Author Topic: New Puppy ESA  (Read 435 times)

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Offline gabbyann92

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New Puppy ESA
« on: September 24, 2017, 08:22:11 AM »
Hi all! My first emotional support animal - a miniature dachshund named Kylie - passed away in July. I have been an absolute wreck ever since. She flew everywhere with me and offered indescribable comfort, as Iím sure all of you understand.

Since her passing, I have recently brought home a 9 week old golden retriever puppy, who has helped my anxiety and emotions about losing Kylie tremendously (though, she will never be replaced).

My question is about flying with this new pup as an ESA. I live in NJ, but I am from Florida. We plan to go home for Thanksgiving and Christmas...but he will still only be about 5 months by the time we leave on his first flight. I know Goldenís are super intelligent and Iím hoping  he will be relatively trained by then.

Has anyone flown with a puppy ESA before? How did you handle bathroom issues/feedings. We are not able to get a direct flight to my home town, so we will have at least a 6 hour trip with layovers. I will definitely try to connect at an airport with a pet relief area.

Any help or advice you have to offer is greatly appreciated!!

Offline Ariel

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Re: New Puppy ESA
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2017, 10:20:20 AM »
Developmentally 5 months is a very difficult time to be taking a young puppy into a large, stressful place. Can your puppy walk in heel position through an airport? Can he wait quietly without bothering anyone or barking? Can he curl up on command and lay between your feet for hours on end? Can he hold his bladder and bowels for probably about 9 hours if you count in time checking in? The answer to these questions is almost certainly no, and that's normal for a young puppy.

I would recommend getting to the airport minimally 2 hours prior to your flight's departure to have ample time getting through security. You cannot guarantee relief areas in any airport still, and if they're present they may be across an entire terminal. You may not have time to get there and back, and unless your puppy is trained to eliminate on command, he may have trouble with the flooring and may need time you do not have. If he stresses and makes a fuss and you're told you cannot fly with him, what will you do? That does happen sometimes. Do you have plans if you were to be told that he couldn't fly if he makes a fuss?

This is one of those things that I think you need to really consider him and where he is. It will be so easy to give him a devastatingly terrible experience at this age and place of immaturity with so little possible training that if you plan to fly with him in the future, a bad experience now may not allow that to be possible. I think making alternative plans for him this time or flying him as a pet will be a far better option until he's got more experience and training under his collar.
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Offline swimmergirl247

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Re: New Puppy ESA
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2017, 11:24:32 AM »
huge agree with Ariel on this. also working with a MUCH bigger dog will be VERY different than it takes time to learn to work together like that. if your used to traveling with a smaller dog, you will have to change your seating how he calms you etc. All that stuff needs to be worked a Proofed long before hand.

furthermore you simply can't expect a 5 month old puppy who will very likely be in a very stressed state himself to help YOU. the first time really needs to very positive (and short) then work up from there and I'd wait until at least a year of age.

I don't know how often you fly but this is important if that is largely what he will be doing outside of the home/hotel

a small daushand can hide in a coat or crate if scared or overwhelmed a golden retriever? not so much.

No for the better of the dog and you please wait.  the first year with a puppy actually happens faster than you think.
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Offline Azariah

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Re: New Puppy ESA
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2017, 12:46:14 PM »
I would like to think I am a pretty good dog trainer. I don't think I could get a puppy at that age to the point I would feel okay flying with it by thanksgiving. I took my puppy in public a lot at a young age. Probably more than a lot of people might recommend.  It I always tried to be thoughtful of what might be too much for her or not respectful of those around us while she was still in training mode.
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Offline SandyStern

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Re: New Puppy ESA
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2017, 12:59:36 PM »
You might want to check with your breeder about the fear phase. The last thing you'd want to do is subject puppy to an experience that created a problem you might otherwise not have had.  I was a weekend puppy raiser for a very good program and we had rigid schedules for exposure and socialization that correlated to avoiding fear phases.

If I were you, I'd try to avoid these flights.

Offline Solace

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Re: New Puppy ESA
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2017, 01:41:44 PM »
I have a 5 month old puppy right now!  I would not for anything take him on a 6 hour flight right now.

He is fine going out amongst people and doing new things.  He's even great settling for an hour in my therapist's office and has been since 8 weeks(with a couple exceptions (we can go to the park behind the building when he can't)).  But 6 hours?  Not a chance.  Not even for a puppy that settles exceptionally well.  Your puppy might have to tuck part of herself under a plane seat, as well, and I don't know how feasible that is for 6 hours at 5 months.

He's also quite suddenly very distractable.  They do that.  They have sudden phases, just like kids.  We went to our local pet store to buy food yesterday.  Suddenly everything is *fascinating*.  Every person, the other dog, everything on the shelves...  Heeling and listening to commands was not fascinating.  It didn't have to be a bad thing, since they're pet friendly and they've known him since he was tiny, and I could just leave if needed.  They can just laugh and give him a treat and coo at him.  But on a plane?  You can't leave, it's not okay for the puppy to be fascinated with everything around him/her, some passengers might be [censored] off that there is a dog there at all, etc.

I really don't think it's a good bet.  Can you drive?

Offline gabbyann92

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Re: New Puppy ESA
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2017, 01:48:47 PM »
Hi! Our flight is not 6 hours straight! More along the lines of a 1.5-2 hour flight, 1-2 hour layover (and I am aware of what airports that I usually connect to that have pet relief areas), and then another hour flight. Driving would take 17 hours.




I have a 5 month old puppy right now!  I would not for anything take him on a 6 hour flight right now.

He is fine going out amongst people and doing new things.  He's even great settling for an hour in my therapist's office and has been since 8 weeks(with a couple exceptions (we can go to the park behind the building when he can't)).  But 6 hours?  Not a chance.  Not even for a puppy that settles exceptionally well.  Your puppy might have to tuck part of herself under a plane seat, as well, and I don't know how feasible that is for 6 hours at 5 months.

He's also quite suddenly very distractable.  They do that.  They have sudden phases, just like kids.  We went to our local pet store to buy food yesterday.  Suddenly everything is *fascinating*.  Every person, the other dog, everything on the shelves...  Heeling and listening to commands was not fascinating.  It didn't have to be a bad thing, since they're pet friendly and they've known him since he was tiny, and I could just leave if needed.  They can just laugh and give him a treat and coo at him.  But on a plane?  You can't leave, it's not okay for the puppy to be fascinated with everything around him/her, some passengers might be [censored] off that there is a dog there at all, etc.

I really don't think it's a good bet.  Can you drive?

Offline gabbyann92

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Re: New Puppy ESA
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2017, 02:00:21 PM »
I appreciate your information! These are all things I will definitely be working on up until there and will ultimately make my decision to fly home based on his preparedness. As of now heís a super chill pup (I know things will change as he gets older). I flew a great deal with my last pup and am fully aware of the airports that I can connect to that do have pet relief areas, and thankfully they are always an option. My main concern is definitely making the experience as positive as possible.

Thanks for the suggestions and help!


Developmentally 5 months is a very difficult time to be taking a young puppy into a large, stressful place. Can your puppy walk in heel position through an airport? Can he wait quietly without bothering anyone or barking? Can he curl up on command and lay between your feet for hours on end? Can he hold his bladder and bowels for probably about 9 hours if you count in time checking in? The answer to these questions is almost certainly no, and that's normal for a young puppy.

I would recommend getting to the airport minimally 2 hours prior to your flight's departure to have ample time getting through security. You cannot guarantee relief areas in any airport still, and if they're present they may be across an entire terminal. You may not have time to get there and back, and unless your puppy is trained to eliminate on command, he may have trouble with the flooring and may need time you do not have. If he stresses and makes a fuss and you're told you cannot fly with him, what will you do? That does happen sometimes. Do you have plans if you were to be told that he couldn't fly if he makes a fuss?

This is one of those things that I think you need to really consider him and where he is. It will be so easy to give him a devastatingly terrible experience at this age and place of immaturity with so little possible training that if you plan to fly with him in the future, a bad experience now may not allow that to be possible. I think making alternative plans for him this time or flying him as a pet will be a far better option until he's got more experience and training under his collar.

Offline Solace

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Re: New Puppy ESA
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2017, 02:06:07 PM »
Oh my!  I was censored again!  I promise it wasn't a bad cuss word.  D:

Offline Ariel

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Re: New Puppy ESA
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2017, 02:10:11 PM »
Solace - try "peeved".  :wink: Appropriate for the sensor even if you weren't cursing.
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Offline ccunnin3

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Re: New Puppy ESA
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2017, 04:47:58 PM »
Don't do it. It isn't about "making it a positive exlerience for him." It is about "can a 5 month old puppy behave appropriately in such a stressful environment?" Can your dog hold his bladder under stress? Can your dog (at least mostly) ignore other dogs. Can yoir dog walk on a leash in a crowd? Can your dog hold a 2 hour downstay? Does your dog vocalize? If your flight get delayed, will your dog be able to handle it? Will your dog be invisible to other people on your flight? Will your dog remain calm if you get upset?

I've never met such a young puppy that could reliably do these things (though I have met many handlers who tried).
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Offline swimmergirl247

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Re: New Puppy ESA
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2017, 06:32:41 PM »
please please listen, if you want your pup to enjoy flying this I'd say would give you a 90% chance of ruining this. 5 months is right during a fear stage, what if you hit stressful turbluance? agian what if somebody is creaming, what if a baby is crying? what if he pee's on the plane our of fear? an you will to risk that please either don't take him or drive. really either way will be inconvience but if you drive you can practice tuck, you can practice this stuff along the way, you can stop and let him run if ned be, you can make it a great exposure take breaks at resturants and let him met people, ask if you can bring you pup into a gas station, spend a night in ahotel, all things he should learn to be exposed to but would be much more age approate. again next year or even this summer consider it, but he won't be ready for this and it could be extremely negative tramatizing, and what happens if he or she can't fly because of this. your also not flying during a low time (which I would also suggest for your first trip. another reason to not take him.

if you have already paid for your ticket then get a refund, and put that to having a fun drive, remember this isn't for forever, it's just this one or two times. 
Theodore(Teddy)SD you truly gods gift to me.
Abigail(retired SD you may not physically be with me but your wings and protection will always be in my heart.
"I may not have sight, but I'll always have vision- Alex S