TRAVELING WITH A GDB
PUPPY - CONSIDERATIONS
Before setting off on a journey with a GDB puppy, there are
several things that need to be considered. Each puppy and each trip require
Please keep in mind that some GDB restrictions apply to puppies under 20
weeks of age. Until fully vaccinated, puppies should not be exposed to places
that unknown dogs frequent. Most puppies in this age range are not ready to
meet many of the challenges that travel may present. Before traveling with a
young puppy, please consider if the experiences the puppy may encounter are
Per GDB, Puppies under 20 weeks
of age are not permitted to be transported in the cabin of an airplane.
There are several things that should be considered before traveling with a
puppy in the cabin of an airplane.
How long is the flight?
How long can the puppy go between relieving breaks during
his regular routine?
Does the puppy have a good understanding of his basic
commands and leash control?
Can the puppy maintain a down stay without requiring
constant attention for the length of
time of the planned trip?
Has the puppy practiced fitting into a tight area and
maintaining a down stay?
Does the puppy have a history of relieving in public?
Traveling with a puppy in the cabin of an airplane is not a good time to
practice these things for the first time. If you experience a problem, there
is no way to remove the puppy from the situation.
Other travel situations to consider:
Is your destination a place that may expose the puppy to fleas? Routinely
treat puppies with a flea preventative and raisers taking a puppy to an area
that may encounter fleas or ticks on their travels should ask their leader
for a GDB provided flea prevention product.
Such as Advantage or Frontline.
If you plan to sight see on your journey, are all of your scheduled
destinations appropriate to take a puppy in training? Marathon shopping or
sight seeing tours, zoos or loud concerts are just some of the events that
may not be appropriate for a puppy in training.
If you plan to stay with friends or relatives, are they prepared to accommodate
the puppy for the duration of the stay?
Do not feed or water a puppy directly before long car ride or airplane
travel; a skipped meal will not hurt the puppy, but a fill tummy might make
him uncomfortable or increase the chance of a relieving accident.
Remember that puppies go through stages of development that may include a
change in behavior. It is not uncommon at certain ages for a normally calm
puppy to become fearful or over active or challenging. Do not assume that a
puppy that was prepared at 6 months for a difficult journey suddenly refuses
commands or does not want to walk on a familiar surface. Evaluate the
preparedness of the puppy before each trip, not just based on past
The public's perception of working dogs is sometimes solely influenced by
their encounter with you and your GDB puppy. Poor experiences can influence
the acceptance of working guides. Control problems, relieving accidents and
barking can create a vivid negative impression on the public that witnesses such
events. It is our responsibility to leave a favorable impression in the
mind of everyone we meet with our Guide Dog puppy. It is also our
responsibility to create positive experiences for the puppy.
Health Certificate (required for flight) at raisers expense
Clean up kits (for solid and wet clean up)
Training equipment (head collar, slip collar, training collar, tie down, etc.
Approval of your Leader and Advisor
With careful planning and consideration,
both you and the GDB puppy can have a good travel experience. We ask that you
check with your Puppy Club Leader before each long distance trip. Considering
the fore mentioned information will help us decide if the puppy is prepared
for such an adventure. The purpose of the discussion is not just so we know
where the puppy is, but that you, the public and the puppy all have a safe
and positive journey.
Access for service animals is covered on the federal level by the Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA). All 50 states also have laws outlining the
rights of assistance animals. Keep in mind that puppies in training may or
may not be covered by these laws--more often than not they are not covered,
and your access with your puppy will depend on the goodwill of the people in
charge. When faced with denial of access, GDB wishes raisers to educate as
far as possible, then thank the establishment for their consideration and
leave without making a fuss, regardless of the law.
HAVE PAWS WILL VACATION
Summer travel is always fun–but do you take your puppy with you or not?
Our leaders are great at helping raisers with this choice. They have good
advice about the equipment you’ll need while you’re away, and
have resources like flea and tick preventative if you are traveling to
flea country. Many raisers find vacations the perfect time to trade their
puppy; it provides a needed experience for the dog and a nice break for the
raisers! Current members waiting for puppies are always a good choice for
puppy sitting. The roster also contains a list of potential puppy sitters
composed of former or inactive members who do a great job while you’re out of
town! Here a few guidelines to get you started on your pup’s vacation plans:
Always notify your leader of your vacation plans for your puppy, well in
advance whether you plan to leave it with sitters or take it with you.
Contact your puppy sitter early to make sure someone is available to take
All puppy sitters must be approved by our leaders with a home visit and fence
check, and must be instructed in Guide Dog handling techniques.
No dog without its rabies shot may fly.
No dog without its rabies shot may go to places that unknown dogs
frequent–such as parks and campgrounds.
A health certificates and permission from the GDB Advisor is required for any
dog traveling across state lines, especially by air.
It is inappropriate to take a very young puppy to places that may promote
poor behavior or create a poor image of the puppy raising project. For
example, a restaurant isn’t a good choice for a wiggly, un-housebroken dog.
Sightseeing with tourists may overwhelm a young dog.
Call your leaders if you have any questions or concerns about your puppy’s