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Re: Carriers

Postby JDK on Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:24 pm

Jon wrote:I cannot speak about other planes, but in the case of my plane the soft side carriers are my only option for large dogs like Dobies. I cannot get a large hard sided carrier through the door and in place with out front seat removal, but I can insert a collapsed soft side carrier into the rear and then set it up and load the pup. Without that ability I would be removing seats which would be a real pain.

Whatever you choose is likely based on the plane and the animals being carried, but one thing is for sure. No animals should be loose in the cabin. That is a recipe for trouble.

When we had our old 182, I kept the backseat out the majority of the time. Our Doberman would ride in that area very easily--he'd grown up flying, so no big deal. There is absolutely zero way I'll ever fly an unknown animal that is not in a crate, however. I figure if I will not drive/transport them in my extended cab pickup unrestrained, I'm certainly not going to fly them while they are unrestrained.

I believe there was a "Never Again" or "I Learned From Flying About That" story some years ago about a female pilot who flew her small dog unrestrained, got into some bad turbulence, dog panicked and lodged himself around the rudder pedals. From the story, things got interesting in a hurry.

On trips where we needed/preferred to have a crate for our Doberman, I used the #400 size with the snap-locks, disassembled it and put it in the backseat area and the dog would ride on the bed we'd put in it. Since it is in equal halves, it stacks in itself easily. But, we tried disassembling the crate one time and reassembling it once it was in the airplane. It was doable, but difficult. Impossible if your seat(s) are still in place.

Now we have a 172 and have only transported a few small dogs, in crates in the backseat. I agree about the PITA of removing seats.

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Re: Carriers

Postby Jon on Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:27 pm

This is an update on carriers. Despite carrying over 230 pups I am still learning.

I stick with my remarks about some carriers not being suitable for lifting. Those with the snap type fasteners to join the top and bottom separate so I drill a series of holes and use nylon cable ties to secure the two halves. This is not convenient if the two halves need to be separated, but by doing this I am assured no animals will get hurt if one falls apart, and no animals will be loose on an airport ramp.

I USED to use collapsible soft sided carriers. They could be set up once they were placed in the plane and they provided roomy accomodations for large animals. I still like them, but will not use them any more unless there are some dire circumstances. The reason is simple. I ended up with an agressive Border Collie that ripped through the side of the crate trying to join me on an ILS. It is not fun trying to fly an approach while attempting to keep a dog that tried to bite me from helping me fly.

A short while after that I had a German Shepherd that was a sweetheart tear the zipper on my crate before I could even get in my seat. I changed crates and starting soon after takeoff she decided she did not want to be in that crate either. As it turned out she was contained, but the crate has some serious holes. I can not imagine what problems I would have had because she was 50% larger than the Border Collie and if she got out and wanted to be in the front seat with me I doubt if I could have prevented it.

So I now will only fly with hard side crates. In place of the large collapsible crates I now use the largest hard side I can get through the door of the plane. They are not as roomy, but so far I can carry a large dog in the crates like a Dobie. The largest was 83 pounds and while there is not as much room the dogs that have used the large crates can curl up and sleep.

I have used the small amount of available floor space created by the use of hard sized crates to carry a Dobie that used a harness that I secured with the seat belt. I limited the dog's travel. She could sit up, she could get her nose to the back of my seat, but she could go not further. She was able to sleep on the trip, so I am now going to continue to experiment with the harness. So far my first experience has been good and by using it I was able to carry three large Dobies instead of my previous limit of 2.

Re: Carriers

Postby richclover on Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:05 pm

We've had good success with harness and leash combinations. But... One small mixed breed was smart enough to chew through the strap-type leash. She burrowed into the blanket behind the seat and left us a "deposit". Had she agressively tried to gain the front seats, we'd have had a problem!

Consider a chain-type leash for harness work.
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Re: Carriers

Postby mchutto on Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:18 am

When transporting dogs I usually remove the rear seats from my Cherokee. There is room for a wire crate that is 24" X 36" and 27" high. It takes a little work, but you can get it in and out if you set it up inside the plane. I also have a medium size plastic pet taxi that takes up a little more than half of the rear platform. Based on the size of the dog(s), I select the crate I need. I've also had good success harnessing large dogs to the seat belt anchor. I keep some old blankets in the back and they usually curl up and go to sleep. I always ask that the dogs not be fed prior to the trip and that they have had plenty of potty breaks so they won't have the urge in flight. So far, no problems. I always crate puppies because they usually can't wait that long. It's all about how comfortable you are with a dog loose in the plane restrained only by a harness or collar and leash!
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