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Riding in the car

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#1 SaraC



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Posted 05 January 2009 - 12:43 PM


We are new to BC boards. I posted a quick hello on the Boarder Collie Gallery. We have a now an almost 4 month old male BC, named Jake. Since the beginning of his life with us we have tried everything to get him to enjoy riding in the car. We started small, used treats, short drives down the driveway and little trips to the local pet store for puppy classes, shopping, drives to friends and sometimes just a spin for the heck of it. He hasn't become ill in the car. He just lays down and puts his head into the corner of his crate. Now, I've been told that BC's aren't good riders. Is this true? I can't think that it would be, or their wouldn't be 100's of BC owners traveling their pets for trials, agility, etc... Is this something he'll grow to love ? Any advice will be appreciated. Thank you!

Sara and Jake

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#2 Ninso


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Posted 05 January 2009 - 12:48 PM

When I first brought home my dog (as a 2-year-old) he got carsick. We used dramamine for a month or two, but after that I just stopped using it and he was totally fine. I wouldn't say he loves car rides like some dogs, but he has no problems in the car. Is your pup afraid of being in the car? If he's afraid, it sounds like your doing the right things to desensitize him, but you may need to progress more slowly. If he's calm, not getting sick, and not afraid, I don't see any problem.
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#3 MaryP


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Posted 05 January 2009 - 01:03 PM

He just lays down and puts his head into the corner of his crate.

Be thankful. You could have a dog like Charlie who insists in barking at the passing motorcycles (doG forbid we end up following one or having one follow us :rolleyes: ) and whines when he knows he is going somewhere FUN. I'd take a dog that lays down quietly in his crate any day.
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#4 juliepoudrier


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Posted 05 January 2009 - 01:06 PM

I'm with Mary on this one. I regularly travel with six or seven dogs in crates in my van, and my idea of the perfect traveler is the dog who curls up and goes to sleep. A dog who's wiggling a lot or whining or just up and reacting to passing vehicles or whatever would drive me nuts. As it is now, if someone whines or gets wiggly, I can usually take that as a signal that a potty break is needed.


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#5 BustopherJones


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Posted 05 January 2009 - 01:20 PM

Boarder Collie

Merriam-Webster definition of "boarder": one that is provided with regular meals or regular meals and lodging (Maybe Sara is onto something here...) :rolleyes:

Annie lies quietly in the back seat, and seems to enjoy the ride; she occasionally pops her head up to see what is going on, but for the most part she is resting and comfortable (at least, until we get to our destination).
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#6 vanillalove


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Posted 05 January 2009 - 01:31 PM

He sounds like the perfect rider! However, if you believe it is out of fear, I would start back from the beginning with the short trips. He's too small to jump into the car himself, is he? Either way, just put him in his crate in the car for a minute, don't even start the car or anything. Give him his favourite treat and let him out. Do that a few times. Then slowly move on to starting the car. Turn it off and go and give him his favourite treat and let him out. Do these baby steps until he seems comfortable with them happening and go on to what you think the next step up would be until you can finally drive all the way to the store or whatever.

In the end, if he still just lays down and puts his head in the corner, it may just be the way he feels the calmest in the car, and you should be lucky to have him!

Do you notice any drooling when he's riding? Heavy drooling is also a sign of car-sickness for them. But a gingersnap cookie will make it all better.

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#7 Lewie'sMom


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Posted 05 January 2009 - 01:37 PM

Car rides are fun. I take Lewie everywhere except to work. He rides shot-gun and doesn't miss a thing. He sits upright quietly and is very attentive to the passing landscape. He's never fussed and that's what I expect of him. He does have to have a paw-hand touching some part of my person which gets annoying when he starts using me as part of the seat to hold himself up with.

I had a golden mix that got carsick as a youngster. He out grew it and loved riding all over creation.

Hang in there, Jake will probably grow out of it too.

A tired dog is a good dog!

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#8 Barb Scott

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 01:56 PM


#9 Barb Scott

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 02:00 PM

Be thankful! Our BC Zip rides in a crate because he won't relax in the car. He actually stood up all the way to Ohio (from MI)!
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#10 JohnLloydJones


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Posted 05 January 2009 - 02:14 PM

When we got her, Sennca seemed completely unused to riding in a car. She quickly got used to it and is a perfect passenger for most of the time. She does have a habit of barking at dogs and cats (mostly the grey and white cat across the road), but this only happens close to home. Another odd thing is that she is scared of freeway signs (the overhead ones). She dives down behind my seat when she sees one. Oh yes and she hates rain -- anything flying towards the windshield (e.g. leaves), in fact.

#11 sweet_ceana


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Posted 05 January 2009 - 02:36 PM

It can depend on the dog. My Poke hates the car, but will tolerate it if we are going some where fun. Ceana on the other hand loves the car so much she even enjoys just sitting in the car while it is in the garage.
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#12 PSmitty


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Posted 05 January 2009 - 02:38 PM

Alex has been with us for two years now and his dislike of riding in the car has not gotten any better. He clearly doesn't like it. When he knows it's time to go somewhere, he cowers and slinks around. He will willingingly get in the car, and then lies right down in his crate and is quiet the entire time. I feel bad that he doesn't like riding, but as long as he's not getting carsick, I figure it's no biggie. He always has fun wherever we go (well, almost), and the trauma of the car ride is soon forgotten.

I wouldn't worry about your puppy. As Mary said, be thankful...my other dog, Jack, whines almost constantly in the car. I'll take Alex's quiet over that any day!

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#13 bc4ever


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Posted 05 January 2009 - 02:47 PM

When we brought Scooter home as a puppy, he drooled all the way home. The drooling stopped a long time ago (he turned four in December), but he still just tolerates riding in the car. He willingly gets in, then heads straight for the back seat where he stretches out and lies there, head down, not looking around. He doesn't appear to be in any distress, so I assume that's just him and ignore it. I figure if I make a big fuss about it, like trying to coax him to sit up, it will only make him anxious. Sometimes, when he feels the car making a turn, he'll pop his head up to see where we're going, but then it's back down again. :rolleyes: Goofy guy. It's funny though, like when going through the drive-thru at the bank, and he suddenly sits up and the teller is surprised to see that I have a dog with me! :D Then they send him a treat, which of course he turns his nose up at and wouldn't dream of eating. DoG forbid! :D

#14 WildFlower


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Posted 05 January 2009 - 02:47 PM

I got Daisy at 3 months and she had a 5 hour car ride home! :rolleyes: But she laid in the back seat and slept almost the entire time. (The breeder took all the pups for a 4 hour round trip ride to the vet to have their eyes checked which I am sure helped!) But to this day, Daisy lays quietly and sleeps in the car the majority of the time. She will sit up and look around for about the first 5 minutes then lays down. I take her every where I can with me.


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#15 Amelia


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Posted 05 January 2009 - 03:19 PM

I'm wondering what makes you think your puppy isn't happy in the car? Is it possible that you are reading his posture incorrectly? If he were cowering, whining, trembling or submissively peeing then I would say he's unhappy, but what you've described seems not only normal, but desirable to me. I expect my dogs to lay quietly in their crates in the truck, but I don't think that the direction of their head indicates their emotional state.

I'm thrilled that you care about that puppy so much, but sometimes folks try too hard to make sure their dogs are OK. Put him in his crate, take him where you're going, don't worry how he's feeling, and go about your business. Not only are border collies great in cars, but their uncommonly loyal, willing and adaptable. That puppy doesn't care if he's in a car or the space shuttle, he just wants to be with you.

#16 Root Beer

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 04:01 PM

Now, I've been told that BC's aren't good riders. Is this true?

Definitely not true! Both of my Border Collies adore riding in the car.

That said, based on what you describe, your dog sounds OK. If you notice trembling, excessive drooling, or carsickness, then there might be a problem, but it just might be that your dog is most comfortable hunkered down in the crate.

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#17 osioda



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Posted 05 January 2009 - 04:11 PM

As for Border Collies and taking them with you and traveling, with a crate, most of the time that is what you want for them to just curl up and lay in there cage sounds like he is doing what you want. Now if you are wanting him to ride in the car not in a crate that is a different question, Most of the ones I have trained at first absolutely hate to ride in the vehicle and when they set up looking around I believe it is because things are going by them so fast and they are bred to watch everything and especially moving things. What I do is take them on short rides but something that is alot of fun to them when they get to the other place, and usually at first they will whine jump around then will bury there heads and whine, most of the time I will pull there head out if they bury it and at least make them get use to looking around inside the vehicle, and eventually they will start looking alittle more and alittle more then I also drive very slow and I get them to start looking outside and remind still short trips and I drive in the country also. then by about 6 to 8 months old they ususally just start sticking there heads up and looking everywhere and absolutely love riding and ,for me I want them riding in the truck with me I don't like messing with crates all the time and I have one Dog of mine that he goes everywhere I go in the truck. Also sometimes if you can it helps to just shut them in the vehicle for a half an hour or more and sometimes a hour or so and just let them get use to it, and that helps tremendously.

#18 1sheepdoggal


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Posted 05 January 2009 - 04:30 PM

All my dogs hit the deck when riding. Its not the going there that they care about, its the once we get there that gets them pumped.
I think, no, I know I definitly perfer that they hunker down in the floor board and back seat as opposed to happy jumping around and barking. As long as the dog isnt showing any signs of stress, and is just happy to be quiet and still, that would be the perfered method of choice for me!
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#19 momtotwo



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Posted 05 January 2009 - 05:38 PM

All 3 of our border collies love to ride in the car. They all "load up" and then crash. When traveling a good "rider" can't be beat! :rolleyes:

#20 LovaBelle


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Posted 05 January 2009 - 07:19 PM

I used to think that my Jake didn't like the car rides either. He just didn't act like the fool that Belle does when we go. She can't sit still, tries to jump from window to window, thankfully not trying to get to mine, but nothing but sheer anticipation on what great place we are going to stop at. I've called her spaz more than once, while in transit. Now Jake, I've realized is the perfect car-riding dog. He jumps in the driver's side door, immediately places himself in the back seat in the middle, and lies down. He will occasionally stand to see what Belle's fuss is all about, but really he is a perfect rider.

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