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Car questions

 
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foxykofi
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PostPosted: 12/14/04, 5:51 pm    Post subject: Car questions Reply with quote

We recently got a GWP, and he is the center of our world! We've never had one before and we are kicking ourselves that we didn't find this breed sooner. Our GWP is about 6 months old and is named Kofi. He loves riding in the car but is quite destructive. Our last dog went with us everywhere in the car and was incredibly well behaved. We'd love for that to happen with this one, too. So, I have a number of car-related issues I could use some advice on:

1) I've tried everything I can think of to keep him from chewing the seat belts and floor mats in the back seat. I have sprayed them with bitter apple, brought toys along, etc. I finally took the floor mats and put them in the trunk, but I can't do that with the seat belts! He is just determined to eat them! I can't drive AND correct at the same time (though I've tried). His chewing habits have really dropped off in the house (my new pair of goggles withstanding), so I'm not sure why he forgets himself in the car.

2) He is quite antsy also, and I have to remind him that his place is in the back seat. He will often leap up to the front the minute I leave the car, and it is hard to get him to move when I return. Usually he will only shift over to the passenger side when I threaten to sit on him...and moving to the passenger side means I will have a wet snout sniffing around the gear shift and radio. Yikes! He does eventually settle down, but he's dangerous until that happens.

3) Though not solely confined to the car, Kofi's flatulence has immediate and devastating implications there. I know that it can be nutrition related, but we finally found a food that has helped him put some meat on his bones. He seems healthy in every other regard. Is this a phase? Or should we be looking for another kind of food?

Thanks for your help!!
Cate
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dualgwp
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PostPosted: 12/14/04, 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh my....Kofi is simply being a puppy, and a Wire puppy at that.
First suggestion... get a crate that Kofi can ride while in the car. This will not only stop him from destroying your car, but will keep him and you and your passengers safe in case of an accident.

Second suggestion, put a leash on him and either shut it in the car door, or drape it over the front seat so you have some type of control.

I really vote for the first suggestion.... until he grows up and can be trusted.

Puppies chew.. it's just a fact of life! So, get a crate to save his life and your sanity!!!
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cheerio
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PostPosted: 12/15/04, 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, dogs that do not behave in a car are better crated. This is a matter of safety not only for the car, for puppy, but also for you and any other automobilist who could be on the receiving end of an accident...

But let me answer your question. Humans spray their sent mostly through their feet, (this is why tracking is an easy task to any dog with a good nose, and why puppy think any one of his master is fair game), their hands (this is why a dog loves chewing on gloves), the head (lost any hat lately?), and then through any part of his body directly touching something. The longer it touches, the more sent their is. In short, dogs love to chew on seatbelts, on floor mats and on head rests because it carries the sent of his beloved owner.
If you really do not agree with the crate, you can try soaking the belts in pure wine vinaigre. This usually works better than bitter apple. The second thing is to purchase at a hardwear store PVC tubing, in which you will make a cut on its entire lenghth, wide enough to insert the sit belt. The dog may chew on the tube, but will not get to the belts. They usually eventually lose interest in them. Of course, this requires you to put the belt in the tubing each time you leave the car. The 'unused belt can stay in the tubing as long as they are not needed.

Moving around. You can solv this 2 ways:
Get your dog a doggy seatbelt. You can find them at most petstore quiet inexpensive. Of course, I have no doubt that your dog will chew it, so you will have to muzzle him. Winter is a great time to train him to stay calm in the car as it is not a good idea to muzzle your dog in the summer time.
The second way is a method I have used for years to train dogs to satay in the car with windows and/or doors wide open. Get a chain leash. This is a leash made of a solid chain with only the handle is in nylon. Attach the handle somewhere in the car. I use the car seatbelt but in your case, you will have to make sure the belt is protected with the tubing device as explained above or puppy would be likely to chew it off. Then, let puppy try to chew the chain. Typically, within 2 or 3 car rides, he will have learnt that a chain is not something he enjoys chewing.

Finally, his flatulence problems. Flatulence is in most cases, a reaction to his food. Change his food to something more easily digestable and low in fibre. Preferably something whithout any corn. You can also discuss with your vet the necessity to put your dog on a subscription diet such as Hill's Science Diet i/d or k/d.
The second most likely cause of flatulence is swallowing large amount of air while gulping his food. This can be avoided by feeding puppy 3 or 4 smaller meals per day rather than a large one, and also by putting in his dish with his food, a table spoon. While eating around the spoon, puppy will learn to eat slower.
In the mean time, untill puppy's tummy settles, you can use any people medicine sold over the counter, such as Simethicone (either in liquid or tablets), in a dose of 40mg once or twice a day depending on the severity of the case, after a meal.

Well, good luck to you and let us know what happens.
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foxykofi
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PostPosted: 12/18/04, 12:14 pm    Post subject: Another car question Reply with quote

Thanks for the helpful suggestions! We had to take Kofi to the vet yesterday because he seemed to be under the weather and it turns out that he had some sort of bacteria infection in his tummy. No wonder he had so much gas! He's now on a corrective course to help relieve the pain (and the gas)!

While I have your attention, I have another car question to ask you. Kofi LOVES the car, but sometimes when we go out to the car for a ride he won't get in. He'll sit at the door, looking at the seat. Every once in awhile he responds to the toss-the-toy approach, where I toss the toy in and he runs after it. I've used bait to get him in. As perplexing as that is what is even harder to understand is when we arrive home and we all get out he does not. He sits. We open the door, and he sits. We encourage him to get out with toys or treats, and he just sits there. If I reach into get him he immediately lies down and gives me his best non-violent, Ghandi-like protest (He does this anytime he is in a place he knows he shouldn't be and I tell him to get 'out'). I have the dead weight of a 40 pound dog to drag out (and he does not help one bit until he is on the floor of the garage). Tried of dragging him, I thought I would just leave him in the car to see how long he would sit out there. He'll sit there for a long time, and then he'll start to do damage to the car making it imperative for me to come and drag him out. I really hate doing it because I'm afraid I'll hurt him. And he is still a puppy so at some point I'm going to have a 65 lbs of stubborn adult dog to deal with, I can't drag him out forever.

My questions are these: 1) Have you encountered this before? 2) What are some effective strategies in dealing with it? and 3) What message am I giving him about authority when I pull him out (am I establishing dominance)?
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dualgwp
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PostPosted: 12/18/04, 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boy, oh Boy, does Kofi have your number!!!! Don't feel badly, many first time Wire owners get throughly trained by their Wires.

Ok... let's think about this. You need to think about how to control this pup... how to convince him your needs are above his needs. He has to learn that 99% of the time you are right, even if you are wrong, you are right! You are the leader of his pack, the top dog, the king... he is just an underling and there to do what you ask him to do. Remember, he is a dog, and this is his right, his heritage and to ask more of him is just unfair! He ain't a kid in a furry suit. He can't think like us, can't reason like us, can't make decisions like us... he's a dog. (Cure now, but down the road..... obnoxious!)

Be the boss, be his leader, show him he must do as asked. Put him on a leash and teach him to get into and out of the car. This should take ... oh, about 15 minutes of concentrated effort. Don't ask more than once, ask once, put him in the car. Ask him to get out, once, not twice, take the leash and lead him out. Do it again, and again, and again. The leash is your best friend!

There is a show on the National Geographic Channel... The Dog Whisperer... this guy is good and has an excellent way of getting the humans in the pack to understand their place and responsibility to the dog. He doesn't teach, sit, down, and stay... but rather gets the people to understand and accept.... the dog is a dog is a dog! They are the leader, and the dog wants a leader. Watch this program!!!!! 6:30 pm east coast time. I'm having a friend tape a bunch of episodes... to pass out to new GWP owners!

Wires are manipulative... they will train you in short order if you allow them to do it. Don't be decieved by that cute fuzzy face... they are evil! Not really, but keep that in your mind.

Keep asking those questions! And keep that sense of humor.
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cheerio
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PostPosted: 12/22/04, 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I totally agree with dualgwp, all the way to the manipulative tendency of the breed, I would like to take a different approach to the question if I may.
It is not unusual for a 6 months old pup to refuse to jump. At that age, they are still babies, and in fact, I always recommand to my puppy buyers not to let the dog jump up until a year old. Jumping is the quickest way to articulation injury. So I would say, pick up your pup and carry him.
In a less happy note, the refusal to jump can be an indication of hip or elbaow problems. A dysplastic dog will do exactly as your pup. Something to keep in mind before forcing puppy to jump in and out of the car.
Finally, since your pup is not at this point likely to bolt out as soon as you open the car door, it is a perfect opportunity to teach him the "stay" command. When you open the door, tell him to "stay", then tell him he is a good boy, and then carry him out. He will get the message very fast and as soon as he is willing to jump on his own, he will wait for the "Stay - Good Boy" ritual.
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foxykofi
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PostPosted: 01/18/05, 6:05 pm    Post subject: Car questions Reply with quote

Well, thank you for all the advice. We discovered the key to keeping him in one place (um, more or less) in the car: heated seats. As soon as the seat starts warming up, he curls up in a cuddly little ball and goes to sleep. He gets lots of praise for 'settling' down.

Now, if we could only be so lucky inside the house! He's become quite the attention hog.
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