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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I'm not expecting to get any definitive resolution to this question here, I'm just asking for some opinions.

When I was looking in to adopting a couple of greyhounds over ten years ago, I did a bunch of reading on greyhound lover's sites. To them, putting dogs in the back of a pickup truck was a horrible offense. I found it kind of odd since 20 years earlier, nobody seemed to take offense at me and my cousins riding in the back of my uncle's Toyota pickup for long higway trips. At any rate, I'm not interested in having total strangers yell at me while I'm driving around so I haven't put the dogs back there without a topper like a Can-Back.

Now, the new Tundra has a pretty deep bed. I'm going to put a bedrug in there which looks mighty comfy. I'm probably going to buy a Softopper to put on my bed if I'm going to go on a long trip with the dogs but I'm kind of tempted to see of the dogs will do OK back there on short trips without a top.
 

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Nothing definitive, but a few thoughts:

I have never had problems with dogs trying to jump out and injure themselves. I look at it kind of like a leash. When they are trained enough to mind you, you can give them some freedom and see how they do.

Other than jumping out, one of the reasons people think it is cruel, is if you get in a wreck. If you feel so inclined they do make a type of belt to keep the dogs somewhat secure.

A black bedmat in the summer can get pretty hot for the dogs, throw a rug or something down.

If you have active dogs, be prepared for scratches all over the tops of the bedsides when they hang over the tops with their paws.
 

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It all depends on the dog. I've had dogs that I would not ever put in the bed of a truck, no matter how well they are trained. Some dogs just won't stay in, and will look for an excuse to jump out. I'm not willing to trust a dog to stay in in that case...
My first Rottie, would stay wherever, whenever I told him to. He loved being the truck, front or back. But, like I said, I could make him stay even when I wasn't anywhere around. His last truck ride in the back was to the vet to put him down. I felt it was the best thing I could do for him on his last day since he loved riding in the truck so much.
My last rottie, no way, under any circumstance would she be in the bed of a moving truck, just would never let that happen...same training, another great dog.
Depends on the dog...
 

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I don't know about other states but ..... California state law requires dogs to be restrained in the bed of a pickup so that they cannot jump out of the bed. Since dogs are "man's best friend", we want them to be safe at all times!:tu:
 

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I agree with Jasbus. It all depends on the dog. My Boxer, Bruno doesn't really like it. Sometimes I put him in the back when I'm going through the pastures, but he scratches at the back window to get it...not a good thing...but I don't think he'd jump out. I wouldn't put him back there on the hwy. I get uncomfortable seeing dogs in the back of the trucks on the interstate...but I understand that the dog prob won't jump out. I think that tying them in has pluses and minuses...plus: it keeps 'em in the truck. Minus: if they get their rear end out of the bed, they hang themselves.

If you're comfortable with your dog back therelay down a rug or towels and go for it. I would not, however, put a soft top over them while they are in the bed. Heat, exhaust fumes, general discomfort...no good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm going to be using a bedrug which should be comfortable for the dogs. I will probably use the Softopper with sides and/or back open for ventilation. I like how the side supports have a cage-like effect.

 

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I'm going to be using a bedrug which should be comfortable for the dogs. I will probably use the Softopper with sides and/or back open for ventilation. I like how the side supports have a cage-like effect.

Ahhh, cool, I misread..I was thinking you meant a soft tonneau cover. I think I will be getting on of these too...it'd be nice if they had one in drab olive...don't like the black for my soon-to-be slate metallic DC.
 

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I have two labs and they love the back of the truck. both will stay there all day even if i was not around. they don't like the backof the truck on the highway, i think the wind really bothers them. So i put them in kennels for the long distance trips, but they are free to roam in town.

each dog is different i guess, so put them back there if they will stay. if not put them in the seat next to you!:eek: just kiddin!!!!!
 

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I would use a good quality (read steel) dog crate (kennel) and fasten it to the rail system at the back of the bed. That should provide peace of mind for you and rover.

I got the DC just so my lab has somewhere safe to ride, luckily she just sleeps on the back seat as soon as we start moving. On long trips she has a harness that fastens to the seatbelt system to keep her and me safe in event of accident. Perish the thought.
 

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hello, on rare occasions my dog has rode in the bed but i restrain him so he cannot make it over the bed wall. years ago following a truck on a back road i saw what appeared to be a golden retreiver jump out of the bed at about 40-45 mph. happened in a second, as we went by the dog was still laying flat and twitching . i wondered if he had rode in the back many times without incident or if it was beginers bad luck. anyway i can't do a unrestrained dog in the bed now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great advice here. I'm definitely leaning towards never putting my dogs in the back without a topper or something like it. Dogs get into little fights sometime, or may get stung by a bee, see a rabbit, or may be startled by a clap of thunder and run for cover.

If there's one thing that is distracting as hell, it's worrying about what's going on in the bed of your truck. Just having to look back there all the time is dangerous in itself. My goal in tying things down back there is to never have to look back there or pull over to check my load.
 

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Dogs are considered private property via their owner. Any dog in the back of a pickup is a load that is not secured IMO and should be subject to a fine. Now for all the animal rights activist- you will get yelled at, flipped off, keyed and frowned on with your animals in the back unsecured. Personally I think people should be fined for having any unsecured load in the back of their pickup which includes dogs.

I would never put my Great Dane in the back unless I have the well ventilated Canopy on with her bedding secured. I however just put my Great Dane in the back seat as her probability of survival is greater if she's in the cab versus in the bed. To me if you don't care about the well being of your pets you probably should give them to someone who does. The only time my dog has been in the bed is when we are on a country dirt road and I am driving less than 20mph and I have 4 or more passengers and I need the seats and even then I make sure that I am the one sitting in the bed with her to ensure she does not do something stupid like JUMP OUT!

I witnessed a dog that jumped out of a moving pickup when another dog in another pickup drove by. The dog jumped out trying to get to the other dog and slammed into the pavement at 40mph and was seriously injured.

IMO - Secure your load and put your dog in a Kennel that is bolted to the bed otherwise buy a canopy or suck it up and put them in the cab. Also, dogs are very personable and love it when they feel like they are part of the pack. Putting them in the back is not healthy for their spirit when the rest of the family is in the cab. If I have to put my dog in the back with the canopy I always open up the rear window so she can pop her head and join in which is almost never because I don't like her back there because she's not secured. :)
 

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Oh, one other thing... A really close friend of the family had two beautiful hunting Labs that he spent large sums of money purchasing/training and he transported them in the back of his bed with a canopy. Well, one night he swerved to miss hitting an elk and rolled his truck 6 times and both his dogs died as they were ejected out of the back when the canopy flew off. He now has two new labs in which he transports in custom built padded aluminum kennels with quick disconnects.
 

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I used to haul my German Shepards in the back uncovered with no problems. About 10 years ago while driving along a back road at about 25 mph my wife suddenly screamed and yelled that one of the dogs had just jumped out. I hit the brakes and we got out and found him lying in the ditch yelping. Took him straight to the vet. He recovered and is 11 years old now. Right after that incident I bought a canopy for that truck and will never put a dog in the back of a truck without a canopy... ever. Up to that day I never would have believed that a dog would jump from a moving vehicle.

Jim
 

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I have a chain on the two front hooks in the bed of the truck and I tie the dog to it. I dont think she would jump out never leaves my side but I wont chance it. and if you do roll the truck or anything like that stuff happens everyday. even if the dogs were in the cab with you they dont wear seatbelts so they'll be tumbleing around in the cab with you and could maybe kill you just from the weight of them. I'm leaning towards the back of the box to be saffest for you.
 

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I have a chain on the two front hooks in the bed of the truck and I tie the dog to it. I dont think she would jump out never leaves my side but I wont chance it. and if you do roll the truck or anything like that stuff happens everyday. even if the dogs were in the cab with you they dont wear seatbelts so they'll be tumbleing around in the cab with you and could maybe kill you just from the weight of them. I'm leaning towards the back of the box to be saffest for you.
They make harnesses for dogs that allow you to clip them into the seat belt.
 

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With my current and previous dogs, I've always allowed them to ride in the open back of my pickups. They never complained! I realize that in an accident there is a real high possibility of injury to my animal, however we all take risks and thats one I have always taken. My current dog has freaked a couple people out though. Once he learned my usual route home, he got into the habit of jumping out of the truck at the stop light a couple of blocks from home and racing me home! People would flag me down to tell me, he'd jumped and I'd tell them I know and I gotta go or he'll beat me home.
 

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So the options are something like this, listed in order of freedom (descending) and safety (ascending):
  1. dogs in an OPEN bed NOT secured
  2. dogs in an OPEN bed secured
  3. dogs in a CLOSED bed NOT secured
  4. dogs in a CLOSED bed secured
  5. dogs in the cab NOT secured
  6. dogs in the cab secured
  7. dogs not in the truck at all
As many have mentioned above, the option each driver selects just depends on their attitude towards their dog(s). If you believe that dogs are nothing but property, expendable, no emotional attachment, then you probably go with options 1, 2, or 3 since they are the most convenient and easiest options.

If you like your dog as a family pet then you probably go with options 4 or 5 since they offer at least some protection without a lot of hassle and they are fun for the dog.

If you love your dog as another member of your family then options 6 or 7 are the best since they are the safest even if you have to sacrifice convenience and the dog has a bit less fun.

Now don't over-analyze this, it is obvious that trip factors play into the decision as well. We normally go with 6 or 7 on most trips but we just got back from a short run to the local store where we only used empty side roads and never broke 35, so we went with option 5 and the dog had a blast. :)
 

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I love the post Wilee.

I, personally, would never ever ride on public roads with either of my dogs in the bed. I used to drive my Annabelle back and forth from college in the cab with no restraints (300 miles.) Between air bags, luggage, and seats, I would think she would be safe enough to withstand 99.9% of the wrecks that occur on the road. If it were bad enough to throw her out, I am affraid my personal seatbelt would be rendered useless on myself also.

I have seen a dog ejected from a bed on a sharp turn in the city. The dog looked like it would live. The owner acted like it was due for a fall. Since then, it angers me to see anyone with their dog in the back. Not because they are an unsecure load and danger the roadways, but because I love my pets like family and would like to think the owners of said trucks should also do so.
 

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Though I have always employed option #1, I would not describe my affection for my dog as unemotional, nor do I view him merely as replaceable property. But when I got my first dog and first pickup some 30 years ago, I never really considered any other options but to load him in the bed, and have never seen the need to change. Though it is true that traveling in the truck is not a daily thing for him, and he has never been more than 15 or so miles away from home in the 10 years I've had him. Maybe if long distance highway traveling were a regular thing I might consider an alternative arrangement.
 
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