Hey LEOs-- Being pulled over with GSD in car - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-17-2012, 11:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hey LEOs-- Being pulled over with GSD in car

This is something I've thought about a lot, but still am not sure the best method to handle it. I'm curious on some other member's opinions.

I use a Champion seatbelt harness with Pimg in the car. She is not able to reach the driver's side windows of the car. She can reach (and stick her head out) the passenger side, rear window. She also will bark, loudly, perhaps even aggressively, if people walk up to the car with me in it. (Interestingly, she does not bark at people who walk beside the car- literally a foot or less from her with an open window even- when I'm not in the car.)

So anyway- say I were to get pulled over with her in the car. This hasn't happened yet, BTW- just hypothetically. I imagine the officer would be very put off, perhaps very nervous even, by the barking GSD that won't shut up. S/He doesn't know that the dog can't get to him... And I sure as crap can't get her to shut up. She will bark and it will be loud, and it will sound scary.

So what's the best approach? I've thought about this a lot, and I just don't know. Here's my thoughts- I'd like opinions if you have one...

  1. Getting pulled over...
  2. Put on hazards/slow down/move over to indicate I see the cop, but don't come to a stop.
  3. Call 911- tell them I'm being pulled over, relay name, vehicle identification, location, etc, and that I have a restrained large dog in the car. Have them relay the message to the officer.
  4. Pull over, turn on interior lights so the cop can better see inside. Ensure all windows other than the driver's side are up.
  5. Hope the cop gets the message from dispatch...
I would be somewhat worried that the cop thinks I am trying to avoid them by not coming to a stop. Yet at the same time, if I did come to a stop prior to calling 911, there could be a timing issue where the cop isn't relayed the message in time.

Note that I have a small car where a crate won't fit inside. So let's not get into arguments about crating vs harnessing. Assume a harness is the only practical method of restraint.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I believe LEOs are prepared to see dogs in cars, as it's so prevalent.
Just carry on as usual, as the cop approaches, he/she becomes aware you have a dog in there.

When they reach the window, tell them she's restrained, and offer to get out of the car so you can hear and respond better.
Do not aggravate by jumping out of your car without being told - that's an offensive and dangerous action.
Keep rolling with lights on? Another "unusual" and hence, dangerous action as well.

In other words, don't arouse alarm bells by doing anything other than pulling over and stopping. Fiddling around with things in the car is liable to get a weapon drawn on you.

Last edited by msvette2u; 12-17-2012 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Honestly I would just pull over as normal and as soon as I rolled down the window inform them that I had a large restrained dog in the back. I'm sure it's not the first time the officer has encountered a barking dog in a vehicle.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msvette2u View Post
and offer to get out of the car so you can hear and respond better.
Yes, but do I give up rights by offering to get out of the vehicle? This is especially interesting if, say, I'm carrying a concealed weapon (legally). Now I've just complicated the simple speeding ticket process by introducing a firearm that the officer will want to check if I'm getting out of the car.

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Honestly I would just pull over as normal and as soon as I rolled down the window inform them that I had a large restrained dog in the back.
Do you mean after they approach the car, or prior? I thought about this as well, but sticking my head out and yelling back at them could draw just as much negative attention as the barking dog...
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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There was an article about concealed carry, I'll try to find it.
Basically you simply announce you are carrying, you have the permit (they know anyway when they pull you over) and wait for instructions.
Usually the officer would say "put your hands on the steering wheel and don't take them off without my telling you" or some such.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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How To Deal with Police when Getting Pulled Over - USA Carry

Basically, don't act weird. Acting weird would be the worst maneuver ever.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, like you are all saying- I'm sure it wouldn't be the first time they had to deal with a barking dog. I'm just thinking that a barking GSD is a bit worse/scarier to deal with than a barking lap dog.

I know how to handle a traffic stop while concealed carrying- I was more referring to the advice about offering to get out of the car. That might not be such a great idea if carrying...
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Okay here's what I recommend (I'm an LEO). Pull over safely as soon as possible, put up the rear window that the dog can get his/her head out of, turn on your dome light and roll down your window. Put your hands on the top of the steering wheel and as the officer approaches yell out the window the dog is restrained. Most cops are used to dealing with dogs in cars. We appreciate it if the owner has the dog restrained (many people drive with dogs unrestrained or in their laps and we get charged by the animal sometimes). Just be considerate and aware (as you obviously are already).
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I sent a PM to a couple of our board members to check this post.

I, uh, am the voice of experience in terms of getting pulled over with dogs in the car. I pull right over. I do a lot of high, happy talk with the dog - look who is coming to see us - wow, yay, aren't we lucky. I get my license and registration out and ready.

I put my window only partly down before the officer gets to the door. I have my hands on the wheel. I let them know if the dog is restrained or if I can get permission to put my hand/arm back to hold the collar of the dog. I talk to the officer about the dog/dog's name, type of dog, whatever I can fill in and make the dog seem adorable and not a threat, as I pass the information through to them.

None of my dogs have ever gotten me out of a ticket, despite their best efforts (barking or ignoring)!
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That sounds reasonable enough, rangersdad.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanKBBMMMAAN View Post
None of my dogs have ever gotten me out of a ticket, despite their best efforts (barking or ignoring)!
Yeah... I can't imagine why not! LOL!
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