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Thread: Puppy Howling Blue Murder in Car

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northern Beaches, Sydney
    Posts
    86

    Default Puppy Howling Blue Murder in Car

    Hi,

    We have a beautiful new Airedale puppy called Geoff. He is 6 months old.

    He has only been with us 2 days, so things are new, and I know he will take a while to settle in and get comfortabe.

    However in our 2 car trips so far (home from the airport and down to the local shops) he has howled blue murder. To the extent that people were winding down their windows of their cars looking for the person torturing their dog.

    When he gets out of the car he is really wound up and toey, as you would expect after howling for half an hour.

    When the car isn't moving he stops, but as soon as it goes again he goes off. We have done one trip in a crate, and one trip in a harness but the reaction has been the same both times.

    Before we went out yesterday we sat in the car without the engine on. He was tense but not panting or yelping. As soon as we went out the driveway, boom or rather yowl.

    Any suggestions as to how I can help him to chillax. I don't want this to become his default for car travel.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Regards

    Curly Girl

  2. #2

    Default

    You picked him up from the airport, I am assuming that he went on a plane? Maybe something happened on the plane that upset him and it might take a few days for him to calm down.

    You said he had been in the harness and in the crate, was it in the same position in the car each time? Also was someone sitting beside him?

    Sorry for all the questions, my dog gets upset if he can't pace when the car starts to move and if the window is up.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northern Beaches, Sydney
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Thanks for asking the questions.

    The trip home from the airport was in our ute. He was in a crate, with a wooly rug and a blanket from him home. I also had given him a kong. He could see out the back window of the ute.

    The second trip was in our Tarago. He had his bed cushion plus his blanket but he couldn't see out the windows. I thought that might help. The children were sitting in the seat in front of him and they kept popping their heads over so he knew he wasn't alone.

    On the one hand I know he has been through a lot poor little mite, but we need to use the car, to go to the vet, to go for a walk, to do stuff. I don't want the car to be a stress in his life.

    thanks for your help.

    regards

    Curly Girl

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Western Sydney
    Posts
    808

    Default

    Hi Curly Girl,

    I don't have an answer but I really like to see your puppy. Can you post some photos or you can put howling video on youtube. Geoff such a good name....I will tell Geoffrey about Geoff.

    Hachna
    I love cooking but I love eating even more.

  5. #5

    Default

    Try putting him in the car and have him sit, give him a treat.

    Once you have done that a few times, try turning the car on just letting it idle and when he sits there fine give him a treat. If he doesn't turn the car off and start over again.

    Once he is used to the engine try reversing up and down the driveway treating him when he sits without howling/barking.

    After you have done that try round the block trips.

    I hate to say it but this is what my parents had to do with me when I was little because I hated the car would scream for the hour and a half drive from Sydney to the central coast and around town trips.

    Good luck I am sure he will get better once settled in.

  6. #6

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    i find my pup is calmer in the car when he sits on my lap (when I am a passenger of course!).

    He used to whine continually when we had him in the backseat in his crate, but once i had him on my lap he stopped. I think maybe he feels more re-assured and also i can keep him steady so he's not moving around when the car moves. we've now progressed to being able to leave him in the back seat on his own...geoff's fear seems more extreme but might be worth giving it a try?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northern Beaches, Sydney
    Posts
    86

    Default

    Hmm.

    He is already 16kg, so sitting on my lap isn't going to be a long term solution. Although I think he would love it ;p

    Sounds like patience and splitting rather than lumping is going to work best.

    Another friend suggested giving him something to chew to help him relax so I will also go down that route. The kong didn't work. Does anyone else have a suggestion. The thing he seems to like best at the moment is (I kid you not) carrots.

    cheers

    Curly Girl

    PS - He is a beautiful little bloke, with a great presence.

  8. #8

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    I too love the name and breed.
    It's only been 2 days, give him a chance to settle with you guys and the home.
    Then as suggested very slowly, sitting in the car without engine on say over a week, then with engine on and so on small trips to longer trips. If he is really stressed he wont be interested in food or toys.
    Is from a reg breeder rehomed? You could always give them a call and see if he has always been like this.
    Stick with crate so much safer. Do you use the crate in the house?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Rural NSW
    Posts
    5,967

    Default

    As stated, my opinion is give him time to settle first.
    Sitting on laps unrestrained to me is a no no as in an accident they become a projectile, injuring themselves as well as possibly any passengers, getting in the way of driver reactions if they fall onto the driver's side door.
    I too would take baby steps...in the car..treat..close the door...treat...start the car...treat..back the car or go a small distance..treat..etc, taking it by stages.
    It may help to restrict outside vision. Music may help too as would not being agitated as they also pick up on that.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  10. #10

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    You could try a baby steps approach. Can you feed him in the car to start with? If you can, do that for a few days. Then feed him in the car with the engine running. Let him get in and out if he really wants to, but make sure he only gets treats/food or praise/attention when he is in there.

    If he will do that you can start shutting the door. Let him eat with the door shut, then let him out again.

    You need to make him associate the car with only good things.

    The other way would be to take him in the car for very short trips, in his crate, but make them super positive trips. So ignore any carry on, go somewhere fun like the local park etc and have a good time with him. Then get back in the car, ignore any carry on while you're travelling then get home and have more great fun with him.

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