Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Help with Springer

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by ewelsh, Jun 2, 2017.


  1. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    11,556
    Likes Received:
    28,710
    I have an English Springer Spaniel Lucy, 5 years old this year, she is not a working dog, in fact she is the opposite, scared of birds or feathers, crowds, other dogs, anything that's introduced NEW to her daily life her biggest fear is the car. We have other dogs who are happy happy all the time, never nervous of anything very sociable.
    When Lucy was a puppy we brought in a very experienced dog behaviourist to help with an issue, the behaviourist thought the issue stemmed from a memory as a puppy, we tried everything to help Lucy months & months of it.
    The behaviourist thought Lucy's fear of the car came from: when I went to collect Lucy as a puppy from the breeders, she was sleeping, she slept all the way home but woke when on our drive which is very bumpy, she was in my arms.!!!

    So.

    Lucy's issue is the car, she is absolutely terrified of it, she will freeze when in the car, vomit, urinate, just sit so still dribbling the whole time, it's pitiful actually. We have given her positive outings with lots of fun at the end of it, we have tried treats, we have tried ignoring it, we have tried a security vest thing, the other dogs love being in the car so no negativity ever. We now don't put her in the car at all.

    Obviously Lucy has to go in the car to the vets, the only other time is for the groomers! The groomer herself has said Lucy is in such a state when she gets there it's awful to see, it takes a long time to calm her down, the groomer is so good with her and has noticed that as soon as Lucy hears my car pulling up to collect her, Lucy starts vomiting and shaking.

    My question is, do I persist taking Lucy to the groomers, or do I do the kinder thing and get a mobile groomer to my house?
    My concern is I don't want Lucy to associate the garden with the mobile groomers resulting in fear going in the garden?

    Here is our Lucy who is happiest when at home or in the garden.
    IMG_3455.JPG


    IMG_3485.JPG
    IMG_3213.JPG
     
  2. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2013
    Messages:
    14,885
    Likes Received:
    22,572
    If she's a nervous dog all round, I find it odd that the behaviourist is claiming that the car is specifically due to her coming home from the breeders. Fearful dogs, can be fearful as you have pointed out of anything and everything.

    A behaviourist should be giving you more Lucy's viewpoint now..rather where it came from and suggestions how to help. Yes sometimes management helps, and car travel can be one of those that is never a quick fix...

    Can I ask where you found details of the behaviourist?
     
    Lurcherlad and Nettles like this.
  3. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    11,556
    Likes Received:
    28,710
    Thank you for your reply.

    This was nearly 5 years ago, I wouldn't like to give any names but she came recommend by a U.K. governing body but I can't remember which, she worked with us for 12 weeks twice a week, it wasn't just the car being the main issue it was more helping lucy interact with myself & other dogs. Difficult to explain.
    The behaviourist said lucy was just a nervous shy dog and not to force or push her out of her comfort but to allow her to make the decision or distract whilst doing something. Most of her advice worked apart from the car.
    I have even had the back car seats out of the car and placed in my front room!

    It's now I'm stuck, do I continue with the car for it's not getting better, or do I find ways out of putting lucy in a car? Will she associate a mobile groomer in our garden with fear of the garden!
     
  4. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2013
    Messages:
    14,885
    Likes Received:
    22,572
    Am not 100% sure but @Twiggy maybe help to give advice on the car issue. I could be wrong but am sure she had a problem Collie, so she may be able to give advice when she is next online.

    Why would Lucy associate the garden with a mobile groomer?
     
  5. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    11,556
    Likes Received:
    28,710
    Thank you, I was thinking she might associate the garden with the groomers and having to get in a van!
     
  6. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2013
    Messages:
    14,885
    Likes Received:
    22,572
    I doubt very much, but it might not help with getting used to the car. However the groomer says she's fine at the groomers.

    I don't suppose there is a great groomers within in walking distance? That might be another option.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  7. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    11,556
    Likes Received:
    28,710
    Oh yes she's fine when not in a car be it stationary or moving. Unfortunately we are very rural, it's 35 min drive to closest groomers! Good idea though.
     
  8. speedy21

    speedy21 PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    May 24, 2017
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    2
    Have you tryed driving just a few yards then let her out and repeat if you try to stoke her or try to reasure her wile she is nervous you will keep her in that state in the car try going back to the start do a few yards let her out and calm down then do the same again when you let her out try uesing her favorite toy to give her somthing positive when she comes out of the car
     
    ewelsh likes this.
  9. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    16,022
    Likes Received:
    19,998
    Don't take her anywhere in the car at all yet. It might help to start from scratch and desensitise in tiny increments .
    where does she normally travel in the car , will she jump in her self?
     
    ewelsh likes this.
  10. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    24,048
    Likes Received:
    35,720
    What exactly does she have done at the groomers? Could you not do it yourself?

    Is she really happy at the groomers? Some dogs find it traumatising and not all groomers will tell the truth and risk losing a customer.
     
    ewelsh likes this.
  11. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    15,187
    Likes Received:
    8,996
    This may sound like a stupid question but can you not groom your dog yourself? ESS do not usually need specialist grooming.

    As for the car see here, particularly the book

    • Covering up the cage so the dog cannot see things moving
    • Ginger Biscuits

    Phytopet Travel


    http://trade.phytopet.co.uk/productdetails.aspx?id=14


    Phytoforce Travel


    http://www.phytoforce.ie/products/for-dogs


    Homeopet Travel Anxiety


    http://www.homeopet.com/products.html


    Travel Sickness website


    http://www.dog-car-sickness.co.uk/


    Scullcap and Valerian, Valerian Compound


    http://www.dorwest.com/Top/Common-Problems/T/Travelling-and-Travel-Sickness


    Bach Flower Essences, Scleranthus


    http://www.bach-flowers.co.uk/remedies/bach_scleranthus.asp


    Adaptil Collar/Spray


    http://www.ceva.co.uk/en/Products/Products-list/Adaptil-Collar


    Seren UM


    http://www.nutrecare.co.uk/Product-1852


    Cerenia


    http://cerenia.com/



    Behavioural Modification here:


    http://www.apbc.org.uk/articles/fourwheelphobia


    http://www.clickertraining.com/node/3307


    Books


    HELP! My Dog Doesn't Travel Well In The Car: byToni Shelbourne and,Karen Bush
     
  12. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    11,556
    Likes Received:
    28,710
    Thank you @speedy21 yes we have done this, we have even put my step daughter in the boot with Lucy as they are best friends and still lucy went to pieces. Treats do not work not even saucesages lucy won't even look at them.

    We tried two whole months every day putting lucy in the car driving down the end of our drive 800 metres to walk on our country roads which she loves and knows where she is, the minute lucy knows we are heading back she runs like the wind towards the car, starts vomiting outside the car shaking uncontrollably. It's as if she is saying let's get it over with. Yes she will get in the car without coaxing but!


    I have her regularly shaved as I prefer her short coated for we have lots of countryside around us, Lucy's coat get tangled up in thistles if left long.
    I have actually pretended to leave the groomers but watch from behind the bush (I know I know) the groomer is absolutely lovely to lucy, she doesn't even restrain her!

    Maybe I will try shave her myself. Would solve a few issues then the only time lucy has to get in the car is for the vets which obviously is more a priority than Lucy's fear.

    Thank you @smokeybear I will get that book.


    Thank you all for your help, sometimes with a few other ideas be it outside the box or stating the obvious it forces ones mind to think differently than stay stagnant.
     
  13. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    24,048
    Likes Received:
    35,720
    Haha! That's exactly what I would do ;)

    Did it with my DS at play group too! :)

    I would defo try grooming her yourself to minimise use of the car or try the mobile groomer once to try out?

    Their vans are quite large so maybe she will react differently and maybe stay with her? Could it be parked on a nearby drive so she doesn't associate it with your property?
     
  14. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    16,022
    Likes Received:
    19,998
    kimthecat said:
    Don't take her anywhere in the car at all yet. It might help to start from scratch and desensitise in tiny increments .
    where does she normally travel in the car , will she jump in her self?

    You have to start off less ambitious if you want to desensitise. Try starting off with just her jumping in the car and out again , repeat this often and if she seems ok , then try letting her stay in the car for a couple of minutes and repeat . you could put some high value treats on the seat before you let her in . if you get to the stage where she is not stressed then you can try turning the engine on and off very quickly , when she sok with that leave the engine running fora couple of minutes. The first drive could be a couple of feet , dont over face her.

    I wonder if she suffers from car motion sickness?
     
  15. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Messages:
    13,476
    Likes Received:
    5,472
    Oh dear poor Lucy. Yes I had horrendous travel problems with one of my collie bitches, Tremor, which started when she was about 18 months old. Bizarrely she was one of a few of mine that didn't originally suffer from travel sickness.
    Something must have terrified her although I've no idea what, but it went on for a very, very long time.

    I think I bought every supplement on the market and my kitchen resembled a chemists and I know I spent several hundred pounds. I also tried desensitising her and spent months driving her all of a few yards into the paddock and getting her out to play with a ball. I tried her in different vehicles, with the other dogs, with someone sitting with her, in the passenger footwell, in a crate, in a covered crate, etc. etc. etc. Nothing worked only Valium. This went on for well over 5 years and became ingrained to the point that I strongly believe she didn't know why she was so frightened. The reason I say that is because very, very occasionally she would forget and be relaxed - once for an hours journey to a training course. It was almost like she was saying "I'm in the car so I've got to be terrified".

    Tremor is 9 yrs old next week and has been fine for about the last 2.1/2 years. What worked with her was taking my little rescue bitch to agility classes. Tremor has never jumped a stick in her life but she's an avid spectator and if she thinks she's going to watch agility she's first in the car. I only have to say "Holly's going jumping"......LOL

    Have you talked to your vet about sedatives for when she has to go to the groomers?
     
    lullabydream likes this.
  16. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    16,022
    Likes Received:
    19,998
    She is showing a learned reflexive response ( or a conditioned response ), if something originally frightened her in the car then she associated the fear with the car and now the car is the cause of her fear !
     
    Twiggy likes this.
  17. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Messages:
    13,476
    Likes Received:
    5,472
    Correct.....!! And that is probably also the problem with the OP's Lucy.
     
    ewelsh likes this.
  18. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    11,556
    Likes Received:
    28,710
    Yes yes yes @kimthecat & @Twiggy

    We tried everything you tried with your dog @kimthecat thats why I am at the point of giving up! I haven't asked about sedatives to be honest.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice