. He paces around and can't sit still. He also whines about a quarter of the ride, almost in an excited way. I'd prefer if he just sat still and relaxed like he usually does.

Anybody have any advice on how they trained their dogs to be "themselves" in the car?
 

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Car rides are hard for some dogs....they see such wonderful new sights. Racing from window to window to take it all in and whine (out of frustration) because they can't get out to investigate/play/run with the joggers or the other dogs.
This is one that I don't want to squash entirely....it's great mental stimulation and they really enjoy it even with that small dose of frustration. Mine settle down after a mile or two and if we get on a freeway.....they go to sleep.
 

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He's a smart, very calm dog, until he gets in the car. He doesn't seem scared, but more like anxious. He paces around and can't sit still. He also whines about a quarter of the ride, almost in an excited way. I'd prefer if he just sat still and relaxed like he usually does.

Anybody have any advice on how they trained their dogs to be "themselves" in the car?
How many rides has the dog been on and how far did you go per ride.
 

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He's been in the car a lot in his life. When I first bought him At 10 weeks we drove from AZ to NJ. About a year and a half ago we did the same drive back to AZ. I have taken him with me on errands over the years, quite often, to try and calm him. It's always the same fidgeting and whining. He doesn't really stop or slow down. Even after an hour it's the same.
 

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I share your pain. And sometimes words do not adequately express the problem, so I have a short video:
Dog riding in a crate in a moving vehicle

It gets worse than this too..
Covering the crate does not help and she only seems to stress more the longer the ride is. I have managed to wear her out at the dog park to the extent that she slept some one the way home, but before we got back she was rested enough to go back into panic mode. Her first car ride with me when she was rescued was good, but as she has become more comfortable with me and more expressive and confident, the car rides got worse. Its better if I dont use a crate. She is fine in a crate in the house or in the car, until the car starts moving.. go figure.
 

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Have you asked your vet about it?

I've been on a long car trip with 2 miniature schnauzers (excuse the sp!) and they did just fine, but a golden retriever didn't work out as well.

It seems that each breed behaves differently on car trips. Is it just you driving? If you have someone else sitting in the back to feed him and give him attention, that could help.
 

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Have you asked your vet about it?.
Never seemed to have had a chance.. my vet is not real informative. In fact last time we had a check up they (and I) even forgot to weigh her.

I've been on a long car trip with 2 miniature schnauzers (excuse the sp!) and they did just fine, but a golden retriever didn't work out as well.

It seems that each breed behaves differently on car trips. Is it just you driving? If you have someone else sitting in the back to feed him and give him attention, that could help.

Just me.. I have have feed her treat while underway, and she scarfs them up and goes back to whining.
Dont mean to hijack this thread but I suspect this is the same problem as the original poster so maybe we can find a solution together.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't use a crate in the car. My dog is about 70 lbs. and that would just be a pain. He doesn't get panicked, so to speak. It's more of an excitement or anxiousness that never rests.

I have just assumed in the past that because he's usually had such a good time at our destinations, maybe he's just excited to get there. I can never get him to calm down and the whining is quite annoying. I don't mind the not sitting still because, if he's happy and excited I definitely don't want to take away from that. I am happy that he's happy but the whining needs to stop.
 

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I skipped over the medical causes for whinning based on the original post but, that's certainly another thing to take a look at. With age, ears start to have problems. The inner ear controls balance and motion can create mild to severe car sickness...whinning...vomiting in extreme cases. (My wife vehemently denies this age and ear issue).
 

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If you don't want to use a crate, then get one of those harness/seatbelt things so they can't pace around. I use this on a 60lb dog and because she's forced to stay in one spot, she does. She just lays down and sulks now.

You can get them at Petco. It's just a strap that you connect to the seatbelt or a carseat hook and then you clip it on the harness. You have to use a harness though - not a collar. If you stop short or get in an accident the dog would get choked.
 

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Mesquite likes to sit on the back seat of my minivan and see the sights when we're driving around town on short trips. Either that, or she'll stand with her head in the space between the driver's and passenger's seats. However, if we're in the car for more than 1/2 hour or so, she'll curl up on and go to sleep.

Rocky's the same way, except he'll whine incessantly for the first 1/2 hour. I think he's convinced that every car ride leads to the dog park. The only thing that I think would calm him down would be confinement to a crate and a nice, well-stuffed Kong along with him.

If you don't have a crate, maybe consider one of those barrier gates? Try confining your dog to a space within the car using a gate and give them a good-sized Kong stuffed with yummies. Or, maybe just try the Kong without the confinement.
 

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... Try confining your dog to a space within the car using a gate and give them a good-sized Kong stuffed with yummies. Or, maybe just try the Kong without the confinement.
Have a gate.. and used it with the same results as using a crate.
Treats and stuffed kongs distract for a minute or two.. thats all.
 

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We are having the same issues with our dog - a greyhound shepherd mix. I will check out the restraint (we use a harness - you need to with a greyhound-type dog since they could break their own necks bolting with a collar). I wish I could do something about the whining and barking though. He sounds like a goose with a cold. Oh well, could be worse, at least our basset likes the car! When she gets going, it sounds like a siren!
I have suggested to my husband that we start taking Archie to "treat" places such as a new park, the dog beach, etc., so he can at least connect car rides with good stuff rather than vet visits.
 

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My dog is generally a little on edge when riding in the car. It's a good kind of on edge, though. Not fearful, but in a moderately high state of excitement.. I attribute it to the sensory overload of sights, smell, and sounds whizzing by at high speeds.

It helps some to gradually desensitize the dog to the stimuli. Start by walking him around the car in the driveway, with the doors open. Then go sit in the car and let the dog sniff around outside. If he gets in on his own, then great. Just sit there for a while with the motor off. Then with the motor running. Then a quick trip around the block. Etc., etc., etc......

My dog rides much better, but I doubt he's ever going to nap while the car is moving.
 
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