Me versus My Dog

So it is time for me to replace my current sedan.

Since my back can have bad days, I’d like to switch to an SUV where the seats are higher and the position is more upright. But twice a day I take my 60lb dog to the park and he has trouble jumping “too high”. He can get into my sedan, but the higher back seat (or trunk) of an SUV would be an obstacle. For the last week I’ve tried training him to use a ramp, so he could access a SUVs seats, but this has failed so far.

My interest is in Subaru, since I’ve owned them in the past.

Best for ME would be a Forester (high, upright seating). Best for MY DOG would be an Impreza Hatchback (low seating). We have differing needs!

A Crosstrek “might” be the solution, or it could be a bigger problem. What if both the Crosstreks seat height was too high for my dog, and too reclining position to be a help to my back?


Instead of a ramp, would your dog use steps?
I feel you pain, have been in a similar situation.

Actually, I started with a flat ramp … no luck. Now I’ve been trying to get him to use some wooden steps I bought from Amazon. He is a nervous dog by nature! Maybe he just needs more time, or maybe he’ll never be able to use them? Lifting him into a car would be even worse for my back.

I have had dogs that would refuse to use either, and others that self taught themselves, same with the doggy door for the backyard. Fortunately the dog I have now only weighs 14 pounds.
I wish you luck with finding an appropriate vehicle and with getting your dog in and out.
Sorry I can’t provide any good answers.

Are you sure the Forester would be a problem? It’s tall, but not all that high. You could move the passenger seat forward so they’re only getting into the footwell in the back seat.

That is part of my dilemna. Would a particular vehicle be a problem for my dog’s entry? It seems to be a factor of how high the rear seat cushions are, and how far back into the vehicle they start. The only way to know for sure is to have him try. Not sure the salesman wants me to have my dog jump into the backseat of a car that he needs to sell … nails on the fabric/leather etc.

Rent one for a weekend.

you can put on dog socks for testing the vehicle.

Nice idea … but I can’t find a local rental car company that has Crosstreks.

Dog Traction Socks | Orvis

You could try a Carmax, they might have no problem with you checking out their cars with your dog, good way to see a wide variety.

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Another good idea … but here goes Mr.Negative (me) again. I’ve tried these rubberized booties before because my dog can slip on our hardwood floors. He certainly doesn’t walk “normally” when wearing these things … he is very conscious that he is wearing them. This would mean to me that they would have a big impact on his jump.

what about taking a blanket with you and put it in the car your testing to protect it.

Carmax, Blanket … again, great thoughts.

Probably best just to present my concerns to the Subaru salesperson, and let me see what they offer.

Else, I just try to proceed with an Impreza Hatchback … kinda knew that I would place my dog’s wishes above my own. For sure it wouldn’t be an issue for my dog and I don’t need to carry around a ramp.

Not creating a new problem that I don’t have now … simply not addressing a problem that I currently have. Does that make sense?

The Honda Fit is another option, the rear seat bottom can be stored vertically, making a big area for a dog.

I’m looking for new and the Honda Fit isn’t being sold anymore. BUT you are wise, as the Honda HR-V (which has the same “magic seats”) might be the answer.

I forgot about the HR-V, that could be ideal for your needs.

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Most dealers have a rental department.

I found a nice place in rural Iowa for my dog.

The neighbor has several large dogs and he has a pick up with a topper. He uses a ramp (Fleet Farm or NH I believe) for the dogs to climb up in the back under the topper.

sorry to disappoint you, but make sure to sit in Impreza seats for a LOOONG time, making sure your back will “like it”.

I sold my 2007 Impreza to the reason of awful seats there affecting my back

just recently we were shopping for the car for my wife, I was inside new-generation Impreza… and I was disappointed again… it improved, but only a little bit… I’ve seen the same trouble brewing