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Old 03-27-2010, 12:16 PM
Doberluv's Avatar
Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: western Wa
Posts: 22,020
Default Any tips for Toker?

As most of you know, Toker is not technically my dog, although she's been living with me for a few years. Part of the time her owner, my son lived with me. He no longer does and lives where he can not have a dog. But near the end of April, he will be moving to where he can have her and he will take her away.

Here's the thing: She goes with me frequently to Seattle and back again. She's a somewhat intense dog. Although she likes to ride in the car, (jumps in any chance she gets, loves to go with me) she is quite reactive to certain things, like cows, big trucks if there haven't been a lot of trucks going by and if she sees a dog out the car window. (not otherwise) LOL. If there are plenty of trucks zooming by, she gets use to them. She barks and looks out the window a lot and rarely lies down to rest and it's a 7 hour drive, including stopping a few times. But that particular trip, she is really quite all right and pretty comfortable.

When my ex and I took a drive to Port Angeles in Washington, she was so stressed. She barked at everything and could not relax. She'd frantically look out the left window, then the right, reacting so much more than on the Seattle to Idaho trip.

I can't fit a big enough crate in my Subaru.

I have to pick my son up because he doesn't have a car there where he has been living. This is about a 5 hour trip and one that Toker is unfamiliar with. (like the Port Angeles trip was) I have another car, which will be for him, an Explorer, which I never drive because it uses much more gas than the Subaru, but that one is big enough for my big crate and the Chi's crate.

Toker is not crate trained. LOL. But she doesn't mind the crate. So, I thought I better get her more use to it in the meantime before I go, in about 3+ weeks. I have been feeding her in there, giving her special treats, and have advanced to closing the door on her for about 5 minutes. She just lies there, doesn't get worked up or anything. But I don't want her to feel sad or uncomfortable when I take this unfamiliar and rather long trip. I thought soon, I'd work up to taking short trips, just around 5, then 10 minutes, then 20 minutes.

Can you think of anything else I should be doing to help ward off any big stress she may have? See...I thought being in the crate in the car would prevent her from seeing all this outside stimuli that stresses her out or maybe not even bad stress (she's not afraid I don't think) but maybe it's some kind of prey drive stress thing. I only have about 3 weeks to make a really positive, hopefully not too boring association with the crate, which she'll have to ride in for about 10 hours total on one day, then the next day, another 7 hours. We're going from one place in Idaho to my house, then the next day to western Washington. Uggggg. She will, of course get chances to get out for breaks. The Chi's will also be with us in their smaller crate. I just want to be sure there isn't something else I can do in this time to reduce any stress she might have from all this driving.

What about a toke for Toker? J/K. What about some sedative type thing from the vet?
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