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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Sorry for the book.

So the new guy is 3mo. I've had him 2 weeks now. He salivates (nausea) barks, whines, paws at the crate trying to get out and poops or pees in the crate when in the car. The drive home from the breeders was so horrific for him that I kept him home for a week to let him settle in. Then I went to the vet for his puppy check up and advice on the car issues. Which is to say that we are way behind on the socialization process since he's so traumatized by the car ride, and I need to drive to see people and other dogs.

I'm doing counter conditioning work with positive reinforcement and the car (feeding all meals in car crate) I've taken him on short 1 min, 3 min and then 5 min trips with my other dog who is not car phobic. I've gotten some Cerinia from my vet and talked with her and my +R trainer on the need to give the meds and take him on frequent short positive trips when he's on the drug. I used it yesterday, some success, short car rides with other dog (only whined a little) then a ride to first puppy socialization class he barked the ride home and tried to paw his way out of the crate. The class wasn't a negative experience, it was also NOT a tail wagging good time either. He was timid and interested in other dogs but didn't play with any of them (other pups were smaller, softer)

I'll continue the short trips on drugs with the other dog and try to build positive association for the car. But do it every other day.

ANY other Ideas???

Anyone else deal with this?

I'm reluctant to use the drug every day. For fear of any harmful side effects. Maybe that's my own paranoia that I need to get over quick. But I also have this supposedly tiny window of opportunity to socialize him. So I need to get him out and see other dogs, animals and people but

Likelyhood of him growing out of it? I recall something online about inner ear development of puppies that causes motion sickness.... that they grow out of as they develop. Vet never mentioned this, and I forgot to ask.

Currently only other thought is to play more crate games in his house crates and really up the positive association with the crates.

Re; the pottying in the crate in the car, It really is an accident. HIs potty training os going really well, he never soils in a crate in the house. He is used to his crate, has one attached to his ex pen that he sleeps in all the time (I leave door open though) and He's in a crate at my bedside at night. I am tempted to allow him loose in back (have a dog barrier) to see if there is an associate confinement issue that adds to his car ride panic. But then makes clean up far more difficult.

edited to add that I crossposted this on the training forum as well
 

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I deal with this all the time at work. Personally, I think the physical sensation of motion sickness can trigger anxiety and then the two can get all muddled together in a puppy's mind. I find that addressing this primarily as the physical issue seems to work for most young puppies to break that cycle of feeling sick and then feeling anxious about feeling sick -- that, and/or they outgrow it with time.

I like to address the physical sensations and the anxiety separately at first. Specifically, I would personally:

*For the anxiety, work on the counterconditioning in a stationary car for now so that the physical sensations aren't even an issue. Once you get some nausea-free trips under your belt, add some counterconditioning to short rides.
*Use something - cerenia or dramamine - for all car trips for awhile. Like I said, you just want some nausea-free trips under your belt. I personally find it helpful to randomly intersperse shorter and longer trips than to gradually increase them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
thanks, that is helpful to know to work on the counterconditioning in a stationairy car. Although I do start the engine and let it idle. Ie; progressively worked up to that... starting at feeding near the car, then in the car, then in the crate and etc.

So is using cernia every day going to be hard on his system? I guess that's a question fro my vet.

dramamine what would the dose level be?

Sassafras work do you do that you see this often? vet tech? dog trainer?

when you say most young puppies break that cycle..... what do you mean by young? Is my 3mo pup still considered young? Or does young mean 6 weeks old?
 

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What does pup do when not in the crate in the car? We have a small car that is jam packed with people, so no room for a crate so puppy just rides with us with out one. She loves car rides and comes running when I go to the car even if all I am doing is emptying the trunk. She either lays at youngest's feet or climbs up to the back window though we limit that for safety. I know that using a crate in the car is ideal but what if for a while you don't. I know that when we first couple car trips the puppy shoook and wimpered but my oldest daughter held her and stroked her and made her see the pleasure in the car trip. Since then in the last 6 weeks she has done trips that were 6 hours one way with us (with potty breaks half way for puppy and children). We live in a little rural town so everything must be driven to, and we take her everywhere. I am just wondering if you have an older responsible child or adult in the car that can hold and soothe puppy until the anxiety of the car rides is cured and then work back into using the crate for safety.
 

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thanks, that is helpful to know to work on the counterconditioning in a stationairy car. Although I do start the engine and let it idle. Ie; progressively worked up to that... starting at feeding near the car, then in the car, then in the crate and etc.

So is using cernia every day going to be hard on his system? I guess that's a question fro my vet.

dramamine what would the dose level be?

Sassafras work do you do that you see this often? vet tech? dog trainer?

when you say most young puppies break that cycle..... what do you mean by young? Is my 3mo pup still considered young? Or does young mean 6 weeks old?
Oh sorry, I am a vet, but I would talk to your vet about the cerenia and dramamine doses and use. In general if the puppy is riding in the car every single day, I wouldn't use the cerenia every day indefinitely. I'm at home and don't remember this off the top of my head but there is a maximum number of days in a row you're supposed to use cerenia... so if you're in the car every day I wouldn't use it every day indefinitely, dramamine would be safer. I usually use the "less drowsy" which is meclizine (also sold under the brand name Bonine).

Most puppies I've seen seem to outgrow it by somewhere between 6-15 months old, because a lot of times I hear about it at the last puppy boosters but not at their spay/neuter or one year boosters.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks all, to the first responder.... since the puppy is nauseaus, not something he can regulate himself I guess..... and since he pooped and peed in the crate b/c he was freaked. I haven't allowed him to ride in the car with my daughter in her car seat..... I can try allowing him to ride in my hubby lap up front if I can get him to help me out after work.. so will try that one. and put an old towel in his lap...

Sassafras.... thanks for the input. Yes I will check with my vet about the dramamine/bonine and if she feels that is an option. Also I'll ask her how frequently I can use the cerenia... I don't HAVE to take him in the car everyday..... but I do have to socialize him... so I'll try to do 3 car rides a week and space them out... so like M,W,F take cerinia and do car rides..

good to know that it's possible that he could grow out of this by 6-15 months...

I'm one that feels that the door to socialization doesn't close at some specific age... but I do feel that it does become much harder to socialize and you have to take far more time to do it and do it well the older that they get....
 
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