Sunday, October 27, 2013

Goldens are Good – Pit Bulls are Bad!

Goldens are Good - Pit Bulls are Bad!

In the U.S. and some countries in Europe there is an increasing effort to have various breeds of dogs banned completely.  Considering that the number one behavioral problem that owners seek help for or claim as an excuse for dumping the dog at a shelter is aggression this is an issue that definitely requires attention. And, there definitely appears to be an increase in the problem.   But – what about the breeds involved?

Dog bite fatality statistics for a 15 year period in the U.S. show that Rottweilers and Pit Bulls were responsible for about half the cases but little is mentioned about the fact that the list included Great Danes, Huskies, Malamutes and Akitas. (All of these breeds of dogs are powerful, and with the exception of Pits, all are big.  Clearly any aggressive behavior on their part will cause far greater damage than is likely from the smaller breeds of dogs but size is not the only issue, to be sure. (A Pomeranian was responsible for the death of an infant!)

Blame for what causes good dogs to “go bad” range from lack of concern for breeding practices by the AKC (American Kennel Club) to poor management by owners, lack of socialization and education of the basics by breeders and owners, and back yard breeders,  who haven’t a clue how to breed with care and concern for the animals and the people who will come in contact with them – and furthermore don’t give a hoot!  Many so called professional or seemingly responsible breeders need to be included in that lot since they produce a lot of pups with problems.  

The current popularity of tough dogs adds lots of fuel to the fire but that is not the fault of the dogs!  To ban a breed of dog simply sends the creeps out to fire up some other likely breed and so the pattern continues. Dogs that have been bred to fight do present a serious problem when in the wrong hands because they can direct that behavior towards humans and most especially towards children.  And, there is an arousal level with Pits, for example, that almost defies description.  People whose dogs cause havoc need to pay and pay dearly for it. And, NO - not all Pits can or would hurt anyone or any other creature!

According to Stephen Budiansky in his book The Truth About Dogs a veterinarian did a survey of 2,249 dogs, corrected for the differing popularity of different breeds and topping the list of reported aggressiveness of biting with 14% were – Dachshunds! They were followed by Great Danes, Lhasas, German shepherds, St. Bernards and Malamutes.  If one did not adjust for breed popularity one would surely see Goldens in that list since the sheer number of them mean lots of people get bitten by Golden Retrievers.

While I have no doubt that breeding practices and management issues contribute enormously to the behavior problems people encounter with dogs (behaviors not limited to aggression) I believe that our urbanization has eliminated so many of the ways that dogs used to be able to live.  I do not nor would I ever advocate turning dogs loose on the streets so they can have “fun” and a social life but the reality is – there were lots fewer problems in those days of old.  And – for the most part – the dogs we refer to as “street dogs” are less likely to bite than the pampered, never-leaves-the-house-never-went-to-school dearly loved pet.  This is true everywhere – not just here.  Dogs, all too often, lead dreadfully boring lives and that is a horrible thing to do to dogs bred for work and there is no work to do!  That pent-up energy will out one day and all too often what one hears is – “It happened out of the blue!!  He never did X before!!!”

Another major problem is what I call the “Lassie Syndrome”.  People seem to believe that dogs should simply come to us housetrained, desiring to please our every wish, have total bite inhibition, love kids, know what is expected of them, and just “do it” with no efforts on our part.  Well – ya know, folks?  There is no Lassie!

Dogs bite.  That is one of their major ways to communicate.  We can channel their natural behaviors towards suitable directions and acceptable items but that does take time, energy, understanding how and when or we can simply hand them over to a shelter and go get another dog and make the same mistakes all over again.  The choice is ours and sad to say those dogs paying the price with their lives don’t have that same advantage.


Isn't She Cute?

Isn't She Cute?

Several times during our short conversation Skippy came up to her owner, nudged her arm and awaited the oncoming pats and scratches.  Her owner very absentmindedly, it seemed to me, reached over to Skippy, never missing a beat in the conversation, and performed as commanded.  With great restraint, unusual for me, I might add, I said nothing.

When the owner said, Isn’t she cute?, more a statement than a question, I bit my lip.

A couple of weeks later I got a phone call from Skippy’s mom and all of a sudden the “cute” behavior had caused a very expensive problem and what could I do about it.  It seems that while sitting and reviewing something on the monitor, cup of hot coffee in hand, Skippy came for her ration of pats and scratches.  Nudge, over goes the coffee, and now say goodbye to what had been a perfectly good keyboard.

When I suggested that some basic training was in order I was advised that she didn’t give a ?&%$# if Skippy ever sat, stayed, or any other ?&%$# thing.  All she wanted was to put a stop to the nudging.  I told her I was sorry but that I couldn’t help her, in that case.  It is not my job to punish a dog for doing something  her person has so carefully nurtured!  Skippy needed some basics in her behavior program.

So, what is the problem?  Respect!  Respect on the part of Skippy’s owner for Skippy and the other way around.  It is not appropriate for a dog to control everyone’s life.  It is not appropriate for Skippy to just be around so her owner can give strokes when it is convenient.  Skippy needs manners, “work” to do in the form of various obedience exercises such as sitting before being pet and waiting rather than demanding that petting!  Those basic exercises create a life for the dog.  Teaching them (to the owner) creates awareness in the mind of the owner just how dogs think and what their (the dogs’!) needs are and that becomes the beginning of a real connection between them.

There is another behavior that people think is so “cute” and that is when their dog is sitting or standing next to them and rests a foot on top of the person’s shoe.  That, my good readers, is a bit of control and management of the scene.  Leaning on the person is very similar and both actions should be discouraged so that the dog must watch the person for what may take place rather than feel the person and be able to observe any interesting things going on around the scene.

Teaching a dog good manners so it  learns to earn the important things in life has a lot of benefits - including a happier dog!   Being unruly, even demanding can extend beyond just bothersome - it can result in that damaged keyboard, a ruined skirt from the coffee spilling on it, maybe even a burn from very hot coffee.  And, sad to say, all too often the dog may pay with her life!

 If you have a dog you have the responsibility to understand how to treat them appropriately. Become partners! Then everyone comes out a winner.

And, no!  I am not advocating that you not continue to pet and stroke your dog!  That is important for both of you. 


Alpha is Out!

Alpha is out!

Many of us grew up with the idea that it was mandatory to be “alpha” to our dogs and two moves were particularly important in order to maintain that role:  scruff shakes and alpha rolls.  In the process many a gentle canine friend was frightened beyond words and a whole lot of people got bitten by dogs that felt things had gotten out of control and the dog needed to fight for its life.

A scruff shake, for those who never learned such heinous training procedures, means to grab a dog on either side of the neck, lift her until her front feet are barely (if at all!) touching the ground, lean over her and read her the riot act.  Alpha rolls meant to slam a dog down on his side or back and pin him there.  People were misguided in believing that these procedures mimicked how canines maintain order in the pack.  Wrong!  It doesn’t happen that way at all.

Dogs often demonstrate submissiveness and maybe even respect to a higher ranking individual by putting themselves on their side, tails often tucked between the legs and they may even urinate.  A higher ranking dog will often stand over the dog with an attitude of:  You got THAT right!  And that ends it.

The kinds of things that people believed  (And most trainers still teach this way!) justified such abusive treatments included not obeying a command, resource guarding, food stealing, etc.  Complete obedience and total compliance was the way to go.

New, humane methods include changing how we think about the dogs.  Rather than saying we want them to obey a command we give cues for the behaviors we have carefully taught and reward their successes.  We are leaders – not dictators.  Dogs are truly social creatures but not true pack animals - they do not work together to get food nor do they work together to care for young.  So if we are to lead that puts some responsibility on us to understand how the dogs see the world.  For example, a dog that has only been taught to sit, lie down, and stay on cue in the house is not likely to understand the cues for those exercises outside of the house!  True.

So, if you have only worked in the house or garden, step out onto the street and say: Rover, sit!, and Rover does not do it that is not insubordination.  We learn a bit  differently than dogs do.  We could pull that off because we generalize more easily.  Dogs have to be taught to sit under different conditions and the more distracting the situation the longer it takes to get the behavior on cue.  The bright side is that the more you teach and the more varied the conditions the better the dog gets at generalizing.  Never will be at our level but it can get pretty good.

Punishing a dog for something it has not learned how to do is cruel, to say the least.
Be a teacher.  Be a leader.  Learn how to understand your dog and forget the alpha nonsense.


Bite Carefully, Please!

Bite Carefully, Please!

When puppies play together they do a lot of biting.  They may lie next to one another, mouths in constant action with each other.    Usually there is a lot of growling and lip curling and they appear to be ready to kill one another.  What is going on?

Those puppies are learning bite inhibition and it is a very, very important lesson indeed.  Those needle sharp puppy teeth can quickly cause pain but most of the time the game goes on for minutes at a time.  Clearly the pups are maintaining control of those teeth.  If the bite control machinery fails there will be a sharp yelp and that could well end the game.  The pup without control finds herself playing alone and that isn’t nearly as much fun.

When pups are given a proper start in life they get to practice that same behavior with mom or another adult dog as well as litter mates.  Mom or the tolerant adult allows the pup the chance to play so long as there is self control on the part of Mouthy Mable.  Biting too hard, not responding to a well spoken Yipe!, ends the game.

We need to learn from that behavior.  There are people that severely punish a pup for practicing on human flesh but, unfortunately, that system can backfire big time. Most of the time, in fact, the pup leaps right back into the game biting harder than before!   No, I am not advocating allowing M. M. to scrape, puncture and leave you with blood running down your arm!  What I am suggesting is to teach your pup proper use of those needle sharp puppy teeth.

Allow – no, encourage! – puppy mouthing of your hand.  Just your hand!  At the moment that the biting gets too rough let out a really high pitched yelp.  A puppy that has had the opportunity (and ALL puppies should have that opportunity!) to learn from litter mates and mom will back off for a moment and may well lick your hand or otherwise indicate a Oops!  Sorry.  I didn’t really mean to be so rough.  If Jaws does not respond appropriately give him one more chance, really yelp for all you are worth and leave the pup alone for a couple of minutes.  Return and repeat the performance until the light goes on:  Hmmm.  I bite, hear that yelp and I find myself alone.* That’s no fun.  Enter bite control!

It is not only inadvisable to punish a pup for puppy mouthing but it may end up in a serious bite later because the warning signs have been punished.  Many people will state that a dog bit “with no warnings” – usually because the growl or other advisory signal was punished – not the bite that followed!

Puppies that learn bite inhibition are most unlikely to bite hard should they be pushed too much in some future situation as an adult.  And, all dogs can be pushed over threshold!

When this program is clearly working it is time to introduce a Leave it! cue.** After all, there are definitely times when you do not feel like playing the game and a turn-off switch is needed.  Teach Leave it! with food tidbits and toys before using it with the biting game.  The reason is that M.M. needs to learn the lesson when she isn’t aroused and focused on playing.  Once she understands the game present the Leave it! once in awhile when the pup starts the play biting game and then once every 3 or 4 times that play biting is started by the pup.  Gradually build up to being able to say Leave it! any time that you do not want to play the game.  But, do not totally discontinue the play biting game because for a dog to maintain a soft mouth occasional practice is imperative. Pups over 6 months of age should never make contact with human flesh if properly socialized and trained.

One important tip:  Difficult as it is do not grab your hand away from the pup when the biting gets too rough because the pup is certain to reflexively grab for your hand and you are most likely to suffer scrapes from those puppy teeth.

*Occasionally a pup will actually get more excited about the yelp.  In that case simply say something like Oops! and leave the scene.

**Short course to teach Leave it!  Place a piece of food in one hand and a tastier piece of food in the opposite hand.  Let the pup see/smell the first piece of food, close the hand as you say Leave it!  You will get sniffing, licking, nibbling, pawing, etc., as the pup makes an effort to get to that tidbit.  The INSTANT the pup looks away say YES! and give the food from the other hand.  Repeat a dozen times or whatever it takes for the pup to instantly look away from the hand when you say Leave it!  Then switch hands.

Biting - For Fun or For Real?

Biting - For Fun or For Real?

“Look at my arms!”, she said as she showed me the scrapes and tears.  None were serious but there definitely was quite a selection and the woman wondered if she had a dangerous puppy in her house.

Unfortunately I couldn’t really assure her of a perfect future with this pup because its early history is unknown.  The pup was found on the street and very much in need of care and love.  Time and a lesson plan with the puppy is our only answer now.

Those needle sharp puppy teeth seem to be part of a program to teach puppies bite inhibition.  But, that plan only works well if the pup is allowed to remain with the bitch and litter mates until at least 7 or 8 weeks of age.  Puppies need to also test those teeth on humans to learn their thresholds of pain and to control their bites with people.  We really are more sensitive than most dogs to puppy teeth games.

Some dogs and certain breeds of dogs have a naturally “softer” mouth but that doesn’t mean that  Golden Retrievers and other “bird” dogs, considered to have “soft bites”, cannot and do not cause very serious damage if they bite.  All dogs and all breeds need to learn the important lessons of bite inhibition.

It was clear right away that this pup became aroused with even minor physical contact. What would be pleasurable stroking to another pup very quickly escalated to “mouthing” and then pressure with those needle sharp teeth.  She had growled a few times and snarled when she was pressured with a bit of restraint.  My guess is that she lacked litter mate time as well as appropriate handling by humans.

It is essential to begin a program of positive reinforcement for any and all behavior that is desirable and avoidance of anything that will arouse this pup and give further reinforcement to the undesirable behavior.  The more the pup “practices” biting the better she’ll get at it!

Any time the pup is handled food and some toys must be on hand.  If the mouth aims for human skin a toy is offered as an alternative.  When stroking her food is being made available in tiny pieces the entire time. If the pup gets aroused and totally refuses food or a toy she is put in her pen or otherwise separated from social contact for a minute or two.  Not for an hour!  Then the process begins again – and again and again, if necessary – until the light bulb goes on –Aha! X behavior results in removal from the people, the toys and the food.  That’s no fun.  The pup learns to offer the correct and rewarding behavior instead of being forced to do anything.

It is very possible she’ll never totally enjoy being pet and handled but hope for a good life requires being safe to handle for health reasons.  Puppies and dogs must accept complete examinations.  Complete in this case means each and every toe, the belly, under the arms, in the ears, and in the mouth.  There should be a build up (as the pup’s tolerance improves!) of pressure on her body such as throat and belly just as the vet will have to do in order to complete a proper examination.   And, she needs to be quiet and under control for periods long enough to groom and bathe.  Proper handling and her proper response is essential.

If a handler decides to overpower the pup with the totally out of date approach of YOU WILL DO THIS attitude there is an accident waiting to happen.  The same is true if the growling and biting is punished.  It may well stop at that time because of fear but the cause of those behaviors has not been addressed.  Often when one hears the comment that a dog bit with no warning it is because the warning signs had been punished in the past and then – BAM! – one day there is the long suppressed bite.

If we teach alternative behaviors and make those behaviors really rewarding to the pup we can develop acceptable default behaviors.  Only time will tell in this case.

Incidentally, there is a flip side to the issue of separating pups too early from litters and that is leaving them too long with litter mates!  Never take on a dog that has spent its entire life whether that is 6 months or 6 years living in a kennel environment.

Level 1:  Growls, shows teeth, barks, stares, snaps, no contact (Human equivalent;       
argument or warning)
Level 2:  Single bite, saliva, no punctures, ½ as deep or less as dog’s canine
(Human equivalent; push/shove)
Level 3:  Single bite, 1 to 4 punctures, ½ as deep or less as dog’s canine
(Human equivalent; assault, punch)
Level 4:  Single bite, 1 to 4 punctures, greater than ½ as deep as dog’s canine or shakes, there will be bruising evident within 2 days for very hard bites
(Human equivalent; assault with bodily harm)
Level 5:  Multiple bites, greater than ½ as deep as dog’s canine or shakes. Mauling.
(Human equivalent; same)
Level 6:  Fatality (Human equivalent; same)

Dogs labeled 4 or higher are very dangerous animals.  Even behaviorists with extensive experience working with aggression are not likely to attempt rehabilitation with these dogs.

*From The Canine Aggression Workbook by James O’Heare, Dip. C.B.

Bored, Bored, BORED.

Bored, Bored, BORED

It is probably impossible to overstate just how bored most family pets are – and that means dogs and cats.  Predatory behavior in cats is usually easily recognized (they “playfully” pounce on wiggly things much to our delight) but dogs have evolved as predators and scavengers and while we see some similar behaviors the scavenging behavior lends itself more to being on the move.

But, what do the clever humans do?  Well, they lovingly place a pile full of not very healthy “stuff” in a bowl and shut out all opportunities for natural – NECESSARY- outlets for the critters in their lives.

It is really important to recognize that most of the dogs that people decide to bring into their lives have actually been bred to DO something for a living.  They flush birds, they hunt lions, they search for and kill any vermin they can get, they retrieve killed critters, etc.  And?  They are cute so they are bought, brought home and expected to be content to lie at our feet calmly awaiting an opportunity to do something – anything!

Yeah, right.  The dog’s take may well be:  The remote control!  Hooray.  Killed it!  What a good dog I am!     The “retrieved” mail that dropped through the slot may well have you   wondering who sent that mess. The dog’s take may well be: Killed that invader and mom will surely be super happy!   You may even find yourself saying to your neighbor: So, so sorry about your beloved kitty.  Vermin?  Not hardly – but the bored hunting type dog did what was ever so carefully genetically nurtured for many, many generations resulting in  successful, productive behavior!

Get real folks.  You have a DOG in your house.  Learn what is NATURAL canine behavior and not only deal with it but get into enrichment programs and true care and concern for your canine buddy.

Lore Haug, DVM, MS, DACVB, a canine behavior specialist, formerly at Texas A,& M,   recommends “that dogs receive their entire daily ration of food during training or from enrichment devices”.

Here are some of Dr. Haug’s suggestions:

Feed the dog from a Buster Cube or Roll-a-Treat ball
Place dog food or treats inside a cardboard box, old towel/rag or plastic jugs and allow the dog to tear the item apart  to get to the food inside.
Scatter food out in the grass in the yard or across the floor in your house to make the dog search for each piece.
Stuff Kong toys full of various food items (or the dog’s meal) and freeze them overnight before giving them to the dog.
Divide portions of the dog’s meal into small Tupperware containers and hide them around the house for the dog to find.
Place novel scents in the environment using small amounts of spices, herbs, extracts, or synthetic animal scents (rabbit, quail, squirrel, etc., available from a sporting goods store).
Build the dog a sand box either by sectioning off a 4-5 foot square area in our yard or buying a child’s wading pool and filling it with sand and dirt.
Buy the dog a child’s wading pool and fill it with water.  If your dog enjoys both water and digging you can alternate the substrate in the pool each week.
Place vegetables and fruits (e.g. melons, apples, lettuce, squash, watermelon, carrots, celery, etc) out in the yard or you can bury them in the sand box or float them in the wading pool.
Add sugar-free Kool-Aid, Gatorade powder, or bullion (or other broths) to water and freeze into a popsicle in a variety of sizes of Tupperware.  You can add various pieces of food items to these:  fruits, vegetables, cheese, dog food, meat, etc.
Hang rope or innertubes from a branch or other item in the yard for the dog to play tug with and increase the dog’s interest by putting food items inside
Give the dog old water bottles or milk jugs made of either cardboard or plastic.  You can increase the dog’s interest by putting food inside.  .  Always remove the plastic ring and the plastic caps before allowing dogs to play with these items.  Be careful to remove all these items when the dog is finished playing with them.
Some dogs will play with old tires either loose on the ground or hanging from ropes.
Training sessions are also forms of enrichment
Be sure your dog has both toys – squeakies, rope toys, stuffed animals, rubber toys, balls - and chewing items.  The types serve different needs.

Wow!  What a lot of wonderful choices open to us if we wish to enrich the lives of our dogs.

I take Dr. Haug’s suggestions one step further.  Please, please do add raw meaty bones to the choices.  Do NOT add Nylbones.  Avoid rawhide.  Try raw chicken feet instead.   Be very careful to observe your dog’s interaction with ANY toy/chewy and remove the item before a dangerous situation happens.  Dog’s often do love to bounce around plastic bottles, for example but toss the bottle once it begins to show signs of breaking apart.  Dogs DO ingest plastic, sad to say.

Also – remember:  A tired puppy is a good puppy!  Exercise, exercise, exercise – within a pup’s limits, of course.

Begging Dogs

Begging Dogs

There he sat.  An unbroken stream of saliva connected his mouth with the floor in at least 3 different locations.  There was so much slime it was rather difficult to sort it one stream from another.  To accompany this unsightly mess Billy Boy added groans, sighs, and a paw that was not content to rest on the guest’s lap but made regular movements in an effort to get the guest’s attention.  It did that all right!  It also snagged her silk dress and bruised her leg.

Meanwhile, would you care to guess how Billy Boy’s owners were reacting?  It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that they commented on how “cute” he was and that he just wanted an ever so tiny taste from her plate and then, for sure (?) he would go and lie down.

Clearly, B.B. has been well taught by his family.  Their side of the story is that when he was young he was so cute that they offered him bits from their plates to watch his performance as he ran from family member to family member becoming more inventive as he whirled around the table.  Here a bark, there a leap, followed by woofs, growls, play bows and more.  Such a cute puppy.

Now, B.B. has a whole file drawer full of behaviors to get attention and food but the family has tired of the behavior so the guests get the full blast.

What is wrong with this picture?

For starters, B.B. has a very distorted view of how to get food, what food is really his, how to get attention, and how to keep his owners happy.  Poor guy.  Early on he thought he was king of the world from the way they treated him for his shenanigans but lately he gets mixed messages which, in turn, cause him to be more and more frantic about his act when food is on the scene.

While the idea won’t find a receptive audience at B.B’s house what he really would benefit from is a clear view of his leaders. That means that they indicate that food they are eating or that is otherwise not offered to him, is unavailable.  Period!  No treats from their plates.  No access to food that falls from the table while eating or from the counter while cooking.

B.B. is, after all, a dog.  A wonderful creature.  Teaching him an appropriate way to behave in the world is the responsibility of a real dog lover.   And, definitely should be the responsibility of every – EVERY – dog owner.

And – wouldn’t you like to be able to leave the room to answer the phone - or whatever -and know that you could return to your dinner left unattended on the table?

This can be achieved – with no pain to B.B.

And, guess what? He will be a lot happier and so will you!  Give positive reinforcement training a try.


Arf, Arf, ARF, ARF, ARF!!!!

Arf, Arf, ARF, ARF!!!

They were driving down the street and neither of them gave even a glance at the huge dog,  just inches behind their ears.  Said dog was barking away at everything and, frankly, nothing.

I cannot imagine being in such close quarters and having that huge amount of noise pounding away in my ears but they seemed totally oblivious.  What was happening?

Well, “they” had appeared to accept the behavior.  What about the pooch?  Without a doubt “it” too had decided that his/her behavior was quite acceptable so she continued.  Dogs do what works.  We all continue to produce behavior that is rewarded.

Just what is a “reward”?  Well, this may surprise you but a reward is absolutely anything that is perceived as a reward.  Such as:  Your dog jumps on you.  You push the dog away.  REWARD!!!  Ah, but, you say.  I told her NO and I pushed her and I really meant it!  Sorry, folks, but what you meant and what she received from the scene are not matching up.  Dog barks and you, the human, shouts in return, intending to stop the behavior, right?   Dog receives the message that, Hey!  I bark.  She barks!  I am on track!  Result?  Yup.  More barking and, probably, of even greater quality and intensity.  Yikes!  A plan gone astray.

“She” got attention – precisely what she sought.

You saw punishment, right?  Well, punishment really means that what you did stops the behavior.  Did that happen?  No?  It was not punishment – it was REWARD!  Punishment is risky since it can backfire but it is also very, very much misunderstood.  What I find interesting is that people will continue to do the same thing – such as hollering at a dog to stop barking or shouting for it to Sit!, Sit!, SIT!!! when it is jumping all over the visitor.  One would think that the critter with the bigger brain would come up with Plan B since what they are doing is clearly not working but, sad to say, they usually just do more of the same.

Back to the Doggie in the Window.  In this case – a         car window.  What I understand to have happened is that they (the people) hollered, screamed, etc., for all the unwanted barking.  The big, wonderful, critter, received the “information” as a REWARD for the barking!  The dog’s take clearly is:  Cool!  We are all singing the same tune.  What a good dog I am.  I got 100% on this lesson!  The people simply gave up.  At least they didn’t seek a “home in the country” for behavior they caused to be really wild.

So?  What to do?  If one knows what the triggers are for the barking – loose dogs, motorcycles, etc., take the dog in the car, park it where all the action is and toss tasty food treats any time the scary thing passes.  As soon as it is out of sight the “kitchen is closed”.  Yup.  Sounds crazy, I know, but it works.  It changes the dog’s attitude about the issue to one of:  Hey!  Those dogs mean treats for me.  Pretty soon your dog sees another dog, looks to you for a treat and you are on your way to solving the problem.

It is helpful to have some one else in the car with you during training so they can be the supplier of good “stuff” while you safely drive.

A couple of management tools include crating the dog so it cannot see out of the car or buying a Calming Cap from Premier Products.  The cap allows the dogs to see light but not much else so they do get, well, calm!  And, one can work on training dogs to respond to Quiet!, Leave it!, Enough!  It is more difficult to break a well established habit than it is to teach proper behavior right from day one.