USCA Sidecar Forum


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Advise needed on getting a large dog to ride in a sidecar

we have a large 9 yr. old standard poodle. Trying to get her used to the sidecar. She's smart! Sometimes too smart!
Do most of you leave the seat in or remove it? She seems to feel shaky and unsure of herself with it in, even covered up. Any suggestions or advice appreciated! Thanks

I remove the seat in the Liberty and lay pieces of foam on the floor then put a doggy blanket on that making a bed the length of the sidecar. The seat in the Spalding doesn't lift right out so Petey sits on the seat in that one. If your pup wants to be with you constantly and rides in your other vehicles she should take right to the sidecar and in a short while will be her favorite way to go.

Thank you, that's a great idea. I think the foam covered with her blanket will give her both stability and comfort. Taking the seat out of the Hannigan is a little challenging because it attaches to the frame floor. I will try your suggestion and let you know how it works. Thanks again!

Specially on bigger dogs I prefer to have a harnish with a short leash mounted under the chest, so he cannot get out of the tub. (DO NOT USE COMERCIAL ZAMAK HOOKS, but prefer first class carabiner or other safe hooks - The hook rings must be welded, if not they might bend open and your dog still can fly out.)
The smaller dogs are smarter surfers, but still can get thrown out of the sidecar in a bend or emergency sway.

Our Negra (Labrador) invented to be the "guide" for the blind Golden Retriever well for her in 2 ways...more miles and smiles...and applause.
Anyway who will be grunty to someone with cancer in her 14th year. 😉

You're welcome. Petey is my third sidecar sidekick over the years and the second one who absolutely loves to ride in the sidecar. The Liberty has a little wall that gives the seat cushion the proper angle for comfort and perhaps adds some strength to the sidecar body. So I used the foam out of an old crib mattress to have the proper thickness for the bed to reach the full length. And the little wall was a good place to put an eye bolt to hook one end of the leash to when I use a harness as Sven suggests. Once I know a pup is mellow enough to stay in the sidecar, and that it's his safe, secure place. I rarely use the leash and harness. Archie rode with me for nearly 10 years unrestrained. Henry never did ride unrestrained. And early on, I thought Petey never would. He does. I wouldn't advise anyone to let their dog ride without restraint but when you know your dog totally, it's a decision you make and happens over a period of time. I went from the chest harness to just hooking it to his collar to let him make short rides without the leash to the way we ride now. He doesn't get out unless I tell him it's OK. I know others would say, "What if he sees another dog? What if he sees a rabbit or squirrel?" I know what he does, and he's seen other dogs and critters that he'd normally give chase. He stays put in the sidecar. Only when another dog get's too close to the sidecar does he protest vocally. But he doesn't get out.

Thank you for the advise! Can you tell me where I can get the harnesses with the bottom mounted connection?

I got the normal heavy duty textile chest harnesses from the local pet shop and spot welded the opening of the back ring. Then a double loop through the ring at the chest of the dog was all I did (sula plexus). For to make it nicer you can stitch it with some surplus textile strap. But as our dogs change their size frequently (parasites vs overfeed times) the sling through is more practical for me.
(Most of our dogs came from shelters with diseases and we had quite a list passing over our farm.)
As floor matt I am considering neoprene as future option, because there is no mattress foam that survives certain pupps and blind big boy.

Took our dog for her 1st ride in the SC today. My wife provided support in the car. Actually 1st ride for both. Went well for both. Our dog looked like she wasn't totally sold but I think in time she will really enjoy it! Keep you posted!

One step at a time you get far.
In my families case. the dogs go nuts and the ladies are not much amused.
Such is life.

In my case it was my wife wanting to quit the bike after riding with me on two wheels many years, many bikes and many miles that lead to the sidecars. When she wanted to quit, I bought a used Ural to see if she'd like the sidecar. I did not expect to like riding on three wheels thinking at the time the only people who rode on three wheels were those that for what ever reason couldn't handle two. I was wrong. It was a whole new thrill. But Barb still wanted to quit. She was no longer willing to accept the risk. But Archie loved the Ural so for a couple years I rode it so he could come along while the Harley mostly sat. After a couple years, I realized there's no going back so I sold the Ural, my Kwik Kamp trailer and an old parts tractor and ordered the Liberty. That was some years back now. Lots of adventures ago with my pups while Barb happily holds down the fort at home.