Sherpa bag training?
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  • Q

    Hi. I posted before about flying my 3 yr old basenji girl and got helpful info about using a sherpa bag to take on board the plane. I was wondering if I could ask specifically what bag you use and any helpful tips to get her used to it. I am having trouble finding a bag big enough for her that meets the airlines size requirments. She responds really well to treats and positive praise, so hopefully training her won't be too hard! Thanks so much.

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  • I would like to bump this thread, as I would like to know the same things. I would like to know what size sherpas people have used and how quick puppies get used to them.

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  • Not to put terror into you…:D:D

    I have heard stories of people flying basenji pups in sherpas that were fine going into the sherpa and quite comfortable and happy, but once the plane was about to take off they screamed like banshees for the entire flight...most likely because of the noise and the pressure changes. Sort of the same way it works with babies or small kids...hit or miss.

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  • For puppies, I have used the med size and the large size…. I have never had a problem with a pup on the plane... but on trick is to get them really, really tired before the flight. I had the pup up for 2 to 3 hours before the flight... and even kept waking them up while waiting to board the plane and taking off... She slept for all 7 hours of the flight.. Also if you send the sherpa to your breeder a few weeks (or if they have one) they can start putting them in the bag for a little bit at a time. When I brought Paris her from Ohio, she was never in a crate let along a Sherpa... ggg.. but she was fine, no problems at all....

    And I remember when Carol Webb picked up a pup from Sue Kite in Ohio to bring back to California... her pup did scream bloody murder so she took him out of the bag and held him on her lap.... the flight attendent told Carol "you can't do that"... ggg so Carol said that she would be happy to put the pup back in the bag if the entire plane wanted to listen to him scream from Ohio to California....ggg

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  • It won't be a long flight, if we fly? I may drive to pick up a pup, or I guess there's a possibility that they might be closer by because of other shows and such.

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  • I'm looking at the small size of this one. Any opinions? Is it big enough for a small adult, or just a puppy?

    SturdiBag Pet Carrier

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  • @etzbseder:

    I'm looking at the small size of this one. Any opinions? Is it big enough for a small adult, or just a puppy?

    SturdiBag Pet Carrier

    Small would only work for a puppy. Not big enough for a small adult…

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  • Ok, 'cause according to united, sherpas are not allowed if they're over 10" tall. Would the medium sized one work for a small adult? What part of it is too small?

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  • I have never flown United… I just find Airlines that don't have Sherpa size restrictions. And really, since they say that they (the dog) needs to be able stand up, none of the bags really fit the restrictions. I am pretty sure that lvoss has used the large for Rio, who is a small B girl (but she will have to chime in). Since I have only flown puppies, I really can't answer that other then I have found American and Continental to be very good with flying dogs as carry ons...

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  • I have been on vacation this weekend and away from the computer. I have flown United several times with Rio in cabin. I use the large Sherpa with no wheels and have never been questioned about it and it has fit under the seat fine. I am not sure what the dimensions of it are right off the top of my head.

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  • @lvoss:

    I have been on vacation this weekend and away from the computer. I have flown United several times with Rio in cabin. I use the large Sherpa with no wheels and have never been questioned about it and it has fit under the seat fine. I am not sure what the dimensions of it are right off the top of my head.

    I'm curious now. You've flown Rio as an adult in the cabin? I wouldn't have thought you could fly even a small adult basenji in the cabin. She must be pretty small.

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  • Yes, I have flown Rio in a sherpa as an adult. She is 16.5 inches at the withers. Adults need to be comfortable laying down in the sherpa because they won't have room to stand. I have only used it for short flights, Sacramento to Los Angeles and back. When I was researching how to fly with her in the cabin, I got great advice from another basenji breeder who has flown her adult basenjis to Eukanuba in sherpa bags.

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  • I have not flow with a b, but I will say, if you're flying with your dog, do not get a window seat. The window seats have less under-the-seat room.

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  • I try to get the middle seat. I don't like the aisle seat because of the amount traffic going by the seat and people not realizing there is a live animal in the bag.

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  • How do you get through security? Does the dog get x-rayed? Do you take them out and just walk through with them, while the bag gets x-rayed?

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  • You take them out of the bag and carry them through security. They can not wear their collar through the metal detector.

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  • For those who have wondered about an adult basenji fitting into at sherpa, I have taken some pics of Rio and her sherpa.

    Rio checking out the sherpa with her mom and sister

    Rio looking for her "crate" treat

    Rio getting in the sherpa

    All in and zipped up

    Don't wake me, I'm napping

    Really, I think I'll just chill awhile in here

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    attachment_p_76996_2_051.jpg
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    attachment_p_76996_5_043.jpg

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  • Thanks for posting those pics…I was curious about how she fit. :D

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  • @lvoss:

    Yes, I have flown Rio in a sherpa as an adult. She is 16.5 inches at the withers. Adults need to be comfortable laying down in the sherpa because they won't have room to stand. I have only used it for short flights, Sacramento to Los Angeles and back. When I was researching how to fly with her in the cabin, I got great advice from another basenji breeder who has flown her adult basenjis to Eukanuba in sherpa bags.

    I want to point out that I tried to do this a few years ago with Bella. She was perfect in the Sherpa, but she was WAY over the twenty pound weight limit. And, yes, they had me put the bag on the scale (dog+bag 20# limit). They also pointed out that she couldn't stand up, and turn around, as is their requirement. So, it can be kind of hit and miss with an adult dog…always have a back up plan. She ended up riding under the plane in her crate that I was bringing along anyhow. But I was a nervous WRECK!! She was fine :)

    Things might be a little easier to deal with now that you can check in online...if the only place that anyone will check out the dog is security, they won't care how big your dog is (within reason!)...but the airline folks have to follow the rules if they see a violation.

    This was on Northwest.

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  • @Quercus:

    I want to point out that I tried to do this a few years ago with Bella. She was perfect in the Sherpa, but she was WAY over the twenty pound weight limit. And, yes, they had me put the bag on the scale (dog+bag 20# limit). They also pointed out that she couldn't stand up, and turn around, as is their requirement. So, it can be kind of hit and miss with an adult dog…always have a back up plan. She ended up riding under the plane in her crate that I was bringing along anyhow. But I was a nervous WRECK!! She was fine :)

    Things might be a little easier to deal with now that you can check in online...if the only place that anyone will check out the dog is security, they won't care how big your dog is (within reason!)...but the airline folks have to follow the rules if they see a violation.

    This was on Northwest.

    Exactly Andrea.. this happened to a friend of mine that was flying to the PNW to get her bitch bred…. and while she was just fine in the bag... they would not let her on the plane cause she couldn't stand up... (like you would want them to?).... and she too had to fly in a crate, but they had to buy one... from the airline... and that was not cheap. So it can be hit or miss depending on the airline and who is at the ticket counter.

    NOTE:... this was again for an adult, not a 10wk old puppy...

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  • It definitely varies from airline to airline and even airport to airport. I have flown Rio on United. They did not require the bag be weighed and I never allow them to see Rio outside of her bag and they have never looked real close at her in the bag. Since she is calm in her bag, they haven't really made a big deal about it.

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