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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
So far so good - gave him a small piece of crystallized ginger this morning - he likes them.
Then into carrier with a treat (had him jump in and out of it from the top to make it a game)

and into the car, start engine, around the block. whined and cried on moving forward, but much lesser.
Anxiety seemed lesser too - and that allowed him to listen to me rather than be in full panic mode - that let me use new cue words like 'we're going home' etc

More progress than yesterday.
 

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Sounds like you're making great progress and going to a lot of effort to do this which is amazing. Also sounds like you might have a mix of anxiety and motion sickness (same as Perry) which I think makes it harder - because I think in our case Perry was anxious and motion sick, then he'd get sick which made him more anxious about getting in the car and the vicious circle continued :)

The good news is that circle can continue in the positive direction too - I believe that having some trips (in your case even short ones) and that continuing can also reduce the "I'm going to get sick" anxiety so you can deal just with the "regular" car anxiety.
 

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I apologize in advance if this is the wrong forum subsection for this.
I've been reading a lot of old car training posts on this site (which I truly appreciate), the web at large (with both good sites and just sites where dog breed X is replaced with Havanese for ad clicks etc)

I'm quite jealous of anyone whose dog doesn't have car issues - you're lucky.
And for those who have perpetual car issues, you have my unwavering sympathy - it's not pleasant to see your young charge to be so miserable. And the added distraction is just dangerous. And the cleanup breaks your spirit.
I thought I had lucked out on our long drive back from the breeder (even though he threw up in the first hour), but nope.

So we've started a new process, morning and evening for the past 2 days.

First step was to let him sit in the car without carrier/crate and have a few treats while just talking to him. This was done before he ate to prevent any vomiting.
I used tiny bits of the freeze dried chicken breast (breaking the existing treats into pieces 1/4 of a fingernail)

5-8 minutes later, went back into the house with him. Engine not started.

Playtime inside the house. Half an hour later, back into the car without carrier/crate, gave a treat.
Next, I started the engine and let him listen to those noises and offered another treat.
Turned ac on to get the car cool.
Reversed out of the garage and stopped in the driveway - treat.
Waited in the driveway with engine running - treat.
Drove forward into garage and stopped engine - treat.

All this time, he kept coming back to my lap / arms.

Then in the evening an hour before feeding him, put him in his carrier and gave him a treat in the car.
Reversed out slowly, and gave him another treat.
He cried and whined loudly as we went around the block. I stopped once and gave him another treat.
He would cry and whine until we got back into the driveway - this was just a mile taking just 5 minutes or less.

But the good news is no drooling, no vomiting, no peeing.

Takeaways so far:
  • Keep car cool
  • Remove the polyester / woolen mat from the Sherpa carrier to keep him as cool as possible
  • Carrier has his toys he sleeps with at night
  • Car has some music playing

Plan for tomorrow is to feed him a tablespoon of kibble in the car in his carrier, and do another drive around the block, and I'll update...

Either I'm tilting at windmills, or this will work...

I'm open to suggestions and ideas
I had the same challenge with my pup. Unfortunately it impacted socializing him, because I live in a rural area.i attempted gradual desensitization .. sitting in the car, with air conditioning.. lots of treats.. moving a few hundred feet..then 1/4 Mile… through the neighborhood.. our pup was anxious/ reactive and not exposed to a car except once when he saw the vet with the breeder. After weeks of gradual work, he could go about 5 miles.. but he hated the car. finally our vet suggested Cerenia. He drooled like crazy, but did not vomit. We also tried a car seat, attached to the seat bet with him strapped into a harness in the back seat with cerenia.We travel between Maine and NC. Our pup drooled all the way..the first time we made the trip, and was miserable.. so Next we tried short trips to the beach in our home in NC.. a half mile drive.. lots of treats and play time.. we kept increasing distance without cerenia. By this time out vet prescribed trazadone, because of his anxiety. Over time our pup developed a love for riding. He wants to be with us. Trips to Starbucks helped. Unhealthy pup cups in a parked car with his pet parents, laughing and loving him helped. Now our guy, barks to go for a ride if we look at the car keys. He drives spring and fall 923 miles.. with a big havanese grin!
 

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That is my hope - desensitize him enough with positive experiences and little wins, so the anxiety goes away. And hopefully, that will take the motion sickness away.
If I could bark instructions, it'd be so much easier :LOL:
What kind of carrier in the car are you using? One of the things that I think helped (though hard to tell because we changed so many things) was using a varikennel for a while instead of his sherpa bag. We've been able to go back to his sherpa bag since then, but I think the extra airflow and being able to see out at least helped .
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
@Tategigot - thank you, it's a good feeling to know someone else did the same thing and it worked for them. Instills confidence.
He's too young for Cerenia, etc.So going to try Adaptil now...

@Melissa Brill I'm using a Sherpa mesh. I'll look into the varikennel now. Thank you.

We just got back after getting shots. He did throw up on the way back. But they did give a lot of treats at the vet while he got his DAPP shot - so maybe that didn't help. Maybe some more ginger would've helped....or maybe a short walk first... I don't know. Too many variables.
The upshot is after he threw up and tried to eat it, he didn't cry or whine at all.

The vet did offer gabapentin but also said to try Adaptil first. So just ordered that now to test tomorrow.

The odyssey continues...
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
So after giving him a couple of days break after his shots and doing other training, I finally got to try out the Adaptil with him today.
The vet did approve trying Adaptil too, which was reassuring.

Sprayed it inside his carrier, waited 15 minutes, put him in it, went off for a short drive around the block - no fast breathing, no crying, no issues at all. He handled it all very well.
That stuff works!
Naturally, once we got home, I sniffed inside his carrier (again), but nope, couldn't detect any scent. When I sniffed inside it after spraying it, it had the strong smell of rubbing alcohol. That went away after a minute.

There's a light at the end of the tunnel...
 

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We used Adaptil when we picked Izzy up from the breeder for the ride home and then in his crate every night for about a week and around his puppy playpen for the same period. He handled all the “new” very well. No crying in the crate (the breeder started crate training before the litter went home), much less protesting in his playpen than either Leo or Rex when they were baby puppies, all the other household pets seemed to adapt pretty quickly to Izzy. I also used it when we had his vet wellness check and again when we went for his 2nd puppy vaccine. I had never used Apaptil before but really think it has helped with Izzy’s introduction into our home.
 

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I've never tried Adaptil, curious now about it. I did try calming chews but Perry either refused to chew them OR threw them up immediately.

We don't need the calming stuff for car rides now, but makes me wonder if the adaptil might be useful for his separation issues when we have to leave him home alone.

Re: the smell - how strong would you say it is... they have a diffuser and the spray at chewy.com - but I can't do strong smells so the diffuser concerns me (even if I just plug it in when we're gone - if it's a strong smell.
 

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I've never tried Adaptil, curious now about it. I did try calming chews but Perry either refused to chew them OR threw them up immediately.

We don't need the calming stuff for car rides now, but makes me wonder if the adaptil might be useful for his separation issues when we have to leave him home alone.

Re: the smell - how strong would you say it is... they have a diffuser and the spray at chewy.com - but I can't do strong smells so the diffuser concerns me (even if I just plug it in when we're gone - if it's a strong smell.
I haven’t really noticed a smell. Instructions do say to spray it 15 minutes prior to putting the dog in the car.
 

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I have not used the diffuser, only the spray. I couldn't really smell anything although I tried to! I sprayed it 10 or so minutes before Shadow entering the car. I also used it in his crate before I departed(separation anxiety). It seemed to help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I couldn't smell anything after the initial rubbing alcohol like smell of the aerosol.
Thank you @Pucks104 and @Tere - this is very reassuring to know. I'm glad it worked for you.

Seeing the positive effect of Adaptil yesterday was very welcome. I'm pondering using it more often - like before grooming, etc... and also to spray some on his collar.

Thoughts?
Do they build up an immunity / tolerance to it over time? So you need to spray more than before?
 

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I couldn't smell anything after the initial rubbing alcohol like smell of the aerosol.
Thank you @Pucks104 and @Tere - this is very reassuring to know. I'm glad it worked for you.

Seeing the positive effect of Adaptil yesterday was very welcome. I'm pondering using it more often - like before grooming, etc... and also to spray some on his collar.

Thoughts?
Do they build up an immunity / tolerance to it over time? So you need to spray more than before?
I don’t know but I still use it for new experiences for Izzy and it still seems to help.
 

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I thought of spraying it on his collar but I "think" it said not to? One of my friends buys the collars for his dog though. This dog is so afraid of thunder(we have it a few times a day in Florida this time of year) and swears by it.
 

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I thought of spraying it on his collar but I "think" it said not to? One of my friends buys the collars for his dog though. This dog is so afraid of thunder(we have it a few times a day in Florida this time of year) and swears by it.
The chewy website advertises a diffuser and an adaptil collar though that seems to only be in medium/large.

 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Not sure if it's a residual effect or maybe he's just gotten more used to his carrier, but he doesn't complain being in it.

What I did notice is that this dog is not afraid of thunder. The rain failling on the roof at an angle made him look around to see what was going on, but thunder he wasn't bothered by.
Right now, we're just trying to figure out flights after ours got cancelled
 

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Not sure if it's a residual effect or maybe he's just gotten more used to his carrier, but he doesn't complain being in it.

What I did notice is that this dog is not afraid of thunder. The rain failling on the roof at an angle made him look around to see what was going on, but thunder he wasn't bothered by.
Right now, we're just trying to figure out flights after ours got cancelled
It would be unusual for a puppy or young dog to be bothered by thunder. Thunder phobias tend to show up around 3-4 years old. I’m not sure if anyone knows why. So lots of positive experiences at this age, pairing the thunder with play and other fun things can be a great way of innoculating the puppy against thunder phobia down the line.
 
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