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My terrier does not travel well.
08-11-2014, 06:11 PM, (This post was last modified: 08-11-2014, 06:12 PM by WonkyBear.)
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WonkyBear Offline
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My terrier does not travel well.
I have a wonderful Jack Russell Terrier that I adopted from a dogs home just over a year ago. She was found as a stray and I estimate she is about 5 years old. Generally she is incredibly well trained, although can be bit of a baby about things. As she didn’t play with any toy given to her for the first six months I have slight suspicion that she may have not had the best time as a puppy and young dog. That said, her recall is great, her house-training is spot on and she is really quick to learn new things, like sit.

A very loving and affectionate dog, she hardly barks and only turns into the yappy Terrier stereotype when there is a ball involved. I think it’s pretty obvious that I adore her!

So here’s the problem. She is awful in the car. She sort of sings, in a very high pitched, teeth chattering whine. She yawns a bit and lip smacks a little but mostly it’s just loud, nerve grating whining. I have her in a harness on the back seat attached to the seat belt with a proper device and generally she can see through the front window and back windows on either side. I can’t open these back windows but have both the front ones open to let in fresh air and keep the air pressure from building.

I have tried talking to her, singing with her, ‘boxing her in’ with cushions so she can see out the window but not move around the back seat, but the only time she settles is on the motorway when it’s a long journey at an even speed. I have been advised to try some dog calming tablets as we are going on a couple of long journeys next week but wondered if anyone had any other suggestions or advice please.
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08-11-2014, 11:41 PM,
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evelynmcgregor Offline
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RE: My terrier does not travel well.
Could it be she is afraid she is going to be abandoned somewhere again? I had a dog many years ago that did basically the same thing on short trips in the car. He would shiver and start whining as soon as I put him in the car and would finally settle down if I were going on a long ride. I tried everything,,, crating him, putting him in the front seat with me, ect. The only time he would not whine, ect when on a short trip was if I let him sit on the front seat up against my leg. In time, he did get better, so just be patient. A doggie tranquillizer from the vet might be called for although I do dislike medicating unless necessary.
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08-12-2014, 05:30 AM,
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WonkyBear Offline
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RE: My terrier does not travel well.
I never really thought about her still being scared of being abandoned because we most often travel in the car to places where I can let her off the lead for a really good run. It's a very good suggestion thank you.
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08-14-2014, 12:08 AM,
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Happyflowerlady Offline
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RE: My terrier does not travel well.
One thing that might help is to put her in the car, and not go anywhere; but give her a treat when she is in there.

This is something that people with horses do when they are training there horse to ride in a horse trailer, which the horses are often terrified about doing.
At first, they just work with the horse to get them to accept being in the trailer, and then let the horse back out.
Then they put him in the trailer, and give him an apple or other treat, and then take him back out. Soon, they can put the horse in the trailer, give him his morning hay and oats, and just leave him there to eat, and he is comfortable being in the trailer; so when they haul him somewhere, he is already used to the trailer.

I think you can do this same kind of conditioning with your little dog. Put her in her car seat, and give her a bite of hot dog, and when she eats it, then take her back out again.
Gradually, leave her in longer, and then reward her. Once she is comfortable being in the car, then go for short drives, and then reward her.
Instead of thinking about how scared she is, she will be focusing on the idea of the reward when she gets back home.
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08-18-2014, 01:51 AM,
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astockd1 Offline
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RE: My terrier does not travel well.
Unfortunately, some dogs just hate car rides, and there is nothing you can do about it. Sometimes cuddling them helps, but if you are the only one in the car then it's not the safest thing to drive while cuddling a dog. The only suggestion I have is benadryl. When we drove 25 hours across the country with our dog, we had him on benadryl the whole time just to calm him down. About 3 hours into our trip, we ran into a little terrier/pomeranian mix at a rest stop. This dog was shaking, not eating, throwing up, and just totally unhappy. We happened to be parked next to them, and the dog's owner was really shaken up about it. Because my boyfriend worked at a vet for two years, he looked at the dog and we gave her some pumpkin to ease her stomach upset, and part of a benadryl to calm her down. I don't know how that dog did the rest of the ride, but hopefully we helped! Poor owner was totally freaked out about her dog's behavior.
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