Adopted Dobie's car obsession (advice needed)
Great forum. I'd like some advice from those more knowledgeable than I - before I reach the end of my rope. Please help!
I adopted Remmy, a 4.5 year old doberman from the Humane Society about 4 months ago. He was surrendered by his prior owner because he did not get along with that owner's other 2 dogs. I reviewed Remmy's profile, Vet records, and spent a couple of weekends visiting with him before the adoption. No indications of behavioral issues.
Once at home, however, I learn that Remmy is very stressed by exposure to traffic and passing cars. He cannot tolerate walking near traffic, nor riding in a car when there is any traffic around. He pulls on the lead like crazy - so much so that his gentle leader has rubbed some fur off his muzzle. He wants to chase cars, and once he actually chewed through the leash and ran up and down along the roadside chasing vehicles before I caught him. Also, he barks/yelps when he senses that traffic is nearby. Not just barking, but the ear-splitting high pitch yelping of distress. Mind you, he is a very well-behaved walker early and late in the day when there is no traffic.
I feel like we are caged in, because there's hardly anywhere I can take him now.
This has become a vicious cycle....I can't burn off his energy by walking him in my townhouse community (too much traffic), and I can't take him to the dog park because he won't travel in a car.
So far I have focused on maintaining a positive energy flow. I have tried using a gentle leader and prong collar to lessen his pulling. The prong collar works great. But he still yelps and barks, and my neighbors must think I am torturing the poor thing. I've tried a thundershirt, but it really doesn't help him. What am I to do? Remmy loves his home and family, and we love him equally. But I won't feel like he has a good quality of life unless I can exercise him properly and know that he is not in distress.
Please help, what am I to do?