In need of doggy advice.

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In need of doggy advice.

#1 Post by admin » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:45 pm

Most will be aware that Myf, my dog, is a fairly old rescue dog from the pound. At some point in time I suspect she has suffered a traumatic event associated with car travel, and flatly refuses to get into the car. I have occasionally lifted her on to the back seat of the car and she stands there shivering in fear. Scared stiff poor bugger. If she knows my intentions she runs off and hides.

I have to go on a fairly long drive, eight to ten hours, with her in the car, and am concerned that if she manages to get out off her lead a long way from home, I won't be able to get her back in. So a very real problem. Can't put her in a kennels as I could be away for quite a while.

Spent the last week trying to entice her into the car by opening the back, SUV, and placing her food bowl on the shelf. I have even sat there with her eating my dinner, all to no avail. She would rather go hungry than get in the car. Tried locking her in the garage with her food and water in the open car, but both untouched next morning. She is really fighting me on this.

Getting to the point of locking her in the car overnight just to see her reaction. But it could make matters worse. Really need some help on this, Guys. The only leverage I have is her food, and she will go on a hunger strike rather than get in the car, then she sits there staring at me as If I am the cruelest person imaginable for depriving her of her food.

Alison

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#2 Post by G-CPTN » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:50 pm

You will need a travel crate.

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#3 Post by bob2s » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:01 pm

Have you tried getting another person to drive whilst you sit in the back reassuring her all is ok,do this a few times until she settles, then switch drivers,do this a few times ,then try just by yourself.Can not say it will work but it may. Giving her a treat at the end of each drive would also help.

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#4 Post by admin » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:12 pm

Travel crate not an option as will need space for own luggage, etc.

Bob, she does settle down after a while. Once she is in the car there isn't a problem. Just if she gets out she won't get back in. Having been pretty crook recently I've lost much of my muscles. Can no longer lift her up to put her in the car while she is struggling/fighting me.

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#5 Post by Karearea » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:16 pm

Poor Myf.
When I took my dog in the car I kept her lead on, ready for use.
"Ah, but the strawberries, that's, that's where I had them..."

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#6 Post by izod tester » Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:01 pm

Could she be sedated for the journey? You will need to talk to a vet.

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#7 Post by admin » Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:08 pm

Given it some thought Izod. Talking to a vet costs lots of money down here. I need to get her over this fear of getting in a car. I know she was returned to the pound by previous adoptees, and may associate cars with being returned. Although I have had her for nearly a year and half. She is a bit funny in her ways, think she may be like me, autistic. That's how come we get on so well.

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#8 Post by PHXPhlyer » Mon Oct 19, 2020 11:54 pm

Maybe or or more of these might help.

https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostor ... lming-aids

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#9 Post by admin » Tue Oct 20, 2020 1:41 am

Found a good website that addresses phobias and such like in dogs. What the guy says seems to make a lot of sense.

https://www.thesprucepets.com/dogs-and- ... rs-1117884

Tried sitting in car with all doors open, and enticed Myf to come close with bits of her favourite treat - dried liver strips. After half an hour I had her sitting up close to the car while I stroked her neck and head. That's progress. I think having all the car doors open, as suggested, made a difference.

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#10 Post by larsssnowpharter » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:00 am

I had much the same problem with the Black Bitch and found out from the previous keeper that her only trips in a car had been to visit the vet where she suffered horrible indignities.

I followed much the same protocol as described in your reference. At first, we didn't go anywhere. This followed by short trips to favourite spots gradually increasing. She still needs encouraging but will, at least, get in. The bad news is that this took about 8 weeks of patient work with her.

Would putting a harness on your hound and keeping a leash on during the trip help?

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#11 Post by probes » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:18 am

I'm all for positive reinforcement - mentioned in thesprucepets - and explained wonderfully in https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/310 ... ot_the_Dog_
- Pryor says the main thing is to find the proper reinforcement (e.g. "rain is positive for ducks, negative for cats and leaves cows totally indifferent") and wait for even the tiniest step of progress to the right direction. Bribing never works, she says.
It's complicated, though, - with my daughter only 'bribing' worked, for example, and with a Bernie, my beloved 'comfort dog', motivating with giving his pal the treat had the opposite effect. He tends to anchor down when he suspects the general direction is towards home. When I gave the treat to his pal, he turned his head so he couldn't see us and was visibly offended. So, I broke all the rules, went to him, apologised for being mean, and gave him 2 treats - then he got up and no tricks for the day any more :)!
Maybe, if you park the car somewhere you can have the dog running around it and having a good time, then just getting a bit closer and the first treat, and so on?
P.S. sometimes just explaining the problem to the dog helps. Like to a person. E.g. when our late dachs had had surgery and tried to chew off the bandage and we didn't want to use the collar, as she was really poorly anyway (except for chewing the bandage), I told her: You have to understand, the bandage has to stay here on your belly, otherwise we have to use the collar. And, believe it or not, she didn't try to rip it off any more.

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#12 Post by Pontius Navigator » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:29 am

Agree with all the advice above as offered in sequence. Sedation is not a solution.

Short trips to good places as larss suggests, though not necessarily 'favourites' as you have to convince her to drive rather than walk. The short drive should end in a treat - the beach or a wood - if this is different from usual places. May be her own ice cream treat.

However getting her back in could be a problem.

Two stories. Both times we had two dogs. Once stopped in Windsor Great Park. One dog decided this was 'the place'. She didn't run off, just wanted us to go with her. We drove off, she just sat.

Different pair. Night stopped in the Mess at RAF Carlisle. The Mess was closed. They had great fun running down the corridor then sliding on the loose carpets. Outside rabbits in the garden. When we left one just sat on the door step. Again driving off had no effect.

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#13 Post by llondel » Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:13 pm

It has to be a gradual process, lots of encouragement to get in the car while allowing free access to the exits. Try it a few time a day, just go get in the car, invite the dog to join you as best she will, reward her for approaching the car, then for getting in, then for settling down, then for doing it with fewer doors open, then for closing all the doors but then opening them again.

Once you have the dog contained, start the engine but don't go anywhere, then you can progress to a short drive returning home, then to a short drive to somewhere down the street, let her out and if she won't get back in then at least you can walk her home and go back for the car.

It's not a short process, all of the above may take weeks. Don't keep doing it in a long session, just do a few repetitions a day, and when she gets in the car the first time, have a party with lots of treats and then go do something else with her away from the car.

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#14 Post by Pontius Navigator » Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:36 am

Llondel, you remind me of a woman scared of flying.

She was a 'wife of' at Lossiemouth and her fear of flying affected both the family as regards getting away on holiday and her marriage as she was affais by proxy for her husband.

The MP fancied himself as a trick cyclist abs thought to follow the path you suggest.

I don't know how much time he took, but we became involved when he used the nearest thing to a passenger aircraft at Lossie, the Shackleton. We were already when 'boarding began'. She was trembling as they approached the ladder, short near vertical ladder. She was seated in the starboard beam seat by the door. He knelt by her (the doc might have been her husband) and she was strapped in. So far so good, then we started engines. Everyone and everything shakes but she shook more. When we started number 3 she was off....

I don't know the end of the story but it would seem to be, don't rush it.

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#15 Post by llondel » Wed Oct 21, 2020 4:13 pm

I'm doing agility training with Faraday at the moment, that's a gradual process, often with intermediate steps to get a particular behaviour before transferring that behaviour to something else. The emphasis is on doing things gradually because it's a lot of work to untrain a wrong behaviour, which is effectively what Alison is attempting to do here. The dog has to realise that by doing the boring or unpleasant bit, there is lots of fun to be had afterwards.

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#16 Post by admin » Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:40 am

Making progress. If I sit on the back seat of the car with my legs inside and with all doors open, she will sit next to me outside the car. Previously she wouldn't come within 20 yds of the car. So there is hope.

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#17 Post by PHXPhlyer » Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:32 pm

Small steps in the right direction. :YMAPPLAUSE:
Hopefully, the rate of progress will increase. :-bd
Good luck to the both of you! :O3

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#18 Post by admin » Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:11 am

Yee Haa!! Sat in the middle of the back seat with all doors open as per. Placed a row of pieces of her favourite doggy treat - dried liver strips, on top of the seat near the door visible to her and waited whilst ignoring her, AND SHE JUMPED UP PUTTING HER TWO FRONT PAWS ON THE SEAT TO GET THE YUMMIES. Hooray!! Bloody brilliant.

Mind you I have been trying to coax her to come close to the car three to four times every day.

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#19 Post by llondel » Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:27 am

Good progress, she's overcoming most of her fears. At least she's food-motivated, one of ours is not - she won't accept treats at the vet and a few other situations.

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Re: In need of doggy advice.

#20 Post by Pontius Navigator » Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:43 am

At this point it looks like you are doing OK and don't need any more tips.

We had two dogs, one loved to travel, the other liked the car but the moment we drove off she dropped on to the back foot well. When we got out she would resume the master position being the steering wheel.

The other was a good traveller and happy camper. We borrowed a trailer tent and had a practice go putting it up. Even before the canopy was up she was in the door, onto the bed, and behaving as if she was used to the life - it was the first time she had seen it.

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