Long hair blowing in the breeze, the rush of air in the face. Not a care in the world! What could feel better, right? That’s probably what your dog is thinking when she sticks her head out the car window.
Why do dogs seem to love to stick their heads out of car windows? Well, they probably like to do it for the same reasons that kids do. It feels good. Grown-ups are used to riding in cars, but for dogs everything is new and fun. Unless a dog is prone to carsickness, most dogs love going for car rides. What’s not to love? They get to go someplace with their favorite person (you). It’s exciting. Who knows where they may end up? So, for a dog, getting to stick her head out the window is the icing on the cake.
When your dog puts her head out the window she can probably enjoy it in ways we can’t imagine. With her superior sense of smell she may be able to take in a million scents a minute at high speed. It must be intoxicating for her! She can enjoy the sounds and other sensations in the same way. Plus, the feel of the wind on her face is probably just as pleasant for her as it is for us.
In short, your dog likes to put her head out the car window when you go somewhere because it’s fun!
If you drive around with your dog sticking her head out the window there is a danger that she could scramble out of the car and onto the road. Be sure while she’s young or earning your trust through training you are careful to only allow her to put her nose out of a small opening. If you have the window down for her to stick her head out it may be possible for her to squeeze the rest of her body through the opening, too. Dogs can become very excited by things they see when you’re driving and you wouldn’t be able to prevent your dog from climbing out before you could stop her if she hasn’t been trained to control her impulses.
As a matter of safety while your dog is in training or is younger than a year old it’s a good idea to crate her when you’re driving or, at least have her wear a safety harness in your vehicle. This will prevent her from wandering loose in the car and from being tossed around the vehicle if you should have an accident. Yes, it will also prevent her from sticking her head out the window, but it will be safer. Once she’s learned to earn your trust, what a better reward for good behavior in the car than to have a nice open-air sniff?