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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, so Im the new owner to a gsd, I have to fly from ct to chicago to pick him up. I looked into flying back with him in cabin and I found that american airlines allows a pet carrier to be 19in long, 13in wide and 9in tall.
My puppy will fit in that size carrier laying down but wont be able to stand up and turn around as required by the airline atleast I dont think so.
Anybody have experience with how lenient they are at the gate? I prefer him being in a pet carrier with me laying down for that 2 hour flight than alone in the hands of airline employees in cargo.
I wonder if booking a first class ticket will matter vs economy seating.
My last resort is I will fly to chicago and drive back 14hours in a rental. My only worry with that is driving back by myself could lead to getting bored and dozing off. I doze off driving 3 hours, I cant imagine 14 even with breaks.
 

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Your puppy will be fine lying down for the 2 hour flight.

Why don't you just have him shipped to you?
 

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It completely depends on the company and on the people at the gate. I have heard stories of very strict workers that will turn you away at the gate and tell you to get a different crate, and I have heard stories where the employee fawned all over the puppy and barely checked that things were good. The same goes for actually being on the flight. Some of the flight attendants will let you take the puppy out and have him sit on your lap. Some will only let him stick his head out of the carrier, and some won't let you even open the carrier an inch. It completely depends.

One of the reasons I am having my next puppy shipped to me is because of the chance of an 8 week old GSD not fitting in the right carrier size. I would rather just have the puppy shipped than deal with the headache of being turned away at the gate and having to find another way home.
 

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I drove from California to Illinois a few weeks ago to avoid the airline crap.
I've considered that. I AM considering that. I just feel like a 17-20 hour car ride is more stressful and expensive than a 3 hour flight. Did you talk to your breeder about which would be more stressful?
 

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I like to take risks, something is telling me to just wing it and be smooth at the gate and the employees. Worst case I have to get a rental last minute and drive home.
 

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I've considered that. I AM considering that. I just feel like a 17-20 hour car ride is more stressful and expensive than a 3 hour flight. Did you talk to your breeder about which would be more stressful?


What should I be prepared for on this 13+ hour drive with a puppy?
And yes I talked to her, we spoke about shipping but im just against shipping. I dont want a lazy anti dog employee throwing the crate like its regular baggage.
 

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Check out one way rental prices. We've done it from Portland Oregon to the Bay Area with no extra charges. But when I was considering flying to Denver and driving home with Cava it was going to be nearly $1000 for the rental, which included a hefty one way fee.
 

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I'd say get the proper size crate and ship. Just watch the weather. If it is too hot they may reschedule you for early morning or late night when it is cooler. (just happened to my family flying with two larger dogs).
 

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A 14 hour road trip is good bonding if you can take a few days off so you can insert a few nice stops. I would never take a chance of standing at the ticket counter and be denied because the dog cannot stand up. And cargo would a 100% no-no for me.
Good luck with the pup. Keep us posted on what you decide and how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Check out one way rental prices. We've done it from Portland Oregon to the Bay Area with no extra charges. But when I was considering flying to Denver and driving home with Cava it was going to be nearly $1000 for the rental, which included a hefty one way fee.
I just checked, it comes out to $1900 the cheapest... thats a no lol
 

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It was almost 9 years ago that I did this. Picked up a puppy in Oregon and flew home to Arkansas with her.



I checked with every airline to find the one with the largest permissible size crate (poorly worded but I think you know what I mean) and the most room for that crate. I used a soft sided crate (still have it). The person that checked us in was quite happy with the puppy and told me I could walk her through the airport (regs said I couldn't) so I did. We had one flight change and it was tight but gave me time to change the piddle pad that I used in the bottom of the carrier - and she only urinated on the one pad. She was a saint. I loved it. I would do it again.


Especially in summer, I would hesitate to ship a pup -- I think airlines should refuse to do that. and I think some are. She was my carry-on bag.
 

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Do airlines let you buy a full price seat ticket for a crate and strap it in with the seat belt? Just a thought... if they do it could be an option. The 19x13x9 size I believe is because you have to stuff the crate under the seat in front of you. Trust me when I tell you 9 inches high is not very high. I just bought one of those under the seat bags for an up coming flight. I've never flown with a pet but I think the biggest factor is knowing how much the pup weighs. The reality is some 8 weeks old pups are small and petite and some are pretty big. A big pup might not fit at all in 9" even laying down.
 

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What should I be prepared for on this 13+ hour drive with a puppy?
Constant potty breaks, maybe some whining, but a lot of dogs sleep most of the way. Depending on how long you have to drive, you'll have to find a hotel/motel that allows dogs, then prepare yourself for your neighbor hating you. The puppy while whine and bark at night, and your neighbor will not be pleased. If you sneak out early enough, you may never even notice them giving you dirty looks! You'll need to take lots of cleaning supplies for when the puppy inevitably goes to the bathroom where it shouldn't.

IF you can avoid stopping overnight and drive the whole way, you will have to stop to let the puppy out to go to the bathroom a lot. I would even stop somewhere and do a quick walk or very short hike if possible. Just let the baby stretch his/her legs for more than 5 minutes. Be prepared for the puppy getting carsick and maybe vomiting. I would rather be over prepared than not prepared enough.

Hopefully all goes well!
 

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No airlines, last I knew, did not allow you to purchase a seat for the dog. You do have to be clear when you are making reservations that you are taking a dog as carry-on. They require that the dog fit under the seat in front of you just like other carry-ons that aren't put in the bin.



So far as bringing the pup home via car. Did this one too, Oregon to SW Wyoming with a stop at a friend's place in E. Washington for a couple of days. This was long ago and I drove a regular cab 1/2 ton Ford. No air bags. Pup set next to me, older dog had the window seat. You will need to avoid reststops and even off ramps because lots of other dogs are in those places/have been in those places and you need to limit exposure for health reasons. It's challenging. Not so much having the puppy along but keeping the puppy away from where other dogs frequent. Maybe it's just inconvenient. Take someone along to share driving. Expect to spend a night or two in a hotel/motel Super 8, Motel 6 and LaQuinta all take dogs. You will want a crate for the puppy to avoid sprinkling the carpet. Motel 6 has direct outside access, others have access to a hall and then outside. At these motels you will need to walk somewhere that other dogs do not use as toilet stops.



Really, flying was a hastle to arrange sorta but worked easier.
 

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If you take a sleeping bag with you, you can tuck yourself in with the pup on the hotel bed and no one will hear a peep. I have done this with several non- GSD pups over the years. Works great and it super fun.
 

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The drive itself should be an easy one. I've driven to Chicago from NW Ohio and to CT from Nw Ohio. A little boring but not bad, all interstate roads. Have you considered AmTrak? I know there are trains that run that route.
 

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I just checked, it comes out to $1900 the cheapest... thats a no lol
My drive would have been 20 hours - more if there was traffic. No way I was going to do that in less than 2 days, or by myself. Since at the time we had two dogs at home, Keefer at nearly 13 years old and Halo in the late stages of DM, one of us had to stay with them. My sister agreed to go with me, but she moved from the Bay Area to Portland last Fall, so I had my flight from Oakland to Denver, hers from Portland to Denver and then Oakland back to Portland, SUV rental, gas, and a hotel along the way. That transport option was going to be nearly $1500.

With only one airlines that did direct flights from Denver to the Bay Area (United), and they weren't flying pets at the time because of all the recent problems, our only flight options involved connecting flights, which I was not comfortable with. Next plan was to fly her to Los Angeles, Alaska and Delta had direct flights from Denver, and then my husband would either fly and rent a car to drive her back (over 350 miles, but no one way rental fee penalty), or drive both ways. Since it would be at least 6 hours each way and the flight would have arrived in the late afternoon, that option would also involve an overnight in a hotel, but it would still be less expensive than driving from Colorado, even when factoring in her flight cost.

We lucked out though, one of the breeder's friends that lived in Albuquerque was coming to a trial in California that was about an hour and a half from us. The breeder and a friend drove Cava to Los Alamos and another of her friends took her to Albuquerque, a total of about 5 hours from where the breeder lived. And then the next day they left for California, with an overnight along the way, and we picked her up at the trial. I sent some money to the breeder to cover gas and time for her and her friends, then gave the woman who brought her here another $150 to cover gas. I think I ended up spending nearly $500 plus the cost of the crate, but the peace of mind to get my puppy here safe was so worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Southwest canceled my flight last minute so i had no option but to drive 15 hours straifht on 2 hours of sleep
I picked up the puppy, checked into a motel but now i cant sleep because he wont stop crying/barking in his crate.. 😞 poor me
 
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