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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
I have a pup , 6mths old and he has always been terrified of the car. He doesn't cry or refuse to go into it but when he knows he has to get in it he hides and then once he is in the car he stays silent and drools and shakes. He won't take any treats, kongs etc and we have tried having him in the car stationary, then with engine on etc. We have tried pheremone spray that is supposed to help them relax but nothing works. We need to be able to have him in the car so any help would be much appreciated. We are putting him in the car but I really dont want him to be so terrified about it. Thanks so much, Katie
 

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Do you crate him in the car? Or is he wearing a harness/seatbelt? Or is he loose?

If he is not crated in the car, I would definitely try that.

It is important for dogs to be restrained (in a crate or dog seatbelt) in the car so they do not become a projectile in an accident and reduce the risk of losing the dog if there is a car problem. Many dogs are calmer when restrained in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey, thank you for your help. Yes he has always been restrained. We have two cars and have tried him in both cars and it doesn't seem to make a difference either. I don't know if he feels sick or just hates it. I just dont know what to do from here as I have tried all avenues that I know. :/
 

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You can ask your vet for some anti-nausea medication, and see if that helps if you absolutely have to take him somewhere. Meanwhile, you can work on counter-conditioning him to the cars.

How close can he get to the car before showing signs of stress? Take him a bit less than that, and reward him when he isn't showing signs of stress. As he remains calm, gradually work your way closer to the car. When he can stand by the car calmly and taking treats, open the door. Do NOT try convincing him to get in. Just stand there, making sure he's comfortable enough to take treats. Once he can do that, ask him to get in, and reward ANY movement towards the inside of the car, even if it's just sticking his nose in. If he gets in, give him a jackpot of treats, and immediately have him get out. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Any time he seems stressed, go back to where he is comfortable, and do a few repetitions of that before asking for anything more at the next step.

Once he is comfortable getting in the car and staying there several minutes with the door open, progress to getting him in and shutting the door. Open the door again after just a second or two, and reward him staying in the car. Once he can stay in the car calmly withe the door closed, you can move to the next step of starting the car. Just keep repeating the approach the car, get in the car, shut the door, start the car routine until he's comfortable with that. Then you can progress to moving the car. Again, you will start with little steps of moving the car a few feet, stopping, and letting him out. Gradually work up to longer drives.

Be aware of the fact that taking him on a necessary trip may put back his progress on being comfortable in the car, so be prepared to go back in the process as far as you need to.

Also, while most dogs tend to outgrow any carsickness they had as puppies, some never do.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you so much for this. Unfortunately as soon as I pick up the lead he knows he is going and hides and thats when the issue starts. I did try the treat thing gradually working him to the car and in it while it was stationary and build it up.I might have to start again with it. Since we have had him nothing negative has happened in the car or anything so I am unsure of the cause of this, he has just always been like this since we have had him.
 

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Have him wear the lead at other times, not just when he's going in the car. Even just dragging it in the house is good.
 

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Just to add to the great advice you've gotten (not that my post is...)
But our dog used to hate getting in the car, but we take her to parks and hiking trails when we can and she gets excited to get in now. When you do get her in the car, maybe follow up with a visit to a fun place for him.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey, thank you for this. Most of the time that he gets in the car it is for a walk. We live in the countryside on a busy enough country road so need to drive anywhere to bring him out . So he is usually getting a walk when he gets in . Thank you so much for the help! :)
 

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Our rescue goes to work with us every day, and is terrified of vehicles. We have had her for exactly a year and 2 weeks. In fact, she won't get in unless the engine is OFF.

She will constantly drool if in someones lap.

However, we bought a couple dog beds (one for each vehicle) that strap in to the back seat and have a lead that clips on to her harness. She seems to consider that bed like a security blanket, and happily jumps up into the bed and stays there until we reach our destination. No drooling at all. She will head right for that bed, no matter which door she uses to enter the vehicle.

We figure that maybe she was probably traumatized by the long trip from Arkansas to Rhode Island, when the rescue had her shipped up here with a truck load of other rescue pups.

This was a very good solution for our pup.

Hope it is helpful!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ah lovely, thank you do much for that, I will give it a go. I'll try anything at this stage. Thank you so much🙌
 
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