Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: help with dog barking in car

  1. #1

    Default help with dog barking in car

    We are looking for some advice on stopping a dog from barking in the car. We have had our 12 month old border collie x kelpie for 10 weeks. He came from a shelter, and was previously kept in a backyard, and apparently not trained, vaccinated, desexed, walked, or given much attention at all. His lack of socialisation mixed with high energy means he has been a *lot* of hard work, much more than we expected or were led to believe, but he has a lovely eager to please nature and has come a long way learning obedience and calm behaviours in the past 10 weeks. Unfortunately it seems that he has a fairly intense barking habit. He barks at the neighbours when they go outside, for attention from us, when he doesn't like something, when he is unsure, when he is excited, when he wants attention from people I stop to talk to on walks, when he plays with other dogs (more play barking than I have ever seen!)...the list goes on....Dog feels any emotion and barks. Obviously it is something that has worked for him for the first 9 months of his life, and isn't his fault, but it is driving us absolutely crazy! (As an aside, we knew we didn't want a dog that barked, and tried very hard to get him to do so when we visited him in the shelter multiple times, not a peep out of him - now he doesn't stop!).

    The barking in the car is our immediate concern. When we first got him, he was terrified in the car, weeing and hiding under the back seats. After a few weeks of feeding in the car short trips and lots of treats, he got more comfortable, and for a couple of weeks he was a "normal" dog in the car, sitting on the seat and looking out the window. Then the barking started. To begin with, it was only a few barks. Then it got to incessant constant barking. We ignored it, and rewarded him (treats and good dog) for being quiet. Then it got worse. And worse, and included getting so worked up he was lunging at and biting the seat! So we started putting him in the car and giving him a down stay with a rawhide or kong to distract him. We realised as long as his head was down, he wasn't barking, but as soon as he saw another car/bike he jumped up and started barking again, and didn't stop until the car stopped. It seemed to us it was seeing the world fly by that was exciting him, so the next step was working up to crating him on car trips so he can't see out. Again, this worked for a week or so, but over the course of a week he has progressed to barking almost constantly again. We do not know what to do. We are very active people, and he is a high energy puppy, so we like to take him on bushwalks and beach romps and the like, but we have gotten to the point that we don't want to get in the car with him.

    We've been seeing a behaviourist for multiple issues, all involving barking, including the car barking. The advice we have been given is to ignore the car barking, do not reinforce it, once the dog realises it isn't working they will stop, once they stop give them a reward. This didn't work when he was on the back seat. When he stopped and I rewarded him he would just start to bark again. Now, there is zero reinforcement in the car crate, I don't talk to the dog when he is barking, he can't see me, or anything else, yet it is getting worse. This is actually true for all of the barking he is doing. The barking is driving us insane, and despite our best efforts, we can not get on top of it.

    Does anyone have any experience in training a dog not to bark in a car? We are looking for people that have had and solved this problem themselves, or have had a close friend/family member solve this problem, rather than general hypothetical advice. Believe me, we've spent a lot of time googling and have read about many of the options out there, from ignoring to a rolled up newspaper to spraying with water, but we would love to know from people's experience what has actually worked.

    Thanks for reading

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by blackdog View Post
    We are looking for some advice on stopping a dog from barking in the car. We have had our 12 month old border collie x kelpie for 10 weeks. He came from a shelter, and was previously kept in a backyard, and apparently not trained, vaccinated, desexed, walked, or given much attention at all. His lack of socialisation mixed with high energy means he has been a *lot* of hard work, much more than we expected or were led to believe, but he has a lovely eager to please nature and has come a long way learning obedience and calm behaviours in the past 10 weeks. Unfortunately it seems that he has a fairly intense barking habit. He barks at the neighbours when they go outside, for attention from us, when he doesn't like something, when he is unsure, when he is excited, when he wants attention from people I stop to talk to on walks, when he plays with other dogs (more play barking than I have ever seen!)...the list goes on....Dog feels any emotion and barks. Obviously it is something that has worked for him for the first 9 months of his life, and isn't his fault, but it is driving us absolutely crazy! (As an aside, we knew we didn't want a dog that barked, and tried very hard to get him to do so when we visited him in the shelter multiple times, not a peep out of him - now he doesn't stop!).

    The barking in the car is our immediate concern. When we first got him, he was terrified in the car, weeing and hiding under the back seats. After a few weeks of feeding in the car short trips and lots of treats, he got more comfortable, and for a couple of weeks he was a "normal" dog in the car, sitting on the seat and looking out the window. Then the barking started. To begin with, it was only a few barks. Then it got to incessant constant barking. We ignored it, and rewarded him (treats and good dog) for being quiet. Then it got worse. And worse, and included getting so worked up he was lunging at and biting the seat! So we started putting him in the car and giving him a down stay with a rawhide or kong to distract him. We realised as long as his head was down, he wasn't barking, but as soon as he saw another car/bike he jumped up and started barking again, and didn't stop until the car stopped. It seemed to us it was seeing the world fly by that was exciting him, so the next step was working up to crating him on car trips so he can't see out. Again, this worked for a week or so, but over the course of a week he has progressed to barking almost constantly again. We do not know what to do. We are very active people, and he is a high energy puppy, so we like to take him on bushwalks and beach romps and the like, but we have gotten to the point that we don't want to get in the car with him.

    We've been seeing a behaviourist for multiple issues, all involving barking, including the car barking. The advice we have been given is to ignore the car barking, do not reinforce it, once the dog realises it isn't working they will stop, once they stop give them a reward. This didn't work when he was on the back seat. When he stopped and I rewarded him he would just start to bark again. Now, there is zero reinforcement in the car crate, I don't talk to the dog when he is barking, he can't see me, or anything else, yet it is getting worse. This is actually true for all of the barking he is doing. The barking is driving us insane, and despite our best efforts, we can not get on top of it.

    Does anyone have any experience in training a dog not to bark in a car? We are looking for people that have had and solved this problem themselves, or have had a close friend/family member solve this problem, rather than general hypothetical advice. Believe me, we've spent a lot of time googling and have read about many of the options out there, from ignoring to a rolled up newspaper to spraying with water, but we would love to know from people's experience what has actually worked.

    Thanks for reading
    Possibly try a citronella anti-barking collar?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    near Sydney NSW
    Posts
    727

    Default

    I had great success with the Dogtra iQ e-collar. It didn't take very long at all and wasn't cruel (I tested it on myself).
    Good luck with your boy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Toowoomba, QLD
    Posts
    1,223

    Default

    I agree with trying a barking collar, it's personal choice but I prefer the electric ones to the citronella ones. The electric one I have gives a warning beep first, then a slight tickle and increases as the barking continues and I have also tried it on myself and it doesn't hurt, just a quick little tingle. The citronella ones seem less painful but when you think about it, the smell would linger for quite a while and probably be stuck in their nostrils and be quite unpleasant and last a lot longer than a quick, distracting 'zap' or 'tingle'.

    Our friend has the same electric collar because his dog also used to bark in the car, now during car trips he just places the collar on the dog and he perfectly behaved

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Melbourne VIC
    Posts
    607

    Default

    The best way to stop barking is to determine the cause of the barking. Being a herding breed it is likely something instinctual, perhaps gettinf excited and wanting tl herd the moving objects (other cars, bikes, pedestrians). Your behaviourist missed the possible theory that the behaviour is self-rewarding, meaning the dog is highly unlikely to stop barking simply because he was given a treat when he paused to rest a moment.

    I agree that a bark collar is a starting point. E-collar or spray collar, choice is yours. You can get odourless spray for the innotek ones, voiding the concern for the lingering odour punishment. E-collar is more expensive in the beginning but may save you money on spray refills.

    Another way to help is making sure your dog is calm before hopping in the car and once in the car, when tou turn it on, when you start moving, etc.

    Does he have a car harness or restraint of some kind, or just free to roam?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Geelong, Vic
    Posts
    871

    Default

    you can't ignore a behavior that is self rewarding to the dog. The dog is seeing items that move, it likes the chase and ignore or not it's only going to get worst and the dog is already redirecting.

    Put the dog in a small crate and cover the view of the window, give it a squeaky toy or a bone to chew and you will find the behavior will slow down the dissapear. I wouldn't put a bark collar on a dog in a car simply because you are going to have a thrashing, screaming animal very quickly - he's cornered, brain's flooded with information then he's getting stimmed or sprayed. Have someone sit in the back seat and blank out the back windows if you dont have a crate but you need to control the situation and show him what to do.

  7. #7

    Default

    Sounds like obsession to me, and unfortunately it's not something that can be cured easily or quickly. Both border collies and kelpies are known for their yelping bark which can be hard to manage.

    My own dog had a horrible problem of whining and squealing loudly during car journeys which would reach a crescendo when we stopped the car. We stopped it by rewarding her with being allowed up on the seat and looking out the window when she was quiet, and having a consequence of sitting on the floor when she was noisy. We reenforced the command "quiet" when not in the car followed by a piece of liver or mince. Eventually she learned that the floor was a quiet place, so she'd automatically jump onto the floor to calm herself down and stop whining, then jump back onto the seat once she was quiet.

    If your dog is excitable then it may not even be fully aware that it is making a constant noise. Making the noise just feels natural, the same way some people chew on a pen or jiggle their leg. It definitely doesn't know that the noise it makes drives you nuts - which means that the more stressed you get, the worse the barking will get. The trick is getting the dog to concentrate on a different behaviour, in this case the command "quiet".

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks very much for the replies and advice. Sorry, I can't quite work out how to do the quote reply thing properly, so will just give some further information and clarification.

    Our behaviourist did mention that barking itself can be self-rewarding, but that it is more common for it to be triggered externally. We suspected the movement outside of the vehicle was the trigger, and began to travel with him in a covered crate in the rear of a station wagon with a bone / toy so that he could not see out of the vehicle or see us. We expected the behaviour to slow down then disappear, but after a week of complete quiet, he started up again.

    I agree with Mosh that he isn't even aware he is barking and/or that is potentially borders on obsession. He is quite an anxious dog generally, and some of the barking sounds like anxiety (similar whiny yelpy barking to when we leave the house, but interspersed with periods of monotonous bored dog barking). It is strange, because isn't anxious getting into the car, jumps in happily after his bone, and when we let him out he will "wait" until we "ok", so he doesn't seem that concerned about things. He is calm when the car starts moving, he just randomly starts barking part of the way through the trip and once he starts he doesn't stop. I will try and teach him quiet. It's hard because obviously when he is barking his brain is off, and commands are like speaking to a brick wall. And if I give a command before he starts, the minute he is distracted, he's off!

    Because some of the barking is anxiety related, I don't think it would be wise to use a bark collar on him. Also, because the behaviour escalates to lunging and biting, I'm not sure that skipping the barking stage would be wise, or solve the problem?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    melbourne australia
    Posts
    3,082

    Default

    This is my dogs less attractive trait.
    Barking in the car. Well, the GSD screaming that bernie uses whilst being taxi'd.
    We bought a ute, and popped him in the back trailer harnessed.
    Its easier to control a enivronment, than it is a self rewarding behaviour.

    Yet he is silent on the way home from anywhere.

  10. #10

    Default

    Just thought I'd give a quick update on this topic for future prosperity. It's taken some time, but approximately 5 weeks after placing our boy in a crate in the car, we are pretty sure the barking really is stopping for real this time. It's been slowing down for about a week...we didn't dare hope, we almost still don't dare hope, but we think we might have licked the worst of this. He had two half hour trips yesterday and today, and didn't bark once. Before car crating, that would have meant an hour of continuous barking.

    Here is what we did: (i) did not interact with the dog at all when he is crated in the car (ii) left dog with a squeaky toy and bone and make sure it is fully engaged with one them before starting the car (iii) fed the dog in the crate in car once a day without going anywhere to get him used to getting in and out of car crate (iv) take drives e.g. to supermarket and back without letting dog out of car (to reduce excitement and anticipation) (v) vary trip lengths.

    Thanks everyone for your advice and suggestions - especially Nekhbet for the toy and bone advice, and Mosh whose approach we are going to try in the future once dog learns to focus on us and can listen even when he is excited.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •