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Greetings, Poodle people!
[I posted this same message as a reply in another post, but I thought I would start my own thread so I can get as many opinions as possible regarding my questions].

I will be picking up our male Standard Poodle puppy in Medford, Oregon the first week of January. He will have just turned 9 weeks old.

The plan as of now is to fly up (from San Diego) and then drive back, stopping for one night in a hotel. Initially, I thought we could fly up AND fly back, but my concern is the puppy will be too big to fit in a carrier that goes underneath the seat. Plus I believe some regulations have changed with certain airlines. Not to mention the whole Covid situation and having to wear masks 24/7, etc. so I thought driving back would be better but did question the long ride for the puppy AND having to stay in a hotel.

My questions are for those who brought their Standard Poodle puppy home via air travel and/or long trip via car:

1. Air travel: What was your experience with the size/age of your Standard that you brought home in cabin? Anything you can share regarding their size/age, which airline, the carrier size, documents/vaccines, etc. would be greatly appreciated!

2. Car travel / staying in hotel: Anything you can share would be wonderful. If we do decide to come home via car, we will have a puppy crate for the car ride home
Thank you
 

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I only live about an hour from my breeder, mostly on a highway (so flat and smooth), and my dog was still so, so sick. I felt awful for her the whole way home, and then had to bathe her as soon as we walked in the house because she laid in her own drool and vomit in the carrier. I wonder if your vet can give you something just in case you run into the same situation? I don’t know how old pups have to be before they can get meds for that.
 

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I only live about an hour from my breeder, mostly on a highway (so flat and smooth), and my dog was still so, so sick. I felt awful for her the whole way home, and then had to bathe her as soon as we walked in the house because she laid in her own drool and vomit in the carrier. I wonder if your vet can give you something just in case you run into the same situation? I don’t know how old pups have to be before they can get meds for that.
Thank you for the reply. I did read that it's best for the breeder to NOT feed the puppy the morning of pickup, as it could help with car sickness. Curious if this was the case for you?

Regardless, it's a 12-hour drive at minimum in the Winter (not horrible weather on the West Coast but there could be some possible road challenges in the Northern part of the trip which could change the outcome to a longer route). Still hoping we can fly back! :)
 

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We didn't have trips home with pups that were longer than about 5 hours which was for our GSD (Lily was long for the ride and about 15 weeks old at the time). We probably really were on the road for about 6 hours from adding potty stops. We did not use any of the designated dog walking areas. We generally used a far corner of rest stop parking and put the pups on pavement for breaks. Since there were two of us to share the driving we did one long there and back trip all in one day. Lily slept most of both legs.

Take paper towels and some cleaning supplies like Nature's Miracle. Also take an extra bath towel to use as bedding if needed.

As adults all of our dogs have traveled by car over distances to visit GSD breeder. And for poodles to obedience and rally events. I have stayed in many hotels with them. I always request first floor rooms or to be close to the elevator if 1st floor isn't available. I bring Nature's Miracle and paper towels. I also document any damage to furniture when I arrive if present. This way I don't risk being charged for damage that predated me.
 
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We didn't have trips home with pups that were longer than about 5 hours which was for our GSD (Lily was long for the ride and about 15 weeks old at the time). We probably really were on the road for about 6 hours from adding potty stops. We did not use any of the designated dog walking areas. We generally used a far corner of rest stop parking and put the pups on pavement for breaks. Since there were two of us to share the driving we did one long there and back trip all in one day. Lily slept most of both legs.

Take paper towels and some cleaning supplies like Nature's Miracle. Also take an extra bath towel to use as bedding if needed.

As adults all of our dogs have traveled by car over distances to visit GSD breeder. And for poodles to obedience and rally events. I have stayed in many hotels with them. I always request first floor rooms or to be close to the elevator if 1st floor isn't available. I bring Nature's Miracle and paper towels. I also document any damage to furniture when I arrive if present. This way I don't risk being charged for damage that predated me.
Thank you very much for the tips!
 

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Thank you for the reply. I did read that it's best for the breeder to NOT feed the puppy the morning of pickup, as it could help with car sickness. Curious if this was the case for you?

Regardless, it's a 12-hour drive at minimum in the Winter (not horrible weather on the West Coast but there could be some possible road challenges in the Northern part of the trip which could change the outcome to a longer route). Still hoping we can fly back! :)
She had eaten about 6-7 hours before I picked her up. The poor thing drools like crazy even on the very short drive to the vet now. I’m hoping as she grows she will outgrow the car sickness; she’s only 3 months old.
 

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She had eaten about 6-7 hours before I picked her up. The poor thing drools like crazy even on the very short drive to the vet now. I’m hoping as she grows she will outgrow the car sickness; she’s only 3 months old.
She had eaten about 6-7 hours before I picked her up. The poor thing drools like crazy even on the very short drive to the vet now. I’m hoping as she grows she will outgrow the car sickness; she’s only 3 months old.
Awww....I hope so too! She's got a lot of growing to still do ;)
 

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Welcome! An empty tummy can also cause vomiting, so I'm not sure I'd go that route.

Have you considered using a flight nanny?
No, I had not heard of a "flight nanny" before! It's a VERY short trip by plane. My main concern is the size of the puppy and the size allowed in cabin. I will read about the process of a flight nanny....but I'M hoping to be the flight nanny if we can indeed take the puppy in cabin. ;) Thanks for bringing that option to my attention, though....I had no idea!
 

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Size restrictions, the number of dogs allowed per flight, etc. will vary not only by airline, but also by route. So I'd start by getting the size info from your breeder (they should be able to make a pretty good guess at this point) and then look at available flights and go from there.

I've never flown with a dog, but I did take my last girl on a train. Full-grown, she was about the size of an average 9-week-old spoo puppy, and I had no trouble fitting her in a carry-on sized carrier (soft sided, with lots of mesh for breathability and a rigid bottom for stability).

The only tricky bit was that she couldn't sit up. She couldn't even sit. She had to remain laying down the whole time. Depending on your puppy's temperament, that might be no problem...or it might be a big problem.

I'd probably drive. We've done that route over Christmas with a dog, from the top of Washington as far south as San Luis Obispo. As long as you don't get stuck in a whiteout (make sure you have chains for your vehicle!) it's not bad.

Will your breeder have taken your puppy on a few drives before you pick him up? They might actually have some good advice for you, too.
 

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Size restrictions, the number of dogs allowed per flight, etc. will vary not only by airline, but also by route. So I'd start by getting the size info from your breeder (they should be able to make a pretty good guess at this point) and then look at available flights and go from there.

I've never flown with a dog, but I did take my last girl on a train. Full-grown, she was about the size of an average 9-week-old spoo puppy, and I had no trouble fitting her in a carry-on sized carrier (soft sided, with lots of mesh for breathability and a rigid bottom for stability).

The only tricky bit was that she couldn't sit up. She couldn't even sit. She had to remain laying down the whole time. Depending on your puppy's temperament, that might be no problem...or it might be a big problem.

I'd probably drive. We've done that route over Christmas with a dog, from the top of Washington as far south as San Luis Obispo. As long as you don't get stuck in a whiteout (make sure you have chains for your vehicle!) it's not bad.

Will your breeder have taken your puppy on a few drives before you pick him up? They might actually have some good advice for you, too.
Thank you!! All of this info is VERY helpful in helping make the decision!
 

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How exciting!

Your puppy is going to be bigger than a meatloaf tin, and smaller then a shoe box if you need a size refrence.

Here's are past theads on "first car trip home" that should give you an idea of what to expect and do too:

Please post pictures the day you get him so we can oooh and awww 😃
 

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How exciting!

Your puppy is going to be bigger than a meatloaf tin, and smaller then a shoe box if you need a size refrence.

Here's are past theads on "first car trip home" that should give you an idea of what to expect and do too:

Please post pictures the day you get him so we can oooh and awww 😃
Thank you SO much! Will do! :) 🐩
 

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Last year I brought Zoe back home from east Texas. I flew to Houston (Hobby) and Betty met me at the airport with Zoe and her big plastic aireline crate. Zoe's cabin class ticket cost $75. The crate was just counted as my "luggage" - no charge. I had brought with me a soft crate acceptable as an under-seat airline crate. The airline ticket clerk did not give me any hassle about the fact that Zoe is clearly taller than the under-seat space! I kept her on leash until it was time to board. She did not make a sound the whole flight - in fact the person who sat next to me was amazed that there had been a dog next to her feet the entire flight. Over the years I have flown dogs of varying sizes. The only mishap was when my champion standard poodle fell off the luggage roundabout. They are not supposed to put dogs on the luggage roundabout, but evidently someone did not know that. Blessedly that dog was bomb-proof!

I once had a whippet special (a champion dog who is shown in best of breed) who would get very excited when we went to the airport with his crate. He always flew in cargo, but he knew that if we were flying to a dog show he was going to the only dog with me and would get to sleep on the bed in motels!
 

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Last year I brought Zoe back home from east Texas. I flew to Houston (Hobby) and Betty met me at the airport with Zoe and her big plastic aireline crate. Zoe's cabin class ticket cost $75. The crate was just counted as my "luggage" - no charge. I had brought with me a soft crate acceptable as an under-seat airline crate. The airline ticket clerk did not give me any hassle about the fact that Zoe is clearly taller than the under-seat space! I kept her on leash until it was time to board. She did not make a sound the whole flight - in fact the person who sat next to me was amazed that there had been a dog next to her feet the entire flight. Over the years I have flown dogs of varying sizes. The only mishap was when my champion standard poodle fell off the luggage roundabout. They are not supposed to put dogs on the luggage roundabout, but evidently someone did not know that. Blessedly that dog was bomb-proof!

I once had a whippet special (a champion dog who is shown in best of breed) who would get very excited when we went to the airport with his crate. He always flew in cargo, but he knew that if we were flying to a dog show he was going to the only dog with me and would get to sleep on the bed in motels!
Spoo size can vary, but here's Peggy at exactly 9 weeks:

View attachment 472010

I'm not sure she'd have fit in a shoebox, @Basil_the_Spoo! Lol. Although a lot of that was puppy fluff, she definitely had long legs.
OMG! This is why I'm wondering about the size! LOL Thanks for posting the photo!
I have a feeling we're gonna end up driving as much as I would LOVE to fly.

In fact, United- which is really the only airlines that flies from Medford, OR to San Diego says the puppy MUST be at least 4 months old! I even just called to confirm. I said "Now that makes a lot of sense.....a 4 MONTH old puppy that has to fit in a carrier that goes underneath the seat! I guess I won't be flying United anytime soon...."
 

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Last year I brought Zoe back home from east Texas. I flew to Houston (Hobby) and Betty met me at the airport with Zoe and her big plastic aireline crate. Zoe's cabin class ticket cost $75. The crate was just counted as my "luggage" - no charge. I had brought with me a soft crate acceptable as an under-seat airline crate. The airline ticket clerk did not give me any hassle about the fact that Zoe is clearly taller than the under-seat space! I kept her on leash until it was time to board. She did not make a sound the whole flight - in fact the person who sat next to me was amazed that there had been a dog next to her feet the entire flight. Over the years I have flown dogs of varying sizes. The only mishap was when my champion standard poodle fell off the luggage roundabout. They are not supposed to put dogs on the luggage roundabout, but evidently someone did not know that. Blessedly that dog was bomb-proof!

I once had a whippet special (a champion dog who is shown in best of breed) who would get very excited when we went to the airport with his crate. He always flew in cargo, but he knew that if we were flying to a dog show he was going to the only dog with me and would get to sleep on the bed in motels!
Thank you.
So you're saying that the "airline crate" was just to bring home with you as it clearly wouldn't fit underneath the seat and that's why you also had with you the under-seat carrier?
Was this Southwest Airlines?
 

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Spoo size can vary, but here's Peggy at exactly 9 weeks:

View attachment 472010

I'm not sure she'd have fit in a shoebox, @Basil_the_Spoo! Lol. Although a lot of that was puppy fluff, she definitely had long legs.
Ooh dang, you're right, Peggy looks to be bigger then a shoe box. Maybe a box for boots then.

This was Basil at 11-1/2 weeks next to a shoe box.
472015
 

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Just to give you the best case scenario: We drove from Western PA to Chicago with our 8 week old Spoo puppy this summer. We all went (2 adults plus 4 kids) so we never considered flying. The drive home, with stops, was about 10-11 hours. I was prepared for vomit, pee, etc incidents and accidents and we got extremely lucky. Neither happened. We stopped about once an hour for him to pee and that was it in terms of bodily fluids. We had a small crate with us but he wanted to be held, so he sat in the back row of the minivan on one of our laps the whole time, and that turned out to be really nice bonding time.

Obviously ymmv. Cody is a fairly chill puppy and we have been extraordinarily lucky with how easy/non existent potty training has been. (He's probably had a total of less than ten accidents ever, and none in the last three or so months (he's almost 7 months old).) Anyway, just to say, you could get lucky.
 
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