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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 04:01 PM
Original message
How to stop a dog whining on car rides?
My roommate's dog Samson in a 90 lb. yellow lab. She got Sammy when he was a pup and she was 24, and she spoiled him rotten. (A thing she's come to realize and regret now that he's a large 4-year-old dog.) He's gotten over most of his bad behavior (having my well-behaved dog in the house now seems to have calmed him down), but he is impossible in the car. The second we get in to go to the dog park, he's whining and crying. He only stopped barking when my roomie put a muzzle on him, but of course that doesn't stop the whining. My dog tends to either sit looking out the window or lie down and go to sleep, but Sammy won't sit down and moves around a lot to look out both windows, often stepping on my dog and forcing him out of his seat.

This dies not appear to be anxiety or fear related. It's more like he knows a car ride means we're going someplace fun and he's just whining in anticipation. I googled the problems and found a) this appears to primariliy be a small dog problem, no one addresses what do do if a big dog is whining; b) suggestions to ignore the dog is worthless as we've tried that but it's virtually impossible to ignore a 90 lb. dog whining in a compact car's back seat; c) suggestions to give the dog a firm "No" or some other verbal command do not work, either; and d) the sites all said to try taking him on small trips first, but we've tried that too, to no avail. I take my dog to the park all the time, usually in the evening when my roommate (a waitress) is at work. I'd like to take Sammy, but he drives me nuts on the way there. So I end up not taking either dog, which isn't fair to Bear but I just hate the thought of leaving his "brother" at home.

Any suggestions, O Ye Wise DU Pet People?

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Holly_Hobby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. I had a 90 lb. dog that whined in the car too
He hadn't been socialized to anything but a farm. When I put him in the car to take him home, he pulled the head liner off the roof of the car. It was a long ride home, about 30 miles.

He eventually got over it, like when he was 7 or 8. I took him everywhere with me that I could during cool weather.

I'm sure there are others here with better advice than to wait a few years. :)
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-06-08 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. Try giving him some Rescue Remedy before the car ride. It should calm him down...
Edited on Sat Sep-06-08 11:20 PM by BrklynLiberal
My dog doesn't whine, but he drools all over the back of the car..and sometimes throws up. The Rescue Remedy helped a lot..
The whining may be because he is nervous or feeling sick to his sick..

Just thought of something else..but it is time consuming. try uttinghim in the car for very short periods..and as soon as he whines...take him out...
The longer he goes without whining, the longer you leave him in the car...You can then start to go for a ride when he can sit in the car for a period of time without whining. If he starts to whine, go right back home and take him out of the car...
Perhaps this will teach him that if he wants to go to the park, he must not whine...
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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-07-08 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I like your second idea.
I don't want to give him anything like rescue remedy because I'm taking him to the park. Our favorite dog park is a 75 acre off-leash area, complete with two ponds, river access, wooded areas and plains. I want him to have the full pleasure of swimming, fetching tennis balls, and chasing squirrels. :) But I'll pass your suggestions along to my roomie. Thanks!
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-07-08 01:44 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Wow! What a great doggie park!!! No wonder he gets excited!!!!
Report back on his progress....
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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-07-08 03:21 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. But Brooklyn has a pretty good dog park, right?
I want to say it's called Prospect Park or something like that. There's a dog beach there, isn't there? I was looking at taking a job in NYC a few months back, and Brooklyn looked like the most dog-friendly area. Of course, you could always bring yourself and any dogs out for a visit sometime. It'd take a lot of Rescue Remedy for your dog to survive the plane trip, but I'm sure they'd forgive you once they saw the dog park. :)
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-07-08 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. YEs. Prospect Park is right. it is wonderful..but it is not strictly a doggie park.
Edited on Sun Sep-07-08 08:19 PM by BrklynLiberal
There are only certain hours that you can go there and let your dog off-leash. I think it is 6-9AM and 6-9PM. The park rangers are not that strict in the Winter when there are no picnickers there..but in the Summer.. especially on the weekends they are pretty strict.
Hundreds and hundreds of people go there with their dogs. It is wonderful.
The first Saturday of each month there is a doggie breakfast in the Long Meadow..treats for dogs and the owners. People have birthday parties for the dogs, and I am sure that there have been many a match made in the park between compatible dog owners who met there while walking their dogs.
There are several dog owner groups that are centered in and around the park.

There are many dog runs around the city, but Prospect Park is probably the biggest area in the city where you can let your dog off-leash for any amount of time.

An example of what goes on there... /

FIDO is committed to ensuring that Prospect Park is a safe and healthy place for dogs; that responsible supervision of dogs will ensure enhanced opportunities for off-leash activity. Now more than ever, with the victory of legal off-leash, it's all about keeping control of your dog. Please make a serious effort to monitor your dog's interactions whether it be on the sidewalk or in the park itself

Next Coffee Bark - Sat, September 6th
Come Celebrate our Diversity through our love of pets and animals. Join State Senator Eric Adams at Coffee Bark (7am-9am); then take the 20th Senatorial District Bike Tour departing Ronald McNair Park at Washington Ave & President Street - 10am-1pm.

Whats Coffee Bark?
Rain, sleet, snow or shine, FIDO in Prospect Park sets up a table full of goodies on the first Saturday of every month. Look for coffee, pastries, dog biscuits as well as relevant information pertaining to off-leash activities and issues.

As a regular monthly event, Coffee Bark stands as a shining example of all that is great about off-leash recreation in City parks. Over the course of our 2 hour event, many of the hundreds of dogs and their people who take advantage of the Long Meadow, stop by for coffee and chat about the concerns of the day. This is our way of making contact with each and every dog and owner and to let them know what FIDO is all about.

With dozens of dogs and people scattered from Grand Army Plaza to the 9th Street Ball fields, the Long Meadow is an amazing sight. People even show up at 7 a.m. from as far away as Western Massachusetts! And at 9am, everyone leashes up and goes home!

You got to see it to believe it!

Pictures of events..

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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-07-08 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I did know that Prospect wasn't strictly for dogs.
That would have been a hard transition for Bear, only certain hours off leash after living here with these parks available 24/7. But the apparent beauty of the place, especially with the Botanic Gardens, made it look inviting enough to compensate. :)

It was actually that Fido Brooklyn web site that introduced me to Prospect Park. I love the idea of the Coffee Bark - sounds like a great way to socialize both dogs and people! FB was by far and away the best doggie site I found in the Metro area, you could tell the people who run it are true dog-lovers (and dare I say it? community organizers). It certainly made Brooklyn very appealing for a dog-owner looking to move across the country, way more than any place in Jersey or on Long Island where they don't even have off-leash hours at all.

Of course, I wouldn't have minded living in the Upper West Side, between Central Park and that nice greenway by the river, since they have the same off leash hours. But I'd only have been able to afford a closet there.

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MiniMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-07-08 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. You can always give him some rescue remedy and just take him for
a car ride to somewhere he likes besides the dog park. To a walk in a regular park, to the pet store, wherever it may be. It may carry over if you go different places with him
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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-07-08 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. The Rescue Remedy won't reduce his energy or enjoyment levels at all -- it just
helps get rid of the bad energy (anxiety) and helps reduce extreme excitement so it is pleasurable excitement. If the Rescue Remedy helps him be calm in the car so that he gets to go lots of places then, eventually, his whining will drop because he is so used to going to exciting places.

Good luck! :hi:
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REACTIVATED IN CT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-07-08 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. My Louie has been with me a year and still whines and paces
in the car. I don't think he associates the car with going someplace fun and is therefore excited. I do try to take him for a short ride to a park sometimes, but he really does not get much car time. As soon as it gets cooler, I'm going to start sitting with him in the car in the driveway for a couple of minutes at a time and give him treats.
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-07-08 12:57 AM
Response to Original message
4. It's normal. You are going to a place where he enjoys and he
is just excited.

My dog can whine with the best of them, especially if we are going where is friends are. I don't consider it bad behavior that's just who he is.
My Maddie will pant excitedly.

We were annoyed with Max but we have just accepted that he is going to whine.

I have another friend who I am housesitting for and her dog barks when we get closer to the field where her friends are.

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dropkickpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-12-08 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
12. Try doing "dry runs"
He associates the car solely with that super fun activity, so he is anxious and overwhelmed with excitement. Do everything as if you were going to the park, drive around the block, and go home. Repeat often. He will eventually learn to not immediately associate "car means dog park", and be able to better control his excitement level. He's not being bad, he's just really amped up to go to the park.
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