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HudsonHero's avatar

Best way to get my dog to travel quietly.

Asked by HudsonHero (245 points ) March 21st, 2011

Our 10 year old Weimaraner is a terrible traveler. He gets very anxious when he travels with us in the car. He loudly whines/barks and jumps all over in the car. We finally got him a dog seat belt but he still is very vocal. We got him two years ago when he was left behind in a foreclosed home. We know very little of his history and if he was like this before. I feel so badly for him because he seems so upset. Normally he is mild mannered unless the door bell rings.

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10 Answers

fujivelo's avatar

You can get these dog-calm-down pills at your local organic foods market.

troubleinharlem's avatar

You could get him a sedative? That’s what we did for our cats.

Taciturnu's avatar

For long rides, it would be worth asking your vet for a sedative, for both your sakes.

Other than that, I would suggest perhaps some conditioning? Take short rides around the block. Initially give him a treat when you get back home and tell him he’s good. After a couple weeks of doing that, tell him to be quiet. As soon as he’s quiet, have someone hand him a treat. Build up until he can stay quiet for the whole short ride with only a treat at the end. Then build up the amount of time in the car.

SamIAm's avatar

If someone sits with him and pets him, does that calm him down any? I know a dog like this and it drives you crazy in the car!!

john65pennington's avatar

For about $10 dollars, a vet will give you tranquilizers for him. We give our border collie a half a pill, when thunder and lightning begins. He goes bonkers and the pill really helps. See your vet.

chyna's avatar

You might consider not taking him on long trips. The stress on him is not worth being able to take him places. I’m not a fan of “doggie downers” and if you can find someone to take care of him while you are gone, it might be worth his well being.

WestRiverrat's avatar

My rescued lab is like this if we try to put him in a travel crate. He will ride quietly if he is not in the crate, but the crate drives him nuts.

Do you have room for a crate in the vehicle? If so see if he will travel better in a crate.

blueiiznh's avatar

I too am not a fan of medicating.
At 10 years old however it may be hard to break him of this.
You are certainly correct in getting him a harness or belt for travels.
If you have a dog bed in the home that he uses, try putting it in the car as he travels.
If it is not right sized for the car, possibly introduce a new one that will better fit in the car.
I know for my dogs, simply reaching a hand into the back seat for them, helps comfort and calms them right down. Soon they are asleep.
I will ask my trainer on Saturday also for their opinion.

alex445's avatar

just put it in the back seat and possibly put a blanket around him. he may fall asleep faster, or calm down a little bit, that is if he stays put in the seat

Meego's avatar

I have 2 dogs, my shepherd X rescue was horrible on car rides. I agree with others who say not to use meds. I have a hatchback and I put the back seats down and put an old comforter down in the back area, it seems pretty comfy. When we go in the car, I take my time making sure he is comfortable with the car, I have also just brought him out there and sat in the car w/out going anywhere. As soon as he is in a calm state I reward him, I will also ask him to lay down when he is comfortable I reward that too. I had used to have a huge Buick SUV, when the seats in the back were down it was the size of a double bed, he got more anxious when it was a huge space as opposed to my now small hatchback sports car. He always did alot of whining and moving around, and standing. The smaller car has made him more comfortable. I think old dogs can learn new tricks, the idea is to probably try to associate the car with calmness and it may take your dog awhile to get there. Try not to rush take baby steps, it worked with my dog if you don’t have the time to work with him then maybe you should consider meds or not even taking him at all…good luck!

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