I Am Thankful For The Challenges…

I am always in awe of Luna’s ability to know when her and I are going to take a trip somewhere. I try to pack her bag without her watching the night before because once she sees her bag she get so excited. I usually get caught once I start measuring dog food into zip lock bags.
When I first got Lu she was an excellent traveller. She would lay down and sleep or sit and watch the world go by. And then one day she changed. She was still excited to get in the truck but she decided that instead of watching vehicles go by she would try to catch them. She would sit at one side of the back seat and when the vehicle went by she would launch herself onto the other side of the seat while growling and barking. (She would actually slam her paws into the window on the far side of where she was sitting). So I decided to restrain her with a car harness. This lead to her screaming and crying very loudly for almost the entire trip. Then I tried to crate her and cover the crate so she couldn’t see. I had the same result. The screaming and crying got so loud with no breaks that I would have to pull over and get out to get a break from her before I duct taped her muzzle shut several times!
Finally I put her in the front seat beside me and began treating her for every car she looked at and didn’t try to “catch”. I also restrained her because she would still try to “catch” the cars and obviously that would of been extremely dangerous.
She no longer tries to catch vehicles but she still tends to cry while we drive I think because she is trying to control her car chasing craziness.
This weekend we went to my parents and I have to say this had to be one of the best trips we have had. Minimal crying and she kept her butt on the seat for the majority of the trip. When she would start to cry I would say, very calmly, “shhhhh no crying” and she would relax into the seat. (I only reward if she is sitting quietly for longer periods of time now.)
Although not taking her with me was never an option, I sure am glad she is better at riding in the truck. She still has issues if she sees a dog while I’m driving but I figure one thing at a time. For now having a fairly quiet two hour drive is enough reward for me.

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4 thoughts on “I Am Thankful For The Challenges…

  1. OhMelvin says:

    Wooohoooooo on your success!!!! Melvin used to be terrible in the car, running from the from the back of the SUV to the front seat. Both boys now wear restraints in the back seat. While Melvin is better, restraining them is safer (and it keeps them from annoying the other).

  2. I like how you’re graduating the intervals of treats and how you make her wait longer than before. Very smart!

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