Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
Bo is an absolutely AWESOME puppy in every way. Everybody loves him and he loves them in return. He's gentle, sweet, smart and such a good boy. He has one problem though; he drools excessively in the car. I'm talking BUCKETS of drool!! He hasn't liked the car from day one and he often gets car sick if he's in the car over 30 minutes. I bought him a Thundershirt for the anxiety and it has helped a little but it hasn't stopped the drooling. I have helped his anxiety by putting him in the front seat attached to his seatbelt harness. I can pet and sooth him while we are riding but oh my heavens, from the MOMENT I put him in the car, he begins to drool. His whole muzzle and neck get drenched and his front paws do as well. I am at a loss as to how to stop him from doing this. I feel terrible for him. I don't know if he's anxious because he knows he might throw up or if he just hates the car. We go for rides everyday and mostly to fun places with positive outcomes but it doesn't seem to phase him. Good places or bad places, he hates the car. Any thoughts?
Wow...that sounds pretty intense. I don't have any first hand experience with this, but others might. I do know that I've read in Cesar Millan's books about this---he proposes a systematic desensitization approach. He's also very consistent about not giving comfort to a dog that is distressed because (while it is counter-intuitive for us not to comfort them when they are upset) it teaches them that they should be distressed about the situation. I might suggest getting some of his books---you can download them immediately from Amazon if you have a Kindle.
I'm so sorry your pooch (and you) are having such a hard time with car rides. That's one of the most fun things for me about having a dog---getting to take him all sorts of places! I hope you guys get it worked out. And I'm sure lots of other members have wise and helpful ways to advise you!! :-)
Start with short rides. No more than a few blocks, slowly. Keep it 3 to five minutes. That is ALL! Let the dog sit up front for now, riding face forward, eyes to the horizon. Keep dog treats on the DASH. Dogs will focus on the treats which keeps them from looking all around. Sit in the car. Give more treats. Slowly introduce the car again in a positive experience. With Starlit, we drove with cookies on the dash for at least 9 months.
Having a stressed dog myself, I understand what Tamson is saying about not rewarding stressed behavior, but in this case I disagree. Our trainer never allowed us to coax a stressed dog with treats but use commands such as sit, stay, heel! Heel is our big one, to let the dog know that stressing isn't the answer--here is another solution. Come to Heel and nothing will happen to you. Hard to do with a car ride and with the physical symptoms ( not just stress here) the dog feels--such as nausea, vomiting, etc.
But in this case I think the stress is because the dog is sick~~ VERTIGO~~~ is stressful. The brain is trying to achieve a balance and can not.
Start again slow.
It can be both. Having a dog with the same problems I've done a lot of reading and researching. Who knows though? I certainly don't.
This reminds me of the saying, " What came first, the chicken or the egg?"
I do know, that if I ever see the deck of a boat on the ocean again after have SEVERE Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, I WILL have an anxiety attack before I have motion sickness again just knowing how I felt the last time I took a boat out on the ocean. It took me months to just drink a glass of water that summer.
Riley was exactly like this for over three years. He was car sick from the moment he first got in a car. I am sorry to say I've not found anything that stopped the drooling. It is brought on by anxiety pure and simple. Your dog is terrified of the car and the association of being sick in the car. I agree with Joanne that it takes a lot of work and trying to make the car experience a pleasant one. But it can be done. Start slow and just get him used to the car while not moving. Make the sitting in the car a fun thing. Give treats and sing and play games. Believe me, I've tried everything. Don't move the car until Bo likes to get into the car. Then drive up and down the driveway, no further. Then after about a week go around the block and then take longer trips. Riley is now almost four and only in the last 6 months has he stopped drooling and is car sick free.
It's a long road!!!!
some good advice here! Cooper used to drool but more out of excitement than anxiety i think.
I wouldnt bother getting Cesars books, most of the stuff he talks about (in general, not just the car issue) is useless, or only helpful for certain dogs. However, the details for getting a dog used to car rides already described are great! I second not giving comfort!
Here is an old post of mine about Anxiety in a Car and what worked.
Here are some good posts about Rescue Remedy, how it works, and warnings about the proper one to b...
I have tried Rescue Remedy with Clover for this same problem. It was not that effective when using the dosage on the bottle. My vet tech gave me a different dosage to use which helped a lot more. 1 drop for every 5 lbs up to 20 lbs, then 1 drop for every 10 lbs, so a 60 lb dog would receive 8 drops. The vet tech uses Rescue Remedy in combination with the Thurdershirt for her dog that has anxiety.