My dog screams as soon as my husband and I start to drive. She wants to go and is upset when she is left at home. But, when she is in the car, she starts screaming. I bought a Thunder Shirt but this only made her worse.
My husband says that once he lets me out to work and starts home, she quiets down.

  • Can you explain more about the dog's behavior? As in - is it an excited scream, or a nervous scream? What else does she do, where does she sit, etc.
    – Gwendolyn
    Feb 15 '19 at 0:10
  • Many dogs like to stick their heads/noses out to enjoy the scents and wind. Have you tried opening/cracking the windows?
    – elbrant
    Feb 15 '19 at 1:19
  • I have tried opening windows but this does not help. Also, she is excited but other than a few jumping around from window to window she stands with her head between my husband and me all intent on being between us and screaming.
    – C. Deuel
    Feb 15 '19 at 12:27

If she stops screaming when you get out of the car, it would seem to be related to your presence. The two most likely scenarios are:

  1. You are nervous and she picks up on that and reacts with the screaming
  2. It is learned behavior, she expects while you are in the front seat, she should scream and you should pet her. This is reinforced because that is they way it always is.

There is not going to be a 'this always works solution' you will need to try different things.

The first thing I would try is, you get in the back seat and ignore the dog completely. The dog rides in front with your husband. Do not talk to the dog, if possible she should not even know you are in the back seat.

After that, you will just have to try different things. Like maybe your husband takes the dog for a ride around the block before you get in.

  • 1
    Additional idea for training: get in the back with her and make her sit down or lie down while the car moves. Reward calm and compliant behavior with treats. If she screams, don't reprimand her, but turn your head away, look out the window and completely ignore her.
    – Elmy
    Feb 16 '19 at 22:20

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