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My three year old collie x lab started whining during car journeys about 18 months ago and WILL NOT STOP. It's driving me crazy because I don't know how to make him stop.

He generally whines when excited at home, but understands when told to be quiet (mostly). Once in the car though it is a different story. He whines the whole journey - from quiet whimpering through to whining, panting and barking.

He doesn't act anxious or afraid - he hops into the car quite happily, excited to be off for a walk. He is also silent throughout the ride home, once he has had his walk. I have read that panting even when it's cool is a sign of stress - but if he was scared in the car surely he would whine the whole time, not just the outward journey?

I can't afford the petrol of driving around aimlessly with someone in the back, treating him when he is quiet, and when we have tried this on long journeys it doesn't seem to help much. I don't know why he has only been doing this the last 18 months - he never did it when we first got him at 11 months old. He rides in the boot of the car, which is plenty spacious enough for him, and he has a folded up blanket in the back. If I let him ride on the passenger seat he is pretty much completely quiet, apart from a few soft whines. I can't take him like that all the time though, it's dangerous and makes the front of the car full of mud and dog hair!

It's hugely distracting when driving, and the noise is SO irritating I can feel myself getting cross, which I know will not help the situation.

Any ideas? He is a hugely intense dog and it feels to me like his whining is impatient and excited to get out on his walk. I am concerned that he is anxious however, for some unknown reason - maybe I braked suddenly once and now he is stressed? Surely though this would manifest itself in a reluctance to get in the car? And whining on the way back? :ponder:
 

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Ah, my Calypso does this whining thing. As far as I can tell, it's actually not a conscious choice on her part to whine to get something--it's simply a manifestation of her being overexcited. One of the other members refers to it as "dying cow syndrome." And yes, it is ear-splitting.

The thing that is (far too) slowly working for me is to have her calm down overall. This often means--I'm not kidding--pulling the car over to the side of the road and waiting until she has settled down. Bring a book. ;) Also, when we get to our destination, I wait for her to settle down then, too. Which usually takes even longer, /sigh.

It sounds like the other thing that could work for you is to dog-ify the passenger seat! Could you get a tarp or blanket to cover the seat, and then a harness seat belt attachment? (those can be pretty cheap). That would seem to eliminate a lot of the problem.
 

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Gus does it too. Usually it increases in intensity when we near the destination especially if he recognizes it. He usually will pace the backseat too.
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It sounds like he does this for things other than just riding in the car. When he does it for walks do not leave for the walk until the whining has stopped.

Is he showing other signs of anxiety? One thing that works for most every other dog I have worked with is a "car binky" this is a chewy toy that they get when they are in the car for longer trips, that they can chew on. Also you may want to look into trying the thundershirt. that can reduce signs of anxiety.
 

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Quest does this too. It's the excitement of going somewhere (and yes, it's worse if he knows where we're going) that causes it for him. I really need to work on a "quiet" cute, but usually I distract him by calling out other cues ("sit," "down," etc.) and alternate between the few. So it'll go something like this: *whine/annoying/whine* - "sit" - *quiet* - *whine/more annoying/whine* - "down" - *whine* - "sit" - "down" - *quiet*....eventually he gets tired/forgets about it and is quiet for the rest of the trip.
 

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If you have a crate that fits in the car put him in it and cover it so he cant see out of the car. It helped with my hound.
 
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