Need recs for car rides - seat/crate/otherwise - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-26-2017, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Need recs for car rides - seat/crate/otherwise

Iím looking for info on how our Hav should be riding when in the car now that heís going with us more often?

Our situation - we have two boys who ride in the backseat, but also have a third row. The third row can also go down and thereís a large area in the back.


*** Deanna from WV ***
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-26-2017, 04:39 PM
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My preference is for a crate in the car, properly strapped down. This is pretty much always the safest option.

My first choice if you want to use the "way back" section for crates is Variocage, but they are expensive, and can't be easily taken out and put back. You CAN move them, but you won't want to. So that might not fit your life-style with kids. (Gunner now makes Havanese sized crates too, but they are as expensive as Variocage, and even heavier)

My second choice is Ruff Tough Kennels. These are also very rugged, and if strapped down properly can be a very safe option.

Third step down would be a soft sided carrier, strapped to the back seat.

Fourth a plastic crate strapped in the back seat, followed by a plastic crate in the way back. (strapped down)

Wire crates are better than nothing, but not a safe choice. Most Harnesses are useless. A couple are "crash tested", and will restrain the dog so it can't harm human passengers, but at the expense of spinal injuries.

Only JUST BARELY better than riding loose are the "booster seats" sold for dogs. And riding loose is always the worst choice of all.

Below are photos of my current double Variocage in my Subaru Forester. Even though Pixel and Panda are together in this photo, when I take all three dogs with me, Pixel now rides in a RTK secured by the seatbelt on the back seat. (the two girls caused too much of a ruckus barking at passer-bys when riding together! LOL! (they're safer separately, anyway!) The second photo is when I had only 2 dogs, and a car that didn't accommodate a Variocage. This is two RTK's ratchet strapped to the tie-downs in the back hatch of our Mini Cooper.

...And remember that the BEST thing you can do to keep both dogs and people safe is to drive defensively and avoid accidents. After hauling horses around behind me in a tin can on wheels for most of my life, I am KEENLY aware that the only thing that really kept THEm safe was safe driving.
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File Type: jpg 2016 09 04 Dogs (2 of 35).jpg (71.1 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg 2016 04 19 Crates in car (2 of 2).jpg (69.0 KB, 12 views)
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Last edited by krandall; 11-26-2017 at 04:45 PM.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-26-2017, 07:10 PM
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For now I'm using the sleepypod, which passed the Center for Pet Safety crash test. I strap it in the backseat. I also like that I can bring it inside with me and he has a familiar safe and contained space when needed. Like when I'm at the dentist or on T'giving while we ate dinner. But I'm pretty certain it's going to be too small when he's grown. I will probably consider the small Gunner kennel then although at 28 pounds I'm not going to be dragging that around much. Or a RuffTuff one.

Gunner now makes Havanese sized crates too, but they are as expensive as Variocage, and even heavier)

The small Gunner is $350, not cheap but i thought the varios were around $800 or $900. Are the small ones less expensive?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-26-2017, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Iím ok with investing in something good that will last awhile. BUT with two boys in sports, Cubmaster of a Cub Scout pack, hiking, biking, and constantly hauling extra kids and putting third row up and down, itís not feasible for me to have a permanent or semi permanent fixture in my vehicle.

Whatever I get will need to be something that I can put in by myself, for use for that car ride only, and then take out.


*** Deanna from WV ***
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-27-2017, 10:28 AM
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I have been using the Sleepypod Air since he was a puppy. He goes right in and is perfectly happy. I like the duffle....I can occasionally take him in somewhere I shouldnít. I never leave him in the car alone. Saturday, driving home from my sisterís, I took him in the reststop which doesnít allow animals with me. I just put the duffle bag over my shoulder. BTW, he weighs a little over 13 lbs.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by rorythehavanese View Post
Rory has a Kurgo bucket-type seat. There's a hook that attaches to his harness and is connected to the seatbelt so he's secure in the seat. He usually just falls asleep or stares out the window.
There are several problems with "booster seats". First, the hardware that clips the dog to the seat is usually the part that fails. Second, the dog is directly in the path of broken, flying glass in an accident, and third, when the clip fails, the dog can now be thrown out of the car through the open window.

People like the idea of booster seats, but dogs adjust very well to riding in a crate, or on the seat in a harness. When I was still having Kodi ride in a (safety tested) harness on the seat, I just gave him a plush donut bed to curl up in. He was fine with it. He didn't need to "see out the window". But watching test videos of harnesses, plus the death of a friend's dog in a safety tested car harness due to spinal injuries made me decide that I no longer felt safe with Kodi in a harness. I made that decision before the girls came along, so it was never even an issue for them. Yes, Kodi grumped about being in the crate to start with, but he adjusted, just fine.


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Henry&Kate View Post
For now I'm using the sleepypod, which passed the Center for Pet Safety crash test. I strap it in the backseat. I also like that I can bring it inside with me and he has a familiar safe and contained space when needed. Like when I'm at the dentist or on T'giving while we ate dinner. But I'm pretty certain it's going to be too small when he's grown. I will probably consider the small Gunner kennel then although at 28 pounds I'm not going to be dragging that around much. Or a RuffTuff one.

Gunner now makes Havanese sized crates too, but they are as expensive as Variocage, and even heavier)

The small Gunner is $350, not cheap but i thought the varios were around $800 or $900. Are the small ones less expensive?
My Variocage was about $900, but it's a double. Not sure of the price for a single. But I suspect it's more than the Gunner, if they are $350, though shipping is going to cost quite a bit too... The Variocage ships flat. (meaning you DO have to put it together, which is ALSO an "adventure"! LOL!)

RTK's are definitely less expensive than Gunner. Not sure what I'd do if I were buying crates now. When I got both my RTK's AND the Variocage, Gunner still hadn't started making the small dog crates.(and too-big crates are almost as unsafe as riding loose) I do have one friend (she comes on here sometimes... Nancy Speed) who bought a Gunner as soon as they started making the small ones. I know she really likes it.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by wvasweetness View Post
Iím ok with investing in something good that will last awhile. BUT with two boys in sports, Cubmaster of a Cub Scout pack, hiking, biking, and constantly hauling extra kids and putting third row up and down, itís not feasible for me to have a permanent or semi permanent fixture in my vehicle.

Whatever I get will need to be something that I can put in by myself, for use for that car ride only, and then take out.


*** Deanna from WV ***
Then I'd go with the RTK's. They aren't that heavy, and either can be secured in the cargo area with ratchet straps or on the seat. This is what most of us use to secure RTK's on a seat: https://smile.amazon.com/Kurgo-Carri...+for+dog+crate

You put the straps on the crate, then run the seatbelt through the straps.

Pixel's RTK is on my back seat, and gets taken in and out of the car (Forester) several times a week. It's easy, and not heavy. I'll take a photo of it on the seat later for you. I do put a folded-up blanket under it to level it out, since the seat doesn't allow it to sit flat. I'm not SURE the dogs care, but it LOOKS more comfortable when it's flat! We also use the RTK's when the dogs come on vacation with us with the travel trailer. The RTK's get stacked in the back seat of our pick-up, and secured with the straps mentioned above.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 01:14 PM
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There are several problems with "booster seats". First, the hardware that clips the dog to the seat is usually the part that fails. Second, the dog is directly in the path of broken, flying glass in an accident, and third, when the clip fails, the dog can now be thrown out of the car through the open window.

People like the idea of booster seats, but dogs adjust very well to riding in a crate, or on the seat in a harness. When I was still having Kodi ride in a (safety tested) harness on the seat, I just gave him a plush donut bed to curl up in. He was fine with it. He didn't need to "see out the window". But watching test videos of harnesses, plus the death of a friend's dog in a safety tested car harness due to spinal injuries made me decide that I no longer felt safe with Kodi in a harness. I made that decision before the girls came along, so it was never even an issue for them. Yes, Kodi grumped about being in the crate to start with, but he adjusted, just fine.
Oh gosh I had no idea! His seat is in the back not the front, but I'll definitely be looking into a new car riding solution...thanks for letting me know!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 03:04 PM
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but dogs adjust very well to riding in a crate
I think I was the one who had the adjustment. I was used to having my golden retriever riding in the back seat kind of like another person back there. Putting Henry in his pod in the back seat just doesn't feel the same. Not as companionable. Can't quite explain why. But I'm getting over it. I'm being the grown up.
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