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    1. #1
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      Flying with a puppy under the seat

      As I posted in my other post, we’re about to be puppy parents again for the first time in almost 9 years.

      We were originally looking at breeders within driving distance but weren’t finding exactly what we were looking for and ended up selecting a breeder in Michigan.

      DH is flying to pick up the puppy. We were researching into the under the seat dimensions last night. The direct flight from Detroit to Tampa is a 757. The Sherpa website says only the small carrier is “guaranteed on board”. The only flight combination where the medium Sherpa is “guaranteed on board” had a layover at JFK. But then when I was looking an online reviews, several people bought the large Sherpa, which is only one inch taller than the medium and were able to fit it. If anyone has any experience or advice about flying with an 8 week old it would be greatly appreciated.

      I’m worried about the puppy not fitting! They turned 4 weeks old today and already look HUGE!


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    2. #2
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      I used a Large Sherpa to bring Brooks home in. He was about 14 pounds and fit just fine. It also fit under the seat with no issues, as it's soft sided and will crush down a bit.

      Not sure what airline you're flying, but I flew Southwest as they were the only airline I could get a non-stop from BWI to SEATAC both ways, and they were cheaper than anyone else too. IIRC it cost $75 to bring him on the plane.

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    4. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by barry581 View Post
      I used a Large Sherpa to bring Brooks home in. He was about 14 pounds and fit just fine. It also fit under the seat with no issues, as it's soft sided and will crush down a bit.

      Not sure what airline you're flying, but I flew Southwest as they were the only airline I could get a non-stop from BWI to SEATAC both ways, and they were cheaper than anyone else too. IIRC it cost $75 to bring him on the plane.
      Thanks Barry! You came to mind when I was typing my post. We’re waiting for the breeder to confirm the anticipated weight and height at 8 weeks. His parents are 70-75 lbs, bench style labs. We’ve been using Lily as our “model” for measurements. She’s only 8 inches tall at the withers but I think the pup is going to be a taller than that.

      How did Brooks on the flight? Did he have to stay laying down the whole time to be able to fit under the seat. Also, did they let you take him out at all.



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    5. #4
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      I just flew Presto home in August, Long Island, NY to Portland, OR.

      I flew Alaska (they are GREAT with pets!) and it was $100 to bring him in the cabin. I borrowed a friend's Sturdibag in a large, and it fit under the seat. I really like this bag, but I know people like the Sherpas as well. Presto was 13 lbs. Linus, at 8 weeks, was 17 lbs. I highly doubt your puppy will be more than 17 lbs unless they are really chunky. Linus is a big dog and was the biggest of the bunch. Both dogs had CH or GCH parents, not field Labs. It didn't seem like Presto would fit in the bag, but laying down he was fine.

      Here's my story and some suggestions, since it's all so fresh in my mind. I was super stressed about it, but it was way easier than I thought it would be. In fact, it was a really nice bonding experience for us and it was fun.


      • Bring collar with tags, lead, a harness with tags. When you go through security, the puppy comes out of the bag. The puppy may freak out about a harness, but it's likely the pup is used to collars.
      • Make sure breeder sends a health certificate with you.
      • Call the airline to make sure they know you have a puppy. There are only so many allowed on the flight at once. Then, call at least two more times to make sure they still know.
      • AviDog's Flying Home with Your Puppy (free) download was great! They co-raised Presto with their Golden litter at their house and sent me home with all the right stuff. Flying Home With Your Puppy - Avidog University Store
      • Send your bag to the breeder a week or two before you pick up the pup. Let the puppies play inside of it (supervised so they don't chew it up) both to get used to it and also to get their scent on it.
      • If at all possible, don't just grab the puppy and go. See if you can spend a day there getting the pup used to the crate. I flew in on a Monday, stayed with the puppies all day Tuesday and practiced crating and getting used to each other, then picked up my puppy on Wednesday. I went to dinner with my breeder and the co-raisers, and kinda relaxed, so that when it was time to fly and hang out at the airport, it was a pretty mellow experience (exhausting, but mellow!).
      • Before picking up my puppy, he was exercised, bathed, nails trimmed, etc. so he was pretty tired (thankfully).
      • Get to the airport with PLENTY of time, even though it means having to hang out with a puppy. We hung out in a quiet area in Newark where he could lay on the cool tile (it was August) and munch on a chewy. People stopped us every two seconds to take photos of him and crowded around us at the gate. I did find some really nice people who were very cool and would watch my stuff while I took Presto to potty. When you have a puppy, everyone is nice to you. Take advantage of it!
      • I brought some puppy packs that included pee pads and paper towels. The breeder gave me clean litter that the puppies used in their pens. When I was in the rest room, I'd use the handicapped stall or find a one room bathroom, put down the pad and a handful of litter. He knew exactly what to do and where because of the litter. Then, I'd roll up the pad and put it in the ziploc that held the clean supplies and toss it in the trash. The paper towels were just in case and some moist towelettes might come in handy, but they can be messy so wetting the paper towels is another option.
      • Bring half a Benedryl (with your vet and breeder's blessing) just in case.
      • Chewies are good, but don't get stinky ones! These are great. Amazon.com : 7-9 Beef Tendon Chews for Dogs (10 sticks) | Natural Beef Strap Odorless Tendon Treats | Cleans Teeth | Free-Range, Grass-Fed Premium Beef | Free of Artificial Ingredients, Colors, and Flavors : Pet Supplies
      • The Dry Fur pee pads were AMAZING because they are hard on the bottom and super absorbent. They won't bunch up in the bag. These fit perfectly in my Sturdibag. Amazon.com : DryFur Pet Carrier Insert Pads size Small 19.5 Blue - 2 pack : Pet Beds : Pet Supplies
      • SUPER IMPORTANT: Lab puppies get hot and when they are hot they are fussy! Being stuffed under the seat in a bag = hot and uncomfortable. So, bring a couple gallon zip lock bags, something as leak proof as possible, and once you are through security, stop at a restaurant and ask them to fill the bag with ice. Put the ice bag in the crate with the puppy. If it melts, you can dump and ask the flight attendants to refresh. Keep an eye on it so puppy doesn't chew it. You can also offer the puppy ice cubes to lick so they aren't filling their bladder, but still quenching their thirst.
      • My puppy slept the entire flight until about ten minutes before landing (then he started howling, but everyone thought it was cute, thank god). The ice melted by this point, and I knew it had, but I didn't want to wake him up to refresh it. The Dryfur bag saved the day and my puppy and the entire bag and the floor were dry. After a five hour flight. I mean, the pad sort of blew up, like disposable diapers will, but not dangerously so.
      • Because Presto slept the entire flight, I never took him out. They don't really want you to, but if your puppy is screaming, and taking him out keeps him quiet, they might be a little more lenient. No one cared that he was outside of his crate in the airports. I kept a pee pad under him at all times (he never had an accident).

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    7. #5
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      This is the bag we bought when we flew the griff from CA to CO. https://www.chewy.com/sherpa-origina...rier/dp/135078
      Frontier is pretty good with in cabin pets.
      Other than TSA where I had to take Oakley out and carry her through the metal detector, no one even blinked. When I had my boarding pass scanned to get on, no one said a word. I think I made a comment like, I hope it says I have my pet because I do... she barely looked at me. No one asked for the health certificate, no one asked what's in the bag. She was quiet the whole way. I don't even know if the flight attendants registered it in their mind that a puppy was on board. I did PAY for the ticket, because you need to do that.

      For as stressed as you'll feel leading up to it, it will end up being so easy and uneventful. We've flown puppies twice now.

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    9. #6
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      I was at BWI airport a week or so ago and there were overhead announcements about every 15 minutes that all dogs, aside from trained service dogs, including pets, ESAs, therapy dogs, etc. had to be in a carrier at all times. It did not sound like they meant just in the plane itself. Despite that, there was someone walking around with a middling sized doodle-looking dog on a leash, no obvious vest or identifying harness, not a seeing eye dog. I saw them several times so whatever the rules, it appeared no one was enforcing them. We were in the Southwest terminal, so I guess those are their requirements. We flew into and out of Ft Myers and I did not hear any similar announcements there. Just something to be aware of.

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    11. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by smartrock View Post
      I was at BWI airport a week or so ago and there were overhead announcements about every 15 minutes that all dogs, aside from trained service dogs, including pets, ESAs, therapy dogs, etc. had to be in a carrier at all times. It did not sound like they meant just in the plane itself. Despite that, there was someone walking around with a middling sized doodle-looking dog on a leash, no obvious vest or identifying harness, not a seeing eye dog. I saw them several times so whatever the rules, it appeared no one was enforcing them. We were in the Southwest terminal, so I guess those are their requirements. We flew into and out of Ft Myers and I did not hear any similar announcements there. Just something to be aware of.
      The "comfort dog" situation is sparking lots of lawsuits recently.

    12. #8
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      Flying with a puppy under the seat

      I know it’s not the same as flying, but here’s my travel story. My breeder is in West Virginia and I live near Boston. I was down in Florida at the time, so I flew into Philadelphia to visit a friend for the weekend, then rented a car and drove to the breeder’s house in West Virginia. The breeder was awesome and we found a small used crate at a small farmer’s market that fit in the back of the rental. I stayed overnight at the breeder’s house, learned a lot about the puppies, learned a lot from the breeder (she is a well-known service dog breeder and trainer), got as many tips as I could from her, and then drove home the next day. It was about a 10-hour drive, but Diggity was amazing in the crate and slept almost the entire way. I stopped every few hours to let him out to pee, but most of the time he didn’t have to go and we just got back in the car and kept driving. He got acclimated to car travel by the breeder because he was born in Wyoming (my breeder co-owns the mother with another service dog breeder and this was her litter), so she picked up the litter in Wyoming and drove them back to West Virgina. Anyway, to this day he is so good at car travel and falls right asleep when we start driving. As for our drive home, I was surprised at how long he could sleep and how little he had to potty. I didn’t give him much water, but still it was pleasantly easy.


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    14. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by arentspowell View Post
      Thanks Barry! You came to mind when I was typing my post. We’re waiting for the breeder to confirm the anticipated weight and height at 8 weeks. His parents are 70-75 lbs, bench style labs. We’ve been using Lily as our “model” for measurements. She’s only 8 inches tall at the withers but I think the pup is going to be a taller than that.

      How did Brooks on the flight? Did he have to stay laying down the whole time to be able to fit under the seat. Also, did they let you take him out at all.



      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      Brooks did pretty well on the flight, he was pretty quiet once the plane started moving. He did pee in there which didn't really surprise me, as it was a 5 hour flight, then add the get to the airport 2 hours early. They do have pet/service dog relief areas in the airport, but Brooks didn't seem interested in using the one at SEATAC, and I wasn't to keen on it either. I wasn't allowed to take him out of the carrier during the flight. When we landed and were waiting to deplane a lady behind us asked if there was a dog in the carrier, I said yes, and unzipped the top. Everybody went "AAAAWWWWW!" when Brooks little head popped out!

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    16. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Labradorks View Post
      I just flew Presto home in August, Long Island, NY to Portland, OR.

      I flew Alaska (they are GREAT with pets!) and it was $100 to bring him in the cabin. I borrowed a friend's Sturdibag in a large, and it fit under the seat. I really like this bag, but I know people like the Sherpas as well. Presto was 13 lbs. Linus, at 8 weeks, was 17 lbs. I highly doubt your puppy will be more than 17 lbs unless they are really chunky. Linus is a big dog and was the biggest of the bunch. Both dogs had CH or GCH parents, not field Labs. It didn't seem like Presto would fit in the bag, but laying down he was fine.

      Here's my story and some suggestions, since it's all so fresh in my mind. I was super stressed about it, but it was way easier than I thought it would be. In fact, it was a really nice bonding experience for us and it was fun.


      • Bring collar with tags, lead, a harness with tags. When you go through security, the puppy comes out of the bag. The puppy may freak out about a harness, but it's likely the pup is used to collars.
      • Make sure breeder sends a health certificate with you.
      • Call the airline to make sure they know you have a puppy. There are only so many allowed on the flight at once. Then, call at least two more times to make sure they still know.
      • AviDog's Flying Home with Your Puppy (free) download was great! They co-raised Presto with their Golden litter at their house and sent me home with all the right stuff. Flying Home With Your Puppy - Avidog University Store
      • Send your bag to the breeder a week or two before you pick up the pup. Let the puppies play inside of it (supervised so they don't chew it up) both to get used to it and also to get their scent on it.
      • If at all possible, don't just grab the puppy and go. See if you can spend a day there getting the pup used to the crate. I flew in on a Monday, stayed with the puppies all day Tuesday and practiced crating and getting used to each other, then picked up my puppy on Wednesday. I went to dinner with my breeder and the co-raisers, and kinda relaxed, so that when it was time to fly and hang out at the airport, it was a pretty mellow experience (exhausting, but mellow!).
      • Before picking up my puppy, he was exercised, bathed, nails trimmed, etc. so he was pretty tired (thankfully).
      • Get to the airport with PLENTY of time, even though it means having to hang out with a puppy. We hung out in a quiet area in Newark where he could lay on the cool tile (it was August) and munch on a chewy. People stopped us every two seconds to take photos of him and crowded around us at the gate. I did find some really nice people who were very cool and would watch my stuff while I took Presto to potty. When you have a puppy, everyone is nice to you. Take advantage of it!
      • I brought some puppy packs that included pee pads and paper towels. The breeder gave me clean litter that the puppies used in their pens. When I was in the rest room, I'd use the handicapped stall or find a one room bathroom, put down the pad and a handful of litter. He knew exactly what to do and where because of the litter. Then, I'd roll up the pad and put it in the ziploc that held the clean supplies and toss it in the trash. The paper towels were just in case and some moist towelettes might come in handy, but they can be messy so wetting the paper towels is another option.
      • Bring half a Benedryl (with your vet and breeder's blessing) just in case.
      • Chewies are good, but don't get stinky ones! These are great. Amazon.com : 7-9 Beef Tendon Chews for Dogs (10 sticks) | Natural Beef Strap Odorless Tendon Treats | Cleans Teeth | Free-Range, Grass-Fed Premium Beef | Free of Artificial Ingredients, Colors, and Flavors : Pet Supplies
      • The Dry Fur pee pads were AMAZING because they are hard on the bottom and super absorbent. They won't bunch up in the bag. These fit perfectly in my Sturdibag. Amazon.com : DryFur Pet Carrier Insert Pads size Small 19.5 Blue - 2 pack : Pet Beds : Pet Supplies
      • SUPER IMPORTANT: Lab puppies get hot and when they are hot they are fussy! Being stuffed under the seat in a bag = hot and uncomfortable. So, bring a couple gallon zip lock bags, something as leak proof as possible, and once you are through security, stop at a restaurant and ask them to fill the bag with ice. Put the ice bag in the crate with the puppy. If it melts, you can dump and ask the flight attendants to refresh. Keep an eye on it so puppy doesn't chew it. You can also offer the puppy ice cubes to lick so they aren't filling their bladder, but still quenching their thirst.
      • My puppy slept the entire flight until about ten minutes before landing (then he started howling, but everyone thought it was cute, thank god). The ice melted by this point, and I knew it had, but I didn't want to wake him up to refresh it. The Dryfur bag saved the day and my puppy and the entire bag and the floor were dry. After a five hour flight. I mean, the pad sort of blew up, like disposable diapers will, but not dangerously so.
      • Because Presto slept the entire flight, I never took him out. They don't really want you to, but if your puppy is screaming, and taking him out keeps him quiet, they might be a little more lenient. No one cared that he was outside of his crate in the airports. I kept a pee pad under him at all times (he never had an accident).
      Thanks for the great tips. I would not have thought of some of these!

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