Dogs in pickup trucks
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Thread: Dogs in pickup trucks

  1. #1
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Dogs in pickup trucks

    I just sold my Escape hybrid - without a doubt the nicest vehicle I will ever own. Thursday, I'm taking delivery of a Ranger 4x4 pickup. I've given up extraordinary gas mileage, and a real backseat, in favor of enhanced towing and hauling capacity and 4wd.

    It has the extended cab, which allows two small and tolerant passengers to ride in the back as long they don't care about comfort. My dogs are neither small nor tolerant so, weather permitting, I expect they will ride in the open bed. I'll have a roll-up tonneau cover and don't expect I'll be installing a cap.

    My wife still has the dogmobile -a 1997 Honda Odessey with 260,000 miles, which she refuses to part with because it's ideal for hauling dogs. She hauls them all over the place. But they need to be able to ride in my truck.

    So I'm looking for options. I want them to be safe but I also want them to enjoy the ride. I'm sure many of you will have some ideas, possibly including some I haven't thought of. I'd prefer not to make any modifications to the truck that will limit it's utility for it's non-dog responsibilities.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member CoverTune's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    Why don't you want a cap for it? Not only would that be good for the dogs, but it will protect any cargo you transport. My folks have an F150 and the cap never comes off.


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    Senior Member nekomi's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    I know you said you probably won't be installing a cap, but I find a truck cap to be the perfect solution for hauling dogs, not to mention pretty much doubling the usable space in your truck bed for hauling lumber and other big purchases. My F150 with 5.5' bed does a great job of hauling up to 6 of my dogs at a time (to races, vet, etc.). I have a truck cap and simply installed short cable tethers in the back that hook up to a dogs' collar or harness. You can get the tethers with clips on both ends, and clip one end to the eyebolt attachment in your truck bed(I don't know if yours has them, but mine does), and the other end to collar or harness. You could use this system with or without a cap, but with a cap it is much safer. Personally, I would never transport dogs in an open truck bed, tethered or otherwise.

    An alternative would be to build a removable dogbox, but that's much more expensive and involves more modifications to your truck.

    There are also companies out there that make large dog-hauling crates for pickup beds. The ones I've seen are quite nice.
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    Cross-tie tethers attached to harnesses (still with a risk of stuff flying into their eyes), or crates. I think they have commercial cross-tie products (ETA: I know I've seen them but quick Googling didn't come up with anything), but I always just attached a leash to each side of the truck and snapped both leashes to the dog's harness.
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    Super Moderator cshellenberger's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    Plastic (airline style) crates that you can remove, you can use tie downs to keep them in place.
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    Senior Member Nargle's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    I think it's a terrible idea to keep dogs in an open truck bed, period. Get a cap for your truck.


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    Senior Member Rowdy's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    2+ on the crates tied down in the back.

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    Senior Member tirluc's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    at one point i was going to get a truck and had my son design an idea for removable panels to be put in....the frame was PVC and made in panels that would have "posts" that would go into the holes on the sides of the bed and have a strong, small holed mesh covering it.....the gate panel would be latched to the side panels w/ gate latches, 2 to each side.....it was high enuff that the dogs couldn't go over the top......and they had access thru the window in the back (i had to have a sliding window)......just an idea....

    but then i went w/ a van, instead
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  10. #9
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    Quote Originally Posted by CoverTune View Post
    My folks have an F150 and the cap never comes off.
    Therein lies the problem. For much of the work this truck needs to do, a cap would get in the way.

    I think it's a terrible idea to keep dogs in an open truck bed, period. Get a cap for your truck.
    It would be useful to know the specific objections. I can probably be talked out of it, but I need some reasons.

    The crates are certainly workable and both dogs are crate-trained.

  11. #10
    Senior Member lisaj1354's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    It would be useful to know the specific objections. I can probably be talked out of it, but I need some reasons.
    Dogs jumping out, dogs falling out, stuff flying up and getting in your dogs eyes.

    Frankly, its just not safe for your dogs. Period.

  12. #11
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    Quote Originally Posted by lisaj1354 View Post
    Dogs jumping out, dogs falling out, stuff flying up and getting in your dogs eyes.

    Frankly, its just not safe for your dogs. Period.
    Everybody keeps saying "period." That's not helpful. I'm not planning to just turn them loose in the truck bed. You might recall, Molly's the one that jumped out a van window at 45 mph. That's why I'm looking for options. So far, a pair of secured crates sounds most workable.

    With regard to the risk to the dogs eyes, am I the only only whose dogs ride around with their heads out the windows? Seriously, I'd like to know. I'm not talking about gravel roads or construction zones, but around town.

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    Senior Member wvasko's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    Secured crates gets my vote.
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    We use the wire crate at the front of the bed by the window with a tie down strap.
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    Senior Member Labmom4's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    I dont let my dogs stick their heads out the windows because stuff can fly up and get in their eyes. Do you ever ride motorcycles? The tiniest little thing can really hurt when it whacks you in the face, or gawd forbid, the eye, at that speed. And the wind can dry out their eyes and cause them to be really irritated or even get infected. It's a big no-no in the rule book for my guide pups. I'd get in some serious poop if I got caught doing that.
    I vote for the tied-down crates. I think thats a good, safe option and one I've used myself in my own truck.
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  16. #15
    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    I see dog crates made to fit in truck beds for sale semi-regularly on craigslist. If you've got serious hunters in your area, either they might sell their old crates or there maybe a local supplier. I'm not talking about the plastic airline crates but the metal "dog boxes" like this one as an example. Extra strong, extra secure and can do double duty as secured storage for tools etc when the dogs are not travelling with you.

    But if you can't get a deal on one, then I would use the airline crates and secure them well (preferably bolted in rather than strapped in)

  17. #16
    Senior Member ThoseWordsAtBest's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    Secured crates is a good one, and I also frequently see construction type pick ups with extensions on the bed of the truck, like side walls that aren't terribly high so I would think that would serve well and not get in the way like a cap would.

  18. #17
    Senior Member lisak_87's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    I remember reading a thread on here a few months ago about a guy whose dog fell out of the back of the truck while he was driving and was killed. 'Course, I know you'd never let your dog run free. Just saying. That's probably one of the reasons people react so harshly to it...cus it's scary.

    I'm for the tied down crate idea
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    Senior Member BoxMeIn21's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    I vote for the crate idea, too.

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  20. #19
    Senior Member Indigo's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    Most people I know with pickups and dogs use caps, but since you can't use one I'm also in favor of a secured crate.
    I've seen harnesses and ties for dogs in the back but I'd worry about something flying along and hurting them. I have bikers in my family and they can tell you all about flying debris. There's still stuff flying around in the city.

    As for head out the window... I wouldn't let my own dog do it without a pair of these, and being harnessed to the seat. I've heard stories of people making sharp turns and the dog tips out the window. >.>

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  21. #20
    Senior Member marsha=whitie's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs in pickup trucks

    Since one of your dogs has jumped out of a van window before, I'm going to put my vote in on some type of crate, whether it be plastic, wire, or one of the aluminum dog boxes that Shell posted.

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