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 individual consideration.

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 age appropriate.

 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 performance.

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.

Travel Checklist:

ID Card
Puppy Coat
Health Certificate (required for flight) at raisers expense
Clean up kits (for solid and wet clean up)
Portable water
Training equipment (head collar, slip collar, training collar, tie down, etc. as needed)
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.


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 your dog.

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 vacation arrangements!