Pooping in car - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Pooping in car

Leo our 17 wk puppy doesn't seem to like car rides much. We have only taken him in the car to visit the Vet. On both occasions he has pooped--once in his soft crate that my son had on his lap in backset and now the steel crate that was in the trunk. The ride is only 10 minutes long and we tried to have him go potty beforehand and have made appts with vet many hrs after feeding him. I believe it's anxiety pooping. How can we help him not to be afraid of the car?

How do most of you transport your dogs in the car? Now that he has his rabies shot, we plan on short trips to the park to get him use to the car but dread the thought of a pooped stained dog to clean.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 12:45 PM
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hard to say if this is physical or emotional related. I would talk to you vet and get an opinion . Drugs might help? If this is an anxiety related issue you half to work on a desensitzation plan. Here is a plan that may help. Some drugs work on motion issues some on sstress.
yes, car sickness could get classically conditioned but for most dogs it is probably motion related.

Although car sickness may appear to be a health issue, if it re-occurs it can become a
learned behavior problem. The dog begins to associate the car with feeling sick and will
proceed to vomit on each consecutive trip.
Treatment for Car Sickness
If the dog is afraid to get into the car follow this desensitization program.
Leave both the driver's side and passenger doors open. Place a trail of small healthy
treats from the door of the house, into the car and out the other door. The treats
should get bigger as you get closer to the car, largest and tastiest in the car and
smaller on the way out. Use a long life line for safety purposes when necessary and
let the dog set the pace. If you push him. you'll slow down your progress.
When this step is successful, close the passenger door and allow the dog to follow
the trail of treats in and out of the car with one door closed.
Next, stand beside the driver's door as the dog follows the trail in and out of the car.
Now you can place a special treat on the seat where the dog will sit, using
something that will take more time for the dog to eat. When he gets into his seat,
slip in beside him and close the door. As soon as the dog finishes his special treat,
open the door and allow him to get out.
Now you can begin to desensitize the dog to the moving vehicle.
Get in the car beside the dog, feed him a few small healthy treats and get out.
Get in the car beside the dog, turn on the engine, feed him a few treats, turn off the
engine and get out.
Next leave the engine on for five minutes, slowly feeding him treats and get out.
Get in the car beside the dog, turn on the engine, back down the driveway, drive
back up, feed the dog a few treats and get out.
• Next go to the end of the block and follow the same pattern.
Now, go around the block and follow the same pattern.
If the dog drools or vomits, you've moved too quickly. Pretend it did not happen,
take a break, go back to your last point of success and proceed more slowly. If you
get upset, you'll add to the negativity of the experience. If you comfort the dog,
you're rewarding his behavior.
At this point you'll want to make the destination of your first trip special tor the
dog, to create a positive association with the car. Take the dog to the park for a
game of 'fetch/ or to visit his favorite friend.
A dog that gets sick ever}' time he gets into a car is conditioned to get sick, and we
have to change this conditioning. After spending time in the car again and again, the
dog will no longer associate the car with feeling sick. It's crucial to increase time
and distance gradually, but the more repetitions you can fit in, the quicker you'll
solve the problem. Praise and reward the dog for each step of progress and ignore
any negative behavior.
In some cases "Gravol" can help but only use it at the advice of your veterinarian. In
other cases, putting newspaper on the dog's seat can help due to the charcoal in the
paper. In all cases, it's important to set the dog up to succeed by moving slowly,
keep the excitement level low and eliminate all negativity.

Dave and Molly
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Member of IAABC ,International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants , Member of Pet Professional Guild

Last edited by davetgabby; 01-26-2017 at 12:53 PM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Dave. We are going to try small trips to park. The funny thing is Leo doesn't get upset when coming home from the vet. I wonder if he has associated all car trips with the vet and knows he's going home on the return trip.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 01:57 PM
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possibly. I would definitely talk to the vet about it.

Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
Member of IAABC ,International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants , Member of Pet Professional Guild
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 03:45 PM
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When I got Emmie at 10 weeks I made a point to take her on short car rides everyday. Very few of our trips were to non-fun places (e.g. vet, groomer). I think it's important you start positive associations with cars and crates from the beginning. She had occasional car sickness the first 1-2 weeks but then that went away. Putting in the time when she was young has resulted in a love/ease with car rides of any duration.

Even if your puppy hasn't had all their shots, you can still take them out into the world for socialization - very important. Check out this link and the statement in the article that references car rides:

AVSAB Position Statement on Puppy Socialization

Puppies should accompany their breeders/owners on as many car trips as possible.

Good luck with getting Leo used to the car.
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Jeanne and Emmie


Last edited by MarinaGirl; 01-26-2017 at 03:52 PM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 10:07 PM
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i haven't had any problems with Loki and the car so I don't have any advice. I flew to pick him up from the breeder so I used the Sleepy Pod Air for the rental car and the plane. I continued to use it in the car. I tried the Snoozer carrier but he would bark the whole time so I went back to the Sleepy Pod. He jumps in the back seat goes right in and I zip him up. He is so quiet I sometimes get worried about him. I think it is rather cozy and he goes to sleep. I have had to wake him up when we got home - especially after a play date or the park. I have also taken him on 4 hour car rides (with breaks) and plane trips in it.
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