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