Fear of moving cars.

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Trisherbell
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:02 am

Fear of moving cars.

Post by Trisherbell » Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:39 am

Hello.
Cooper is 6 months old and joined our family 3.5 weeks ago from Bulgaria (mum lives over there, fosters puppies rescued from a shelter).
Cooper hasn't experienced much in the world, and while he has settled very well in many ways, he is fearful of the unknown - which is of course understandable.
I can now take him out for a short walk around the Close in which we live, but I have realised he is terrified of moving cars. He can walk past parked ones fine. To get out the Close I need to walk where he will see and hear car on the road.
The other day was the first time he saw a moving car and was shaking like crazy, and pulled me home.
The next day, he stood while my neighbour came past, she knows his issues so slowed and then quietly got out once parked. Cooper stood, didn't try to pull me home, stood and shook until I moved off.
The next day, yesterday, I only took him down our garden path so not near cars at all. He still shook and wanted to return home. We went up and down the path three times, stopping and letting him listen and sniff.
I'm worried I pushed him too far going near moving cars two days running.
I know it's very early days, and as he has settled well in many respects I am hopeful he will get over the fear of moving vehicles.
Any tips? Thank you in advance.

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Nettle
Posts: 10753
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: Fear of moving cars.

Post by Nettle » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:07 am

I'm just off out so a short answer for now and others will be along soon.

To your puppy, moving cars have in the recent past been associated with awful happenings. Think what he has been through since being picked up off the streets for the first time - and all of it involved moving cars.

So yes, go slowly, and not too much in the way of moving cars until he is more secure in his new life. Also you need to work on him getting in and out of your own car without it moving, then with the engine start up and stop right away, then later with engine running.

Meanwhile, take him to where he can see moving cars but not close to. Distance is critical. When he is far enough away to watch them without reacting, reward him lavishly, so that watching cars together becomes connected with feeling safe and being rewarded.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

Trisherbell
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:02 am

Re: Fear of moving cars.

Post by Trisherbell » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:25 am

Thank you for your reply.
He wasn't picked up off the streets as far as I know, Mum rescued him (and a couple of others) in October '14 , what happened before he was in the shelter though is unknown, so his very early life could well have been spent on the street. We don't know if he was in there from a tiny pup. I'll see if Mum knows.
What I do know is when my Mum and Step-dad got to Calais to get on Eurotunnel he was taken out of their car and had to walk through a busy car park. So a car journey from what he had come to know as safe.......Mums quiet home with a big garden, other puppies and 3 adult dogs for company.......then the busyness of Calias etc, is what we know he has experienced.
Would be handy if he could tell us!!

Trisherbell
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:02 am

Re: Fear of moving cars.

Post by Trisherbell » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:45 am

This is Mums reply, I had misunderstood his Calais experience:

"We don't know why he was there, but most of the dogs there are brought in off the streets. Calais wasn't a problem, he was in the car,apart from being carried into the the pet office ,then carried back to the car. I think it's just that traffic is noisy, and he hasn't seen much."

Trisherbell
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:02 am

Re: Fear of moving cars.

Post by Trisherbell » Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:24 am

Wanted to share that Cooper is no longer scared of moving cars!! Patience has been they key :D

Dibbythedog
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:08 pm
Location: Middlesex West London

Re: Fear of moving cars.

Post by Dibbythedog » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:04 pm

Oh thats good news. Well done !

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Nettle
Posts: 10753
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: Fear of moving cars.

Post by Nettle » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:42 pm

Brilliant - well done and thank you for coming back to tell us! :D
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

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