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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Using A Dog Car Harness Can Help You Avoid Tragedy

By Anton Hout, author of The Guide to Aussie Training & Care

Using a dog car harness is a subject of much debate among owners. While most owners believe that their pet would be safer if he was restrained while riding in the car, few actually bother to do so. Whatever the reason for this, by not securing their dog they are risking both his safety and their own. This is why several states actually have laws mandating the use of car harnesses.

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There are three basic ways that a dog can ride in a car: loose, secured, or restrained. Obviously, riding loose, untethered in any way, gives the dog free rein in the car. He can move around anywhere, including climbing into the driver's lap. Unfortunately, this means that in the case of an accident, he may also become a projectile, being thrown through the air and badly injured. Using a dog car seat harness can help prevent this.

But while using a dog car harness is certainly a good idea, there are different ways to go about it. Securing a dog with a properly crash tested harness is the best way of keeping a dog safe. At the same time, however, it can be a challenge because many dogs simply can't withstand that lack of mobility.

Photo for Dog Car Harness Article featuring Australian Shepherd puppy leaning out of car window

Christopher Boswell /

Having your dog loose in the car poses an unnecessary risk to the safety to both you, your dog, and other passengers.

On the other hand, restraining your dog with a tether may be easier on both you and him. In this form of restraint, the dog is confined to the back seat, keeping him out of the way of the driver, but still has some amount of mobility, so that he can move around and change position. This type of dog car seat harness is much better tolerated and can give both dog and owner peace of mind.

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

It can be particularly difficult to properly restrain larger and more active breeds such as the Australian Shepherd. Not only do they need more room to be comfortable, but they also are used to being on the go at all times, so coming to a complete stop in the car can be a challenge. Fortunately, size is not a problem as you can find a dog car harness to fit any dog; it's just a matter of properly measuring the chest and neck and factoring in your dog's weight.

A Dog Car Harness Helps Evenly Distribute The Force

As with walking, using a harness for riding in the car can be both safer and more comfortable for any dog as they are designed to evenly distribute the force of a pull on the leash or seat belt. This way there isn't a choking reaction and your dog is liable to react less aggressively. Of course, you'll also want to choose a dog car seat harness that is easily adjustable at several different points, since dogs come in all shapes and sizes.

When you realize that it takes just two seconds of distraction to double your chances of crashing, you can begin to understand just why using a harness in the car is so very important. Something as simple as nudging you or licking you can be enough to take your attention away from driving long enough for tragedy to strike. That's not something you ever want to experience as a dog owner.

Traveling with your dog can be a wonderful experience provided you do it responsibly and make sure that both you and your four legged friend are safe at all times. This means checking out all of the options and finding a dog car harness that will be comfortable and effective for him and allow you to have peace of mind every time you get in the car.

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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