first thing to realize when dealing with car sickness is that in 95 percent of cases this problem is
stress related and not motion related. The most powerful memory imprint of any dog's brain is probably the car ride
when it was taken away from all it ever new to be safe and secure, its litter mates and its mother. The most traumatic memory
a young dog has is in relation to a ride in a car. So it's not surprising that subsequent rides in
a car should evoke very strong mental and subsequent physical trauma.
solution is very simple. If the dog has been sick in a car then estimate how long it was in the car before it was sick, say
20 minutes? Find a park about 5-10 minutes from home, preferably one just around the corner, even one within walking distance
that the dog has been to before.... but this time drive there. Ideally have someone else in the car too, to soothe the dog
and distract him from the ride. Keep him happy all the way to the park. When at the park do all the enjoyable things that
the dog loves, fetch the ball, chase the Frisbee, frolic with dad, etc. The stay at the park doesn't need to be that long....
just as enjoyable as possible. Then drive the dog home soothing him all the way again and when home make just as much fuss
of the dog as you did at the park. Finish the session with his meal or a treat if time and conditions permit.This exercise
is repeated several times a day or daily if time is limited. Once the dog is enthusiastic to go in the car then the length
of the trip is lengthened slightly to 10-15 minutes etc.
you can drive with the dog for 30 minutes with no signs of stress or anxiety then you have the problem pretty much licked.
Some dogs may take a little longer than others. The idea is for as many happy repetitions as possible to overwrite the initial
mental imprint the dog has from its youth (or whatever other event caused the initial trauma).I have had a (client's) dog
that suffered from chronic car sickness totally 'cured' (if that is the right term) in 3 days. That
was with five car trips per day over the three-day period. The owners were impressed (even if I say so myself) and I am still
getting referrals from them as a result.
method has always worked, but I have heard of one dog that was sick due to some kind of balance problems and this method didn't
work for it. A trip to the vet after the method failed brought the problem to the surface.
if it only works for 95 percent of the dogs it's used on then I think it's quite successful! Train
with trust not fear.