Dogs in Cars

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I just went past a car in a parking lot - fairly parked near the door of the grocery store. There were 3 medium/ large dogs in it. It was a regular sedan. They were all in the front seat - they barked when I went by. I thought I wanted to go back and take a photo because they looked funny. They were, I forgot the breed name, dogs that have faces and colours like short haired collies - one might have been a small Doberman. Pointy faces and brownish and black and white markings.

I was about to take a photo of the three of them looking right at me through the windshield like they were on a Sunday drive - like I should superimpose round metal rimmed glasses and bow ties on the photo (I didn't end up taking). Then, I heard a guy behind me talking to someone, saying that the owner has been gone for 20 minutes and if they aren't back in 5 he's calling the cops. He was saying that it's cruel. The man in the car beside me and I pointed out that 3 of 4 windows were open about 6 or 7 inches. Enough to stick their noses out but not enough to escape or get stuck.

Do you think that's cruel? Is that against the law or was he overreacting?
 
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It's about 18 degrees and they weren't in the direct sun. I didn't look inside to see if there was a water dish in there.

I was turned the other direction, having a coffee about 30 ft away way as I typed this. Decided it's none of my business and the guy complaining is on it. They're gone now. I didn't see them leave.
 
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Lastpointe

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I don’t think it’s cruel or against the law. When it is hot, dogs and kids are in danger in a car. But otherwise they enjoy it

some of our dogs have loved the car for rides. Errands....... others less so

our Current dog loves our pick up truck as she can ride in the front seat and watch out the window. It’s cute. And if she sees a dog in the sidewalk she is very curious about them. Turns right around to watch it
 
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18 degrees in the shade isn't hot. It's warm in the sun - I'm wearing a light sweater, there's a breeze. It's mild out. Room temperature. It's not a heat wave. 20 min doesn't seem inordinately long with windows open.

They looked healthy and well looked after, to me.
 
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I'm not a dog owner. The man who was about to call the cops said he was. This is the law. Good to know. They weren't panting and didn't seem distressed. They got a bit excited and barked when people went by - which seems normal for dogs - but when I looked right at them and said "Hi guys!" they stopped barking. They were calm and attentive.

 

BetteTheRed

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I don't leave Lucy in a closed-up car, and I wouldn't even take her if it was really hot. And she doesn't even like the car. However, she does like a few different places to walk (trails, water availability, etc.), and if I'm out with her, need something in a store that's going to take under 10 minutes, I lock the car, crack both back windows 2-3" and tell her to "mind the car", which means, if someone approaches the vehicle with intent to enter, she'll bark. Or if you put your hand inside the car via the window, I'm not sure I'd recommend. Otherwise, she just stands there staring at the place she last saw me until I return.
 
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I don't leave Lucy in a closed-up car, and I wouldn't even take her if it was really hot. And she doesn't even like the car. However, she does like a few different places to walk (trails, water availability, etc.), and if I'm out with her, need something in a store that's going to take under 10 minutes, I lock the car, crack both back windows 2-3" and tell her to "mind the car", which means, if someone approaches the vehicle with intent to enter, she'll bark. Or if you put your hand inside the car via the window, I'm not sure I'd recommend. Otherwise, she just stands there staring at the place she last saw me until I return.
Do you think this dog owner was cruel? Enough to call the cops?

I see dogs in parked cars often, outside the grocery store, mall, liquor store or Canadian Tire - usually with their face pointing at or sticking out of an open window. I've never seen one I thought warranted calling the cops, but I'll pay closer attention now.

I have noticed, more often, dogs tied up to bike racks or lamp posts - which seems worse to me, especially when it's hot, cold, or rainy. I've stopped to "talk" to them if they seem friendly. I don't typically hang around for the owner. Often they come out while I'm there. There have been dogs I felt sorry for, especially if they're whining, but I figure their owners will be out soon and the dog will be okay. It's the owners of breeds that have a tendency to be aggressive, with owners who treat them badly to make them "meaner" - stories of dogs chained up and unhealthy looking - that's easy to determine animal cruelty. Taking your dog out shopping isn't as clear cut.
 
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BetteTheRed

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I thought I was trying to say that "normal judgment is required".

I cannot tie my dog up to a tie-up outside of a store. She is too likely to bite someone. I didn't teach her to bite, and she certainly never bites me.

But put your hand inside a locked, ventilated vehicle in under 20 degree weather. Not so good an idea; the dog might be wearing her yellow ribbon and you don't see it.
 

ChemGal

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Depends on the dog, length of time, temperature, etc.
Sounds like in that case the dogs were fine.

As a kid, I used to be left in the car with the radio on while my Dad would grab a few things. Typically I was given the choice.
 
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Depends on the dog, length of time, temperature, etc.
Sounds like in that case the dogs were fine.

As a kid, I used to be left in the car with the radio on while my Dad would grab a few things. Typically I was given the choice.
I did too. All the time. With our dog. We'd usually stop somewhere and let her run. That'd be why she was in the car, not at home. It doesn't normally get super hot or super cold here, but we have our days. And I think most people use common sense and are not intentional dog abusers.
 
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I thought I was trying to say that "normal judgment is required".

I cannot tie my dog up to a tie-up outside of a store. She is too likely to bite someone. I didn't teach her to bite, and she certainly never bites me.

But put your hand inside a locked, ventilated vehicle in under 20 degree weather. Not so good an idea; the dog might be wearing her yellow ribbon and you don't see it.
I would never put my hand inside someone else's vehicle (unless I'm riding with the driver) dogs or no dogs.

I was just wondering if anyone thought the guy overreacted a bit.
 

Mrs.Anteater

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Sounds like it is not a good idea. Also, remember, dogs can’t sweat like humans and would not be very efficient in cooling themselves in a car.
 

BetteTheRed

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It's not a good idea on a warm day. It can be over-reaction other days. It's a bit like religious rules; sometimes both the transgressors and the condemners have a point. It's also a bit of an environmental overreaction, on a reasonable day, not too hot, no sun, to drive out to get something, go home, then drive somewhere close to the original spot for a special dog walk.

If I need "dog biscuits" or two things, and I can look at the parking lot of a grocery store to tell how long this will take, and it means Lucy can go to a "different place", like the college or around the church, or along the rail trail for a walk, I'll combine the two errands. Otherwise, she gets a "local" walk.
 

Mrs.Anteater

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When I came back from shopping this week, someone had parked beside me with the passenger side completely down and dog sticking out of it. Having been bitten a couple of times and now having vicious neighbour dogs, I wanted to avoid going directly past him, so I went to my car door by going around the car. He turned out a nice dog, not doing anything, but who would know?
 

revjohn

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18 degrees is hotter than I like sunshine or not.

Was there a breeze because circulation will matter, if there isn't enough then the car becomes a greenhouse even in the shade.

20 minutes can be a long-time if the passenger compartment becomes over-heated.

The behaviour of the dogs would be the biggest indicator of distress. Is the dog panting, dogs regulate internal temperature through their tongues if they are panting it may be a sign of the animal overheating it could also be anxiety. If they are panting and lethargic that would be a concern. Panting and saying "hello" or "get lost" to everyone passing the car not so much a concern.

Approaching the dogs will get them to respond. If they are friendly they will bounce and tail-wag. They might also bark in a happy way. If they are nervous or frightened they might take a more aggressive stance. As long as they can show some kind of activity they are likely okay. Dogs that have no energy to respond are either extremely chill or in distress. There the panting will give it away.
 
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18 degrees is hotter than I like sunshine or not.

Was there a breeze because circulation will matter, if there isn't enough then the car becomes a greenhouse even in the shade.

20 minutes can be a long-time if the passenger compartment becomes over-heated.

The behaviour of the dogs would be the biggest indicator of distress. Is the dog panting, dogs regulate internal temperature through their tongues if they are panting it may be a sign of the animal overheating it could also be anxiety. If they are panting and lethargic that would be a concern. Panting and saying "hello" or "get lost" to everyone passing the car not so much a concern.

Approaching the dogs will get them to respond. If they are friendly they will bounce and tail-wag. They might also bark in a happy way. If they are nervous or frightened they might take a more aggressive stance. As long as they can show some kind of activity they are likely okay. Dogs that have no energy to respond are either extremely chill or in distress. There the panting will give it away.
Hi! No. They weren't panting and seemed to behaving normally for dogs. Just getting a bit happy-excited when people walked right beside the car. They seemed okay. In any case, the owner came back to the car and they left within minutes - I didn't see them drive away but they were gone when I turned around and scooted past the parking spot a few minutes later.

Now I know, though, to pay more attention to dogs in cars. I see them fairly often - not sure how often but it's so common as to not register in my brain - and just assume they're okay if the windows have been left open a bit. If it was really hot and the windows were closed I would've been concerned, but that wasn't the case. It was mild out. No warmer than inside a ventilated house. There was a slight breeze.
 
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I was stopped answering a text, on my shiny scooter, in the parking lot behind the corner store - which is on an old block with apartments above a few shops. Someone was coming home or leaving one of the apartment back entrances and I heard them call their dog, quite commandingly. I turned my head and there was a pit bull headed for me, sort of running down the alley and stopping - focused on me - and it started barking! It was obviously bothered by me for some reason. My landlords have cats upstairs, maybe I had been petting one outside - or the neighbour's small dogs that she walks by here everyday - or it could just smell them, something anyway, it didn't like. So I froze like a statue. Looked straight ahead. Didn't move or make eye contact with the dog. The owner called it a couple more times and it went back over to her. She apologized. But sheesh! I have nightmares about that kind of scenario with a pit bull! I don't like those dogs! When you read about someone randomly getting their face chewed off - it's always a pit bull!
 
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BetteTheRed

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Pitties are actually often the gentlest of dogs. If you were to ask me which was the most dangerous dog in my neighbourhood, I'd have to say my own dog. And if you saw her, you'd think "cute dog, running over to greet me", when it's really more like "running over to eat me"... Pitties are also very people-focussed, which tends to give their owners fairly good recall. Hounds are more prey-focussed.
 
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Pitties are actually often the gentlest of dogs. If you were to ask me which was the most dangerous dog in my neighbourhood, I'd have to say my own dog. And if you saw her, you'd think "cute dog, running over to greet me", when it's really more like "running over to eat me"... Pitties are also very people-focussed, which tends to give their owners fairly good recall. Hounds are more prey-focussed.
(I knew you, specifically, were going to say that! About pits and about your dog! 6th sense. )Then why do we more often hear of a dog who attacked and harmed someone, getting put down - and it's a pit bull? I don't think it's an irrational fear. They shouldn't be city/ neighbourhood pets. They belong in rural areas.


I hope you keep Lucy on a leash (and a muzzle) around people if she's that dangerous!
 
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