Skip to comments.Why Do Dogs Love Car Rides
Posted on 10/07/2012 6:11:02 PM PDT by SamAdams76
Dogs love car rides because they feel as if they are on a hunt. For example, cats never love car rides, or at best merely learn to endure them because when riding in a car cats dont feel as if they are on a hunt. Why when in a moving car, can a dog feel as if its on a hunt whereas a cat doesnt? Because dogs evolved to hunt by feel whereas cats hunt by instinct.
This will make more sense once one understands what hunting for an animal feels like. In our mind hunting means stalking, chasing and killing prey in order to obtain food, but in the animal mind a hunt is a state of emotional suspension whereby the predator when highly aroused, projects its self (i.e. its emotional center-of-gravity) into its preyand ifthe prey acts like prey, then whatever the prey does the predator mirrors by feel the equal and opposite movement in order to counterbalance it. This in fact is how a predator knows how to catch its prey. (Best visual example of this is watching a cheetah take down a gazelle on a nature show wherein the cat by virtue of being in drive has projected an emotional calculus onto its movements so that at some point in time its own trajectory intersects with the gazelle at a common point in time and space.) And in such a state an animal feels weightless. Feeling weightless is what hunting feels like.
Cars are perfect vehicles for arousing an emotional state of suspension because the feeling of weightlessness can be induced by the phenomenon of physical synchronization. (This allows wolves to pool their collective energies onto a midpoint so that as a group they can take on prey animals in a coordinated manner that they cannot physically overpower even when in numbers.) Because a dog projects its self into the forms of things toward which it is strongly attracted or bonded with (for example people in a car), and because everyone in the car is 1) facing the same direction, 2) swaying in unison to the dips and bends in the road, 3) accelerating and de-accelerating perfectly in sync with the momentum and change of direction of the car, the dog is induced by all this synchronized physical movement into a state of emotional suspension and therefore the dog feels as if it is part of a group that is on the hunt. The more the car moves and the faster stimuli whiz by the more the physical energy is channeled into the feeling of suspension. The question now becomes how much sensory input, i.e. energy, can this feeling of weightlessness sustain and here we can see different temperaments of dogs begin to precipitate out so that they respond in various things.
For some dogs the feeling can grow so strong that when their emotional or carrying capacity is exceeded, they strike at things going past. This is when the prey instinct, an automatic, hardwired reflex, takes over in order to make the kill. (We need to remember that its only in our mind that a dog on a sidewalk is motionless relative to the dog in the moving car. For the dog in the car, the dog on the sidewalk is moving 30, 40 or 50 mph and thats a pretty fast prey animal.) Some dogs have a higher carrying capacity and can retain a feeling of arousal for the potential moment in the future when they will be let out of the car so as to express the internalized energy in a concrete way, such as running around, rolling on the ground, playing Frisbee or going for a hike with their owner.
Cats on the other hand (as well as all other animals) have a far more limited emotional capacity than dogs and so the phenomenon of induction by virtue of physical synchronization is not as likely to get going. For example, a lower emotional capacity is why when cats have their bellies rubbed and they start to get excited, they quickly hit an overload circuit breaker and then the reflex to claw and pounce comes up and, since the owners hand as prey-isnt-acting-like-prey, they have to run away. Whereas dogs of course can have their bellies rubbed all day and simply wallow in higher and higher states of ecstasy, i.e. weightlessness.
I had a beautiful Chocolate Lab with a dark coat and green eyes who loved to “console surf” with his front paws on the console between the seats, rear paws on the rear seat and his head out the sunroof. He had a speed limit though, keep it below forty. His lips started flapping and making a sound, with slobber streaming in the wind. That he didn't like. He'd look down at me with those incredible eyes like I was nuts, nudge me with his cold nose to slow down, and if I didn't he'd heave a big harrumph and flop down in the back seat, still looking at me like I was nuts, lol. God, I miss him. He died five years ago October 13. He always knew when I was going up to my folks’ place at the foot of a mountain out in the country, where he had the run of the place. He'd start to whine a couple of miles out, then when we turned onto the long gravel drive he'd break into a howl.
My current dog is a rescue, a Walker Hound. She was dumped from a car and hated them for months after I took her in. I’ve had her over two years now and she's learned to love it, she knows I'm not leaving her I guess. She's been to the Outer Banks, up to the Blue Ridge, all over and thrills to it. She actually leaps up toward her harness trying to stick her head into it whenever it comes out. She's a quiet rider, much more active and curious when we stop.
They're all just happy to be with you wherever you are. That's what it boils down to.
Don’t try it with a cat because they see your head as the most stable platform in the airplane, and under those conditions they find human flesh the best surface to get a good grip on.
Most cat owners have survived the experience of having a loose cat in a car, and don’t ever want to duplicate it, but a pilot might not get a second chance.
That was hard to see, but Thank You, RingerSIX. I am afraid to ask if the dog survived.
Under ***NO*** circumstances, no matter WHAT the emergency, would I EVER let an Eskie drive. Especially any of mine, but no one else’s either. Talk about “the ride of your life”, “wild ride”...
Going for a walk with these dogs is enough to make you think twice.
Dogs are really special! They are mans best friend!
More trusting and loving than some humans are.
What great posts, pics, memories and advice...how I miss having a dog. Last one was my sheltie, Skye. Mr. C4E is allergic to dogs and cats. So unfortunately we are a dog free home, and the lesser for it.
My Tuxedo Cat named Max (1991-2006) was a fantastic hunter.
He weighed about 9 lbs. but he used to bring Jack Rabbits home and would make a meal out of them.
He would chase them down, trip them up with a swipe at the hind legs, then clamp down on the back of their neck, paralyzing the poor little rabbits.
He would then bring them home, loudly announcing his accomplishment.
How he got them over the 4’ back fence is still a mystery, as the Jack Rabbits weighed more than he did.
99.999% of the remainder of the time, he was the sweetest, most affectionate cat ever. He would sit on my lap/chest and lick my nose and vocally demand that I pet him, rub his ears, his chin and yes, even his tummy.
After Max passed away, I rescued a female Tuxedo Cat (Tabitha) that looks and acts almost exactly like Max did, but I keep her indoors as cleaning up the bloody messes Max would leave behind factored into the “indoor/outdoor” decision, and no more freaked out “lady friends” screaming early in the AM when Max would drop off a “present” in my bed - usually a bloody, wounded mouse that Max would bat around in the air and chase all over the bed and even under the covers. or the occasional, partly decapitated Jack Rabbit.
Pets are great entertainment and very affectionate.
They are also very, very smart. They can also be very brutal to those below them on the food chain.
As a side note, my dog loves 140 mph trips down the highway. Really not as happy on exit ramps. lol
“Need to take him through the drive-thru (fast food) IMMEDIATLY after, and buy him a burger or something, ( I gave my dog a sausage and egg burrito off the dollar menu, and let him eat it in the car ) after he got shots and blood drawn, and we have no problems with the vet, because I associated good things, (human food) and the vet.”
I lived a block from my vet. I’d walk my puppy to the office weekly and feed him bits of rare steak while he was fawned over by the staff and also give him biscuits. That worked up until he was neutered. My vet told me not to come back, then apologized after he realized the dog was scared to death, not naturally vicious. German Shepherds are pretty smart.
As for Jack Russells...there’s a reason they have the nickname of Jack Russell Terrors. I might babysit one for a week-end, but I’d never own one. My sister has had two. One really has to be a JRT person, and I’m not. They’re way too high maintenance for me. I’ll stick with German Shepherds. If my dog gets bored, I just say, “Go patrol.” I don’t have to worry about saving his life because he’s gotten stuck in a rat hole if he’s gone more than 5 minutes.
Back in 2008, that's how I pictured Obama's win.
"OK, now you've caught the car . . . now what?"
0 thinks he's a whole lot bigger than he is, too, but we're sadly paying the price for that narcissism.
I think of it as more like the through the monolith scene in 2001...
We have a fat, sickly chihuahua we adopted. He must have went on a lot of car rides before coming to stay with us, because he insists on taking them. My other dogs want to go running around the neighborhood, but he will sit by the car/pickup and wait to go for a ride. Take him for a ride every once in awhile, and he is tickled for a few weeks, then back to sitting by the car/pickup.
Back when I lived in Hollywood I used to bring my roommate's cat along when I would go to pick her up.
It would usually straddle my shoulders behind my neck and watch other drivers.
Even in jaded Hollywood people will stare at a cat in a car...
There is a simple explanation. To quote the Japanese Sage from the old TV commercial:
"Dogs rike TRUCKS!"