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I just posted about my dog - Lucy - being very anxious.. this is "part B" regarding Lucy as this is not, per se, related to the puppy but to another aspect of her anxiety.

I adopted Lucy when she was about 5 months old ; she came as a rescue, and had been msitreated until then. Her first or second car ride (not with me) was traumatic for her, and she has never done well in the car (slobbering, panting) but, slowly but surely, she improved. Until we moved that is. It so happens that we moved to the area where she was adopted from, and where she spent 5 days in the shelter... By then she was 2,5 so 2 years had gone by, yet the day we drove here, as we were almost in town she suddenly and unexpectedly pooped in the car. Something she had NEVER done before. Such was her fear, I suspect she recognized the road/smell or something related to this area.

3 years have gone by since then. She is fine at home / in the garden / on walks. But EVERYTIME she has been in the car, since that one day, she has pooped... Just to take her to the vet 10 minutes away is a chore, and I travel equipped... She poops on the drive out, once we have completed our outing, she is fine on the way home. Or at least, WAS. Our last outing, I drove us 15 minutes from home (she pooped) so we could go for a walk (which was fine). On the way home, she PEED in the car, something completely new.

This has made it impossible for me to take her on pleasure outings, which I know she would enjoy. I used to have a dog years ago who urinated out of fear, and somehow over time she overcame the fear and we traveled all over Europe together in the car. Lucy on the other hand just seems to be getting worse... Hers is fear and anxiety, not motion sickness --

has anyone ever had this problem, and/or any ideas on how to help her ? I would love to take her out more, SHE would love it too, if only we can actually get in the car...

Thank you
 

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Use a crate so the mess is contained. That helps a lot. Whether you express it or not she knows you are upset when she eliminates in the car. So much easier to clean a crate than then car.

Max was extremely afraid of the car as well as being car sick. Over the years he finally got over it and would actually ask if we were going to drive somewhere. Made my heart melt let me tell you!

Since he was destined to do agility with me which means lots of trips to classes and trials I trained him to approach and get in on his own. Took his dinner and a clicker to the car with him on a long line so he could move around as he pleased. Sat down and clicked when he moved towards or looked at the car. After the click I rolled a kibble away from the scary car. That makes the reward the food plus getting to get away from the scary object. As time went on I opened the door and shaped getting in the car then started working on starting the car, moving it down the driveway and around the block. None of this did anything for his car sickness but he was able to get in on his own and was happy to go places. Occasionally he would get 'stuck' and be unable to get in. I'd circle him around for another try or put him in the car, have him jump out and attempt to get back in. Much praise and cookies forever for his bravery too.

I'd do all that and confine your drives to the same area she is comfortable walking for now so there's nothing strange about what is going on outside the car. Do things like feed her in the car, maybe do nosework and hide bits of treats in there, drive to the park that's 1/2 mile away sometimes and just get in and out then go for a walk. Make it just part of life.
 

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Have you talked to your vet about situational, short-acting anxiety medications?

My younger dog has pretty bad car anxiety - to the point where as soon as she got in it, she would just sit there and shake, and refuse all food (roasted chicken, hot dogs, liver...). We tried the thundershirt, natural remedies, even modifying my driving route (stopped taking the freeway) and nothing made any permanent difference. What has made a difference is stopping all unnecessary car rides, starting anti-anxiety medication, and slowly working a full desensitisation protocol.
 
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