German Shepherds Forum banner

Fierce barking while in the car

3326 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  luvsables
Heidi rarely ever barks, but lately, when we're in the car and another dog walks by (or if there is a dog in the car next to us staring at her), she starts barking at them ferociously. This weekend we went for a hike and Heidi was in the car and this chow just walked by the car and Heidi went ballistic.

Anyone else have this problem? What can we do to get her not to do this? It's embarrassing!!
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
My dogs do it as well. Redirecting and corrections are what I try, but I think it is instinctive, protective behavior. It is embarrassing and hard on the interior of my car!
Since 3 out of 3 of my dogs were TRAINED not to do this (and 2 of those GSD's) I think to dismiss it as 'protective' and not deal with it is a cop out.

Not saying it's an easy habit to break though. Which is why all 3 of mine I started taking in the car when pups, and all three I was able to nip the barking in the bud the day/minute/second it first started up. With the 'timing is everything' point of view, I get them under control the second they decide the dog on leash down the street needs to be barked at. Because I don't really agree.....

I keep my dogs in their harness/safety belts so they are right behind me in the car. And it's just the same as when they are barking in the house and I tell them to knock it off. They need to knock it off. I also see the 'whatever' and it's ok. Because I say it's ok.

And if I have to pull over to turn around and make it clear, then I turn around. And if I have to drive past the same dog 5 times to train this, then I do.

The boundary of my car I car about is INSIDE. There is nothing outside that is a 'real' threat. ESPECIALLY another dog.
See less See more
My answer would echo MRL's. My one year old rescue did this when I got her. I have ZERO tolerance for barking in the car, and I made this clear from day one. It isn't just a question of it being embarassing, it is a question of safety (could startle people, kids on bicycles, people on horseback), and is disrespectful to me as a driver to have a dog barking in my ears.

I did pretty much what MRL did. ONE bark and I would go ballistic! She got the message. If I had to pull over and turn around to give Keeta the full effect of my expectations for her to quiet, I did. I trained the "quiet" command from day one. It took a long time for a dog with no previous training to understand what a command was to start with, but I kept at it and she got it. I made sure to praise and reward her "quiet". If I saw something that I knew would set her off, I would tell her quiet even before she started barking, and praise the heck out of her when she did stay quiet.

She will stay quiet when left in the car in a parking lot, for example. Because she knows that is what is expected of her, even if a small frou-frou dog is in the next car barking its head off at her, she will ignore it. It is all training. Take the time and take the effort, and the results will be well worth it!
See less See more
Thanks for the replies. It's good to know that it is possible to train her not to do this. It sounds like I have some hard work ahead of me!
How did you train quiet?? Link is almost 7 months old and rarely barks in the house but does bark in the car and at Obedience class.
Originally Posted By: KarinThanks for the replies. It's good to know that it is possible to train her not to do this. It sounds like I have some hard work ahead of me!
it doesnt have to be hard work, but some work, yes. as long as you keep her training in all other areas consistent, she'll start to not only trust that you know best, but also think a bit more and figure out exactly what you expect of her.

Tilden is such an easy boy but ever so often he'll surprise me with bad behavior and it throws me for a loop. we've pulled up to cars with other dogs countless times and usually he'll whine because he wants to be able to meet the dog. one night in particular i was at a stop light when another very calm and non aggressive dog pulled up in the truck next to mine and tilden went balistic!!! not only barking, but barking lunging, growling like a maniac and trying to get out the window (the other dog didnt even flinch). since not too many other cars were out, i pulled on my emergency break, turned around and yanked him by the scruff so fast (he doesnt need rough corrections, but i was appauled at his behavior). so at this point i knew if it happened again - it was going to be the beginning of a problem (a problem which came out of nowhere mind you). so the next trip i went to a dog park parking lot where i knew dogs would be walking past the car... i kept tilden leashed and as soon as he went for a dog i gave him a correction (just with his regular collar but used a stern voice). that was our only "training session" in regards to the issue and now he's fine. ever so often i'll see a dog before he does and watch his behavior.... he alerts and looks as if he wants to bark, then looks back at me a couple times and lays down with disappointment that he cant act like a nut, lol.
See less See more
Thanks for the great advice, Fodder. It's always a little disconcerting when they do something really bad all of a sudden. I think we were so surprised that all we did was say, "NO!" in a really loud stern voices (which didn't faze her). It sounds like we need to be louder and more stern, AND give a physical correction as well. I really like your idea of going to a parking lot where there are a lot of dogs and practice.

The trouble with Heidi is once she gets in that zone, it's hard to get her attention. She's the same way with cats. She had a bad experience in her first introduction to a cat (my sister's very mean cat!) and now she hates them and goes ballistic when she sees one.

It sounds like you're doing a great job with Tilden. He's such a nice and cute little guy!
See less See more
I have no issues with my dog barking in the car. My female is VERY protective in the car and she was taught to be this way. I feel so much more safer when I am by myself in the car (which is most of the time) She also knows to be quiet on command. She is in the crate most of the time but if I know I will be driving through places that aren't so safe or just driving around town she is loose in the car. She also keeps the street pedlers away.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.