Charles McCowan reported the theft when his vehicle vanished from outside a mini-mart in Azusa, California, after he left his 80lb Boxer Max in the passenger seat while entering the shop.
When officers arrived they found the truck in a fast-food car park over the road.
CCTV footage later showed the pickup rolling backwards across the street, threading its way precariously through traffic.
Police said Max had knocked the vehicle out of gear and sent it careering across the road.
Both the dog and the truck came out of the incident unscathed.
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