We Like: The Roadie Harness By RuffRider

I love our Roadie harness!  Every time our dog Saffron rides in the car with us, she’s in her Roadie and buckled in in the back seat. If you’re taking your dog in your car, you’ll both be much safer if your dog is secured by a strong car harness and seat belt.  Find out why you should always buckle up your dog. If you have a dog who is nervous about riding in the car, a harness can make them feel more secure because they’re not constantly trying to keep their balance.  RuffRider used to have different models of harnesses, but have trimmed down to one, which I think is just fine because that one model is awesome and WAY better than all the other car harnesses I’ve seen.
The Roadie isn’t just a regular harness.  It was designed specifically to keep a dog comfortable riding in a car and safe in the event of an accident.  It was independently tested and can withstand over 6,000 lbs. of force.  (The Society of American Engineers standard for human seat belts is 5,000 lbs. of force.)  Unlike a lot of car harnesses, the Roadie doesn’t have any buckles or clips that could fail in an accident.  That does mean there is a certain way to put the harness on, but once you understand how, you’ll have no problems.  You can check out their instructions.  It’s easy to secure your dog in the car by threading the seat belt through the loop on the back of the harness.  Or you can use a carabiner to clip the harness in.  
It’s important that if you use a carabiner, get one used for rock climbing with a strength rating of at least 23 kN.  We use a Black Diamond Dynotron which is rated 25kN.  Don’t use some crappy carabiner you get at Wal-Mart—it isn’t strong enough.
(Note: I have no connections to RuffRider, I just really like thier product!)

Reasons to Buckle-Up Your Dog


  1. Protect your dog.  You wear a seat belt, your kids wear a seat belt, your pets should be belted in with a harness.
  2. Protect yourself.  If not restrained, your dog will become a projectile in an accident and cause great injury to the human occupants—at 30 mph, a 60-pound dog can cause an impact of 2,500 pounds.
  3. Protect emergency aid workers.  A terrified or injured animal is unpredictable and could keep paramedics from helping or might even injure them.  Police might choose to shoot your dog if they fear for their safety.
  4. Keep your dog from running away after an accident.  An unrestrained dog could run off in fear or run into traffic and get hurt.
  5. Prevent distraction of the driver, blocking of the driver’s view, or interference with operation of the vehicle.
  6. Prevent your dog from being ejected from the car or jumping out the window.
  7. Prevent your dog from jumping out when you stop and open the car door.
  8. Prevent car sickness and stress.  Your dog will feel more secure and won’t have to keep bracing himself for the movement of the car.
  9. Prevent your dog from sticking its head out the window where it could be injured.
  10. Prevent damage to the interior of your car from an uncontrolled dog.

Crash Tests For Dogs

Hey, it’s getting close to the time when lots of us will be vacationing and more and more people are bringing their dogs along.  If you travel with your dog, do it safely!  So I’ve updated this post.  Also, a recent post at Bark points out that crates placed in the back of a wagon or SUV type car aren’t very safe because that’s where a crumple zone is located.  Seems like the safest option is buckling your dog in a seat in your car with an appropriate harness.  (I’ll be showing you our favorite soon!)

Here are some impressive visuals illustrating why your dog should be restrained when in your car.  (No dogs were harmed in these crash tests.)  The tests used weighted dog dummies just like they do for crash tests for humans.

  • The first video shows what happens to an unrestrained dog.
  • The second shows what happens to a pet in a crate & a dog on a leash.
  • Third shows what happens to a pet in a crate oriented differently, how flimsy those car barriers are, and an unrestrained in the back window of a car.


News Bites: Climbing, Driving, Parole Hearing, Goat, Seals, Dog Park Violence, Bin Lady


  • Lucy the dog could have ended up just being another dog that died on the streets of Puerto Rico after being hit by a car, but she was lucky.  She was adopted by some wonderful people.  With their help, a wheelchair, and conditioning similar to the conditioning marathon runners practice, Lucy became the first disabled dog to climb Mt. Washington in New Hampshire.


Parole Hearing


  • First there was a male goat and a female dog, who are best friends, wandering loose around a wedding chapel, then there was the threat of  goat rustling charges, then add their friend Lucky, a tripod dog, and you’ve got one of the oddest rescue stories I’ve heard.


  • In Washington, a dog swims after seals, a boy paddles after the dog, the boy rescues the dog, the seals swim after the boy and dog.

Dog Park Violence

Bin Lady

Driver Hits Fester The Dog & Sues For Damages

judge.jpgA Minnesota driver struck and killed a Miniature Pinscher named Fester who had just escaped from his owner and ran into the busy road. The unusual part of the story is that the driver, Jeffery Ely, is suing the owner of the dog, Nikki Munthe, for the damage done to his car.

Ely himself owns a dog and says he feels compassion for Fester’s family, but thinks they should be held responsible for the accident. And on the surface, I agree with him. But, I also see pets as part of the family and it’s hard to imagine someone suing a family for damage to your car if you struck and killed their child through no fault of your own.