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I used to keep my boys in the back of my Jetta Sportwagen. After reading up on vehicle crumple zones I have moved them to the rear seat. The cargo area of any large SUV would because of size and weight clearly be safer than my Sportwagen however there is no getting past the fact that any vehicle regardless of size by design will be safest in the passenger sections. I am not looking to start any disagreements I only strongly recommend that anyone putting thought into were the safest place for their dogs is to read up on the purpose and function of crumple zones and make their own choice.
For what it's worth, I was also worried about this when I was researching SUVs and reading about crumple zones. One of the guys who used to train with us is a firefighter and first responder. He has seen way to many car crashes. He told me that the way the crumple zones are designed, even on impact, it would take a HUGE impact to actually crumple in enough on the back of the SUV AND through the crate to hurt the dog. He was talking about how the force of the impact is spread through the metal in the back towards the middle (I am not explaining this anywhere near how he did). His bottom line was, in a crate in the back of the SUV is STILL safer than dog in the passenger seat. As I say, just for what it's worth. I'm not telling you what to do. Only that I had the same concerns and felt much better after talking to him. He drove a pick up (covered back with a crate) but he told me, looking at my SUV, he would for sure use a crate in the back if it were his car.
 

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Shadow has massive car anxiety (that started when he was four), so we've started to use a crate, which helps. Before that, he had a harness that attached at his back and was hooked to a leash that locked into the seatbelt (which worked great until he lost his darn mind). We also had a hammock set up in the second row.
 

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Asher rides in the front passenger seat where I can supervise him. He uses a seatbelt and harness. At 17 weeks, he can only behave for about 8 minutes, max. It's pretty clear when he's starting to lose it and get naughty. At that point, I pull over and put him in a crate in the back. I figure he won't learn if I don't put him in a harness in the seat, but only for as long as it's safe to do so.

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The front seat is likely the least safe place for a dog, harness or not. Like small children, they can be injured or killed if the airbags deploy. If you have to put your dog in the front seat, you should manually disable the airbag, if it does not disable itself. Some do, if the passenger is under a certain weight.
 

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The front seat is likely the least safe place for a dog, harness or not. Like small children, they can be injured or killed if the airbags deploy. If you have to put your dog in the front seat, you should manually disable the airbag, if it does not disable itself. Some do, if the passenger is under a certain weight.
Yes, the airbags in the passenger seat automatically disable under a certain weight. I push the seat all the way back, too. Once I don't have to watch Asher so closely and can trust him not to chew up the seat, seatbelt, tangle himself up or chew on the kids, he can ride in one of the back seats.

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We use a hammock in the back seat with a fleece cushion with a rubberized back to prevent it and Oscar from sliding around.
 

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Back seat, with a seatbelt attachment or the zip line strap attached to her harness but NEVER, EVER to her collar around their necks!! We do have a booster seat that our little pup has been using but she has almost outgrown it now! If you are going to take the dog in the car, please invest $12-$20 and get a harness and travel safely with your pup!
 

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I have a 3 row 2011 Pathfinder and Maggie sits in the back with the last row of seats folded down. She won't come over the back seats for anything and lays down while in motion most of the time and stands and looks around at traffic lights. In town its not likely were moving faster then 25 or 30mph. She's 6 months next week so she is doing very well in the car. Any long distance or highway driving she's in a Petmate Kennel strapped down. Though I may look into a seat belt harness (likely Kurgo) at about 1 year old.

Also, just an FYI for those who mentioned their dogs sit in the front seat... some states it is illegal to have a dog restrained or not in the front seat of a car. I believe Delaware is looking into that now and trying to make it a $500 fine for first offense so I would just look into it in your state. Most people do not realize this.
 

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A few months ago, I bought a Gunner Kennel. I have an F150 crew cab, and the back seat folds up. The kennel fits behind the front seat perfectly, and since it is a little narrower than the 32 inch wire crate I used to use, I can move the driver's seat all the way back if I need to.

I am very happy with the kennel, after getting over the initial price. It keeps the mud and dirt contained, and they are very heavy duty kennels that should protect well in the event of an accident.
 

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I have also been researching this issue. Previous posts recommend the sleepypod harness system. My question about using a car crate is, won't the dog slam into the crate walls in an accident? I know you don't want them loose in the car for that reason, but I am wondering about the safety of the crate vs the sleepypod. Also, do the crates get hot when traveling in the summer?
 

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Luna sits in the back seat with her harness on with her seatbelt attached at her back. I have a water/mud resistant type cover in the back that prevents my car from getting too dirty. She really doesn’t mind the seatbelt, it keeps her safe and keeps me safe because she doesn’t climb on me!!
 

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We have a Honda Odyssey minivan. Bought it with dogs in mind. At first, we removed the 2nd row seats so that we could fit a crate in there and had it secured with tie-downs. This worked very well, until we got a second dog. While we could fit a second crate at the back of the van, it became too onerous a task, so we put the second row seats back in and switched to travel harnesses that buckle into the seatbelts. The harnesses are champion, not crash tested. Will be upgrading to sleepy pod click-its in the near future. Also, we have a soggy dog seat cover over the second row seats which saves the seats from dog hair, mud, etc.
 

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I have also been researching this issue. Previous posts recommend the sleepypod harness system. My question about using a car crate is, won't the dog slam into the crate walls in an accident? I know you don't want them loose in the car for that reason, but I am wondering about the safety of the crate vs the sleepypod. Also, do the crates get hot when traveling in the summer?
That was my fear about continuing to use a crate in the car. I've also read that they can collapse in an accident. I'm going to go with the Kurgo Tru-Fit harness. It's been crash tested and has good reviews. They have a lot of nice products, I just picked up the seat protector too.
The other reason I decided against a crate is size. I have a mid-sized SUV (Honda CRV) and while a small crate fits comfortably in the car now, soon it will be too much to have if we want to have any other items with us. We are tent camping in a few weeks and no way could we fit a 36" crate plus all our camping stuff in the Honda. Seat belt harness it is!
 

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How did you guys transition from puppyhood to big dog in a sedan? I can definitely see using a crate for a puppy just so they're not traipsing around everywhere and trying to get into the front seats but the dog I'm in the market (a Golden, obviously) will steadily outgrow its crate. There's no way can the crate go in the trunk since the trunk is completely enclosed and a separate compartment. Plastic travel crates seem far more reliable than the large wire crate my dog will grow into and uses at home but getting a giant plastic one for a puppy just seems obnoxious and then there's no more room in my back seat. I'm guessing going with the safety harnesses and just sizing up as the pup grows is my best bet.
 

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How did you guys transition from puppyhood to big dog in a sedan? I can definitely see using a crate for a puppy just so they're not traipsing around everywhere and trying to get into the front seats but the dog I'm in the market (a Golden, obviously) will steadily outgrow its crate. There's no way can the crate go in the trunk since the trunk is completely enclosed and a separate compartment. Plastic travel crates seem far more reliable than the large wire crate my dog will grow into and uses at home but getting a giant plastic one for a puppy just seems obnoxious and then there's no more room in my back seat. I'm guessing going with the safety harnesses and just sizing up as the pup grows is my best bet.
So we've been using the Kurgo harness for about 2 weeks now, it's going very well! Maybe because we started him out in the small crate first, he's used to laying down nicely now in the backseat, and that's what he does with the harness. So use a small crate (I was lucky and borrowed one from my sister) for the first couple of months and then move to the harness is my opinion.
 
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