[A] Overcoming Car Fear
#1
CAR FEAR

Anxiety is common among dogs for a wide variety of reasons, sometimes situational and sometimes based on personality. Anxiety comes about through different fears or phobias, and is expressed through various behaviors including constant barking, excessive licking or grooming, destroying everything from clothes to walls and door frames, eliminating indoors even when housebroken, or even reacting snappish or aggressively toward people or other animals.
Many anxieties and phobias can be helped through training and conditioning. For instance, separation anxiety (the fear of being left alone) is extremely common among dogs and can often be dramatically improved or even eliminated by gradual conditioning to being alone with positive reinforcement. 
Unless you have ever had a dog like this then you couldn’t imagine the stress it causes, I have had two brought in from Hungary ,  don’t know why they were so frightened of many things especially travelling inside a car but they were and we had to combat it for safety reasons if nothing else. The good news is that by training your dog one step at a time and creating positive associations to replace his fearful ones, you can overcome his fear of cars.

I will always ask owners how much this stresses THEM not their pet, as the pet reads their anxiety and this adds to any fear irrational or not that Fid has. So I always advise

STAY CALM

FEEL HAPPY

DO NOT GET AGITATED

Secondly I will ask Do you recognise the signs of fear in Fido?
This is IMPORTANT as you need to know if Fido is just feeling a little anxious or is he /she feeling I HATE THIS I HATE THIS I DO NOT WANNA DO THIS ?

Common signs of fear are trembling, panting, whining, drooling, cowering, and tucking his tail.
Signs that your dog is relaxed include relaxed posture, normal breathing, tails and ears held normally (not tucked or lowered), wagging, and eating at a normal pace.
To Train any dog successfully you need to separate the fear from anxiety ,taking the same methods we just need to approach them slower.

If your dog gets anxious on a lead listening to road noises then this is the fault of the breeder, this day and age they can buy a simple CD that contains most noises a dog will need in its first 3 years, or they can get their lazy backsides outside and do it the real way like we do, I fact we do both just to ensure Fido hears almost everything they need to. Best way to combat this is to sit with fido in your front lounge and open windows , always petting the doggy when a loud noise comes past and they DOT bark but they ignore happily. REMEMBER OF COURSE THAT WE DON’T WANT TO CREATE FIDO TO BARK AT TRAFFIC !!!
Once this has been done then take Fido out in a pram or a sing and talk them through the noises of traffic, hear a car say CAR, hear a bike say BIKE, list is pretty much endless. We taught Andrea Akkad and Lesa Miles this and advised them on every part of owning dogs correctly as they had never owned dog now we believe they are being congratulated on the advice they impart to others, excellent, we know that our advice works and are happy them two are using it for better ownership.
Once that has been combatted then out on a lead post vaccines of course is how to continue that training.

Reward your dog with treats every time a car passes and praise him for staying calm.
Do this for about a minute, then go inside or walk around the park for a couple of minutes before returning to the traffic for another minute.
In all, expose your dog to traffic for a minute at a time, 5 or 6 times per training session.
For the next session, increase the time your dog is exposed to traffic to 1.5 minutes. Continue gradually increasing the time from session to session. Sometimes it might take 2 or 3 weeks of training before your dog relaxes at a given distance. Other times it might happen in days. Always wait until your dog is relaxed and calm before moving closer


Now we look at INSIDE THE CAR

Make your car comfortable for your dog. Creating an environment that is comfortable and enjoyable for your dog will make overcoming his fears much easier and in some cases, may solve your dog’s dislike of the car, lets be honest would you like going out on a journey if you felt uncomfortable ?

Common signs of fear are trembling, panting, whining, drooling, cowering, and tucking his tail
Signs that your dog is relaxed include relaxed posture, normal breathing, tails and ears held normally (not tucked or lowered), wagging, and eating at a normal pace.
Train your dog to spend time in the car while it is not moving. You may need to lure your dog into the car with treats at first. While he is in the car continue to give treats or give him a chew bone or treat filled KONG. Leave the door open, and take these treats away when your dog leaves the car. Practice this once or twice a day for a week or two. IF it IS the engine starting that frightens your dog, try turning the car on before he gets in. You can attempt to desensitize him, or simply continue starting the car before putting your dog in it.
When your dog is comfortable in the car, start closing the door.
As your dog’s comfort increases, try feeding him in the car.
Turn the ignition on. Once your dog is comfortable in the car, try starting it with him in it. If your dog shows anxiety, then you might want to desensitize him. Start by starting the car with your dog nearby, but not in it. Have someone give treats as the car starts. Once your dog is comfortable, move him into the car and repeat the process

Move the car a few feet and back. Drive your car down the driveway or a few feet down the street. Stop and with the engine running give your dog some treats or have a quick play session. Move back to your parking spot and end the session. Continue this until your dog is totally relaxed during these sessions.

Take short, fun trips. You want to make your dog’s first training drives in the car short, with a fun destination – preferably a park or hiking trail your dog enjoys. If there is one within a block or two, head there. If not, get in your car without your dog and drive it to within one or two blocks of your destination. Then, walk your dog to the car and drive the short remaining distance. Afterwards, walk your dog home.
Continue until your dog is comfortable with this short trip.
Park further and further away as your dog grows comfortable in the car.
There are lots of gadgets you can use now and all are safe they include rear seat harness sets that allow dogs to run and down the rear seat safely but no were else.
Seatbets sets, carriages that zip up soft and hard outer casings. Whatever you choose make sure that your dog likes it, it may take a few goes but so long as the tail is up it is green light for go !

You continue with very short trips until Fido feels safe, then you simply increase them, you DO NOT immediately turn to using sedatives or drugs, Fido will be with you for many years and this is a psychological issue NOT A physiological one so learn the difference, head games we treat with head games, body games we combat with physical things that may include medications or bandaging etc…

This is not a quick fix it may take weeks but trust me it is worth the effort.

Play calming music like classical, do NOT use headbanging rap crap, this will raise Fidos blood pressure and his or her heart rate and yours that will be read as anxiety so don’t do it, research shows it also increases road rage !!! Something to think about for many road users.
Some Tips that add to this :

Do NOT feed dogs just prior to a journey as it encourages motion sickness
You CAN give doggy a small piece of ginger biscuit, this settles the stomach.

You can use rubber strips on the rear of any vehicle this is said to reduce static but I have not read ANY empirical evidence to support such a theory, this maybe a placebo effect but if it works as do many placebos then it confirms my point of physiological and psychological ….

It doesn’t matter what you do it is a matter of choice what does matter is you get it right for YOUR doggy… Travelling should be fun anything that allows that is a god thing.

Some Natural Ways to Combat this include :

Anxiety is common among dogs for a wide variety of reasons, sometimes situational and sometimes based on personality. Anxiety comes about through different fears or phobias and is expressed through various behaviors including constant barking, excessive licking or grooming, destroying everything from clothes to walls and door frames, eliminating indoors even when housebroken, or even reacting snappish or aggressively toward people or other animals.
Many anxieties and phobias can be helped through training and conditioning. For instance, separation anxiety (the fear of being left alone) is extremely common among dogs and can often be dramatically improved or even eliminated by gradual conditioning to being alone with positive reinforcement.
If your dog is nervous because of certain situations, such as fireworks or thunderstorms, or even is nervous about being in a crowd, then distraction can work wonders. Engaging your dog's brain in work will help him focus on you and things he knows, rather than on the unknown around him that's frightening him. 
The Thundershirt is a popular solution for dog anxiety. It is a tightly fitting garment that wraps around your dog. The idea is that the feeling of continuous pressure can help calm a dog's nerves for things like travel anxiety and, as the name implies, noise anxiety among other issues. However, there isn't much definitive science-based evidence to show that these actually work.

Everyone loves a good massage, and the same can be said for our pets. Massage can help to calm an anxious dog by using long, slow strokes so soothe the nerves. A popular dog massage method is called TTouch, created by Linda Tellington-Jones. It is "a method based on circular movements of the fingers and hands all over the body. The intent of the TTouch is to activate the function of the cells and awaken cellular intelligence." The result is a relaxed dog. Plus, studies have shown that petting a dog or cat can help calm your own nerves, so it is a win-win solution.

Scents can also help calm a dog's anxiety, and DAP is a popular option. It is a synthetic chemical that is based on a hormone produced by lactating female dogs that help keep her puppies calm and increase their bond with her. While scientific studies have shown that DAP does work with puppies, it isn't as clear if it works with anxious adult dogs. Even so, there is the possibility that it can help, and it can be one of several tools used to help an anxious dog. I use this as it is based on oxytocin the love hormone and it is what keeps ups calm post birth .

, and it can be one of several tools used to help an anxious dog.


Though we are aiming for natural solutions you can do yourself or pick up at the pet store, you'll still want to consult your vet before trying supplements, even natural ones. That said, Rescue Remedy is a popular solution for those leaning toward herbal supplements to treat anxiety. Rescue Remedy is a mix of natural herb and flower extracts that can calm the nerves. It comes in everything from drops to sprays to gums for humans, and they do indeed have a pet-specific blend. You can add a couple drops to your dog's water dish, or add a drop to a treat.

You can also use edible lavender in ice cube tray with water or even ice cream, give fido just one before, you can also use lavender drops inside the car to gently calm everyone for the journey ahead.

One of the most important ways to combat this is to
REMAIN CALM
REMAIN HAPPY and
Follow one of the methods listed …..

Good luck
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