whining in the car

by susan
(devon uk)

I have a four month old springer, lovely in every way, is training easily in everything but how do i get him to stop whining/crying when he’s in the car? He jumps in and out of the car so isn’t afraid of it. he sits in the very back and can see everyone, i have even had him on the back seat with a guard between the front seats so he can’t jump on me when i’m driving, he has toys with him and i talk to him as i drive to try to calm him, i’ve aslo tried ignoring the crying.

He stops when we are almost at our destination (how he knows this I have no idea because we don’t go to the same place all the time) he will cry again on the way home, again stopping when we are almost home. he isn’t car sick and has not had a bad experience of any kind when in the car. Its baffling!

Our Response

This is quite a common problem and is not always the journey that is causing the problem but the excitement of the journey. Start by introducing your dog to the Car during the day so that he gets used to it. Below is a quick guide that will work


1. Introduce your dog to the Car during the day and let him go in and out without moving or starting the Car.
2. Ask a friend or neighbor to sit in the Car while you take your dog for a short drive.
3. While you are driving ask your friend to stroke or groom your dog and speak quietly to relax your dog.
4. Don’t just go for a long drive, start with very short bursts – for 20 – 30 seconds.
5. When your dog is quiet reinforce this with a reward and a treat. Don’t let your dog out of the car until he is quiet. This is very important as if you let your dog out when he is whining you are only reinforcing the behavior.
6. Continue and be patient as this will not be cured over night. Good luck and hope this helps.