Canine On-Board: 5 Dog Breeds That Fly Well

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There are all kinds of factors to consider when you ponder what breed of dog to get. From temperament to size to type of fur, each person will have something different that they consider the most important trait for their future furry friend. If you travel often, either for work or for pleasure, you will likely want to pick a dog who can come along with you on your adventures.

Some breeds, you will find, are much better-suited for traveling, especially by air, than others. Dogs with shorter snouts, for instance, such as English Bulldogs, Pugs, and Boxers, have been banned from flying by many airlines recently because they have been deemed to have a higher risk of dying from breathing problems when they get worked up by the stress of flying. Some large breeds like Great Danes and Saint Bernards also aren’t allowed to fly because the carriers they travel in are too big for baggage handlers to deal with. Even the most common dog breeds in America, including Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherds aren’t ideal for people who fly often because they have to be stowed in the hold with the checked baggage. Dogs often have a very stressful experience flying in the storage section of the plane, so it’s really best if dogs who fly often are of a size that can stay up in the cabin with their owners. Here, therefore, are five dog breeds that are the perfect choice for the frequent-flyer. Store your pup under the seat in front of you during takeoff and landing, and the two of you can enjoy seeing the world together.

1. Shih Tzu – One of the most compact dog breeds, Shih Tzus have a reputation for being sweet and relatively docile. You can easily fit your pup into a carrier that will be able to slide under the seat when necessary, and you can hold the carrier on your lap for the rest of the flight. You will find airline policies differ about whether the dog is allowed to stick her head out of the carrier during the flight.

2. Toy Poodle – Poodles come in all different sizes, but you will often see the toy variety in the airport about to board a flight. They are easy to train and hypoallergenic, so you won’t have fellow passengers sneezing if they have dog allergies. Poodles are known to bark, so you will have to use your judgment about whether your poodle is suited for flying.

3. Dachshund – Known for being playful and a little stubborn, Dachshunds can make great travel companions on flights. Dachshunds will occasionally get “the shakes” when they get nervous, so be prepared for some fear on the first flight—especially during takeoff. Once in the air, however, your pup should quickly adjust to the experience.

4. Yorkshire Terrier – Independent and confident on the ground, you will likely find that a Yorkie is a good pooch to fly with. Remember that, like all dogs, your pup may need to relieve himself in flight. Since Yorkies are small, you will probably have enough room in your carrier to put a few “pee pads” at the bottom of the carrier in case he can’t hold it until he lands. You should also pack several dog treats because chewing them can often help a dog get over the ear discomfort caused by flying.

5. Maltese – Known as one of the friendliest, most laid-back small dogs, Malteses can do very well on a plane. If your Maltese is known to bark, you may be tempted to sedate her, but this is not recommended. Vets warn that sedated dogs on planes are more prone to having breathing troubles, so just try to keep your pup as calm as possible without resorting to medication.

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