On a daily basis, you may have to travel with your dog in the car. Vet visits, walks, dog activities… Reasons why you should use your vehicle with your dog can be many. On the other hand, when a dog barks in the car, every trip can become excruciating, even real hell for its master. Why does your dog bark like this? How to solve this problem? Let’s take a look at this case.
My dog barks in the car: why? How do we explain this behavior?
Your dog tends to bark in the car, and this behavior is especially embarrassing and unpleasant for you. But before acting, it is important to understand the causes of this phenomenon in order to provide the appropriate response.
Here are the main reasons your dog might be barking in a car.
Fear and tension
Your dog may associate car trips with an unpleasant event, such as visits to the vet. In this case, he may be tempted to bark to show his fears and the tension this anxiety generates.
To be noticed
Perhaps your dog is simply trying to get your attention. Like a little kid trying to get your attention, he’s trying by all means to challenge you. And when you end up looking at it, talking to it, or touching it, it feels good and it goes on!
Your dog may be sensitive to vehicle movement and the environment around it. If some dogs are just annoyed by their inability to act to swipe to the latter, others are victims of inner ear disorders that can cause them to feel uncomfortable or nauseous, and bark to show it.
Act on the environment
Your dog may consider the car his place. As soon as he sees vehicles, pedestrians, or other animals moving nearby and as often as he can’t act in this moving environment, he barks to scare them away. In fact, your little companion may perceive his closeness as aggression and try to push him away. Since they are necessarily moving away from the movement, he feels that his process is working. By barking, your dog defends its territory, and to do so, it frightens those who get too close to it.
My dog barks in the car: How do I fix the problem?
If your little friend is barking in the car, here are our tips for solving the problem.
Tip #1: Get your dog used to the car and associate positive experiences with it
If your dog is afraid of cars, it is important to start by helping him appreciate it. To do this, feel free to go back to square one. If trips make him anxious before they even begin, if he’s reluctant to ride in the car to the point of barking, whining, or crying, take the time to teach him to accept it.
To help her overcome her fears, avoid limiting car trips to only vet visits or other traumatic events. Take the car to walk the dog on a regular basis or to take him to sports or games together. In this way, you will allow him to associate your car with positive and pleasant events, which will not generate systematic fear when he is there.
Tip #2: Choose the transfer box
The carriage is an excellent ally if your dog barks a lot in the car. On the one hand, it secures flights because the animal is locked inside. Unable to get out, there is no risk of disturbing driving.
In addition, the transfer case has the great advantage of preventing any visible contact with the outside, which reduces stress. It becomes your pet’s cocoon, a sheltered space in which to fear nothing.
However, be sure to choose the transfer case model carefully. It should be solid, secure and of good size according to your dog’s needs. This means that it shouldn’t be too small or too big. Your dog should be able to lie comfortably, turn easily, and stand without the top of his head touching the ceiling. In fact, an improper carriage is inconvenient, even dangerous, and will still worry your dog.
Tip #3: Block your window
To prevent your dog from barking in response to what he observes through the window, you can blindly hide it. On the other hand, be careful, because this practice is not very safe, which is why it is preferable to use a transfer box in this case.
Tip #4: Keep your dog busy
To prevent your dog from barking in the car, you can simply occupy it during trips. There is a whole range of solutions, such as chewing bones, wooden toys, kong toys, etc.
Tip #5: Ignore your pet
In many situations and in the face of negative behavior, ignoring the dog is especially effective in getting the animal to stop barking. By barking, the dog is trying to get your attention. If you don’t respond to it, it will eventually stop on its own. In fact, by talking to him, looking at him, or petting him, you reinforce his behavior. He understands that barking is enough to yell at you.
Ignoring your dog means not talking to him, touching him, or even looking at him. This principle should be followed to counteract any bad behavior of the animal, which is a more effective solution than punishing the dog. In addition, in order for your relationship with your little companion to be completely balanced, it is best to start communication systematically.
My Dog Barking in the Car: What Should I Avoid?
After explaining our advice to solve this problem, here are the actions you should avoid at all costs.
- Do not try to reassure your dog by talking to him, petting him, or looking at him. By doing this, you reinforce his idea of anxiety and legitimize his stress. It will only make him uncomfortable.
- Never leave your dog loose in the car. On the one hand, this increases the risk of barking, but above all, you should be aware that in a car, the law requires you to use a safety device aimed at preventing the animal from becoming a danger to the driver and passengers. Among these systems, you can choose the transfer case, attach it to a special belt or put it in the trunk of the car and install a separation net or safety net to separate it from the passenger compartment.
- Don’t try to scream to cover up his barking, because the animal will think you’re imitating him, so you encourage him to keep going.
- No need to scold your dog after that. You should avoid stopping to lecture your pet, because he will not be able to relate your anger to the fact that he was barking a few minutes ago, while driving.
- Don’t reduce your trips to avoid this problem, because your dog will bark more during the rare trips you have to take.
- Do not use an anti-bark collar, which is a punitive process that will punish the dog rather than teach it to behave. He will stop barking to avoid punishment, out of fear, and not because he understands this behavior is inappropriate.