Friday, May 24, 2013

As Told by Athena: I'm Stuck

Hi Guys!  Athena here.  The other day went a little something like this:

Mom & Dad: We should probably start being responsible dog parents and have Athena wear a seatbelt in the car.  You know, she's super wiggly and we don't want her to fly through the window or anything.

Bean: This Bean is a perfect car rider, what are those crazies talking about?!

Then, the parents went and snapped this new seatbelt thing on me and drove off...


Well, this Bean didn't like that I couldn't do my usually wiggling, so I wound myself up until I was completely stuck...


Then I got mad.  I got REAL mad and I tried to bite the seatbealty thingy right off me so I could get back to my regularly scheduled car wiggling...


But, what's a Bean gonna do when she's stuck for good?


She gives up and takes a stuck car snooze.


Well, apparently my parents are getting a bit frustrated that every time they snap me in my new seatbelt, I just get all stuck.  Then I put on a pouty face for the whole drive and beg for them to help me get unstuck.  My mom says that it's dangerous for her to help me get unstuck when she's the driver, so she has to leave me stuck until we reach our destination!

I'm wondering if any of you have doggies who don't cooperate with the seatbelt and what you've done to get them to stay unstuck.  Thank you in advance for all of your wise advices!

26 comments:

  1. Ugh! Bean - I wish we could help...but Edison gets himself stuck, too. It does seem like since we stuck with it (no pun intended), he's learned to stay still. Our biggest issue is that he is heavy enough to unbuckle himself when he steps on the clip!! Let's just hope he doesn't realize that's the secret (he's learned that doorknobs open doors, but luckily can't do anything about it without opposable thumbs!).

    What kind of seatbelt do you have?? Will you be doing a review?

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  2. I am thinking we need to finally be responsible and get a car seatbelt. But I fear that the Moby man would totally get stuck too! Let us know if you find a solution, Thean Bean!

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  3. Highly recommend using a crate in the car instead. After watching a rather disturbing video where they crash tested the various doggie seatbelt harnesses on the market and all of them failed rather miserably (including one that decapitated the "dog" used in the test), I honestly believe a crate is a much better way to go. And frankly, I think as long as the dog isn't a danger in their behavior in the car, riding loose is safer than riding with one of those harnesses.

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    1. Here is an article about the dog seatbelt harnesses, in case you are interested: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/05/22/consumerwatch-tests-on-dog-harnesses-show-100-percent-failure-rate/

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  4. We've tried every kind of seatbelt under the sun for Boomer and he eats through them, he's a boy who hates to be confined. While it's not safe we let him ride in the car unsecured (I know I'm a bad dog mom) but he doesn't wiggle, he sits and looks out the window.

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  5. Seat belts do not work on my Lainey girl. I know it's not safe, but we have found that if we just let her ride in the back seat, she just sits there and looks out the window. As long as she isn't buckled in, she will sit still. But the second you put the belt on her, she is like a crazy dog.

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  6. Actually, I've seen video of plastic crates shattering during crash tests. We've tried most restraint systems out there and the Roadie by Ruff Rider is the best one we've found. Something about the "X" across the chest, it seems to fit them better and doesn't put so much force on the base of the neck when you put on the brakes. We never loop ours through the seatbelt, but look for the metal rings buried in between seat & seat back (most cars have this) and clip onto that with a carabiner. That way the handle is angling downward, making it difficult for wiggly dogs to get tangled (we have 2 wiggle worms). I bet you can do that with the one pictured above, just get let out some of the strap length, get a big carabiner at Home Depot and attach to the handle and clip it on. Cargo areas also have rings to attach to

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  7. We were forced to be responsible with Sarge and get him a harness because he likes to climb in the front seat while we are driving. He gets twisted too, but only when he tries to get out before we come around and open his door. :)

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  8. Toby does great in his car harness. He's gotten stuck maybe one or two times, but that's about it.

    I would try getting a harness that has a tether (or buy a spare tether from one of the brands that sells them, such as the Bergan). Attach one of the caribiners to the shoulder belt portion of the seatbelt and the other to the dog. Pull out all of the seatbelt slack and retract it back so it locks. In a perfect world, the tether moves up and down the shoulder belt and the seatbelt can't be pulled out a million feet to give her more to get tangled in. Or, attach the one of the caribiner ends to the child seat LATCH anchor in the seat bite (the part of the seat where the seat back meets the bottom.) Warning about the LATCH though, the anchors have weight limits for when you have a child seat installed with them (so I take the limit and divide by 2 to compare to the dog's weight). I still use the LATCH anchor anyway even though Toby is technically heavier, but it's a personal choice and I have no information indicating that it will be fine or not in an accident.

    I feel like there really is no good way to transport a dog in a car, so we have to do the best we can until a reliably crash tested product is invented. Plastic crates don't hold up. I'm not sure how well metal crates do, but Toby's won't fit in my car anyway. We've all probably seen the crash test videos showing that the harnesses can fail. But we use the harness because it's the best we can do aside from not driving anywhere or getting a bigger car to fit the crate.

    Part of the problem with harnesses is that there is no single federal testing standard for them like there is for something like a child's car seat. So when packaging claims that their product has been crash tested, we don't really know what that entailed like we do when we buy a child's car seat.

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    1. I really like what you said, "We've all probably seen the crash test videos showing that the harnesses can fail. But we use the harness because it's the best we can do aside from not driving anywhere or getting a bigger car to fit the crate." You took the words right out of my mouth!! I have seen the videos and have heard time and time again that dog seat belts fail in accidents, but I'm more concerned about Athena being restrained in the backseat during everyday drives. Like you, our crates will not fit in the car so it's not an option. Further, I use the car for other things (such as transporting children) so it would be a total pain in my butt if I had to put the crate in and out of my car all of the time. Besides, Athena would hate me if I crated her in the car because she likes to be a part of the action. We are looking into getting a different kind of seat belt/seat belt connector to help Athena unstick herself and to make our everyday car trips just a bit safer!

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  9. We too use the kwik release tether that goes through the human seatbelt then clips to the dog seatbelt. It's worked for our pups, and any foster that's ridden with us. E explains it better, and we wrote about it here: http://pittiesincity.blogspot.com/2011/08/doggystyle-riding-in-cars-with-dogs.html

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  10. Bergan sells adjustable tethers with carabiners on either end- one hooks to the dog and the other through the loop of the seatbelt buckle or car seat anchor. We have had issues with tangling when there have been 3 dogs in my trunk with only 2 places to tether them, but for one dog it works well and allows them to wiggle and sit or lay down without giving them too much freedom to roam. I'd imagine a well-knotted heavy duty 2 foot length of rope and functional carabiners would have about the same result (check the weight limits on both the rope and carabiners).

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  11. Oh you silly pup! Is that a Kurgo harness? Shiner has one but we've never had the chance to use it in the car yet.

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  12. why that happened just the other day...I too quickly discovered that it was was definitely was too dangerous to try to fix while driving. dog gave me a "wth" look, so i just released the harness/seatbelt attachment & told dog to b very careful cuz he's naked now. hope somebody finds a better seatbelt than these although i am glad to have it... for the most part seems better than nothing

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  13. No way, Athena! My mom and dad just got me the exact same car harness! We are so cool :)

    I haven't tried it yet 'cause I'm stuck resting and not going anywhere, so I don't know about this tangling up business yet. But I saw this zip line thing you can get for it that goes along the top of the car, so you use that instead of the seat belt and you can move around a little more. I don't know if it is as safe, but you can have a look: http://www.kurgostore.com/dog-travel/kurgo-auto-zip-line-leash-zip-line-combo/

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  14. If that is the Kurgo, it looks like you have it connected wrong. We have the same harnesses for our pups and there should be a carabiner and another short strap that came with it. Loop the short strap around the seatbelt strap and then attach it to the harness with the carabiner. This allows for more movement without getting all tangled. Kind of hard to explain, I can try and email you a picture if you want.

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    1. It's actually just the Petco brand. Nothing fancy =)

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    2. Here is a link to the Kurgo, maybe you can engineer the Petco harness to add a short strap:
      http://www.kurgostore.com/big-gear-sale/tru-fit-smart-harness-with-plastic-quick-release-buckles/

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