Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Black Labrador Retriever Afraid of Car Rides - part II

Subject: Black Labrador Retriever Afraid of Car Rides - part II

From: Linda (USA)

Labrador Retriever Name: Bailey

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

The information given here is to help you learn more about your Labrador Retriever and not to replace your veterinarian's advice. Disclaimer

It's really odd that out of nowhere Bailey started to become afraid of car rides. More odd is the fact that it only seems to be when you are in the car with her. From what you stated in your reply, you have already tried a bunch of things that I would have recommended (good job).

This is what I want you to try:

Start of by sitting in your car with Bailey without it being started. Spend 10 -15 minutes a day for the first five days. Just sit in the car playing with her, petting her and talking to her.

You can also bring one of her favorite toys in with you and/or some treats. Make sure to praise her before getting into the car and when finished for the day, again offer plenty of praise when Bailey is out of the vehicle. We want to try to get her comfortable with being in the auto with you.
After a few days of this and when you see that Bailey is getting comfortable with being in the car with you, it's time to move on to the next step. You are going to continue sitting in the car with Bailey but now you will have the car running. Repeat the actions of talking, petting and playing with her for another couple of days. When you see that Bailey is getting comfortable, its on to the next step.

Get in your car with Bailey, drive down to the end of the block, turn around and go home. Take Bailey out of the car making sure you offer plenty of praise. Continue with this for at least five days. As Bailey gets more and more comfortable with this you can start to expand your trips with her.

Some other things that might help:

A crate for her to sit and lay in. A toy added to the crate (I have great success with the Kong toys filled with treats) can help.

There is a product called The Calming Cap™ that is used to ease hyperactivity in a dog that became agitated while traveling in a car, and help to quiet and calm anxious or excitable dogs . You can find out more about this here The Calming Cap™.

A dog harness may help her feel more secure and calm her down, not to mention provide safety for her.

If you are having problems getting Bailey into the car, please let me know, as I can provide you with some help for this.

I do believe that something might have happened to Bailey on one of your car trips that made her afraid of taking trips with you. Are you the only one who takes her to the veterinarian? Any abrupt stopping or getting cut off, which may have caused Bailey to be thrown around? If you should remember something that may have happened please let me know.

Try the above mentioned information and let me know if its helping. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to write.

Take care of yourself and Bailey,

Reader's E-mail - Linda's Reply:

Thank you Fay. I truly appreciate you time and advice. I will start tomorrow and follow your advice as outlined. I'll let you know how it goes.

I think maybe there was an incident that caused a real serious abrupt stop(car cut me off) a few months ago. It caused her to slide forward and fall off the back seat and onto the floor.... Hummm, maybe that was it.

I thought that maybe she was just getting older (she's now 3years old) that maybe she's just became more nervous. I've seen that happen in other animals (as in humans). As they age, they seem to worry more, be more serious and more cautious....

Again, thanks for your time.

All About Labradors Blog Response:

Hi Linda,

Your very welcome and please keep me informed on how its going. The abrupt stop might have played a big part in Bailey suddenly being afraid. Start from the beginning again, as stated in the last e-mail and see how it goes. Will talk to you soon!


To read part one of this e-mail visit: Black Labrador Retriever Afraid of Car Rides - part I

Bailey 11/11/07 - click link to see the beautiful Bailey.

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