Head out the window
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Thread: Head out the window

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    Head out the window

    My dog LOVES to stick his head out the window of the car. I bought him some Doggles to protect his eyes, but a friend of mine says he read that having his head out there can make him go deaf. Have any of you ever heard of that?

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    Senior Member FourIsCompany's Avatar
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    Re: Head out the window

    Yes.

    It can hurt their ears.
    You can train people, honest; It's just harder than it is with dogs.
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    Senior Member tirluc's Avatar
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    Re: Head out the window

    not only can it hurt their ears but it is also dangerous in the event of a car passing you and "kicking" up something off the road....when i was a teen, living in CO there was a St Bernard that lived up the road from us....they had a sad story to tell of this big boy....when he was 8 mo they had him in the back of a pickup as there just wasn't room for 3 people and a St puppy in the cab...he was tied so that his nose could just touch the edge...while going down a road (luckily only about 25-30 mph) he saw something and bailed; the tops of his back feet just touched the ground and got pretty tore up and the collar had crushed his throat to the point he could never bark and had to eat softened food the rest of his life.....so, they dumped the truck and got a car...well, Baron loved putting his head out the window as well, and when he was about 2, they were driving down the interstate and a semi passed, kicking up what the vet figured to be a stone....took out his left eye, the whole outside corner of the socket for about 1/2" back and ripped the side of his face back to the ear....between his "bark" (which sounded worse than a de-barked dog), his face and his back feet that never healed right, he looked like something out of a horror story....but sweet old man ( i met him when he was almost 10)....

    never will my dogs have their heads out the window.....
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    Re: Head out the window

    How can it hurt their ears? Do you mean affect their hearing or just the outer part of the ear due to flopping around?

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    Senior Member tirluc's Avatar
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    Re: Head out the window

    Quote Originally Posted by peppy264 View Post
    How can it hurt their ears? Do you mean affect their hearing or just the outer part of the ear due to flopping around?
    think of the force/pressure that the wind is going to have on the ear canal as you're going down the road at high speed...ever put your hand out the window at 65 mph?....
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    Senior Member skelaki's Avatar
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    Re: Head out the window

    I think the short answer is just don't do it. Put the window down enough so the dog can sniff all the wonerful scents but not far enough to put it's head out.

    Also, if you happen to have electronic windows the dog could accidently hit the button and end up decapitated. Not worth risking imho even if it's unlkely.

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    Re: Head out the window

    Well, an electric window is not going to decapitate a dog unless you've gone to great lengths to sharpen the tops of your windows and the important bits of the ear are buried quite a ways from the surface.

    Just wondering if there is any real evidence or scientific basis for saying their ears will get hurt or just speculation ? I certainly don't think its obvious.

  9. #8
    Senior Member skelaki's Avatar
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    Re: Head out the window

    Ok, go ahead and let your dog put it's head out the window if that's what you choose to do. Your dog, your rules, of course. But just be willing to take any and all unintended consequences of that decision.

    No. Wait. It's the dog that will suffer the consequences.

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    Re: Head out the window

    Quote Originally Posted by peppy264 View Post
    Just wondering if there is any real evidence or scientific basis for saying their ears will get hurt or just speculation ? I certainly don't think its obvious.
    Exactly the point of the question.

    I can put my head out the window going 55 and not hurt my ears (yes, I have tried, this is an ongoing discussion between my friend and I). Obviously that's a one time thing, but I don't know for sure that it causes long term damage.

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    Senior Member FourIsCompany's Avatar
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    Re: Head out the window

    Quote Originally Posted by peppy264 View Post
    How can it hurt their ears? Do you mean affect their hearing or just the outer part of the ear due to flopping around?
    From the link I posted:

    The soft ear flaps -- called pinnae -- can swell and become tender from flapping in the wind [source: PFD]. The repeated and rapid flapping of the pinnae against your dog's skull from high-speed winds actually causes trauma to the ear; blood pools in the ear flaps, which can cause painful swelling. After repeated trauma, the soft tissue in the ears can scar, causing lifelong problems for your pooch.
    You can train people, honest; It's just harder than it is with dogs.
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    Re: Head out the window

    Thank you 4IC, thats what I was looking for. So it is not affecting the hearing but potentially damaging the outside of the ears from the flapping. Makes sense to me. Personally I wouldn't panic about doing it a little bit, but not overdoing it is probably a good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by skelaki View Post
    Ok, go ahead and let your dog put it's head out the window if that's what you choose to do. Your dog, your rules, of course. But just be willing to take any and all unintended consequences of that decision.

    No. Wait. It's the dog that will suffer the consequences.
    Skelaki, if you go thru life following every little bit of safewarning you get without even trying to understand it or verify it then you, and your dog, will miss many an opportunity. Also, I do not think you should imply that someone else is being irresponsible with their dog by not following a precaution which you do not even appear to understand.

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    Senior Member Lil Red Express's Avatar
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    Re: Head out the window

    My dog does that all the time , in town I dont think there is any cause for alarm . I notice in town he will stick his head out but if we are on the highway he wont. I always keep the window up about 4 inches and on the highway he will just rest his chin on the window with only his nose sticking out just a bit. In town he has his whole head out . I think if he had his own top 10 list of enjoyments , this would be his number 1 treat . I drive by the beach everyday and he is also a chick magnet , everyone waves at him .


    Quote Originally Posted by mjw6789 View Post
    My dog LOVES to stick his head out the window of the car. I bought him some Doggles to protect his eyes, but a friend of mine says he read that having his head out there can make him go deaf. Have any of you ever heard of that?
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    Senior Member BoxMeIn21's Avatar
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    Re: Head out the window

    While I've never heard of the ear injury part, I've heard enough terrible endings to stories from owners who have let their dogs head hang out the window. It's just not a safe thing to do, anyway you look at it.

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    Re: Head out the window

    I agree with others that say don't do it. Pet peeve of mine to see people letting their dog hang their head out the window - some even let half their bodies out. Too many things can go wrong from this. Hanging a head out, and having a little nose near the window is a big difference.


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    Senior Member tirluc's Avatar
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    Re: Head out the window

    Quote Originally Posted by mjw6789 View Post
    Exactly the point of the question.

    I can put my head out the window going 55 and not hurt my ears (yes, I have tried, this is an ongoing discussion between my friend and I). Obviously that's a one time thing, but I don't know for sure that it causes long term damage.
    but your ears are positioned differently than a dogs are.....if your ears were facing more forward like that of a dogs, how do you think it would feel w/ the wind blowing in them, then?
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    Re: Head out the window

    Quote Originally Posted by peppy264 View Post
    Just wondering if there is any real evidence or scientific basis for saying their ears will get hurt or just speculation ? I certainly don't think its obvious.
    Take hearing tests before and after riding a motorcycle, at highway speeds, without a helmet. That hearing loss would be cumulative. I always wore earplugs when I took my bike on the highway.

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    Re: Head out the window

    I NEVER let my dog ride a motorcycle without a helmet. THAT would be dangerous.

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    Senior Member CorgiKarma's Avatar
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    Re: Head out the window

    Quote Originally Posted by peppy264 View Post
    Skelaki, if you go thru life following every little bit of safewarning you get without even trying to understand it or verify it then you, and your dog, will miss many an opportunity. Also, I do not think you should imply that someone else is being irresponsible with their dog by not following a precaution which you do not even appear to understand.
    When it comes to my dog, it's better safe than sorry. I think it's being responsible. I'm sure my dog would love to eat some cooked chicken bones, but it's not something I would ever risk. Sorry. It is unsafe for many reasons for a dog to have it's head out the window. I've had my hand resting on the door with the window down and have been pelted by pebbles and it stings! What if a pebble hit the dog's eye? I doubt Skelaki or the dog are going to miss out on anything by keeping their appendages inside the car...
    Real dogs don't have tails

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    Senior Member animalcraker's Avatar
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    Re: Head out the window

    Quote Originally Posted by peppy264 View Post
    I NEVER let my dog ride a motorcycle without a helmet. THAT would be dangerous.
    I think you missed the point

    Everybody's got a laughin' place; trouble is most folks won't take the time to go find it.

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    Re: Head out the window

    Actually it was a joke .....

    But if you followed every piece of cautionary advice you found on various threads on DF you would basically be taking your dog, wrapping him in cotton batten and keeping him in his crate 24/7, other than for feedings which would be carefully planned and supervised, with the plate just at the right level, and extensive safeguards to ensure the did not, gasp, gulp down his food.

    My point to Skelaki was not that she should force her dogs head out the window of the car when she drives, but that she should not imply other people are being irresponsible for asking why a suggested precaution is necessary. Its OK to question things and ask "Why?". Then, armed with a little knowledge, most people can make their own decisions on whether or not the risk is worth the reward, ie
    I think if he had his own top 10 list of enjoyments , this would be his number 1 treat .

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