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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Barking in the Car

Hi Jan,
My dog, Pepper, (4 yr. Border Collie) is still barking wildly in the car. Your leadership class two years ago has vastly improved her behavior, ie. she is well-behaved everywhere but in the car. A kennel and bark collar don't work either. Any suggestions?

Border Collies are among the most acutely attuned to their environments. They are easily overstimulated by motion, so Pepper is on red alert when she's in the car. Since kenneling her doesn't work, and a no-bark collar is apparently ineffective, here's something else you can try. This actually addresses Pepper's needs, too, and without inflicting any discomfort.

It's called a "Calming Cap," and it's made by Premier, manufacturer of the Gentle Leader head halter. In the manufacturer's words, "The Calming Cap is a wonderful tool for easing a dog’s anxiety in high-stress situations, allowing an opportunity for easier vet visits, dog-to-dog or dog-to-people interactions and travel. The Calming Cap reduces visual stimuli and lowers the dog’s emotional arousal helping him to remain comfortable, overcome fearfulness, and increase confidence. The single-panel sheer fabric window does not blind your dog, but filters his vision like trying to see under low-light conditions. Dogs can still see well enough to go on walks and play fetch. Most dogs accept the Cap easily."

You can find this at a variety of websites....just Google "Gentle Leader Calming Cap." The device sells for about $17.

I don't have any personal experience with the Calming Cap, but the idea seems very sound to me, and has credibility because its manufacturer produces other well designed and humane devices like the Gentle Leader.

Do us all a favor, Margaret, and let us know if this works. Or maybe someone else has experience with a Calming Cap. Email me at:

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