View Full Version : Why does he bark in the car?

6th June 2008, 01:15 PM
When we take Toby out in the car he has started doing a really high pitched bark (hurts your ears) when we pull up to park. We originally thought it was excitment on being taken to where we walk him, but he does it after being walked as well.
The problem is that he now does it every time we stop the car...... traffic lights, popping into a shop, waiting at road junctions etc. Even the car winkers set him off!
Interestingly, the minute we get out of the car, he stops. If we leave him in the car while we go into a shop he settles down to go to sleep.
He has gone everywhere with us from the time we got him when he was 13 weeks. (He is 2½) and travels in a medium size crate with his bedding.
This problem has only started in the last couple of months and nothing has changed in our routine.
Has anyone else experienced this and how did you deal with it. Any advice would be very appreciated as my ears are still ringing from this morning's trip !!

6th June 2008, 01:24 PM
First a reminder: Please don't ever leave a dog in the car while you run in the shops -- even on a cool day the temp can reach dangerous levels within minutes in the sun; and also, dog thefts are VERY common from cars in the UK and I am sure you would never want to risk this. Cavaliers are one of the most stolen breeds in the UK and once taken, they generally do not end up in a good place -- often are sold as dog fighting bait, or to puppy farms, or to people who just breed them at home. Please don't take him with you if you know he will need to be left outside or in a car while you are gone, even for a few moments. :thmbsup:

On the barking -- you probably will need to get a trainer to work with you on this one. I would maybe try putting a dark sheet over the crate while he is travelling so there's no outside stimulus . If that makes no difference, and if he barks constantly, that's a tough one. It will take some sort of focused training programme and a lot of time during which you are probably not going to be able to take him with you everywhere. You need a trainer to help figure out what he is barking at and why.

One thing is, if he is trained to the word 'quiet' you could simply ask him to be quiet -- but that might not work in the closed environment of a car.

I'd look for an APDT certified trainer in your area:


Good luck! I trained dog to stop barking to be let out of the car, but that is much easier -- the dog was only allowed out when she stopped barking. At first it took 20 minutes of me standing by the car in a shady place to keep the car cool, before she'd stop for just a second and I could open the door and praise her. She soon caught on and while she still barks she 'remembers' after about 20-30 seconds and waits quietly for me to open the door.

6th June 2008, 01:46 PM
Daisy does this as well.Initially the barking only started when we pulled up at the beach.She learned to associate parking with a walk around the beach.The more she travelled with us, then the barking started at the football pitch(lots of rabbits to chase there)...or by the woods!
Over time it extended to other trips and we gradually realised that she associated the parking of the car with a long walk in a stimulating environment.
She now travels mostly in a crate as it keeps her quiet and stops her moulting on the upholstery.
I wouldn't leave a dog alone for a second in the car,the risk of stealing a dog is too great.There are just too many thugs around who'd happily just nick a dog for the hell of it.Basically anything of monetary value in full view in a car is fair game to be stolen.Your dog for example is worth more than a car stereo!!
I saw on one of those Tv shows that dog who barks in a moving car sees everything going past as "running prey" and responds by barking at it.
However I think your guy is a bit like our Daisy,getting excited and expecting to be taken everywhere with you.
Our solution is only to take her with us when we specifically need to take her, like for a walk or visiting parents or where we'll be out of the house for several hours.
If we need to shop or make short trips she's told to stay home in her basket and "Mind the house".
Hopefully it's not a big problem for you,certainly get advice from a trainer,training is never wasted on any dog, even the very best of them:thmbsup:

6th June 2008, 01:49 PM
Thanks Karlin. I would never leave him on his own in the car for all the reasons you mention. When I pop into a shop, my husband stays in the car too, with all the windows open. Toby's crate is on the floor behind the driver ( we don't have seats in the back) so he gets no outside stimulus at all... only the back of our heads.
As an experiment, I carried him on my lap yesterday so he could see out and he stayed very quiet and well behaved! Of course, he can't travel like this but it has made me wonder after your reply if perhaps he needs to see out.
I have had a look for a trainer near us on the website and unfortunately there isnt one.
I will look in yellow pages. Is there anything I should ask a trainer to be sure they are good at what they do?
Thanks again for you help.