Barking in the car

Posted by cathrinesaint
Apr 3, 2008
Hi I'm requesting help for the first time. I have a 5 month old Australian Shepherd who has since 9 weeks of age travelled really well in the car. all of a sudden now he stands up and looks over the back seat at us and barks like crazy. He tries to jump over into the back seat (but he is tied down) so the barking is constant and he has an aggressive look about him. We ignore him totally whilst this is going on. He can do this for 15 minutes or so until he seems exhausted then sleeps for a while and up again as soon as he is awake. We tried praising him when quiet and that just starts him up again when he's given attention and left. Does he need to be exercised until exhaustion for this to stop. Any thoughts or suggestions please. Thanks Cathrine
Posted by Todd
Apr 6, 2008
Hi there Catherine and thanks for the question

This must be really frustrating so i will endeavour to help.

I am glad you have tried the ignoring method as well as praising him. Now that we know these aren't fixing things we will try some new ideas.

Firstly i want him to get used to being in the car. When the car is parked in the drive open the boot and let him get in and out of it. The more time he spends in the car without going anywhere the more desensitised he will get.
Try this for 10 minute sessions a couple of times a day.

Now when you are driving the car and he starts to bark he needs to be told off quickly and firmly. If he gets away with it at any stage he will learn it is okay so you need to be consistent.

The way to reprimand him is loudly with a GRRR or AHHHHHH as well as a squirt in the face with a water pistol. In this way he will quickly learn that barking is not acceptable.

Try going around the block a few times to practice it. Try this for 10 minutes once a day and after a week i am sure you will notice a difference.

The other thing that may help is if you take him for a 30 minute brisk walk before you go on any long car ride, as you mentioned a tired dog will prefer to sleep.

Car rides are very exciting but be patient and consistend. Good luck and let me know how things go

Posted by cathrinesaint
Apr 7, 2008
Thank you Todd, I'll let you know how we go.