Car anxiety always better on the way home?

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Black dogs rock!
Barked: Wed Dec 12, '12 4:09am PST 
When I brought Bunny to the vet yesterday, he was barking, whining, panting, pacing in the car. I have noticed over the years, that no matter where we are going , somewhere nice or somewhere scary, he is always calmer on the way home. Not totally calm, mind you, but much less stressed. I just wondered, can dogs reason this out: " I have been somewhere in this scary moving thing, now we are going home, so I can relax a bit" ? thinking
Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Wed Dec 12, '12 7:32am PST 
For Sanka, I think it's more a satisfaction that he's already been somewhere and the excitement level is down quite a bit since getting his share.

Mind you, Sanka isn't scared of where he's going. He's anxious to get out and explore. I take his yelps and whines as him being a backseat driver and telling me to pullover as we missed so many things to pee on.laugh out loud

Even a short trip to the vet gives him enough of an outing to be complacent for the trip home. And we don't always go home after outings either. And Sanka being Sanka, I don't think he in particular works out the idea of going home. (He doesn't catch on to patterns easily)

But again, that's just Sanka.shrug

Barked: Wed Dec 12, '12 10:55am PST 
Niko is the same way as Sanka. I take his anxiety as overwhelming excitement. If he's loose in the back seat during a car ride, he's telling me about it the whole time, pacing around looking out the different windows, pushing his face up beside mine so he can howl and yap and carry on. He's more likely to complain if I stop or turn, haha.. going straight and fast suits him. laugh out loud

Once we've been ANYWHERE, he accepts that as 'the place we were going' and calms down. If I just stop and get gas he's calmer for the rest of any trip. (Of course, he's an 'always in motion' kind of dog, so his calm is still boisterous compared to the others, but he stops screaming at me, anyway.)

Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Wed Dec 12, '12 5:12pm PST 
Charlie used to be EXACTLY like Bunny in car rides. He'd pant, whine, cry, shiver, shed fur, and pace. He couldn't settle down AT ALL, and even on the way home, would be(less, but still) antsy to get out of the car. I was pre-warned from his previous owners that he DID NOT like car rides.

Then I met my fiance. And we took Charlie EVERYWHERE in the car, literally, unless we were going shopping for long periods of time. And most of that 'everywhere' was out to K-Country - which out here, is mountains, forests, rivers, wildlife, etc and we'd hike out there with him on his long line. He began to learn that car rides meant something good was going to happen somewhere. But he STILL whined, shook, cried, panted, paced and shed fur.

Until one day, I decided to try something new. I took HIS blanket, and placed it in the back seat of the car, with a few of his toys and bones. Not only did this calm him down... But it made a HUGE change in his behavior.

He no longer cries the entire time(only if he KNOWS where we're going and gets excited, now), doesn't pant or pace, or even shed fur. In fact, a few times since I used the blanket method, he's actually curled up and laid down for the drive! It was... the weirdest, most amazing fix in the world.

Now.. I'm not saying there's a fix for Bunny, necessarily... But I am saying that I totally get it.

There were times I thought Charlie was going to send himself into another seizure, he'd get soooo incredibly anxious.

He was definitely a lot better on the ride home, but a lot of the time, I summed it up to him having tired himself out by the time we were headed back.

Noise Police
Barked: Wed Dec 12, '12 6:55pm PST 
It seems believable to me that a dog could learn the pattern - that car rides usually come in pairs (going away, coming home), and he's more anxious on the first leg of the trip because he doesn't know where he's going. Do you often take him in the car besides trips to the vet?

Hazel used to have car anxiety - she would salivate as soon as she got in the car, and vomit within 30 minutes. She developed all that anxiety from one bad trip where she happened to get sick from all the stop-and-go traffic, and she remembered it! What eventually solved it was many short trips (sub-vomit distance) to a pet supply store where she got lots of attention and treats. Now she looks forward to car rides. Maybe that will work for Bunny - make sure he doesn't associate car rides exclusively with vet appointments.

Black dogs rock!
Barked: Sat Jun 1, '13 6:04pm PST 
I realize this is an old thread, but I wanted to resurrect it because I have been working on this for a few weeks now. I can't crate him because he does not like to have his crate door closed. He does have a seat belt. I guess I could bring out his crate blanket and put it in the carthinking I have been throwing treats in the back seat and treating him when he is quiet. We have been going to the little park by the water which is about 5 minutes away. He is still barking and whining more on the way there and less on the way home. His groomer is moving 15 minutes away( she used to be 5 minutes away) and I really need to get a handle on this thinking

Edited for spelling

Edited by author Sat Jun 1, '13 6:06pm PST