Poodle Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My dog had an ear infection so we took her to the vet. At first when we got in the car she was fine. Then my mom turned the car on and started driving. That's when the shaking started. I know its because she's scared. In all her 7 years of living she has probably been in the car 5 times. So she's not used to it. I just wanted to know if anyone elses dog does this. Big or small.
474592
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,213 Posts
It is worth working on desensitising and counter conditioning if it is probable that your dog will need to travel in the car again - lots of threads on PF if you search for "car sickness". The process is much the same, whether your dog shakes with anxiety or is actually sick.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fenix&Felix

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,956 Posts
Some dogs have extreme car anxiety, but my male poodle doesn't. He loves going on rides.

My female, however, is terrified of car rides. She was like this the day I picked her up from the breeder at 10 or 11 weeks old. She still does it every single time I have to drive her somewhere. Non-stop, high-pitched barking and she even looks crazy like her brain is frying. The only time she doesn't do this if someone else is driving and I hold her. I put her in a kennel with a cover so she can't see, it doesn't matter, and she's still anxious. I got to the point where I only take her to needed vet visits. Otherwise she's fearless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
I would also add that the ear infection might play a role. When Ziggy had a minor ear infection having the windows down when driving seemed to really bother him. I'd keep the windows up until he is healed and more comfortable in the car.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,002 Posts
Have you tried securing her in a car safe harness to the seatbelt? Some dogs aren't comfortable with the motion (ear infection might make that worse), so minimizing movement might help.
 

·
Registered
Remy
Joined
·
85 Posts
My 7 month old mini also shakes so violently that he throws up in the car. I’ve been working with him slowly for about a month and he’s only slightly better. We have a doggie car seat paired with a crash tested harness. It‘s heartbreaking because I envisioned a life with him going everywhere with me. I’m also unsure how to move forward to help him get over his fear or the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Topper has been quite vocal during car rides, and showed significant anxiety when I had him in a wire crate on the front seat next to me, in the wire crate strapped into the back seat, or in a harness tethered to the seat belt (either front or back). I tried desensitizing him, but found that he was still overstimulated and he just didn't know what to do with himself. He was much better if my husband was driving and Topper sat in my lap (with his harness tethered to my seat belt). Now I have him ride in a Vari-kennel type crate in the "way back" of my Honda CRV. He can't see out the windows, and I think this helps him stay calmer. I take him to the park for Sniffaris, to training classes, to the groomer, to the vet, and to the pet supply store. He often comments about my driving or choice of radio station, but he no longer cries or howls. It's taken three months to achieve this improvement in his comfort level. It's been hard for me, because my previous dog could sit tethered in a car seat next to me and loved car rides.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,570 Posts
He can't see out the windows, and I think this helps him stay calmer.
Pogo preferred riding in our pickup truck to riding in my station wagon. My theory is that he felt queasy when he watched the view. I think being able to lie on the floor of the truck helped him.

Pogo mostly liked riding in the pickup, because the ride almost always ended in a romp or a walk. I wonder if taking the OP's dog on micro rides might help. Load the dog in the car, drive half a block, walk home. Gradually increase the distance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,962 Posts
It makes me sad to read about dogs that are fearful of driving. It’s sometimes compounded by the fact they only drive to the vet may coupled with pain (such as OP’s dog’s ear infection) or car sickness.

If your dog has car sickness there’s medication, either OTC or prescription from a vet. Some dogs do better look out the window, while others are better looking within the car. How you secure your dog in the car could eliminate car sickness without medication.

Consider how your dog is secured in the car; secure for safety and comfort. I use a Sleepypod harness for my dog. She can sit or lay down and change position while she is seatbelted into the seat. She’s not flopping around loose in the car or being bounced around with ever stop sign or turn. My dog will also not be a projectile in a car accident.

The last, but critical step is desensitization which has to be done in slowly in baby steps. I detailed steps in this post: Driving to Florida

When I brought my minipoo home she was car sick and fearful of the car. She was almost a year old so slightly different situation. But I had obedience classes to drive to as well as vet and park for walks.

I worked to desensitize my dog to the car. It took me a week. Perhaps my plan can help you.

I broke up the car ride into tiny steps, treated each step and I did it several times each day. As soon as my dog was comfortable with one step I moved onto the next. If you get stuck at a step move back steps until your dog is comfortable.

These are the steps I remember (this was several years ago).

going into the garage near the car then back in the house
opening car door but not getting in
Going to car and jumping onto the floor but not car seat
Jump to car seat
Buckle in harness (I now use a sleepypod) so you should replace this step with a safe method to secure your puppy in the car
Closed the door with me standing next to it so she could see me
I got in the car and sat quietly
Open and shut garage door
Drive car onto driveway short distance
Drive to end of driveway
Pull on to street and drive a short distance
Drive up and down our cul de sac
Drive a few blocks
Drive to park to walk

I probably worked in this at least 5 times a day and some days we moved through steps quickly first day or two was slow repeating each step a couple of times before moving on.
Lastly drive your dog to a park or other fun location... give them a destination to look forward to.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PeggyTheParti

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,320 Posts
Full sympathy to you and anyone facing this.
When I acquired Oliver from his first family, I knew they loved him in their way, but. They arrived to meet me with him in a crate in the back of an SUV. Ol had rolled the crate. I ought to have realized then car travel could be an issue, but ever the optimist, pressed on. I didn't own a car so we could not practice. You'll note his ultimate favorite mode of travel...my user name 😊. Yes, Oliver and I adore our historic streetcars. Hopefully they return during his lifetime. For reasons, I'm guessing that may not be.

With cars, his screams ultimately endangered both of us. I had to decide. A good quality harness that screws onto a fastened seat belt was the compromise. He sits in a comfy pet bed wearing the harness and momma, on the rare occasions we get to drive a car, drives happily and safely. And Oliver rides safer because I'm not distracted or angered by his screaming

We even had a lovely weekend away in the hills thanks to this method, and both had a good time. With limited access and time, I did what I could.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Our girl, Ember, was Ok in the car up until a few months ago, when she was riding with my wife. Someone did something stupid and my wife had to brake hard. Ember, despite being harnessed in the back seat, flew forward into the back of the driver’s seat. It’s now difficult to even get her into the car. She’s a little better riding in my van - she’s tethered but stands between the front seats. However, she pants like crazy and occasionally whines; obviously traumatized. I take her with me as often as I possibly can - probably 3 or 4 times a week - to try to get her comfortable, but so far she’s still not liking the car rides. All of our other poodles, since I was a kid, loved car rides and our one miniature, Charlie, loved to go for plane rides too.
 

·
Registered
Standard Poodle (arriving April 21st !!)
Joined
·
430 Posts
Our girl, Ember, was Ok in the car up until a few months ago, when she was riding with my wife. Someone did something stupid and my wife had to brake hard. Ember, despite being harnessed in the back seat, flew forward into the back of the driver’s seat. It’s now difficult to even get her into the car. She’s a little better riding in my van - she’s tethered but stands between the front seats. However, she pants like crazy and occasionally whines; obviously traumatized. I take her with me as often as I possibly can - probably 3 or 4 times a week - to try to get her comfortable, but so far she’s still not liking the car rides. All of our other poodles, since I was a kid, loved car rides and our one miniature, Charlie, loved to go for plane rides too.
Hopefully you can get her to get over it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Hopefully you can get her to get over it.
I hope so. We like to take her everywhere with us, although one good thing is that she so far doesn’t have much separation anxiety, so we‘re able to leave her out of the kennel if we’ll be out for a couple of hours. When I was a kid we had a 90 lb standard (I know, right?) who had terrible separation anxiety. He totally trashed our entire house when we were out for Christmas dinner and my Dad finally gave him away to a farmer (broke my heart). Turned out he was an incredible farm dog (rounded up the cattle and sheep, etc.). I guess he just needed a job.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top