My name is Jane. I have worked with animals professionally for over 17 years dealing with both health and behavioral issues. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. .
I need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your responses, it will likely take 30-40 minutes to type my response. I hope you can be patient.
So your girl howls when you go somewhere but doesn't when you return home. Is that what you are saying?
If you go very fast when leaving, she quiets down?
What type places are you going with her when she displays this behavior?
Is she crated on these trips or in a seat belt?
What do you do when she displays this behavior?
did anyone try and reassure her or pet her or hold her when she first started this behavior?
Thanks for the reply.
In answer to your questions, Lucy will howl and panic no matter if the journey is only for 5 mins for an hour. As we said if the car speeds up it calms her slightly and sometimes she will be quiet if the car is going at speed.
She doesn't travel in a crate, she is in the boot of our car with our other dog, she has a dog cushion and a harness on when she is travelling. I would add that our other dog Taz travels very well.
We have also tried sitting Lucy with us so we can constantly reassure her but this makes no difference either, she will continue to howl.
As i am sure you can understand this makes any journey stressful for everyone involved.
Very much looking forward to your reply and your advice.
If she only does it on the journey out and not the one home, then it is unlikely to be related to any motion sickness or even anxiety since if it was, she would howl both ways.
Since it sounds behavioral, we should be able to stop the behavior. I would suggest a DAP collar just to provide a little calming influence. It uses pheromones similar to the ones produced by a nursing mom to calm her pups. It is not medication and won't hurt your dog.
Next you are going to start desensitizing your dog and teaching her not to howl in the car. It will require two people initially. You will start by having one person be the driver and the other back with your girl. Start by just putting her in the car. If she does not howl, give her a reward for not howling. It should be a special treat like a liver sliver or hot dog slice. If she doesn't ever howl at this point, advance on to starting the car, rewarding her for good behavior. The minute she starts to howl, (have the leash on her), give a short tug and a firm low toned "NO". If she stops for a second, reward her with the treat. If she starts again, give the no, wait until she stops and reward her. Eventually, she should look at you before she starts and then praise her and give her the reward. Once this is done, then start moving up and down the driveway rewarding and reprimanding as needed. Eventually you will be going around the block and gradually increasing the distance you are going until she is no longer howling at all no matter how long the trip is.
You might also try a crate since some dogs fare better in a covered crate for trips. It might be a quick fix. If you do need to train, I would hold off taking her places until you can get some training done. You don't want her back sliding unless it is absolutely necessary.
Not all dogs enjoy going places and some would be just as happy staying home. However, I do think that the technique I've described along with the dap collar should correct this behavior. I also want to be sure you understand that you should not reward any bad behavior by reassuring a dog, petting them or showing them attention. It only encourages the behavior rather than corrects it. Give attention for good behavior.
If nothing seems to correct the situation, you may need an in person behaviorist to work with her. You can find one here:
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