Harnesses For Car Safety - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-30-2017, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Harnesses For Car Safety

Hi,

I recently bought a GS puppy and for the past month, I've been holding her while the hubby drives. She's starting to get really big though and quite hard to hold on to, which makes me wonder how I can keep her safe when she is fully grown.

I've decided I'd make my own harness/seat belt for her, but how would they work in keeping her safe and uninjured? I know I can use a normal harness, but those being sold tend to have pretty thin straps and from feeling her shoulders and chest, it seems as if those harnesses would hurt her rather than protect her in the event of a hard brake or accident.

If there were straps, where would the straps safely rest? On the shoulder blades? The muscles on the chest? SHOULD I make one with straps? Or go with some kind of vest? Would that distribute her weight so it won't hurt her?
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-30-2017, 10:50 PM
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You won't like this, unless you really know what you are doing and if you have the industrial strength machines you won't be able to make a truly safe car harness. A regular harness would tear away and yes she would likely be injured or worse.

You are right that holding a dog will do absolutely nothing to protect the dog in a crash. The forces are such that the dog will go flying and crash into the windshield.... why you would never do this with a child.

You might want to educate yourself on car pet safety restraints. Many are useless and not crash tested. True of crates too. There are some restraints and crates that are crash tested however. I would hang up your thread and needle and go for a well designed crash tested restraint. Good for you to consider this. Here is a link (and there are several out there... some interesting you tube videos of the subaru study done with the center for pet safety as well) with further info:

2015 Carrier Study Results - Center for Pet Safety

Just the other day I had gotten off the freeway on to a state highway. All of a sudden two dogs are running at me. I was totally surprised in this remote location. As I slowed my car, my gaze went up and I saw the flipped over car. Twice now I have been on scene of flipped cars with dogs running top speed away. After I assisted the young man and called 911 and an EMT got there I told him I would look for the dogs. Sort of useless. I hope they did not end up on the freeway. Restraint is sooooooo important.

Good luck. I ended up getting a variocage crate btw.

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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-30-2017, 11:14 PM
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Hello,

Excellent topic. I too am looking for advice on a harness that can be attached to a seat belt in a vehicle.

The Center for Pet Safety has one review from 2015, unless I am missing something, which recommends the

Clickit Sport Sleepypod harness

Sleepypod Clickit Sport - Center for Pet Safety
Clickit Sport - Sleepypod® | The safest pet company | Dog Carrier | Cat Carrier | Dog Harness

This seems like it is about $70 depending on the size.

Is this the way to go, or are there other options to choose from?

Thank you!!
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 11:33 AM
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I use this one. It takes a bit of practice putting it on. It has also been crash tested. I attach it to a tether that clicks into the seat belt lock, rather than to the shoulder strap. I found my dogs got tangled up with that type of system. And watching the crash test it seems to have too much "give" before it stops the dog's movement.
https://www.kurgo.com/dog-harnesses/...g-car-harness/

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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply, guys.

Well actually, when I say plan to make my own, I mean by using paracord (parachute cord). I do paracording as a hobby, so it wouldn't take much for me to make a harness strong enough for crashes. Hence why I ask about where it should be positioned on her body, because while paracords are super strong, the wrong pressure point can break bones. I've seen many seat belt harnesses for dogs before and usually, my eyes go straight to the price... I'm prepared to put in a lot of work into keeping my dog safe, but I'm not willing to spend SO much on a harness that I can easily replicate.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 08:51 PM
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watch the crash test videos. It might give you an idea of where the dog gets the most pressure. It also confirms to me that I don't want to hook the dog to the shoulder harness but the seat belt buckle itself/

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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-31-2017, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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I did watch them. Not much of an idea though because those are dolls and don't have bones lol... And yes, I agree about using the buckle itself. I never understood the idea of using the car's seat belt for dogs. Makes no sense as they were made for humans!
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 06:43 AM
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Most buckles have relatively low tensile strength. Crashes magnify stress from the typical hundreds of pounds to thousands of pounds. If your harness is to keep the dog from moving about you should do fine. If you expect it to survive a crash, I would be cautious to ensure all components combined could do the job

The best paracord breaks at around 550lbs - fine when many of them are used in a parachute as the pressures are not sudden deceleration. I would expect a 75lb dog suddenly decelarating from 60mph to weigh about 5,000 lbs. 2" webbing has a tensile strength of about 14,000 lbs so it would take 9 strands of paracord to be adequate and 25 to equal 2" seat belt webbing and none of this takes into account the stretch which is significant with paracord. I would say a lot of physics involved. Stretch is good in that it absorbs energy. To much stretch would let the harness slip off if the buckles held.

I don't see the problem with using the shoulder belt as it is designed to lock with sudden stress and adds a little more shock absorbency to the system.

If I were starting fresh and did not already have two welded aluminum dog boxes with locking doors, I would be buying the gunner crate.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NancyJ View Post

If I were starting fresh and did not already have two welded aluminum dog boxes with locking doors, I would be buying the gunner crate.
We have two Gunner crates in the back of our truck. I highly recommend them. They are expensive but I expect them to last a very long time.
Unfortunately, they don't fit into the back seat of a Prius.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by car2ner View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by NancyJ View Post

If I were starting fresh and did not already have two welded aluminum dog boxes with locking doors, I would be buying the gunner crate.
We have two Gunner crates in the back of our truck. I highly recommend them. They are expensive but I expect them to last a very long time.
Unfortunately, they don't fit into the back seat of a Prius.
I have a Gunner crate in the back seat area of my truck. I agree with you-expensive, but seems to be very well made. I like that it is lockable. I hope I never have to find out how they hold up in a crash, but after looking at various crates, containment systems, harnesses, etc., I was most impressed with Gunner.
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