Dogs in a Topper

Is there anybody else out there who finds themselves hunting with more than just a couple dogs? My dad and I each have a couple of retreivers, and do pretty much all of our hunting together. In the past I had always folded up the seats in the back of my Chevy and let the dogs use the entire backseat area on the weather tech matts. As you can imagine, that made for a pretty messy/smelly truck, and also limited my ability to take more than 1 person along hunting in my vehicle. I recently got a topper for my truck, and was wondering if there would be any concerns with getting or building something like the "decked" drawer system in the box, and just letting the dogs (up to 4-5 at times) ride in the back underneath the topper and on top of the drawer system? This would allow me to keep my guns and everything in the drawer system, and leave my backseat free for other gear, or other hunters when needed. In a perfect world, I wouldn't have to worry about that many dogs, and could simply use kennels for my 2, however that's not usually the case, and I don't see anyway to fit 4 kennels in the back (although would love to here if it's been done, and if so, how?).

Side note - do you guys get worried about the heat and your dogs when riding in the bed of a pickup under a topper? For the majority of hunting season its probably not an issue, however there are plenty of fall days in iowa with temps in the 70's and I could definitely see it getting awfully warm back there.
 

3goldens

Member
Checkout canine cargo carriers at www.getmypoint llc.com, gives you three holes to put dogs in and if push the unit to the back of bed,, you can get another plastic crate to fit side ways at the gate. I have the three hole and love it. I also have a homemade slide in that I slide in an put the carrier on top.
Letting them run loose can be dangerous in an accident.
 

Chestle

Active member
Look at Post #29 on page 2. That shows my solution.


Always have vented side and front windows in the cappers and use them when it warms up. When parked/hunting and leaving a dog in the kennel, rear window open too.

I won't be for everyone for various reasons but it has worked really well for both of us for literally decades.

Your Mileage May Vary disclaimer of course!
 

jackrabbit

Active member
In the Minnesota forum there is a discussion, "New Vehicle" that has some posts about dogs and toppers. Here is a copy of my post in it.


I was on the fence for a topper for years simply because I didn't like the look. Have had one for about 4 years now and it's the best purchase I've made - both hunting wise but even when using the truck for family trips. When we load up as a family, we can stuff so much stuff back there under the topper without having to worry about wind, rain, snow, bungee cords, ratchet straps, etc. And then hunting wise, I can keep all my gear, dog, etc. in there and not really have to worry about theft or spending time organizing the gear and packing up each time I head out. It's all right there.

I can't tell you much about specific brands and what the differences are. I've had 2 different (but nearly identical) ARE toppers and they've treated me well.

It can get hot under the topper, air flow is a must unless it's below freezing. I have an indoor/outdoor digital thermometer in my topper. It is always about 20-40 degrees warmer in the topper than the air temp on a sunny day that's 50-80 degrees outside. Cloudy days maybe 10 degrees warmer. 30-50 degree sunny days, maybe 10 degrees warmer. Below freezing, maybe 5-10 degrees warmer on sunny days. Airflow is crucial in keeping those temps down. A front slider window and sliding side windows are a must. I would also recommend the side windows be "windoors" to open up for easy access.

Carpet interior - certainly nice to have, any material between the topper and the outside elements will help with the temp difference, plus it looks nice. I would recommend, but it's not a must have if trying to save cost.

Lights - Most will come with a standard light option, can easily add some LED rope lights or something on your own too.

Dog Kennel - I would always recommend to crate them... think if you slam on the breaks, your dog is going to become a 40-90lb (depending on breed) flying torpedo in the back of that bed with up to 5'7" of distance to increase speed and slam into. To me, a dog kennel is the equivalent of putting my kids in a car seat. I get why people love their 4 legged companion riding shotgun, but what happens when a car pulls out in front of me and I go from 60 to 0 real quick and my dog flies through the front windshield? I'd rather have them secure in their kennel in the bed of the truck, where there are only moving a few inches inside that.
 

matto

Member
Checkout canine cargo carriers at www.getmypoint llc.com, gives you three holes to put dogs in and if push the unit to the back of bed,, you can get another plastic crate to fit side ways at the gate. I have the three hole and love it. I also have a homemade slide in that I slide in an put the carrier on top.
Letting them run loose can be dangerous in an accident.
Those Honeycomb dog boxes are pretty cool. I've been looking for a better way to get three kennels in a Suburban and I wonder if that would fit. The website doesn't have dimensions. The picture suggests that the width might be ok, but I'm wondering about the height.
 

3goldens

Member
Matto give the guy a call he was great to deal with. He works full time and has started this business on the side. At least when I got mine it was kind of a one man show.
 

Glock

New member
Keeping them inside a crate is a must. Purchase a sensorpush to monitor the temp and humidity inside the topper. Use battery powered fans such as ryobi to move air. Picture is not my truck but shows a nice way to crate 4 dogs and have a drawer system
 

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Smasher

New member
Sorry to hijack, but what would be the reason for having so many dogs on a hunting trip? The guys I know roll with one dog all season long. Again, I'm a noob and just curios.
 

V-John

Member
Kennels keep them safe(r) in an accident. That being said, I have a couple loose in my truck too.

I will say this. A close friend of mine lost his favorite dog in a dog box in a topper due to heat. They were driving to Montana to hunt and the windows in the topper had rattled closed and the dog died. So, just be very cognizant of the conditions inside that topper.
 

3goldens

Member
This is my three dog in a 6.5 Chevy bed with an aluminum capper that is cab height. Hope this helps
 

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david0311

Active member
Sorry to hijack, but what would be the reason for having so many dogs on a hunting trip? The guys I know roll with one dog all season long. Again, I'm a noob and just curios.
Depends on situation—I’ll be taking 5 out this year! 12 year old- 7 years 4years -3 years and one that will be 10months
But I’m out for 5 or 6 weeks guiding 4 or 5 days sometimes more a week
12 year old will be hunted lightly on specific cover-10 month old will be hunted as training and progression dictates
 

jackrabbit

Active member
I will say this. A close friend of mine lost his favorite dog in a dog box in a topper due to heat. They were driving to Montana to hunt and the windows in the topper had rattled closed and the dog died. So, just be very cognizant of the conditions inside that topper.
I highly recommend an indoor/outdoor wireless digital thermometer with a topper. $10 or so. I have the outdoor one velcroed to the carpet in the topper, and the indoor one sitting on my center console so I always know the temperature back there. Without airflow, it can heat up. There are some things you can do to help - front window and side window vents for airflow. Park in shade whenever possible. Before you ever leave for a trip, park in the shade so it is cool before you leave rather than already hot. Put frozen milk jugs of water in the kennels. Have water accessible 24/7. Wire in a 12V fan.
 
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