Why does my dog bark at every car? A Comprehensive Guide

Tips for Combating Anxiety in the Car

Dogs are usually anxious in the car because they’ve developed a negative association with driving. They may have had a frightening car-related event that occurred in their past. Or they associate the car with going to scary places (perhaps the vet or groomer). A lack of driving experience also can cause a dog to be fearful.

To help your dog become more comfortable on the road, you will need to create more positive associations with the car. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Pair the car with something your dog loves, such as a favorite treat or toy. To keep treats easily accessible while driving, clip Kurgo’s Go Stuff It Dog Treat Bag to your passenger seat headrest or place Kurgo’s Kibble Carrier in the nearest drink holder.
  • Start with short drives around the neighborhood and then back home, so your pup can start to predict where he is going and that he is always coming home. If your dog has a favorite location, such as a local park, take a few trips just to the park and home.
  • The main goal is to get your dog looking forward to riding in the car, instead of fearing it.

    Repeat, having your assistant with the car drive by closer and slower to increase exposure, as your dog learns to focus on the treats and not bark.

    Have an assistant drive by with a car with your dog outside. Or, if your dog barks from inside the house, have your dog in the house.

    When your dog starts looking for treats instead of barking at the approach of the car, gradually reduce the number of treats and the value of the treats, until your dog learns that it is not necessary to bark in the presence of the car and to look for a reward. A positive association has been created.

    Wait for a pause in barking, when your dog pauses even for a moment to take a breath, say “quiet” and provide a treat.

    Repeat frequently until your dog learns an association between the command quiet, not barking, and a treat. Gradually increase the length of time your dog needs to be quiet in the presence of the car, before getting the treat.

    Use a Crate or Car Harness

    First and foremost, getting a car harness that attaches to the vehicle’s seatbelt is good practice in general because it’s safer for your pup. Plus, many car harnesses double as a walking harness, so once you arrive at your destination, you simply snap on the leash, and you’re ready to go.

    While you might prefer to leave your dog loose in the car, if your dog gets anxious and excited during drives and tends to jump all over the vehicle or tries to sneak into your lap, then a harness or crate is a must. This isn’t only for your dog’s safety but for your own as well. If you plan to put your dog in a crate during drives, ensure your pup is familiar and comfortable with the crate first, otherwise you’re piling one stressful situation on top of another.

    Why do dogs CHASE or bark at moving cars and how to stop this dog behaviour.

    It can be a lot of fun to go for a drive with your best furry friend. But if your pup barks like crazy the whole time, your relaxing drive becomes anything but peaceful. Plus, it can be very distracting and lead to potential accidents.

    Dogs end up barking in the car for all sorts of reasons, from anxiety to excitement. But dont worry, you dont have to give up your canine road trips just yet; several things can help your dog relax during the drive.