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Newbie wanted to get ideas for some problems with my dog

I don't see much discussion on problems, but with the world of knowledge in here, hopefully you have ideas for me. Dublin is a fantastic dog, I got so lucky again. BUT....(always a but) I have a daily issue that is causing me a great deal of stress. Setters are talkers. Big talkers and he is very vocal about everything. We go daily for his run to the dog park which is about a 15 minute drive. His excitement every day results in whining, singing and then full out barking the whole way. I have to say that at times I am at my wits end and it is almost hard to concentrate on the road during this. He is tethered to the rear of my hatch so he can only stay directly behind me. I drive a VW GTI, so he has tons of room with my seats down but not enough room for that kind of crazy barking in my right ear. How do you teach a dog to quiet down. HE will for a cookie of course, but I can't drive and do training at the same time! Going home is settled and calm because he is beat. It is just the ride to the park that is the problem. Its odd because he doesn't do it on the way to petsmart, and he loves it there also. It is the anticipation of the RUN that does it. He is very stimulated to the other cars around us zipping by and to anyone on the street for that matter. He is quite territorial about our property and car. Looks almost vicious but he is really a sweetheart. Ideas? Or is it a lost cause that I have to live with?

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I keep Dub tethered in the back of my car. With two leads, I have it measured so he can lay next to me but bascially behind me. He can put his paws on my shoulder which he likes to do but I can't safely drive with him loose in a car. A small VW isn't the place for his high jinx. I also can't see around him in the front seat. Again this was just a question for ideas to keep him settled and quiet so that I can concentrate on the road to the dog park. I don't want either of us hurt or another person because his barking is very distracting on a 55 mile an hour roadway. Luckily on the ride home he is calm, tired out and satisfied so we have no issues there. Hopefully as he ages his excitement will become more manageable in the car. He is just a kid, having turned two last month and I am sure he will mellow out in a few years!
Do you always take him to the park by yourself? Or is there someone else who can ride with you? My dog, Fionn, used to do this. We solved the problem very easily. Simply put a lead on him in the car, and when he starts barking, correct him via the lead. We are lucky in that we have a wagon-type car with a grill that separates the dogs from the back seat (with the dogs in the car boot area). All we had to do was pull Fionn up against the grill (gently!) and he stopped barking immediately. After maybe 5 or so trips using this method, no more barking. If he ever looked like he'd start up again, back went the lead, and he shut up. Bliss!!

The other method that also worked - although was not nearly as practical, was to pull over on the side of the road and stop the car the instant he started barking. On more than one occasion, we actually turned the car around and went home. He went straight into his crate, and we took the other two dogs back to the park without him.

The lead method was much more practical, however, because he learned immediately what he was doing wrong, and was able to respond correctly (ie, by shutting up before I murdered him). His reward was a lovely run at the park with his best mates.
Have you tried walking to the park?? he will then get some energy off on the way and he will relax on the way home.
It does us good as well, how far is it?
Try a different rout, variety will confuse him. Try not to go at the same time every day, he has got to know that you are going to the park, if you do it at a regular time.
I have to say that my Saffy has learnt from another dog, that when you go past a dog or someone on a bike or just something different, she will throw herself at the windows barking etc very embarrassing, especially in a traffic jam. I have put her on a collar and lead at that time and just given her a quick reminder that I am still there, you can do this when you are alone in the car, but only in a traffic jam, when you are stopped... safety first...
Personally, i never had this kind of problems with my dog. She usually goes loose in the back seat and she sleeps the whole drive, wherever we go, no matter the time. Even if we have ohter dogs in the car, she stays calm and in her place. But she does quite a lot of traveling with me and to lots of different places, so there's not really a going to the park time or anything like that. She jusyt realises that if she waits patiently she'll eventually get out of the car and have a really good time playing. I can also add, when we are at home, she always warns us if someone is arriving (she'll bark or got near the door) but when people actually get in, she is very friendly. We find this a very usefull quality!
Dee we live to far to walk there. About 10 miles each way. I wish I could do that though. He needs more leach practice on neighborhood walks. Very reactive to ther people or dogs coming near us. He is most comfortable off lead meeting dogs. I think he is so skittish that he needs the ability to "get away" if he feels unsafe. Dublin would keep a doggy shrink in business for years. He is a interesting but sometimes quirkly guy. He keeps us on our toes and entertained though!
He is already on his lead, tethered to the back hook in my hatchback. I have done the pull over thing also. If he is get too warm in the car, he seems to settle himself down. So also as a punishment, I close the windows. He only gets to enjoy the breeze if he is settled. And.....I do not allow him to ride with his head out the window in case that should come up! I don't like that.
I am with you there, when you see what a stone can do to the windscreen what would it do to a dogs eye. I agree 10 miles each way is just a 'little'' too far, well lets face it a lot too far. Tried Cesar Millan???? He works miracles with dogs and people. Well I haven't been able to do anything with Saffy except when she is on her Flexy lead and I can give it a quick jerk when she is thinking about starting, I have to do it before she gets going. If she is in full flight then there is nothing I can do, while on the move..Good luck....
Tethering the lead won't do any good. You need to have someone who can hold it and correct him. I wouldn't suggest you do this yourself, if you're driving, though, which is why I asked if someone else could possibly come with you for a few trips until he "gets the message."

I also think that winding the windows up as a reprimand might be a little abstract thinking for a dog. How will he make the connection that closed windows is a punishment for barking? A correction must be given immediately, otherwise dogs won't connect the correction with their behaviour.

Unfortunately, telling a barking dog "no" has about the same as joining in on the barking. But the lead correction has two effects - one, it pulls them slightly off-balance, which stops them barking straight away, and two, you can administer the correction as soon as the dog makes the sound. They will quickly learn to associate the correction with their behaviour. Also - you don't even need to wait until he actually starts barking. Watch for the signs that he's getting wound up, and correct him at THAT point, before the barking ever begins.

With the lead walking, it is simply a matter of not allowing him to take control. Once he sees someone in the distance, and starts to get wound up, you've lost control. Does he pull on the lead? The second he does, stop dead and don't move until he sits nicely beside you. Repeat this step about a billion times until he realises that YOU are the one in charge. If he sees someone approaching and starts to react, change directly IMMEDIATELY and keep walking. Honestly, it might take 2000 repetitions...it might take 10. But one day, it will "click" that oh, hang on...when I play up, I don't get what I want. When I walk nicely, mum lets me meet people.

If he is food motivated, don't be afraid to take a little pouch of training treats with you and reward his good behaviour on the spot. (Good behaviour is not necessarily perfect behaviour - it is any step in the right direction. You need to slowly build up to where you want him to be.) If not food motivated, try a toy or something you know he will enjoy.

Good luck with him! He sounds like a real character.
Oh how I wish I had someone to come along with me. The window roll up is simply that he settles down when he is warm from all the rukus. I notice that he will lay down when he is panting a bit from all his antics. He is so much better on the ride home. He is more relaxed and tired out. He will still bark at any dog he sees us drive by or person who is too close to the car even. Oh and did I mention he now will start to whine and bark with excitement when we have dinner. Which is very upsetting while we eat. He is just obviously an excited talker. I feel lately like Dub has two modes. Barking and sleeping. And with pouring rain on and off for over a month now. He is won't go out in the rain to bathroom. Another fun thing we deal with nightly. Why does it seem like I have the "odd" setter in here? But I should mention again with all my complaining here, how much we totally adore him and his quirky traits. I am thinking in a couple years he might mellow out and become more tolerable. When he curls up next to me every night while I watch TV all seems right with the world.
I guess the thing to always bear in mind when you see escalating behaviour in your dog is this:

What are YOU doing to cause it?

By that, I certainly don't mean that you are deliberately causing the issues! I mean, what response are you giving that is not getting the message across to him that his behaviour is undesirable :) Eg, when he barks/whines at your dinner time, what do you do? Do you acknowledge him? Tell him off? If so, it is possible he is interpreting this as an affirmation of his behaviour, rather than a reprimand.

If you know he is getting wound up at dinner time, stop it BEFORE it starts. Absolutely IGNORE him when he starts to get excited. Do not talk to him, or look at him. Simply put him quietly on the lead before you sit at the table and show him that you want him to sit quietly beside you. Or, better yet, put him in another room entirely for some time out.

Whatever method you choose, make sure you stick to it, patiently and calmly (easier said than done, sometimes, I know! lol). Give him time to understand what you want. Remember - he doesn't speak your language, and he never will. You need to speak HIS langauge if you want him to understand the behaviour you expect from him. Dogs speak with body language, and with actions. Show him that his behaviour isn't desirable by not reacting to him. Show him how you want him to behave by giving him no choice but to sit quietly beside you.

When you get ready to take him for a walk - do you announce it to him. Eg, "Want to go to the park??!!" Of course he'll be excited when he gets into the car. Even your routine (remember, he is watching your every move) will be enough to get him started, if you follow the same routine every time. This is probably why you don't see the same behaviour when you're just going for a drive to the shops. He knows it's not the "park" routine. So - change the routine. Don't announce it's walkies time. Don't speak to him at all. Just quietly and without any fuss, put him in the car. Drive around the block first so he doesn't anticipate a journey he knows all too well. Or...put him in the car for a few minutes, then get out and go straight back inside. Don't speak to him. Just do it as if it's completely normal. De-sensitise him to the sight of the lead being picked up by doing it randomly during the day - WITHOUT acknowledging him. Just pick the lead up, and put it down elsewhere. Make sure he watches you do it. You can even put the lead on him, then take it off again if he starts getting excited. What you are aiming to show him is this: We do not leave this house until you are calm and listening to me. The moment you are not calm, the fun will end.
Excellent suggestions. I have started to back him up out of the kitchen when he starts. And using the command "Quiet". I have done this over and over until he gives up. And when he sits nice by the table, I do have some of his treats nearby to give him and tell him he is good.
Are you sure that you are not talking about my Cocker Spaniel Frizzi? It sounds just like her! Very exciteable, VERY outspoken. She also does the whining, barking routine, plus a little jumping thrown in. She drives the big setter crazy with this (not to mention me) and together they can really "rock the boat".
Since she is a relatively small dog, we put her in a plastic kennel and that solved the problem! She obviously had had too much "input".
At dinner time, she gets timeout, when she gets too worked up. I personally would not give goodies or anything at the table. Whenever she is quiet on her pillow she gets something there.

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