Hi, I have a 14 month old australian shepherd mix that has had a terrible time dealing …

Hi, I have a 14 month old australian shepherd mix that has had a terrible time dealing with the car since I got him, specifically a lottttt of drooling. I’ve been able to counter-condition him to be relaxed just sitting in the car but whenever we try to go to the next step and he notices we start moving in the car, the drooling comes right back and he is visibly anxious. I have started taking him to a nearby park with trails (about a 10 minute drive) after seeing Dr. Magnifico’s video on youtube about the subject. He has not vomited yet on these trips but the drool is definitely a concern and so far hasn’t improved (just had our fourth trip today). Also, after these trips he appears more wary of the car, with drooling sometimes starting as we approach the car to return home. As long as he is not vomiting am I not pushing him too much? When I first got him at four months, he was fine until the last 3 minutes of a 45 minute car drive, at which point he threw up. I think this has unfortunately traumatized him since and I just want to make sure I’m not creating further trauma.

I have also tried anti-nausea medication both OTC and from the vet with limited success, definitely does not help the drooling which makes me further believe it is anxiety related.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Notify of
30,361 Comment threads
455 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
Comment authors
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Krista Magnifico
1 year ago

Hello, The drooling is part of the anxiety. In my opinion and experience the only way around it is through it. Keep working with him and keep thinking of new ways to make the car less scary. Like sitting in it and not going anywhere. Offering treats. Just going for a quick ride to the post office. Or a little jaunt around town anything and everything to make it less stressful and more enjoyable. Foe my pups this usually takes 4-6 months. But now they can (and do) go anywhere and it doesn’t matter if it is a ten minute… Read more »

1 year ago

Hi there- Dr. Magnifico is definitely right. We had one shepherd (Butch) that was terrified of the car. It took about 6 months, but we finally got there. My trick with him was to make the ENTIRE experience worth it. At first, the car itself meant a treat of ham. Then, staying in the car meant more ham. We actually would go to visit the vet to get a treat, not for an appointment. Many times, I would just go to the end of the road and back- before the anxiety could grab ahold. After those first months, the car… Read more »

1 year ago

Use a crate. My Doberman is a hellion if she isn’t secured – she screams and whines and won’t settle. Try a crate, and cover it.