How To Stop Your Dog’s “Car Barking”

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How To Stop Your Dog’s “Car Barking”

A barking dog in the car can be a BIG problem.

The dog is distracted

The driver is distracted

And that can create a dangerous situation for the driver!

After all no one wants to be distracted or enraged while they are driving!

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One of the major reason for a dog’s barking in the car is excitement.

I liken it to a child squealing at the circus.

The problem with dogs is that it feeds on itself.

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At first your puppy hung his head out of the window and barked and you thought it was cute.

Now that he is 3 years old and barks at anything that moves, it isn’t so cute anymore, but the habit has been created.

And bad habits are very difficult to correct when it comes to dog training.   Read this article Bad Habits Are Hard to Break  to understand why.

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It is also a problem because dogs are easily over stimulated, visually!

So we fix that by limiting and controlling what they can see in the car.

You can use inserts.   As pictured above

You can also use a crate, which will make a huge difference in the safety of your drive.

The truth is the safest place for your dog, in case of an accident, is in a crate that is tied down.

NBC 4 Washington, recently ran a news story featuring Gunner Kennels G1 to be the safest crates tested.  For more on that click here 

For most people it is easier to put a crate in the car, than to ultimately secure all the windows.

I also recommend a valiant down on command.  If your dog barks, you command him to lie down and he can no longer see out the window.  This requires exquisite obedience skills, but I think your obedience goals should be boundless.

Either way, the goal is to limit his visual stimulation while teaching him to be quiet in the car and then control it.

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In this picture you can see the blinds are opened and the dogs are allowed to see if they earn the privilege by being quiet.

You must be consistent with taking away their privilege of seeing out when they bark!

If you aren’t consistent they wont learn!

And, if you want a dog to be quiet when you leave the car, you must employ the same methods.  Use a crate or make sure they cannot see out.

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There are 19 Comments

  1. Barbara says:

    This is a great idea. I’d like to try it. Question, how do u keep the police from giving you a ticket, while you can’t see out of your side & back windows?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I have a cargo van; I don’t have back windows. You can learn to drive using your side mirrors for a short period of time.

    [Reply]

  2. June Doyle says:

    Great advice thank u

    [Reply]

  3. Fran says:

    Very useful. Thanks

    [Reply]

  4. Shirley Davis says:

    We have driven to Florida and back with our dog (4 1/2 yr old lab/shep mix), no problem. But on our own dead- end, part dirt road, she is a different animal. She acts like she lives to see some people or other dogs to go wild about. As soon as we are on our road she is all eagerness, looking for something to bark at. Making shades for the windows may be a solution. I’ll give your ideas more thought.

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  5. J.T. Averre says:

    What if they whine from excitement or anxiety whether they can see out or are lying down? Has been going on their whole life as we have never been able to get them to stop.

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  6. Major problem with this solution – blocks driver’s vision out the windows as well -I can’t block my rear windows – I use that to see. side windows yes but section between back seat and front would block my vision – I have two big dogs – blindfolds on them would be better!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    use a crate. But many of us use our side mirrors because we don’t have back windows.

    [Reply]

  7. Sandy Whitlock says:

    Last week we went to a concert in the park. Brought our 20 mo. old German Shepherd to get used to the noise and being in a different situation. She was a total embarassment!!!! When a lady with a big dog crossed the street right in front of us, our dog started barking. I stood in front of her and told her to sit, which she did, and then would quit barking, no problem. When I looked around me to see if they had gone, the lady was just standing there with her dog, both looking at us. I was waiting for her to enter the park and be seated which I thought was her intent.

    Not so; she finally crossed the street and left. We went on past the park and sat in the outer corner of the park and our dog laid down, no problem. Shortly the lady came over to us (me thinking she wanted to pet our dog) and reamed me out for not turning around and going another way! I didn’t know that was what I was supposed to do, go back where I had started from. She said “what do you expect? my dog is just a puppy and couldn’t help from barking at your dog”. Then she left the park, after talking to many people about our dog!

    What should I have done? I know we haven’t really worked with our dog in this area, and were going to try again last night, but it rained so the music was cancelled. In the end the first time, so as not to be such a disturbance whenever she spotted another dog, we sat by our car but whenever she saw another dog (in the dark even) she would start barking. I would stand in front of her and told her to sit, which she did and then would stop barking.

    Any clues to what I should do next time we take her?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    First in my opinion a nearly 2 year old dog is not a puppy anymore. I think in some ways you are using that as an excuse.

    next, I think that you should probably be working on these behaviors in a less over stimulating environment and then work up to something like that after the dog has been taught how to act and react.

    [Reply]

  8. Lin says:

    Our dog only barks when we leave the car and he must stay alone for a few minutes. Is this simply because he ALWAYS wants to be with us ?

    [Reply]

  9. JenB says:

    This is great advice.

    [Reply]

  10. Lisa Burns says:

    I adopted an older dog that had been in the shelter for four years. He will not come into the house when I am not home. He just barks and barks but no one can get him to come in. He gets a place on the couch and sleeps on the end of my bed. We do not know what to do. He is scared of everything. I don’t know his past but even though the other members of the family are good to him and he likes their attention. When they come home he growls and acts scared to death of them. I do not know his past but he is not aggressive in any way except for this irrational fear.

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  11. David Scorey says:

    We have a 7 year old German Shepherd that came to us as a rescue when he was three. He was never socialized in his previous life and had little experience of the outside world – never let off the leash, frightened of other dogs, scared by cyclists/motorcycles and so on. Over the years we have gradually trained him to be calmer, more obedient and generally a dog that we can take anywhere with us. Except we cannot stop him barking CONSTANTLY whenever he travels in the car. We have tried everything we can think of – he travels in a cage, we have covered the cage, we have tried short drives every evening, we have tried punishment (a squirt of water when he barks), pheromone sprays, thunder vest, sitting with him in the trunk, toys to occupy him….nothing works. Are some dogs just ‘un-trainable’ in some respects? If we could cure him of this trait it would change his life and ours, because we often leave him at home because we can’t bear the barking.

    [Reply]

  12. Sarah says:

    How do you do this with a dog if he gets car sick if he can’t see out the windows?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Not seeing out the windows helps with car sickness

    [Reply]

  13. Sarah says:

    Not seeing out the windows may help many dogs but not mine the instant you take the visual of the windows away from them they start whining and within 2min they start barfing all over the back of my car or their crates. First dogs i have ever had this problem with but the 2 year old boy has a barking problem in the car and an aggression problem with anything or anyone he hasn’t known since he was 8 months old.

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  14. My dog’s well not stop barking anywhere we go if they see anyone even family I’m so frustrated

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  15. Janet Etherton says:

    I have a 8yr old Japanese Chin that hates to be alone. We got her from a shelter, she hates crates also. How can I get her to not bark when left home alone?

    [Reply]

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