How To Stop A Dog Barking In The Car?

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Author: Jacob Kay

You’re planning a short road trip with your family. But you’re worried about your dog causing disruptions by barking at everything. Driving when your doggy is howling in the back is unsafe and distracting. Well then, “How To Stop A Dog Barking In The Car?”

We will delve into the causes and understand our furry friends better. Hopefully, we can understand this behaviour and attempt to change it.

How To Stop A Dog Barking In The Car?

How To Stop A Dog Barking In The Car?

This is a common behaviour that all dog parents face. Your pup has associated memories with the car ride. They are either excited to travel or are dreading the ride. Once you identify the cause, you can start changing the behaviour.

If your dog is bored, they may overreact to external stimuli. They will be very vocal with their reaction. Some dogs also get territorial when they’re in the car. This will cause them to bark at everyone and everything that gets near the car.

Look for other signs. If a dog is barking excessively along with heavy panting and drooling, it could be a sign of travel anxiety. It could also be that your puppy is nauseous from motion sickness. Your pet can feel confined in the car and are trying to communicate their anxiety to you.

Strategies To Practice To Counter This

Now that you know the causes you can start adopting different methods to calm your dog.

1. Crate Training

Training your pet to be comfortable in a crate is an important step in their development. All commercial airlines require your dog to be in a crate. Some countries prefer your pet stay in a crate when travelling by road.

Shannon Sharpe from the American Kennel Club says,While many people view crates through the human lens of being ‘caged up’, dogs are naturally den animals and most enjoy being in small, enclosed places. A crate provides them with a feeling of security, and when trained to use them from an early age, crates can help calm anxiety.

Start by creating a positive association with the crate. Provide many high-value treats. When they get comfortable in the crate, give them a food dispensing toy to keep them occupied. Then slowly move the crate to your car. Start by driving around your block, and reward them for staying still in the crate. You can also cover the crate with a blanket as long as there is room for air to pass.

Crate Training

2. Fun Car Rides

If you have only taken your puppy in the car to go to the vet or the groomer, your pet may have formed negative associations with the car. To change this, it is important to take them on purposeless rides around the block or to the dog park. This will help them to develop positive associations with car rides and reduce any anxiety they may feel.

Fun Car Rides

3. Window Film

Some dogs get excited in the car while looking at the passing scenery, people, trees, or other dogs. Here you can either train them to not bark by using “speak…quiet”[1] phrases or you can use a film to prevent your dog from seeing outside.

Window Film

When dogs see the outside world passing by, they might feel the need to bark or protect their territory. By covering the windows, you can help to create a calm and relaxing environment for your furry friend, which can make car rides more enjoyable and stress-free for both you and your pet.

4. Medication

If your pooch suffers from motion sickness[2], it is advised to consult a vet and get medications to keep the problem at bay.


Before the trip, don’t feed your pet for up to 12 hours. But ensure that they have access to fresh water. These are some precautions that will make your pet less nauseous.

It is recommended to see a behaviourist if the problem persists, even after following these strategies to ease the problem.


How to stop a dog barking in the car?

There are various reasons why dogs bark in the car. They are either excited or scared. You as a pet parent, have to make the car a calm place. Set up a crate in the car for your pet to be in, cover the crate with a blanket, and provide a treat dispensing toy to keep them occupied. Once they are distracted and are not looking outside, they will quiet down.

Why is my dog so vocal in the car?

Your pet is either excited, scared or is experiencing anxiety. They are trying to communicate their feelings by barking, whining or growling. It is advised to distract them from what they are experiencing through treats and toys. You can also play with your pet before the car ride to tire them, this will also keep them quiet throughout.

How do you calm an excited dog in the car?

Play some soft classical music or alt-rock songs to create a calm atmosphere. Roll down the window just a little bit for your pet to feel the wind. Do not let your pet put their head out the window. Provide chew toys and food dispensing toys to keep them distracted and quiet. Training your pet to be in a crate and to treat is as a calm place is also beneficial.

Should I ignore my dog whining in the car?

Train your puppy to “speak” on command. When your dog whines in the car, do not give it any form of attention, this includes saying no. Only when the pet has calmed down, say the command “quiet” and offer them a treat. Eventually, they’ll learn to not bark at things outside the car and will look at you expectingly when they follow conduct.

How do I stop my dog from going crazy in the car?

It is best to ignore their behaviour. Avoid lecturing them or saying “no” and “stop” as dogs associate that with getting attention. When they’ve stopped barking or whining, give them a treat. It is also a good idea to tire your pet before the car ride.


We hope this answers: “How To Stop A Dog Barking In The Car.” Now, that the concerns have been addressed, you can plan a longer road trip with the family.

We hope these tips help you and your furry friend enjoy a peaceful and enjoyable road trip together.


  1. How to teach your dog to “Speak” (Because barking is cute when it’s on command). BeChewy.
  2. Motion sickness in dogs | VCA Animal Hospitals.
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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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