Any - Dog in Car - oldroverboy.

We were approached by a smiling Policewoman the other week in Dover docks (just by outbound passport control) who informed us that "It is an offence to have any unattached animal in a car."

SWMBO was sitting in the back seat with Blodwen on a lead.

It was sid with a smile and we were waved on.

Hastily bought 2 dog seat belt attachments...

Edited by oldroverboy. on 06/08/2017 at 08:03

Any - Dog in Car - badbusdriver

I wasn't aware that it was actually now an offence to have a dog loose in the car, though it is certainly sensible. The thought of that teeth and bones (even with a small dog) flying about the inside of a car if it ends up rolling in a crash, doesn't bear thinking about!. I'm all in favour of having a proper cage secured in the boot with the dog in it. Or, at the very least, a proper dog guard (not one of those cheap rubbish ones with the extending legs). One of the few situations where one of those ridiculously huge double cab pick ups make any sense to me as a family car, is if you had a large dog, or dogs. That way they are completely out of the way if the worst happens.

Any - Dog in Car - argybargy

Our old feller(dog) passed away in February, unfortunately. For years he was the worst canine passenger imaginable, and particularly when he was young he would leap about all over the car during a journey, barking constantly and jumping from the front seat to the back, unless there was someone else in the car who could hang onto him. Whether he was that way through stress or anticipation of arrival at some wonderful dog-orientated venue we never really worked out.

When the legislation about keeping animals under control in a car made its way into the news my missus reacted with doom laden predictions (as she always does) expressing dire warnings about what might happen to us if we didn't keep him under control. Firing squads at dawn, confiscation of all our property and years of public excoriation on social media, the whole gamut. So we bought harnesses, doggy seatbelts, the lot. Never used them, because by that time his advancing age meant that he was happy to spend any car journey lying on his bed in the front passenger footwell.

Edited by argybargy on 06/08/2017 at 10:51

Any - Dog in Car - Andrew-T

This just adds to my irritation at the ceaseless increase in risk aversion, to the point where almost any conceivable accident has to be allowed for. It is possible for something nasty to happen at almost any moment, but if we spent our waking hours trying to prevent it, life wouldn't be worth living and we would have no time or energy left to enjoy it. It's always worth reminding people what might happen, but tying their hands to stop them cutting themselves may be counter-productive.

Any - Dog in Car - bolt

One of the things that annoys me is seeing dogs hanging out the window and on accasions children trying to push their head through the same gap

but anything loose in the car can cause serious injury on emergency braking so I think they were right in saying that, regardless of what people say, am surprised more drivers are not told though as it happens a lot,dogs loose in cars and vans, even see many a loose dog in lorry cabs

Any - Dog in Car - craig-pd130

No-one on this forum would hesitate for a nanosecond to criticise drivers using a handheld mobile phone while driving, because of the distraction. And rightly so.

Yet the same logic doesn't seem to apply to allowing an excitable animal loose and unsecured in the car's interior. I find that interesting.

Any - Dog in Car - IRC

The danger from handheld phones is the distraction, the person on the other end of the call (unlike a passenger) doesn't automatically stop talking when the driver needs to deal with a hazard on the road. Completely different from carrying a well behaved dog in the back seat.

That is no more distracting for the driver than carrying a child in the back seat in fact probably less. Our unrestrained dog either sits looking out the back window resting it's head on the seat back or sleeps on the back seat. No hazard at all.

As for an unrestrained dog in a car being illegal - show me the legislation please. The Highway Code Rule 58 states

"Rule 57 - When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars."

Note no law quoted and no use of a phrase like "you must" which is normally used when their is a relevant law.

I make a point of driving more carefully than usual when the dog is in the car. I may be safer than someone who relies on a harness as there are no crash standards.

Badly behaved dogs that jump around the car - fair enough - cage or harness.

Edited by IRC on 06/08/2017 at 22:37

Any - Dog in Car - A Driver since 1988, HGV 2006

The legislation is

Anything that distracts you from concentrating on the road, and is a contributary factor in causing you to lose control or take your eye of the road, is classed as


The down side is that unlike the phone the onus is on them to prove it was distracting. The same applies to anything that is not specifiaclly covered by law.

Any - Dog in Car - bazza

Well said Andrew, I'm glad I am not the only one who thinks the same.

Any - Dog in Car - Squirrel tail

I often think that "Health & Safety" has a lot to answer for. Not only are the "idiots" surviving, they are now breeding!

Any - Dog in Car - A Driver since 1988, HGV 2006

I have to admit I don't have a dog, and it is also true that accidents happen so much so you don't even have to be in the car, you could for example be getting in the car and some mad person could cause you injury.


What I don't understand is why people need legislation to turn their brains on for them, it would seem common sense to me to make sure a dog or anyting for that matter cannot obstruct or in any way hinder the driver from the safe operation of the vehicle, and since a dog is a living feeling thing like children, you have to use whatever means to make sure they behave themselves while the veh is moving.

When I have my kids in the car I don't talk to them or in any way try and keep them entertained, like the dog they should sit quietly and allow me to concentrate on the driving part.

In short if ALL people kept their dogs under control there would be no need for it, but alas they don't so the gov have to do it for them, and think on this .. any item in the seating area is a weapon ( missile ) in the case of a rtc, and that includes your dog.

But I never understood dog owners, I read about how kids get mauled by dogs and the owner refuses to do anything about the dog, my opinion on this is they must love the dog more then their own kids, for me the courts would not need to put it down I would shoot the dam thing myself.

Edited by 30 yr's a Professional Driver on 19/08/2017 at 13:30

Any - Dog in Car - RichT54

I spotted a pickup in Southampton a few weeks ago with two border collie dogs loose in cargo area one of them had its front paws on the side of the truck, is that legal?

The driver certainly broke the law as he had been waiting at red traffic lights and once all the pedestrians had crossed, he moved off while the lights were still on red, just before traffic started emerging from the side road ahead.

Any - Dog in Car - badbusdriver

Just to clarify, when i mentioned dogs in the back of double cab pick ups earlier, i meant with a secure hardtop canopy. I wouldn't condone dogs being loose in an open pickup!.

Any - Dog in Car - tourantass
It should be illegal for a mother in law and daughter to talk none stop on any car journey, I would settle for a yapping dog any day.
Any - Dog in Car - badbusdriver


Any - Dog in Car - Terry W

I personally would not have any dogs in the car - prone to dropping hairs, smelly, with the potential for an unpleasant accident.

But I support the right of people who want to. However they should be restrained - it is utterly stupid to allow a potentially erratic dog to provide a distraction.

On a wider scale owners should be held responsible for the behaviour of their animals without exception. So craqqing in the park should be dealt with as if you had defecated and failed to clear up the mess. If doggie bites postie then the ower should take responsibility. Etc etc.

Any - Dog in Car - Fishermans Bend

The most stupid are the owners who allow their, invariably Westie, to sit on their knees while driving, sometimes with dog's paws on bottom of open window ledge!

Any - Dog in Car - oldroverboy.

I know that "not knowing" is not a defence, but now we know, so....

but we thought lead..rear footwell... swmbo holdind lead... but no harm done and very grateful for kind word of advice and smile...

As for picking up afterwards ALWAYS! large supply of poo bags always to hand...

Any - Dog in Car - A Driver since 1988, HGV 2006

Try loads of doughnuts, even that reverts a mother in law to a mummble. lol

Any - Dog in Car - expat

Just to clarify, when i mentioned dogs in the back of double cab pick ups earlier, i meant with a secure hardtop canopy. I wouldn't condone dogs being loose in an open pickup!.

Here in Australia you see dogs in the back of utes all the time especially in the country. As long as they are restrained I see no harm in it. The dogs love putting their head over the side and having the wind in their face.

Corrigin hosted 1527 dogs in utes:

Any - Dog in Car - Manatee

I don't see a material problem with dogs loose in the back of a pick up. Better that than loose in the car/cab.

If one was to be thrown out/fell out/have its protruding head knocked off by a passing lorry it would be very unlikely to injure a bystander.

There's no shortage of dogs, and if the owner isn't worried about it why should anyone else be?

Any - Dog in Car - Happy Blue!

My estate has a dog net incorporated into the tonneau cover reel assembly,. So anything in the boot cannot come through into the passenger area.

However our dog rarely does anything but sleep when in the car, in the boot area of course.

Any - Dog in Car - gordonbennet

Sheepdogs have ridden in the UK in the back of open pick ups, and previously carts pulled behind horses for ever, and long may that continue, well until they build the final gloomy indentikit housing estate amusingly called The Meadows on the very last patch of green in the land.

We couldn't do that with ours cos two spaniels and one viszla equals canine lunacy and if they saw a cat they'd all pile out whatever speed your were doing, they are however loose in the estate section of the car behind the secured dog guard.

Any - Dog in Car - RobJP

Our border collie travels in the boot of the estate, and we have a steel plastic-coated dog guard which attaches to the fixings for the folding rear seats, and that is permanently in place.

To those that don't see an un-tethered dog as a problem just bear in mind that in the event of an accident, the dog acts identically to an unrestrained passenger or any other object, and gets launched at the headrests of the people in front of it. The recommendation in the Highway Code was introduced after a fatal accident where a husband and wife were killed in an otherwise completely survivable situation.

Much like with rear seat passengers. My philosophy is my car, my rules. You wear a seatbelt, because I don't want to die in an accident because you couldn't be bothered.

Edited by RobJP on 07/08/2017 at 13:08

Any - Dog in Car - ExA35Owner

An unrestrained dog could be contrued as an unsafe load. I can't imagine this being prosecuted under normal circumstances but if a flying dog caused injury in an accident, or if a misbehaving dog contributed to a loss-of-control or inattention collision, then it might be.

Any - Dog in Car - IRC

Over the years I've seen the odd idiot with a dog in their lap etc but by far the majority of times I've seen obvious bad driving like lane drift, erratic speed etc it's been the driver on the phone. Dogs are in comparison a complete non issue.

Any - Dog in Car - Manatee

The worst ones are the dogs on the phone.

Any - Dog in Car - oldroverboy.

The worst ones are the dogs on the phone.


Any - Dog in Car - concrete

Quite a sensible piece of advice to have your dog or any other animal restrained in the car. Anyone remember the advert years ago which stated


It showed a dog loose in a car which suddenly braked hard, the dog was hurled forward and crushed the driver against the steering wheel. Makes sense when you think about it.

Our Pooch is a large dog and weighs about 30 Kgs. I think if he was in flight at 30mph he would cause havoc when colliding with a person. I fully take the point about not being over cautious and pedantic about possible eventuality, but surely a simple and easily foreseeable risk like that is easy to negate with proper safety procedure and some equipment. Ours travels behind the rear seats with a metal safety barrier between him and the passengers. Common sense really. But even in saloon cars dog 'seat belts' are readilly available. Cheers Concrete

Any - Dog in Car - A Driver since 1988, HGV 2006

Can I just ask is the dog making the call, or receiving it.

Any - Dog in Car - oldroverboy.

Can I just ask is the dog making the call, or receiving it.

Both, in both cars, they're barking mad!


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