We have yet to meet a dog that doesn’t just love sticking its head out of its owners’ car windows (airplanes are another story entirely). Though they DO exist — some dogs get nauseous or do better in crates — for the most part dogs and cars are practically synonymous. In fact, we highly recommend you do yourself a favor and check out the hashtag #dogsincarwindows on Instagram. We promise you won’t regret it!.
But… why? Why do our furry pals love blowing back their jowls in the breeze so very much?
Turns out, there’s actually more than one reason.
According to Mother Nature Network, which researched several independent studies, one such reason is the amount of scent information it can help them perceive.
“I’m not sure they’re getting a high, per se,” vet Melissa Bain at University of California, Davis, told Car and Driver magazine, “But they’re getting a lot of input at a higher speed.”
They’re also getting to experience what dog trainer Kevin Behan describes as pack mentality, particularly with regard to hunting. “We need to remember that it’s only in our mind that a dog on the sidewalk is motionless relative to the dog in the moving car. For the dog in the car, the dog on the sidewalk is 30, 40 or 50 mph and that’s a pretty fast moving prey animal.”
Then there are the behavioral aspects. Not only is a car trip a reward for the dog, who is able to pick up on the fact that they’re probably going somewhere good (paws crossed for the dog park!) but they get to spend time with their favorite human: YOU.
“If you give dogs a choice to be with a person or be with other dogs, they prefer to be with people,” Dr. Brian Hare told Car and Driver.
Good enough for us — we love being with them, too!
Which dog car-loving theory makes the most sense to you? Share over @BritandCo!
(h/t Hello Giggles, photos via Sandra Mu/Getty and Getty)