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Pippin's Wrangler
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We just got our puppy Pippin a week and a half ago (he's now 10 weeks old). Our end goal is to have him go everywhere with us: beach, hiking, shopping, etc. but he HATES the car. Front seat is a little better than back seat, but still not his favorite. He starts shaking when we head to the carport. We have a blanket with Adaptil pheromone, provide treats and toys and are always talking to him, but he whines and has thrown up twice.

We have tried both the seatbelt clip and a fabric car seat box to help him feel more secure, but still whines and is super scared. It breaks my heart- how do we get him to calm down? We have to drive him to the dog sitter 2-3 days a week so being in the car is a must. Any success stories of dogs that originally hated the car but eventually loved it? I need some positivity, ya'll, because he's pitiful.
 

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We just got our puppy Pippin a week and a half ago (he's now 10 weeks old). Our end goal is to have him go everywhere with us: beach, hiking, shopping, etc. but he HATES the car. Front seat is a little better than back seat, but still not his favorite. He starts shaking when we head to the carport. We have a blanket with Adaptil pheromone, provide treats and toys and are always talking to him, but he whines and has thrown up twice.

We have tried both the seatbelt clip and a fabric car seat box to help him feel more secure, but still whines and is super scared. It breaks my heart- how do we get him to calm down? We have to drive him to the dog sitter 2-3 days a week so being in the car is a must. Any success stories of dogs that originally hated the car but eventually loved it? I need some positivity, ya'll, because he's pitiful.
Do you have another dog that could ride with him? Or maybe borrow a friends dog that loves car rides to go with him? Also a truck that we have tried with our golden retriever when she was nervous in the car is taking her to a place where she gets a treat such a Starbucks for a pupachino, Of course that’s not something you would want to do often. Also may be a trip for a play date since the end result would be getting to see a friend in playing. I think that you’re doing all the right things as far as the pheromones, the treats and the security. I think ti of course that’s not something you would want to do often. Also may be a trip for a play date since the end result would be getting to see a friend in playing. I think that you’re doing all the right things as far as the pheromones, the treats and the security. I think in time if you follow this protocol with all the positivity you’re already doing will turn things around, puppies tend to be nervous with new things anyway and reinforcement that the end result is a positive one will eventually take hold in his little mind! Good luck to you, you’re doing a great job.
 

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Cindi & John
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We feel your pain. We thought we had a dog that hated the car, too. When Dixie was 10 weeks old, we took her to see friends who lived almost 1.5 hours away. It was the trip from hell, really. She hated being held and didn’t want to ride in the back cargo area away from us.

DH suggested a hammock – it does take up the 2nd row seating but since it’s just the three of us, it works fine. She loves it. She can stretch out and sleep when she wants, she’s near us and can pop her head up occasionally to see where we are going.

We eased her into it by putting a couple of her favorite toys in the car, and they stay there. We would load her in the car and give her treats for getting in, and would sit in the driveway for a bit, let her out and another treat. Then gradually worked up to pulling out of the driveway, back in and another treat. Once she was comfortable with that, we’d drive around the block, then work up to longer distances. Dixie is stubborn as a mule and we can’t make her do anything she doesn’t want to do. We have to do new things very slowly with her to get her to buy in to anything.

Pippin is still a baby and the car is probably still scary for him. Keep trying new things and you’ll find something that works for him. Good luck!
 

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He's still a baby puppy, lots of things are scary at that age! You've only had him for a little over a week, its a big adjustment for a baby.

My pup was terrified of stairs, and didn't love the car at first either. I would try to desensitize him to the whole process of getting in the car, being in the car, and getting out of the car. Start small, by just taking him towards the carport, allowing him to stop at his comfort zone, and give him lots and lots of treats and praise for tolerating the uncomfortable situation. Then walking into the car port, then walking up to and sniffing the car, then opening the door and letting him think about getting inside, and then just being in the car with the door open, then shut (turn on the car so the AC is on and don't leave him alone, obviously), then quick drives, and then longer. Lots of praise and rewards with treats.

Also do you have a puppy crate? He's likely small enough to fit in a transportable crate, and might feel more comfortable in a safe place during the drive.
 

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Also do you have a puppy crate? He's likely small enough to fit in a transportable crate, and might feel more comfortable in a safe place during the drive.
Yes! Everything Piper said, especially this. I'm convinced this is what helped Teddy get comfortable with the car. For a week or two I sat in the backseat with him and he cried, barked, ran around.
Then we switched to a small crate in the backseat and we used it right up until he didn't fit in it any longer. Lots of treats when he laid down in the crate and didn't whine. I think it helped that it was the same crate we used for sleeping in our bedroom. It was a little bit of a hassle to move it into and out of the car every time we went somewhere, but it only lasted a few weeks before it was outgrown.
Now he is great, just lays down and usually just falls asleep (we use a carseat cover to protect the seat and a harness with a seatbelt attachment to protect Teddy - both Kurgo brand).
 

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My pup (17 weeks) just turned the corner with car rides. It took a couple trips to puppy kindergarten and (now that she finished her important puppy vaccines) trips to fun destinations for her to expect something exciting from the car.

We’ve been using a harness with a seatbelt connector. I expect we’ll go to a car crate eventually, but for now she can be close to the action.
 
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