Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Car Shakes

Gibson has never been too fun to be in a car with. Short trips are ok (as long as he sits on my lap... whoops), but long trips usually involve him crying UNTIL he can sit on my lap (um, not on the interstate, Mister!). This is annoying, but usually he gets tired of crying and falls asleep.

This all changed during our Christmas travels.

There was an ice storm the night before we left, so ice was falling off trees everywhere and flying off of semis and cars and bouncing off our car. To Gibson, this was like little aliens or something trying to kills us. So, the entire car trip (close to 5 hours total) Gibson was so petrified, that he shook.

I thought he'd be ok this past weekend, when I took a trip to my parents, but he did the same thing (shaking, darting to get on my lap, down ears, bugged out eyes). He even ran away when I tried to get him into the car (he used to jump in he'd be so excited for a trip).. Poor guy, I don't know what to do :(

I know part of the problem is that he is nervous when he can't see out the window (hence, wanting to sit on my lap), so I'm thinking maybe a 'booster seat' would help. Do any of you fabulous readers use of of those for your pup? Have any suggestions for me??

Gibson did have fun while he was at my parents though. We took 2 very long fun off-leash walks through the woods. He was soo happy looking. I knew he felt like a real live dog!

On the way home from the second walk, both he and his Auntie Coal slept on my leg. Almost cuddling (Coal doesn't really enjoy Gibson's company, usually)!

That's another thing though.. he was fine in the car when I wasn't driving... But he was on my lap the whole time looking out the window (when he wasn't sleeping). Hmm the whole thing is just frustrating :(

He did have a grand time in the woods though...


Laurie said...

Aww poor Gibson! That sounds like a traumatizing ride he had over Christmas. I'm not sure what you can do about it though...Sadie is kind of the opposite in the car. She just curls up and goes to sleep. (Sorry!) But maybe the booster seat would help if he needs to see out the window? It can't hurt to try, right? I hope the car rides improve!

Lesley Collins said...

Herman has this car seat:http://www.amazon.com/Solvit-Extra-Large-Deluxe-Booster-Seat/dp/B000MD3MZA/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1265134570&sr=8-4.
It really helps a lot.

Al said...


Feo used to be the same way in the car. Would NOT settle down unless she was in my lap, and even then she was anxious. I bought her the smaller version of the car seat Lesley has for Herman and immediately she settled in and now hardly makes a noise in the car. She even sleeps!

Do yourself a favor, though, but the car seat *behind* the driver's seat. It'll keep Gibson from seeing too much of you and constantly trying to get your attention, and prevent *you* for reaching back a lot to "check" on him. Also, be sure to use the tether (with a harness, not collar) to hold him in.

Hope that helps!

JuLo said...

Poor guy! I can totally picture his freaked out Corgi face too! Last night Theo puked in the car on the way from from doggy daycare and he was totally google eyed the whole rest of the way home. lol.

I don't boost Theo. I figure if he really wants to look out the window, he can prop up on his hind legs. Actually, he likes to stand with his back paws on the back seat and his front paws on the console between the driver and passenger seat. I think it's so he feels in control, can see out the windshield, etc.

I never allowed Theo in my lap while driving. He used to try, and I would block him with my arm and tell him no. Now he waits patiently for me to park the car, then shoots into it! Hehe. But it must be really hard with Gibson being so pathetic about it. That's the thing with Corgis. He's probably only so pathetic about it because he knows it gets him what he wants. Don't give in! :p

Annie and Maggie said...

I have no idea if this would work or not but it seems to keep BnB calm during trips --- a crate. We have a Subaru Forester so both crates fit in the back. They are wire crates so they can see each other and out the windows, but at the same time it's like their den.

Good luck with your poor boy. Margaret once had a dog that was afraid of all water towers because they lived in a town where there were a lot of hot air balloons that scared her --- she associated the water tower with a hot air balloon!

Rohan Shelties said...

Hi! Im sorry to hear about Gibsons bad experience in the car...we hope all of the superfun trips he keeps going on helps him out! When I had my sedan, I had TWO of these (one for each of my girls):

Theyre very strong, druable and large enough for a slightly larger dog (ie not a yorkie!) Heidi is 20# and 15" at the shoulder...she could get quite comfortably placed in it =0) Shelby is a little smaller, so we got the smaller size. The cover is washable, and it has a neat drawer you can store your dog-play paraphranalia (poop bags, tennis balls, etc.) I switched to crating my girls now that I have my "E", but still kept these boosters so we can use them in my moms car if we take it. I LOVED them! (and they have a few ways to tether the dog in, for a car seat =0)

Good luck, and take care!
Sheltie-Mom Jenn, Heidi and Shelby

That corgi :) said...

poor Gibson! but I liked the picture of him and Coal; they looked so cute together

Koda has always liked car rides (except the 1400 mile one from Montana to So. Calif; I guess doing that in 20 hours got to him)

I have a van so when he drives with me alone without hubby, he can see out pretty well the window and when we all drive together, he sits in my lap perfectly content.

I think the booster seat might work out with Gibson, good luck!


Anonymous said...

Try giving him some Dr. Bachs Rescue Remedy Liquid
before the next trip, it helps with stress and
trauma. Great stuff , I have been using it for
years, Bessie gets separation anxiety, so before
I leave for a trip , the RRL goes in the water
bowl for a couple of days. She is much calmer
and knows Mom will be back.

Kelly said...

Thank you for the advice everyone! I went ahead and ordered a booster seat for the car.. I hope that will help (at least it will keep him from sitting in my lap).. and then we will go from there with the shakes.. :(

The Bee Charmer said...

OK, I know that you don't know me and this sounds mean but yell and him and tell him to stop it. My youngest corgi is terrified of loud noises (fireworks, thunder storms) and I used to coddle her while she trembled and cried. I was reinforcing her behavior. Now I tell her very sternly that she is OK and scold her and tell her to stop crying. She is doing much, much better. Gibson wants to earn your praise for good behavior. And you know that he's not in any danger. So don't coddle him while he cries in the car.

Kelly said...

Oh I don't, believe me. I yell at him and ignore him, then praise him when he lays down. I do look over at him though and those eyes just get me and I feel bad for him..

The Bee Charmer said...

Yeah, well, they are good at getting what they want. I know that they are bred to herd, but I think their true talent is manipulating their people to their will!

He looks like such a good, sweet boy.

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