Over roughly the past month, Molly has developed an anxiety issue in her crate in the car. Nothing happened, nothing that I can remember. But when she is in her crate, and the car starts moving, Molly begins shuddering and rapid stress panting. I've been wracking my brains for the "Why?" of this behavior. The only thing that I can think of is that when the car goes over a pothole, of which there have been many as PA recovers from winter, it sounds like a gunshot or thunder to Molly.
On the way to Saturday's agility trial Molly was a mess, shuddering the entire 45 minutes to the trial site. I even put Perri inside of Molly's crate with her and it did not make much difference. (Perri has a whole other set of car-crate issues and having Ein in the crate with her is very helpful.)
Tonight we had our weekly agility handling class, which meant another 45 minute car ride for Molly. I decided to put her Thundershirt on and see if that helped. It was incredible. I rotated my rear view mirror so that I could easily see what Molly looked like while I was driving. We got out of our driveway, down the street and onto the highway and she was incredibly relaxed. The thundershirt barely takes the edge off of Molly's storm anxiety, though it does help, so I was surprised to see this. We were about 25 minutes into our drive when we hit a very bumpy spot in the road and I noticed some trembling and lip flicking, then the panting. It lasted about five minutes of driving and then Molly became calm again until we reached the training center. Awesome!
Our drive home we made it probably 35 minutes of driving time before Molly started some stress panting, but it did not last long at all. I pulled into the driveway with a quiet , calm dog.
Thursday is the next time Molly will be taking a car ride, so we will see how things look then.