How do you transport your dog by car? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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How do you transport your dog by car?

I've seen all sorts of set ups for dog transportation. What do you use? Do they just sit in the back seats? Do you have one of those police style gates that makes a barrier between the rear of a hatchback and the people compartment? Do you have a crate in the back? Do they have a seatbelt, ramp? What do you do and what do you think works the best?

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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 12:37 AM
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I have used the gate when I had a small SUV, along with a tethering system in case of an accident, or some dog warrior trying to rescue my dog. Now with a smaller car, I use the seatbelt tethers. When the pups were small, we would crate them and seatbelt the crates in. If you vehicle is large enough, I would recommend the gate and tether. The tethering seat belts work well, I just don’t like that they can’t lay down, they have to stay in a sitting position, but otherwise, very easy to get them belted in to the dog tether.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 05:27 AM
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They sit in the Back seats and we take them in our car.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 07:43 AM
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Stick him in the back of the Jeep (no back seats). The only time he's tethered is if the top is removed.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 08:15 AM
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My two GSDs are crated in the truck bed (covered) in RuffLand kennels. Held down with 5k lb break strength tie downs (I think). I'll probably buy stronger ones soon. My Shiba is in the back seat in the cab. There's a wire barrier between the front and back of the cab so he's not climbing over me. I'm looking at buying a Transit Connect XLT in the next few months so my set up will change. I don't like how little I can control the cooling/heating in the truck bed even when covered and would rather them in the A/C with me on long trips.

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 08:33 AM
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I have the MIM Variogate, their barrier for the back, and their divider. That I need to install so my big dog stops with the "ma, why is he in my room?" look.

The gate is not as safe for the dogs in a crash, but safer than steel crates behind my 3 kid's heads in the event of a serious rear ending. The Variocage is nice and does have a crumple zone to make it safe for passengers in front of the dog crates..however unless you have GSDs on the smaller side even their largest double crate was too small for Valor who is 27.5 inches and 96lbs.

I'll share my reasoning and research.

If I did not have small kids in the 2nd row seating all the time and/or the big steel crates were easy to remove, I would not have gone with the gate.

Whatever you buy, check your vehicle ratings. When dog products say they are "crash tested" they are crash tested going about 35mph and they are checking for integrity of the animal inside the crate, not the other occupants of the vehicle.

For instance my Honda Pilot has the anchors rated at 45 lbs. It doesn't matter what tethers or clips you use, the anchor that is attached to the vehicle is only rated at 45lbs of weight for retaining cargo in an impact. Furthermore the 3 feet from the tailgate to the back of the 3rd row (that I keep folded down for the dogs) is a designated crumple zone. In other words in a bad rear ending, the space that remains "cargo" when the 3rd row is up is designed to crumple to absorb some impact. So between that and the rating on the anchors you can guarantee that steel impact crates will wind up on top of my children in the 2nd row if we are rear ended hard.

If I had a larger utility vehicle where the anchors have better cargo ratings, OR if it was just front seat passenger and driver in my car for the most part, I would definitely go with the impact crates. Or, if I lived with a man that could just take the steel crates in and out easily for me lol then I would have those.

The variogate is secure, but not nearly as secure as a locking steel crate. If someone had time they could definitely pull the bars apart. They would have had to be extremely determined and would have had a tranquilizer dart gun handy. Valor is not stealable.

Sorry, pics are sideways. Anyway I now have a horse stall mat in there that I got at the feed store. And I am about to put a divider in. I also have a better divider in the back now. From same company.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 09:33 AM
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Always in Airline crate with bungee cords. Never lose in car. People who let their dogs stick their heads out the window make me cringe.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 09:46 AM
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Max is in the back seat usually sitting with my son. Poor kid if it’s a beach trip. My daughter is quick enough to jump into the front seat first. Luna is often in the back hatch either in a crate or no crate depending on truck we take out.
Dogs can get something in their eye sticking their heads out the window. I know someone riding a mortocycle a rock pelted him in the eye. He had goggles on and took them off to clean them at a light. Things fly around get kicked back or fall out of trucks.


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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 09:50 AM
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Even loose in the car is too much of a risk for dog and human. No method of safe transport is 100% but confinement in a crate brings severe injury or death way down then loose in a car.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 10:08 AM
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Dear God I learned my lesson with Cairo. The day I got her she stepped on the seatbelt release ( she was harnessed in) and then stepped on the window down button. And jumped out the window before I left the parking lot. Yeah, I learned hard and fast to use the kid window lock. I have a Subaru Legacy but I am looking for a SUV large enough for two LARGE safety rated crates.

Honestly, I still almost want to vomit when I think about that moment. Chills in my bone marrow bad....
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