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Dog won't stop whining in the car!

July 27th, 2004, 11:53 PM

I am new to this "FORUM THING". I sure hope someone can give me some SOUND ADVICE regarding my Toy Poodle, Baxter. This is the problem...

Whenever we have to go out in the car...he CRIES AND WHINES VERY VERY LOUDLY. It's not just for a while. It's for the duration of the journey. Example: When my room mate, her Toy Poodle, me and Baxter go to the lake, he will cry and whine NON STOP. It is a 1hr and 45min ride, and this goes on the whole time. It's hard on my nerves!!

Her dog is GREAT in the car! She actually enjoys herself! She jumps in, finds a comfy spot in the back, and goes to sleep for most of the ride. When she does wake up, it's only because she wants to stick her face out the window and enjoy the cool breeze. Well, my dog cries and whines all the way there. He goes in his kennel when he's in the car. Two Animal Behavioral Specialists told me I should try that. So, I did. I put a Kong (filled with his favorite treats) in there with him. He won't touch it. I find this very strange because as he sees me getting his Kong ready before we leave, he is jumping around like a mad man because he wants it so badly. But, as soon as I put it in the kennel with him, he TOTALLY IGNORES IT and CRIES AND WHINES...VERY LOUDLY!! And YES, I make sure he pees before he gets in the car.

I should mention that we've been training him to spend time in his kennel when we are in the house. He now goes in there on his own and stays there for quite some time. I even give him his Kong in there (and sometimes his dinner). He eats the treats in the Kong, plays with it, and seems to enjoy his time in his kennel. Even when he is finished playing with his Kong, he will just lay in the kennel. It's even gotton to the point where if you call him to leave his kennel...he stays in and then comes out on his own MUCH later when he's ready I guess. But never the less, he seems quite content in there. So, I can't figure out why he acts SO DIFFERENT when we are in the car!

I should also mention, when he was a puppy, he would stay quiet for a LITTLE while when he sat on the front passenger side. But, then it dawned on me one day. What if one of my friends is in the car with Baxter and myself, and they don't feel like having a dog sitting on ther lap? So, after aproximately his 4th or 5th car ride, I began putting him in the back seat. I know it might have been a little bit hard for him to adjust, but that was 5 1/2 yrs ago. GET OVER IT BAXTER!!

Well, sorry for being so long winded. I just had to make sure that whoever reads this gets the FULL picture. SOMEONE...HELP ME PLEASE!


July 28th, 2004, 12:38 AM
I'm not sure how to stop the behavior. I don't think he sounds like he is upset to be going in the car, but more like over-excited to be going. My poodle rides well, but the last quarter mile before we arrive where he knows we are going, he's so impatient and excited to be almost there that he sometimes starts whining and gives a few barks. Does Baxter behave better on the return trip home by any chance?

July 28th, 2004, 02:40 AM

Thanks for responding. I was just about to hit the sheets, when a little voice told me to check to see if I got a response from anyone.

In answer to your question... Sometimes he quiets down a LITLLE bit on the way home. That's when he returns home from getting a haircut. I always ask the lady who grooms him, how his behaivior is while he's there. She always raves about what a great dog he is. But, like I said there's not MUCH difference when we drive home. I should also tell you this... he still "WILL NOT"touch his Kong on the way home. But, as soon as we're in the door and I remove it from his kennel, he's all over that thing like "White on Rice!" Go figure!!

Thanks again for responding to my dilema. I really appriciate it!

July 28th, 2004, 09:43 AM
This can only be done when someone else is driving. Try taking his brush and work on his ears, etc. while riding in the car. Maybe the normal routine will help calm him and get his mind off riding in the car. My mom's poodle tends to be excited in the car and she solved it by getting a car seat for him. He likes having his own definite spot. What was funny Sunday is when we were driving to my mother-in-law's home for her birthday. Hubby was driving, Mom and I with my poodle were in the backseat, and Corky was in his carseat in the front seat. Everybody happy even if anyone else thought we were nuts! :p

Lucky Rescue
July 28th, 2004, 11:02 AM
Animals won't eat if they are anxious, upset or fearful, so this is why your dog ignores his Kong in the car.

You need to start over with him, and not take him for any 1 hr rides for now.

Take him to the car, and use happy tones "Let's go!!" When you are both in the car (do not turn the engine on) and he starts whining, clap your hands and say "QUIET!!" If he stops for even 3 seconds, praise him and get out of the car.

This could take quite some time to get him over his anxiety, but one step at a time should do it.

When he learns to be quiet and relaxed in the parked car, then start the engine - if there is whining, "QUIET!!" and then engine off and out of the car.

Hopefully, the periods of silence after you say Quiet should increase, until you are able to drive half a block or so.

July 28th, 2004, 11:15 AM
I knew someone on here would have some good practical suggestions!

I imagine that on a long ride and because of the whining, the patience wears thin and he senses your irritation with him. He maybe feels like he's in trouble the whole trip. The positive reinforcement for short periods of no whining sounds like a great idea.

July 28th, 2004, 11:35 AM
Damien used to hate the car and not sit still and howl the whole time,but i just took him everywhere i would go and say wanna go for a ride and get all excited about it and in time he lovedddd going in the car,as soon as i would grab my keys he would be right at the door and go right to the parking lot to the car...

July 28th, 2004, 01:30 PM
Does he also pant in the car even when it is cool? Dogs do this when they are stressed. I wouldn't be surprised if he is just really stressed in the car. I wouldn't put him in his kennel when he is like this. He can't get out of his kennel if the door is shut, and in a "scary" place like a car, he might sense that and get neurvous about it. Put his dog bed (if he has one) in the back seat. Put a chew toy and his kennel in there, to. Try to make it so that if he climbs up on a small box or something, he can see out of the window. Try making it as comfortable as possible. Go for only short rides at first, and gradualy increase the distance you go.