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Categories: Puppy Training

Q. Should I correct my 17 month old dog with the remote collar for anxiety in the car?
My 17 month old Dutch Shepherd has travel anxiety, she pants and won't relax in the 2nd seat of our SUV. She is in a safety harness and can lay down. I tried a name brand herbal calming product which did not seem to help, I'd like to avoid Benadryl or vet Rx. Chew toys or treats are ignored.
Would it be o.k. to use the e-collar to break her thought process, say as part of saying down, (she ignores commands when so agitated) or would a tap or click make things worse?

She didn't have any trouble traveling for short trips (Under an hour) as a puppy, but this year she is a panting drooling basket case for even 15 minute outings. We had to take 2 trips this year, 6-8 hours one way, and she was miserable, we were miserable. We would like to travel the country with her when my husband retires in 2 years.

Thank you for any suggestions!

A. I would use a crate in the vehicle and start having her spend time in there doing nothing. When I get a new puppy they spend time each day hanging out in the vehicle in a crate. They may be fed in there, they get treats for going in and I often give them a bone or something special to make them look forward to getting in the van. My 16 week old puppy just went on a 3000 mile road trip with me, we got home 2 days ago. At 10 weeks we did a 4500 mile trip to California, Oregon and Montana. I spent the first 2 weeks after bringing him home from the breeder putting him in the crate in the van every day while it was in our driveway (in the shade). I also did short trips to town when running errands or going into the office.

Since she has a negative reaction to traveling the first step in fixing it would be to neutralize the experience being in the car when you aren’t planning on going anywhere. I would not correct her for this, it doesn't seem fair to me since it's anxiety and not necessarily disobedience. I think most dogs do better in a crate if they have issues, you can also take a lightweight sheet and cover the openings so she can't see out. She may be feeling queasy and that could be the cause of the panting and drooling. You run the risk of making her more anxious by using the collar when she’s in a worried state of mind.
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Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 12 Months is a 3 hour DVD that teaches pet owners how to raise a puppy they can live with.

Living with Your Puppy: Establishing Pack Structure
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Every new puppy owner has the same image of what they want their new dog to be like as an adult. First and foremost, everyone wants a great relationship with their dog but beyond that, those who plan on keeping their dog in their home want a calm, well-mannered, obedient house dog that minds and respects their family and friends. Those who plan on keeping their dog outside want a calm well mannered dog that is respectful to the family and is quiet in the yard or kennel. They only want their dog to bark at strangers that come near the home. New dog owners think the road to success only involves obedience training and house training new puppies. Well that is the old wives tale that is been spread for 100 years and nothing could be further from the truth.


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