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Dogs in Vehicles
  • PuggyBuddyPuggyBuddy August 2011

    Prospect, I bet when you're riding in the car, you're very well-behaved. But some dogs seem to need to go all over the place in the car and it's very distracting to the driver. Any suggestions on how to teach them to be better passengers? I want all of us to be safe when we travel. What do you think about doggie car seats and seat belt harnesses that buckle them in?

  • TheChauffeurTheChauffeur August 2011

    Prospect doesn't always get all the safety concerns we humans have!

    When I met Prospect he was already well-behaved and understand "No." In those days I had a pick-up truck. If he tried to move closer to me I would say "No" and point to the passenger seat. I would never let him in or out of the driver's side door. We were able to establish his side vs. my side.

    He wanted to hang his head out the window when we drove around the neighborhood. But not knowing him and whether he would jump out or not, I initially allowed him to hang his head out only when we were on sides streets, during non-busy times, and I had a leash that I kept taut so he felt the restraint.

    After a time, I got to know him better, and had no problem with him resting his head on the mirror... the design of the truck door, etc was such that in this position he was still resting his weight on the arm rest.

    Then I got a Trailblazer. The design of the lower door, etc. had me re-train him not to try and hang his head out. That took a few weeks of "No" and rolling the window up but he caught on. Now he will rest his head so his nose is sticking out but he his firmly planted in the seat or leaning on arm rest. The "balance" of the passenger seat must be completely different from the truck b/c it took him a couple months to keep his balance sitting up in the seat --- now he mostly leans back, or on the arm rest.

    He doesn't jump around... he knows his seat. He is welcome to move to the back, where on long trips he has a blanket and pillow. But he knows not to bounce back and forth. I had to let him know it was ok to go back, but if he went back and tried to return to front quickly, I would block the path with my arm and say "No."

  • TheChauffeurTheChauffeur August 2011

    To your question about restraints. The thought has passed through my mind often and I should research safety harnesses more. My concern is that the restraints will "fix him in place" causing more concerns with him getting stiff joints, sore muscles during longer trips.

    Before we enter heavy traffic (urban rush hour, several lanes, etc), I always tell Prospect to go to the back just to make sure.

    My biggest concern is the air bag. I've made sure that in the case of collision, the air bag will not be deployed with Prospect in the passenger seat.

    For hyper dogs that do not do well unrestrained, or if the safety harnesses are not comfortable there is the dog crate option; if your vehicle allows. My sister travels with her 3 corgis in crates in the back of her Toyota Forerunner. That is how they were trained to travel. They regularly travel 2 1/2 hours each direction to visit my Dad.