Across the country with my son and four dogs? Not diving out when the hatch was open was essential.
Walking towards the parking lot, I always stop and check. Too many times the parking lot has been the place of a charge, unruly dogs or near miss. People in general do not have control over their dogs; mix that with a parking lot and you've got a dangerous situation. Guardians who allow their dog to dive out of a car unattended while they finish up whatever it is they are doing is a big mistake. Don't do it. One of these dogs charged my very old girl Tilley, knocking her to the ground. Boy did I let that owner have it; she was at the receiving end of a grizzly bear guardian. I hope that my words, posturing and demeanor moved her enough to change her ways.
Owners who do not have control over their dog; allow them to jump out of their vehicle as soon as the door or hatch opens. Not okay. Teaching your dog to wait before exiting a vehicle is one of the most important things that you can teach then. It is also important for everyone involved in your dogs life to do the same. (consistency is a big problem) Each time someone else in the family allows the dogs to dive out of the vehicle without any rules, they undo all your hard work (not mentioning any names).
Another parking lot incident that we had was just a couple of weeks ago that I wrote about. A woman who had her head stuck in her car while her very tall German Shepherd wandered around free. Once he spotted us he picked up his pace heading our way. The owner finally saw him and followed him along nonchalantly. Not okay.
Dogs running around parking lots unleashed are a danger to drivers, other dog owners and themselves. It is just plain stupid.
First, leash your dog/s as soon as you open the door/hatch.
Have them sit before they are told that they are allowed to get out; sitting makes things more official.
Use the term wait and mean it.
The only way that they get out is with their release word.
If they do happen to get out before you say, get them back in and start over. Do not allow them to enjoy a walk after breaking the rules.
Proof your dog, use lots of words, arms swinging etc to be sure that they understand the only word that means they can get out.
Practice, practice, practice, practice.
When you do drive into a parking lot, look around. Scan the surroundings before letting your dog out. I've been able to stop a problem from happening just by looking before leaping. There are often unleashed dogs running around the parking lot at popular parks; leave your dogs in until that said dog is leashed. I do not care how well trained your dog is, leash them for their own safety.
You will never regret taking the time to teach your dog to wait until invited out. I remember crossing the country with Jessie, Tilley, Luke and Elsa. We had to make an emergency stop on the side of the highway and I was never so glad that they knew not to dive out of the car. There are a few things that I am very serious about as far as training; boundaries is a biggy and that means your vehicle.