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Car fear, advice needed please!!!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by mum2three, May 27, 2010.


  1. mum2three

    mum2three PetForums Junior

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    Ok, I'm having to lift my rather large 23kg pup into the boot of my Landrover because he's terrified of going in there. He seems fine on the journey, he's quite, doesn't mess and looks out of the back window.

    I've tried tempting him in with treats but it hasn't worked. Infact I dont think it will because he's too stressed to eat, even in the car he won't take a treat.

    Is there anything I can do to get him less stressed so that one day he'll won't have to be lifted in. Thanks:D
     
  2. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    What do you do when he shows the stress type behaviour? Is it possible for you to spend a bit of time sitting on the tailgate, ignoring any stressy behaviour completely, and just letting him come to the conclusion slowly but surely that there's nothing to worry about?

    Indie was a bit worried about one of the car's I sometimes chuck my two in if we're going out, a friend's Landrover funnily enough. But given a bit of time to just get used to it, ignoring her daft behaviour and letting her come to the conclusion there's nothing to worry about, she will happily jump in the back of her own accord now.
     
  3. theevos5

    theevos5 PetForums VIP

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    Just a suggestion,but has he maybe caught in leg in the gap in the tail gate when jumping in previously?we always put a mat across the gap as it is so easy for Alfie to get stuck in it and hurt himself.
    I have a similar problem but always at the end of a walk,its because he doesn't want it to end,tail goes down,he starts trying to shake off his lead,but I just stand there and wait and all of a sudden he will jump in,funny how he never does it when going out in the car to get to our walk :)
     
  4. mum2three

    mum2three PetForums Junior

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    He has never liked going in the car. The first few times when he was very little he was on my lap and used to shake like crazy. Then he got too wriggly so it was time he went into the back where it was safer. Of course, because he was small we just picked him up and put him in cause it was a bit high, he whined at first but after a few times he seemed to settle completely in there and was quiet and would lay down. Now he's 7 months and big and could easily jump in but won't (got him to do it once). I don't think its stubborness about wanting to be lifted because he won't take a treat close to the open boot and he won't eat in the car (I read that that is a strong sing of stress). Also its not just the Landrover because he's been exactly the same about our Corsa.

    I will try sitting by the open boot for a while. We often teather him to the car on a line when we out and having our sandwiches etc and he's happy with that. Its just the open boot he get nervous around, so maybe next time I'll sit in the open boot and see if a bit of my sarnie will tempt him enough. Like I said, the only trigger he's had as far as I know is that he's been put in there and wasn't happy about it.
     
  5. mum2three

    mum2three PetForums Junior

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    Sorry, we've got a freelander and the boot opens to the side, sounds like you have a different landrover maybe?
     
  6. Inkdog

    Inkdog PetForums Member

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    I had a very similar problem with my Lab. This time last year he wouldn’t get into the car; but right now I have the opposite problem – I can’t keep him out!

    In my experience that transformation took time, patience, and two or three tons of cheese. Checking my notes I can see that it took 3 months to get him to willingly jump into the boot of my estate; throughout May to July of last year I spent long periods sitting in the boot with piles of toys, treats, footballs, anything I could think of to tempt him in. There were definitely times when I felt like dragging him in and saying look, it really is okay! And people recommended doing just that. But to me it seemed pointless to say the least; I needed him to want to get into the car - so I just plugged away at it despite all the frustration.

    To cut a long saga short, he did eventually jump up and join me. The first time he just grabbed the treat and jumped back out again, but within a few days of that breakthrough moment he was jumping in even when I wasn’t there.

    The next stage was to get him used to travelling in the car. IMO Just shutting the boot door and driving off would have been too much for him, so for several weeks I had him on the back seat, secured with a car harness and sitting alongside my partner. That really helped to increase his confidence when travelling and to convince him that the car meant good things were going to happen.

    Once I was sure that he was completely happy with travelling, I was able to think about introducing him to his car crate. The boot of a car can provide too much space, especially for those dogs that won’t or can’t settle. A car crate is a good idea anyway, but in this situation it’s close to being essential. I won’t go in to how long I spent with that stage! But suffice to say that right now you’d find it hard to imagine that he’d ever had a problem with the car! However, it took a long time.

    I’m sure that you can do the same as long as you’re prepared to spend as long as it takes working on it! You need to make it fun and you need to inspire his confidence. It might also be worth thinking about buying a car crate if you don't already own one.
     
  7. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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  8. Inkdog

    Inkdog PetForums Member

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  9. mollymo

    mollymo Life is Golden

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    Ive had the same problem with my young Golden...she is nearly 10months 26kg and will not jump in the boot...she puts her 2front feet on the edge and we lift her bottom the rest,its only because she is nervous of the car as yours is,our other golden just jumps in but she wont follow...ours is also a 4x4.
    It started at 8weeks of age being very scared of the car and very sick for quite some time and drooling....she is now happy to ride in the car with no sickness or problems at all....we just take no notice of her when we walk towards the car as thats when we feel her tense up...so we just ignore her and she is much better then...once in the car she is fine now.
    Ive had many goldens and never had a car problem with any of them...but they are all different as people are.
    I hope your dog gets over the fear soon.
     
  10. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    Better late than never :D
     
  11. mum2three

    mum2three PetForums Junior

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    We were originally getting a car crate but found it really hard to find one for a freelander because of the slop on the back seats. He crate trained at home but thats too big for the boot. OH has cleverly created a section so that he has a cosier and safer space.
     
  12. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    Chuff, we got Indie into the back of the Landrover within 15 mins, just sitting there and talking on the tailgate. She would put her paws up but didn't want to jump in, and started 'performing' when we asked her, so we just ignored her completely and she jumped up of her own accord after about 15 mins. Self training dogs, they're great, lol!!!!
     
  13. Inkdog

    Inkdog PetForums Member

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    It sounds like your OH has come up with an ingenious solution! :thumbup:

    But if ever you fancy an upgrade you might like to know that the crate I use should also fit a Freelander: SafeDog
     
  14. Inkdog

    Inkdog PetForums Member

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    LOL, we tried doing that with Bingley on the day one: he'd put his paws up, but nothing else would follow.

    We tried it again on the second day; then the third. After a week we realised that we were going to have to try something else! :rolleyes:
     
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