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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is the situation. I am moving to France around 6 to 8 weeks from now. Obviously, my Leo is coming with me. It is a very exciting time for me but I am worried about Leo and how he is going to handle this. I was hoping to get some suggestions or help regarding this. So far I have purchased a airline approved kennel. After many discussions with several airlines I was able to find an airline that will allow Leo to fly on the plane with me in the cargo pressurized cargo area. The other airlines wanted him to fly in different planes in some kind of shipping area. All of this because My furry boy and his crate weigh more then 100 pounds.

Regardless, Leo hates the crate. He was crate trained as a puppy and loved it so I thought he would be able to get comfortable with this crate. Boy was I wrong. We are working 2 times a day with his favorite treats to crawl into the crate without the lid and the door. Some success, but he is obviously unhappy. I am using my "happy voice" and we play while training. The minute I even show him the lid he runs from the room. I have my shirt and his thin travel bed in the crate. I have gone so far as to crawl in the crate while he watches. lol I was hoping that my scent would be stronger and he would feel more comfortable with this. Can someone give me some help with how to help Leo?

This move is a huge event for the both of us. I want him to feel as comfortable as possible as we fly. Any suggestions on how I can help him with this? I have read horror stories about airplane travel with dogs. I was hoping that some of you may have traveled with your Goldens in a plane and would provide me some help.

I do want to say that we will have a direct 7 1/2 hour flight. To be truthful I am completely stressing over this.

Thank you in advance!!
 

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Misty & Holly's Mom :)
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I would just keep trying with the crate, but I would put the lid on and try to get him used to it..put high value treats in there...every now and then ask him to go in...but I would start with the lid on. I think you have time to get him used to it.
Misty doesnt mind her crate and we have flown for 5 hours so I dont think the time will be a problem...he just has to get used to the crate.
Good luck and let us know how things progress!
 

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You might toss something that is a have to get...like real meat. I would contact your vet and see if they can give him a sedative or something to relax him on the long light. But that part is your call.

Do you have a water container that hooks to the crate. A bowl won't work as well. THis has some good tips.

http://www.barkbuckleup.com/WhyBuckle.asp?id=4
 

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goldenfan
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Please do not sedate him to travel. Most airlines will not allow this anyway.Try giving him his dinner in the crate. He may be sensing your worry about this as well. Annef
 

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Misty & Holly's Mom :)
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My vet said not to sedate Misty when she flew..cant remember why. Yes you cannot fly her unless there are 2 attachable bowls. They should have come with your crate, otherwise you can buy them at Petsmart
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was told by the airlines that we are not permitted to have water or food in the crate because of the potential of spilling. A suggestion that they gave me was to have ice in the bowl. That way it will not spill and the ice will melt and he will have a little water to drink during the flight. A good idea but not sure if that will work with Leo cause he LOVES ice cubes. He loves to chew them.. He is so funny outside when there is snow and ice. He just chomps on everything. I have already told my bf to have bottled water and a bowl ready for us in Paris. As soon as I get Leo we will get him some water. Not so worried about the food because I feed Leo twice a day. Usually 3very 12 hours so he should be fine with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have no intention sedating Leo. My vet was very firm on this. He said that you never know how these meds will effect the dog at high altitudes. Also he needs to be able to move around and balance himself as the crate is moved. He is pretty laid back --- now - 4 1/2 years old (was wondering if he would ever calm down when he was a puppy hahaha) He should sleep - I hope. That is what he does in a car.
 

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Yes, when Misty and I flew from CA to GA the airline put ice cubes in her bowls and I had water and a bowl ready for when we landed! It seemed to be that she slept the whole way!
 

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this is silly, but do you fit in the crate?
If you go in there and sit quietly, he may want to come in too.
You can go in and pretend you're having a GREAT time, and that also will make him wonder what's so great about this crate thing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
his is silly, but do you fit in the crate?
If you go in there and sit quietly, he may want to come in too.
You can go in and pretend you're having a GREAT time, and that also will make him wonder what's so great about this crate thing!
__________________

Been there done that. Yes I fit. I was sitting in there for about 15 minutes watching tv. Leo stuck his head in a few times and then backed right out. A few minutes ago he put 1/2 of his body in the crate..the front half and stood there. I take that as a BIG breakthrough. I gave him treats while his front half was inside and then gave the command for him to come to me. We did a happy dance together. He seemed very happy with himself and the response I gave him. Tonight we will train again. Now I jut need him to get his butt in :)
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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Put the lid on and probably even the door, just leave the door open. Start feeding ALL OF HIS MEALS near/in the crate. First few days, bowl is just outside the crate. Next few days, it's just inside the crate... then a little more inside... then a little more...every few days until he's just fine walking into the crate to eat w/ his bowl at the back. All this time, the door is OPEN. Never close him in at this point. Do this for EVERY MEAL. We want him to associate the crate with mealtime.... YUM!

ALSO, several time a day, get WONDERFUL treats... meat, cheese... whatever rocks his world. Do the same thing with treats... at the edge, than a little inside, etc.

Once he's fine going in and eating, let him watch you put his food dinner and or a pile of treats INSIDE the crate and then CLOSE THE DOOR w/ him outside. Let him sit there for a min or two wishing he could get in to get the food. Do this several time, while continuing all the other stuff above.

THEN... phase off the food used to get him in the crate. Toss in one treat. He goes in, and before he has a chance to turn around and exit, shove your hand inside - full of treats - and let him eat out of your hand while still inside the crate. Do this step often.

THEN -- get him to go in for one treat. Close the door and be ready to feed treats thru the grate of the door. Let him out. Repeat.

At that point, I'd start closing the door when he's inside eating a meal and trying to keep him in there for a few mins after he's done.

Go slow. If he's anxious, he's not ready for the next step.
 

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Am I reading this incorrectly, or did you say that you get to ride in cargo as well?
I would want to do the same thing- I would be a nervous wreck knowing my boy was somewhere on the plane.
IF this is correct, which airline?
 

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I hope things go smoothly for you and Leo when the time comes. I know all too well how it feels to be stressed out over what to do with your pup. Just keep in mind that it's only for about 8 hours of his life, and he'll get over it no matter what happens. I am sure Leo will be totally fine. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I wish I could travel with him in cargo. I will be traveling in economy above him. I was told that if he starts barking I will be able to hear him. Not sure if that is the truth. Regardless, I have to fly United cause it is the only airline that has a weight limit over 150 pounds. This total is for the total weight of dog and kennel. Leo goes about 84 pounds (he is not fat, he is just a big male golden. I watch his weight all of the time. The vet thinks he is perfect) and the kennel is 31 pounds.
 

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In all the traveling Misty and I did across country, I only heard her bark on one flight when we were taxing to take off and after we had touched down..like I said earlier..I really think she sleeps the whole time :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I hope things go smoothly for you and Leo when the time comes. I know all too well how it feels to be stressed out over what to do with your pup. Just keep in mind that it's only for about 8 hours of his life, and he'll get over it no matter what happens. I am sure Leo will be totally fine.


I know, I think he will have a better trip then I will :) Leo is just such an important part of my life and it is hard to trust him in anyone care but my own. I figure he will be in the crate for a total of 10 hours. 7 1/2 hours flying and 2 1/2 hours for loading him and finally unloading him off the plane. I think I will need the sedatives not him :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
THEN -- get him to go in for one treat. Close the door and be ready to feed treats thru the grate of the door. Let him out. Repeat.

At that point, I'd start closing the door when he's inside eating a meal and trying to keep him in there for a few mins after he's done.

Go slow. If he's anxious, he's not ready for the next step.

Thank you so much for your guidance. I was really guessing on how to work with Leo. Now I have something to use as a guide.

I guess I should post some photos of him since it has been so long and he is all grown up now.
 

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I don't have any advice, but I just wanted to say it's so exciting you're moving to France!! Don't forget to take some pictures of Leo once you get there and post them here!
 

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When we moved to Germany in 1984 we took our dog over (and back) with us. She had never been in a crate before, wasn't sedated and did fine.

My only recommendation is carry a small plastic bowl, or anything your dog can drink from, with you (not in your luggage) and some bottled water from your flight. (Drinking fountains are unheard of in Europe). My dog was very thirsty after the long flight and the plane air is very dry.
 

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This is so exciting! You and your golden in France. I can't wait to see all th epictures you'll post! Hint hint...
Freeze the water bowl. That way he can't get the chunks out but as it melts he will lick it. And feed him in the crate now. 6-8 weeks is plenty of time to get him somewhat used to the crate. And as someone else said, this is 8 hours of his life and he'll get over it. I wouldn't sedate either.
 
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