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Why Does My German Shepherd Whine In The Car?

Some dogs love being in the car and going on a little road trip and some dogs despise it. German Shepherds typically love being in the car, but they may not enjoy it that much if they are aware that you are taking them to the vet. Whether they love the car or hate it, German Shepherds whine in a way that can get on your nerves. 

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Why Does My German Shepherd Whine in The Car?

German Shepherds are very vocal dogs and use their voices to communicate how they are feeling. They will whine or even bark in the car to show that they are excited, fearful, or maybe not feeling well.

If you’re still wondering why your German Shepherd whines when they get in the car, keep reading!

Showing Excitement

If your German Shepherd is excited to be going on a car trip with you, they might whine to show this emotion. A German Shepherd has many reasons to be excited about a car ride from exploring new places to simply spending more time with its owner. 

German Shepherd shows their excitement by either hyperactivity or vocalizations. While being in the car, there isn’t a good way to show excitement through a movement, which just leaves the vocalizations. Whining is how a German Shepherd might show their excitement when riding in the car.

Feeling Fearful

Even though German Shepherds have a reputation for being tough and scary, they can still feel fear in different situations. Not every German Shepherd is trained to be able to be super calm in the car in the way an emergency service German Shepherd is. 

A German Shepherd can be fearful for many of the same reasons that they would be excited. Going in a car can be scary to some dogs with all the loud sounds, new smells, and maybe even all the road rage. 

Whining is a typical way for dogs to show that they are uncomfortable or feeling fear in a situation. If your German Shepherd is uneasy in a car, it might start to whine. This whining will also be accompanied by shaking, cries, or excessive panting. 

Feeling Sick

Dogs can get carsick just as a human can. Sitting in a moving car was never a part of the evolution process for dogs. 

A German Shepherd might start whining in a car if they aren’t feeling good. This whining will probably be accompanied by cries and panting. Other signs of a dog being carsick are drooling, pacing, licking lips, and fatigue.

If you can catch these signs in time, you hopefully can prevent your German Shepherd from being sick in the car. 

If you have to bring your German Shepherd in the car for some reason and it suffers from getting carsick, there are medications that you can give to ease its stomach. Talk to your vet to see what kind of medication will work best for your German Shepherd and what procedures to follow with it. 

If you notice that your German Shepherd is whining on a car ride, pay attention to the other actions that your German Shepherd is doing. The best-case scenario is that your German Shepherd is just excited but showing other negative traits can mean that this car ride isn’t making them feel good at all. 

Do German Shepherds Whine More Than Other Dogs?

German Shepherds are very vocal dogs and are known to whine more than other dog breeds. This is due to their herding past and guarding occupations. German Shepherds had to be more vocal in order to properly conduct their work. 

German Shepherds who would help humans with work would need a way to communicate with them. Since German Shepherds don’t share the same language as their humans, they use vocalizations to communicate instead.

Barking is a strong way to get the attention of their owners, but whining, yelping, and other vocalizations worked as well. 

Being vocal then became instinctual for German Shepherds which is why the friendly family German Shepherd pets are still very vocal creatures. German Shepherds are also super close to their owners, which makes them want to be able to communicate better. These dogs are more likely to be vocal when they feel a strong emotion because it lets their owners know how they are feeling. 

Can Whining in The Car Be Good?

A majority of dog owners can agree that it is never fun if their dog barks or whines for the entire car ride, especially if it is a long car trip. With German Shepherds being very vocal dogs, German Shepherd owners know very well how loud these dogs can be.

Even though it can be annoying, there’s a reason why whining in the car can be helpful. Again, whining lets the owner knows how their German Shepherd is feeling. 

Being able to know how your dog is feeling can help you be able to help your dog if something is wrong. 

By understanding the body language that comes along with whining, you can figure out if your German Shepherd is whining if they are excited or if they are feeling sick. That way, you can take your dog to the side of the road, or a rest stop so that they don’t get sick in your car. 

You can also understand if your German Shepherd is afraid while in the car and can give them a little extra attention and encouragement. 

Being able to understand your German Shepherd on this deep level helps build trust and develop a stronger bond between you and your dog. Hey, by developing this trust, you can better help keep your German Shepherd at ease on car trips which can result in less overall whining. 

Can Whining in The Car Be Minimized?

Okay, we get it. Constant whining and other vocalizations can still get annoying after a while and can make a long car trip very difficult to get through. If you need that peace and quiet on a car trip, whining from your German Shepherd can be minimized through a combination of training and extra care. 

First, if your German Shepherd can’t help but whine because of carsickness, your vet can give you medication to give to your dog that can help. Whether it’s a medication that will help keep their stomach settled or medication that puts your dog to sleep for the duration of the ride, it can really help with whining from feeling sick.

Make Them Feel Safe

If your German Shepherd gets fearful in the car, making them feel safe and secure can help with these feelings of anxiety and fear. Some dogs love being buckled up by their owner. 

There are seatbelt harnesses that are made for dogs that you can purchase for a car trip. Not only will these make your dog feel more secure, but they can actually keep them safe while on the road. 

There are many cases of dogs getting really injured in the case of a car accident and these harnesses can prevent worse injury. 

You can also get a dog crate for your car. This gives your German Shepherd a safe area of the car to be in that can have their favorite blanket, toys, and even a few treats. Make sure that your German Shepherd is properly crate-trained before using this specific method.

Keep It Calm

Dogs, especially German Shepherds, are in tune with their owner’s emotions. If you start to feel angry, fearful, or anxious then your German Shepherd might pick up those emotions and start to whine. 

Have some calming or fun music playing while driving and refrain from showing road rage. Having a fun and soothing environment will help keep your German Shepherd calm and quiet.

Train Your German Shepherd to be Quiet

If your German Shepherd mostly whines to show their excitement, you can train them to be quieter. Through different commands, which can just be the word “quiet,” you can train your German Shepherd to lessen its whining while in the car.

Like any training, make sure you give rewards and encouragement when they demonstrate the behavior that you are looking for. Every time that they follow the quiet command, give them a treat. Start this training before any long car ride. 

Final Thoughts

German Shepherds are very vocal dogs and will whine more than many other kinds of dogs out there. There are several reasons why they will whine in the car and it is good to understand your German Shepherd’s body language so that you can understand the reason for their whining.

German Shepherds might whine because they are excited, fearful, or are feeling carsick. There are methods and remedies that you can do to minimize your German Shepherd’s whining, but you need to understand why they are whining before you can really stop it. 

Whining isn’t always a bad thing as it allows you to better understand your German Shepherd, but it can get annoying at times. Understanding your German Shepherd better can help you build a better relationship with your dog overall. 

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