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Old 04-27-2014, 09:39 AM   #1
karliebug
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Flying with a service dog

We are going to be making a 5 hour flight with our new service dog, who has never flown before. I am worried that he will be restless and not want to lie down for that long. I mean I get restless on a long flight myself. I am wondering if I should give him medication to make him sleepy. Does anyone have any advice or tips?
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:39 AM   #2
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We have not brought our DD's Service Dog to Florida, but our trainer had several suggestions if we planned to.

One was to take a short flight first - for example, a found trip to a close by city. Since we live in the Twin Cities, she suggested Duluth, MN or Madison, Wisconsin. Those would be short trips end would give the dog 2 opportunities close together (coming and going) to see what flying would be like.

Our dog has no problem with 5 hour car trips; the trainer also suggested car trips would be helpful.

As far as medication, I would see first how the dog reacts to travel and would make sure yo try the medication out first at home.
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:43 AM   #3
gilesmt
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Personally, I would leave him/her at home.
1) if he/she does not lay still for 5 hours than the airlines has the right to take action, which could be to remove the dog, up the dog in the cargo hole or remove you both.
2) airlines have different laws than general public for ADA, they can require more from you.
3) I personally would never ever ever drug a dog.
4) the school I got my dog from would remove the dog from my care, if they ever heard I even thought about drugging my dog, or if they found out I took a newly service dog on a trip they were not ready for. I am 100% for all service dogs coming from schools that do not ever give ownership of the dog to the handler! more and more! I use to not be but the more I hear stories like this the more I am for true service animals never belonging to the h!and let so that the handler thinks hard before they do something.

Things to think about, a dog is effective by meds different than humans, if you drug him it may take a lot longer than you think for the drug to wear off, what if he can not work for two or three days after you drug him.

My service dog lays under the seat of the plane for 8 hours without moving much. She was taught in her training to do this and again we became a strong team before I took her on the flight. I try to have a flight that can be split up into 5 hours and 3 hours with enough time for a potty break. If you do not think she can make 5 hours, split up the flight with enough time for her to take a walk and have a potty break. Depending on the type of dog, there is very little room for them and also there on many planes there is metal on both sides that will make it even more uncomfortable for her. If you got her from a school she should have been trained because they have airplane seats and train the dogs to lay under the seats and to spend lots of time staying calm. If not trained in this, I would send her back to the school to be trained again and I would definately leave her at home for this trip rather than endanger her by giving her unnessarsary drugs.
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Old 04-27-2014, 04:37 PM   #4
karliebug
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The flight is to bring him home from where he is being trained to our home. He will be finishing his puppy training with us so is technically a service dog in training.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:39 AM   #5
gilesmt
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I would check with airline and school and ADA law. I know a few years ago, even a trainer could not take a training dog in an air plain, they had to lock them in cargo. Things may have changed, but I know for a fact the rule was only fully trained, passed all the training and with the handler was allowed on a plane.
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Old 05-03-2014, 07:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilesmt View Post
I would check with airline and school and ADA law. I know a few years ago, even a trainer could not take a training dog in an air plain, they had to lock them in cargo. Things may have changed, but I know for a fact the rule was only fully trained, passed all the training and with the handler was allowed on a plane.
Now, that makes little sense. How would stuffing a service dog trainee in cargo train it for practicing its service role on a plane trip? You might, in doing your research, look to the Air Carrier Access Act, which you did not mention as a source of your information, for the laws that govern most phases of service dog airline travel for a more complete view. When I joined other service dog handlers on a service dog training cruise the instructor brought her own (older) service dog plus a dog that was being trained to replace him eventually. The trainee certainly did not ride in cargo as it would not have been able to perform its service role, which is the whole point of having a service dog...
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videogal1 View Post
Now, that makes little sense. How would stuffing a service dog trainee in cargo train it for practicing its service role on a plane trip? You might, in doing your research, look to the Air Carrier Access Act, which you did not mention as a source of your information, for the laws that govern most phases of service dog airline travel for a more complete view. When I joined other service dog handlers on a service dog training cruise the instructor brought her own (older) service dog plus a dog that was being trained to replace him eventually. The trainee certainly did not ride in cargo as it would not have been able to perform its service role, which is the whole point of having a service dog...
I can't remember where I was able to find the specific ACAA text regarding service dogs, but I've found several websites that specified that service dogs in training are not covered by the ACAA. It's something where it's best to call the airline you're flying with and find out their policy. Some may allow a service dog in training to be brought in-cabin like a fully trained/partnered dog, but there's no guarantee. I don't know if, with documentation stating specifically that it is a dog in training from the specific school, the airline might be more willing to let the dog stay in the cabin with you. Have you asked at the school, by the way? I'm assuming your family isn't the first to have had this issue.

Here are some of the specific links that say that the ACAA does not cover service dogs who are currently in training. (I intentionally pulled from multiple websites with as recent article dates as I could find. I really wish IAADP had an up to date overview article.):

http://www.petpartners.org/SDtravel
http://www.iaadp.org/usdot-may2008-a...-guidance.html
http://2012.servicedogsfl.org/?p=21

It's the same way that the ADA doesn't actually cover service dogs in training because they aren't full fledged service dogs out with their human partners. Many states have laws that cover service dogs in training as being afforded the same rights as partnered service dogs, especially when it comes to things like housing, but there's no national law requiring it.

I actually wouldn't worry about the dog being restless at all. If the dog hasn't been trained to lie like that for the amount of time needed, then the school has no business in releasing it to you while knowing that you're flying home.
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