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Reactive Dog -Only In The Car


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#21 miz molly

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 06:52 AM

My parents had a dog that couldn't handle wide open spaces. When inside the home, the dog acted normally. It was observed that outside, this pup couldn't absorb the stimulation of sight, sound, smell and movement. It apparently was too much for her and It made her very nervous. She would run in circles, zip back and forth like a humming bird barking, and jump like its paws were on hot coals. Interesting that the pup felt secure in the car on a lap. Outside she didn't want to be on a lap. For Wyot,...... being In the car, the stimulation and processing of movement, sound, sights and smells are intense. Perhaps its the stimulation that is difficult to process, and on the other hand perhaps Wyot is processing in the "protection/warning mode?" I'd try another car. Or if Wyot gets into your car willingly, sit with him for a bit on a quiet road, whisper to him that all is good, then move the car to a busy street and pull over and sit with him again so he can watch and process the busy activity. Repeat till he feels comfortable in knowing the danger is not there and sits quietly. When ready, pull over on the freeway and let him observe again that there is no danger. The speed of stimulation on the freeway is obviously faster than a country road. Try taking baby steps in changing the behavior. Just my 10 cents worth.
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#22 Carolyn

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 10:46 AM

Ayita has never enjoyed riding in the car as far as I can tell. We started her in a crate in the back of the SUV. She had to be coaxed in with treats and/or picked up and put in, and then just laid still the whole ride. When she was 3, we switched to a tether in the back seat. She was afraid to stand up and move around for at least a year--never cried or got crazy. Now at 4 1/2 she will stand up on certain straight smooth roads for short periods of time, but she won't get into the car unless I throw a couple of treats in first and she only walks around when the car is stopped. I feel for her and still talk to her and sing to her--hmmm, maybe it's the singing and not the car at all...

Edited by Carolyn, 31 March 2018 - 10:49 AM.

"When Man waked up he said, 'What is Wild Dog doing here?' and the Woman said, 'His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.' "  Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book) 

#23 KittynDoc

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 01:43 PM

My parents had a dog that couldn't handle wide open spaces. When inside the home, the dog acted normally. It was observed that outside, this pup couldn't absorb the stimulation of sight, sound, smell and movement. It apparently was too much for her and It made her very nervous. She would run in circles, zip back and forth like a humming bird barking, and jump like its paws were on hot coals. Interesting that the pup felt secure in the car on a lap. Outside she didn't want to be on a lap. For Wyot,...... being In the car, the stimulation and processing of movement, sound, sights and smells are intense. Perhaps its the stimulation that is difficult to process, and on the other hand perhaps Wyot is processing in the "protection/warning mode?" I'd try another car. Or if Wyot gets into your car willingly, sit with him for a bit on a quiet road, whisper to him that all is good, then move the car to a busy street and pull over and sit with him again so he can watch and process the busy activity. Repeat till he feels comfortable in knowing the danger is not there and sits quietly. When ready, pull over on the freeway and let him observe again that there is no danger. The speed of stimulation on the freeway is obviously faster than a country road. Try taking baby steps in changing the behavior. Just my 10 cents worth.


Yeah, outside he is GREAT! Our yard out the entry door faces a busy two way road (we are moving hopefully by the end of the year to a more secluded place), and he ignores the traffic, the cars, the occasional honk gets his attention (it's a friend who passes our house), but that is it. He plays, and does his business, comes back on recall, etc. In the house, no problem either- does the usual, and barks only when he hears a knock on the door, or sees/hears a car pulling up into the driveway.


He LOVED getting in the car and knew he was going on an adventure, or was just going be with us wherever we were going. No accidents, nothing freaky happened at all to make him change behaviors like this, which is why this is baffling! He started doing this last summer, so it was way before Kitchee arrived. Now, Kitchee is starting to whine, just because he feels he has to chime in (it's funny, but NOT funny)...He does not like windy roads, which we live on back country roads, and will be living up the mountain a few miles away from here. We take them to our property to hike on so they get used to what will be home soon, and they both LOVE it. But the incessant whining for the 7 miles there is intolerable. He pees before he goes, so it's not that, either.

I very briefly comforted him in the beginning and now it is a constant NO..LAY DOWN, WYOT. I tried the treat, but he isn't interested in it at all...and the same happens when we come in from a walk- no dice on the treat- he takes it and then it just drops to the floor, and Kitchee grabs it. He has started to lay down after a while, but the whining does not stop. I'm really hoping it will get better with time and patience...

#24 KittynDoc

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 01:46 PM

Ayita has never enjoyed riding in the car as far as I can tell. We started her in a crate in the back of the SUV. She had to be coaxed in with treats and/or picked up and put in, and then just laid still the whole ride. When she was 3, we switched to a tether in the back seat. She was afraid to stand up and move around for at least a year--never cried or got crazy. Now at 4 1/2 she will stand up on certain straight smooth roads for short periods of time, but she won't get into the car unless I throw a couple of treats in first and she only walks around when the car is stopped. I feel for her and still talk to her and sing to her--hmmm, maybe it's the singing and not the car at all...


Maybe I should sing!! LOL! He'd always been in the back seat...at first, on a tether, but then he was going to strangle himself with all of the car "chasing" he was doing from one end to the other..and then we thought he'd rip the seat belt receptacle right out of the seat (he's a lean, strong bugger!)...I guess eventually it will work itself out. I do hope this passes as he gets older, and patience on my part wins out.


#25 KittynDoc

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 02:47 PM

We, as humans, tend to try to comfort, like we do with our kids. However, with dogs, comforting is reinforcing behavior. We want to comfort, but we should be telling them "No!" It's so hard to do this for us humans because these are our fur babies, but we do need to think like they think. So, this is not acceptable behavior, and we need to tell them no. It is so against our grain. I remember when we first got Noquisi. He was very worried about riding in the car. He would cry, but we bit the bullet and told him, "No!" After a few rides of that, he calmed and now he sits in the front seat, ears back, right paw on the door where the window meets. It's a hoot. He's too cool for cool! 
 
I think something must have happened for this behavior to have developed. Was there an accident? Fender bender? Maybe he feels like oncoming cars are a threat. I would first make sure he pees and poops, at least pees before getting into the car. I would not do this if you are actually going somewhere for a purpose. Go for a ride with the express purpose of resolving this issue. A training ride. That way you won't be stressed because you are going somewhere. If you tell him, "No," and he becomes quiet, give him a small training treat with praise. This will be a build up of time. At first it will be a short time and will lengthen over time. I would start with just him and you in the car. Once that is conquered, add the other dog. 
 
The message to him is that this behavior is not acceptable, and he will change when you treat him and praise him when he quiets. Then it's okay to be quiet when his doggie sib is in the car too. It won't be instant. Persistence is key. Small increments.


No incidents, no accidents or frights of any kind, so it's a mystery.I've told him NO...and tell him to LAY DOWN...and he won't, not even for a treat. He is laying down after a while, but reluctantly and still whines incessantly ...and then gets up again and repeats the process.

Edited by KittynDoc, 02 April 2018 - 02:49 PM.


#26 vlkea01

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 03:59 PM

No incidents, no accidents or frights of any kind, so it's a mystery.I've told him NO...and tell him to LAY DOWN...and he won't, not even for a treat. He is laying down after a while, but reluctantly and still whines incessantly ...and then gets up again and repeats the process.

Mmmm...maybe he gets motion sick? I sure wish our fur babies could talk.



#27 KittynDoc

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 12:04 PM

Mmmm...maybe he gets motion sick? I sure wish our fur babies could talk.


...don't I know it! I've thought of the motion sickness...my black lab had her space in the back, with a dog gate up, separating the cargo space and the seats. she got in willingly, and was excited to go on a trip..but as soon as the car started and was in motion, she curled up and slept most of the way. If she didn't, she looked out the back at where we just were, and that seemed to quell any sickness she felt.

I just ordered a gate for my SUV. The dogs will be back there, and we will see how that goes. Right now, tethered or not tethered, they are a danger to themselves as well as to us. Kitchee has started to screech (his is high pitched at the moment, lol!), just to add to his brother's whining...but you can tell he does not know WHY he is whining, just that he has to join and do as Wyot does. So, now, they both try to climb into the front seat! It'll figure itself out, I'm sure..but WHEW!!!

Edited by KittynDoc, 05 April 2018 - 12:04 PM.


#28 Samie

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 12:28 PM

Maybe consider taking Kitchee for a separate ride occasionally so this doesn't turn into an automatic habit for him. Just a thought.



#29 KittynDoc

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 01:54 PM

Maybe consider taking Kitchee for a separate ride occasionally so this doesn't turn into an automatic habit for him. Just a thought.


Thank you! I love all the wonderful support here...it really feels like a family...

We'vetaken Kitchee on rides by himself...and he is starting to be more active- peeking his little head over the seat hammock and being a little more vocal, lol! The last time he was being stepped on by Wyot, and I just took him on my lap and he curled up and went to sleep...

#30 vlkea01

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 04:20 PM

Any updates on Wyot and car rides?



#31 KittynDoc

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 04:50 PM

Well....just came back from one. Finally put the divider in the back and the two of them have the entire back of our SUV...he whines insanely and still dives, but at least it is further back from us. It seems he really feels stress at not being able to control his environment- ie. when we have deer in our field, he runs pretty close perimeter by them, but herds them out and doesn't go any further than our boundaries....so, I assume that is the stress he feels in the car.. Kitchee just stares at him, keeps quiet, or joins him in a stray yip or yap..but when I say quiet..he goes quiet. Not so Wyot. I do not know what to do about his situation, as we've tried every scenario, and training, etc...I'm at al loss. I do not yell at him or tell him to stop, as that only makes his stress worse. I hope we will eventually figure it out, or he will mellow. Thanks for asking!

#32 vlkea01

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 08:46 PM

This is going to be a tough nut to crack. Where are you located?



#33 miz molly

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 04:41 AM

Sounds to me, he just doesn't like riding in the car. Just like being out in the field and watching to make sure everything is safe...he chose that job. Just maybe his other job is to make sure your home is safe while you are away. He is definitely trying to tell YOU something. Not all dogs take to riding in a car. I have one. So I decided to leave him home, and not stress him out. That is apparently where HE wants to be. It is his job he chose, so I listened to him. He doesn't feel left out, because he is doing his job. He is happy there and it makes me happy that he is happy. Just a thought.
When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. ~John Muir

#34 vlkea01

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 11:21 AM

Maybe this might work. This is NOT a medication taken internally. It's dog pheromone, the kind let off by mother dogs to calm their pups. Worth a try.

 

https://www.adaptil..../ADAPTIL-Travel

 

Also at the same site is a helpful instruction guide to help get the dog used to the car.

 

https://www.adaptil....-WITH-TRAVELING

 

I would purchase it and then use it while following the helpful guide. There are other products here, including a collar with pheromone. Interesting site.



#35 KittynDoc

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Posted 16 June 2018 - 05:07 AM

Thanks for your thoughts! Problem is he LOVES the hikes and destinations that we go to...it's getting there that is the crux. He is in his glory running trails, and yesterday was our first real big hike of the season, and he was excellent! Recall was amazing, and Kitchee just followed him and also came back when called. The woods, bogs, ponds, creeks and hills are when both of them are in their element- jumping over, climbing, running, dodging, chasing and drinking from the creek, then coming over and getting their hugs from me when I sit for a water bottle break. If I left him home, he would miss all that. Next will be trying to see if we can fit crates into the back of the car. Perhaps being in a safe place may help... I am in upstate NY, in the Catskills, vikea01...

#36 Denise E.

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 09:40 AM

Well....just came back from one. Finally put the divider in the back and the two of them have the entire back of our SUV...he whines insanely and still dives, but at least it is further back from us. It seems he really feels stress at not being able to control his environment- ie. when we have deer in our field, he runs pretty close perimeter by them, but herds them out and doesn't go any further than our boundaries....so, I assume that is the stress he feels in the car.. Kitchee just stares at him, keeps quiet, or joins him in a stray yip or yap..but when I say quiet..he goes quiet. Not so Wyot. I do not know what to do about his situation, as we've tried every scenario, and training, etc...I'm at al loss. I do not yell at him or tell him to stop, as that only makes his stress worse. I hope we will eventually figure it out, or he will mellow. Thanks for asking!

 

Have you tried a crate/covered crate in the back of the SUV?

I like the pheromones idea also.

Windows cracked seems to help some - maybe it is changing visual stimulation to nose focus?

 

Coffey gets car sick - he used to overstimulate with people near the car.  After he calmed down a bit he would look out the back window on rides.

I got a different vehicle (an Explorer) and the dogs stay in the backseat.

Now he gets carsick on rides over 2.5 miles.  I think its the change from the smoother ride of the car to the bouncy back seat of the SUV/truck frame.

The back window is farther away so he doesn't sit backwards.

The back window is farther away and we are higher up so he doesn't spaz out when kids or people go by us faster than a walk.

I need to buy some memory foam to put on the  seat under the seat cover to shock absorb a little bit.

 

I can understand what Wyot's antics look like mostly.  Coffey did similar in the car but not "to" cars so it was less often.

Coffey gets tethered with seatbelt and has unhooked himself in his spazzing.

I can imagine it is extremely frustrating!!!!!!!

 

We have done some nosework / search training with Coffey to train him to focus with his nose.

I am not sure if that actually helped his car overstimulation, it seemed to help in the old car a bit.

 

The nosework/search training was done in the house then graduating to outside (less distractions to more distractions).

We stopped after a month of training a few times a week (half hr sessions multiple searches) but really need to get back to it.

 

Have you tried anything like that?

 

I would be lost if I couldn't pop the dogs in the vehicle and "go".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#37 KittynDoc

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 02:59 AM

Thanks for the suggestions! I think that Wyot is in complete protection mode, as that is his stance when we go outside for potty breaks and exercise in the back field behind the house. Kitchee runs like a maniac, and Wyot "watches", standing at attention, nose in action smelling the air, looking around, making sure Kitchee is fine, and us as well. He and Kitchee end the session outside with a chase and run through an obstacle course (my garden, rocks, stumps, etc.), and jumping (which Kitchee looks like a total kangaroo) through the tall grass. He probably feels his job isn't being done right in the car, is my guess, and crating is the last thing I will try, but he HATED being crated in the car when I had tried it previously when he was about 11 months old or so. But, it does NOT stop us from throwing them in the car and just going on our next adventure, because that is where Wyot is in his glory, running the trails like an expert and "showing" Kitchee the ropes in the woods. We love it!

#38 vlkea01

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Posted 25 July 2018 - 07:22 PM

Update? Hope things are better.



#39 KittynDoc

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Posted 28 July 2018 - 01:57 AM

Wow, vikea01, you must have a sixth sense...just the other day, for test running his wagon, hubby took just Wyot, and let him hop into the back seat...and NO shaking, whining at all...still jumping a bit at cars, though, but not like he used to. Then we took both dogs (funny how Kitchee went to the back hatch, and at first didn't get going in the back seat)...and Wyot was great!! Maybe being in the back, apart from us made him calmer by appreciating that we let him into the back seat again. I don't know. Maybe it's a switch in his doggie brain, because he'll be two in October. Whatever it is, we are grateful!!! Thanks for asking!

#40 vlkea01

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 12:01 PM

I'm so glad to hear that! Sometimes patience prevails (although we go crazy being patient)!






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