Traveling with a Pitbull: Why It’s Harder Than Other Breeds

Are you planning to bring your Pitty on your next getaway? It might seem like a fun idea, but it can get really technical when it comes to paperwork. So before you buy that plane ticket, make sure that you know the legislation when it comes to traveling with a Pitbull.

If you’re in the hook with Pitbull news, you’re probably familiar with the dreaded BSL or Breed-Specific Legislation. This state-specific legislation bans certain breeds in various areas. Also, it limits or bans the importation or living of the so-called “dangerous breeds” within a certain jurisdiction.

A lot of states have rallied against BSL, noting that this is an outright discrimination against certain breeds. But due to the controversial stereotypes, states like Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, and dozens more still don’t welcome Pitbulls. Aside from domestic legislation, other countries might also be unfriendly to your poor buddy.

The IATA LAR CR82

When transporting a Pitbull through an airline, it’s important that you comply with the IATA LAR CR82. This stands for International Air Travel Association Live Animal Regulations Crate Requirements Rule 82. On this rule, rigid plastic crates aren’t accepted if large breeds like Pitbulls, Terriers, and wild animals will be in transit.

This rule requires owners to use specialty crates made from hardwood or metal with two door fasteners. Such a thing is a common practice among lions, tigers, and bears. But back in 2012, IATA already included what they called the “aggressive breeds”.

The reason behind this is a precedent case on American Airlines flight 282 back in July 2002.  A Pitbull was able to chew out of his kennel and then gnawed a hole on the bulkhead together with some circuit wires. This led the airlines to ban adult Pitbulls and related breeds on its flights.

As for airlines accepting the transit of Pitties, you may also be required to comply with the IATA rule. However, always check the banned breeds per airline. Aside from American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue, and other major airlines do not accept Pitbulls.

It’s a challenge to find an airline and know how to travel with a Pitbull. Still, it’s possible to land a spot on smaller carriers. But once you get past the airline, the problems aren’t over yet. Actually, there might be a bigger problem.

Dealing with the rules

When it comes to transporting Pitbulls, even accommodating airlines will have a few rules to impose. All airlines that I know of won’t transport a dog under 10 weeks. This is a very delicate age and there’s a chance that the doggo would be compromised, especially during long flights.

Also, a certificate of vaccination is required before your Pitty can hop on the plane. Make sure that you come up with a Pitbull travel kit complete with a pet passport, AKC certifications, DNA results if possible, vaccination requires, and other documents that are necessary for transit.

traveling with a Pitbull

Land travel

When traveling with a Pitbull on land, the issue will arise only if you’re going to use public transport and you’re headed to a BSL state. For example, if you’re going to use the subway to travel, you have to know that Pitties have a bad reputation in this place.

Early this year, a Pitbull bit a woman passenger while riding the subway. Although this has nothing to do with your own pooch’s behavior, the stigma is glaring. Still, nothing is stopping you to do so. But to keep other passengers at peace, it’s best to have your Pitty muzzled and the body (except the head) enclosed placed in a bag.

How about rental cars? If you’re planning to have a road trip with your doggo, make sure that you purchase a dog carrier first. Some car rental companies require this. But to be sure, always call the car rental company and ask about their rules for bringing a Pitbull along.

Take note that most car rental companies will charge you with a hefty penalty if the car sustains damages like chewed upholstery or odors from pee and poo.

Worried about Pitbull discrimination?

The likes of EZ, Fox, Thrifty, and Avis don’t have strict pet policies; just make sure that you return the car in good condition.

Check your destination

Sometimes, it’s not just the airline but also the destination that will make your travel with a Pitty difficult. As for destinations in the U.S., specific states and cities impose restrictions and conditions before you can bring a Pitbull in. Some municipalities even have a total ban on Pitbulls. Check the complete list HERE.

Any Pitbull breeds aren’t allowed to land on Antigua and Barbuda. On the other hand, the likes of Denmark, and Great Britain have strict rules.

Knowing how to travel with a Pitbull will get complicated if you’re headed to any of these countries.

Although there might be exemptions, you will have to undergo an excruciating process of licensing and documentation. For example, in Spain, you can only bring your Pitty along once you secure a license to house a Pitbull. The same rule goes for Ireland, but aside from the license, no 16-year-olds should walk the dog. Here are some of the country destinations and their Pitbull restrictions:

New Zealand – Dangerous breeds like Pitbulls have to be neutered and microchipped. Also, the doggo should be muzzled when brought outdoors.

Singapore – Similar to New Zealand, the Pitbull must be neutered, insured, and muzzled when walking on a short leash.

Belarus – This country has a stricter take on keeping a Pitbull. First, the Pitty should be placed somewhere where it can’t escape. When walking, it should be muzzled and the person should be at least 18 years old with a certification for training and maintenance for Pitbulls.

Countries with total Pitbulls ban

If restrictions aren’t enough of a suffering when traveling with a Pitbull, some countries even imposed a total ban on the breed. Here are some of those nations:

➕Turkey

➕Israel

➕Switzerland

➕Portugal

➕Germany

➕Norway

➕Ecuador

➕Australia

➕Ontario and Manitoba, Canada

➕Bermuda Islands

➕Venezuela

This list isn’t exhaustive and some laws might have changed over time. Make sure that you perform adequate research before embarking on your journey, be it a vacation, moving, or temporary stay.

Potential exemptions

The above information might break your spirit to know how to travel with a Pitbull. However, never give up on your Pitty just yet. You can seek exemptions by complying on certain requirements not limited to certification, microchipping, insurance, training, and so on. Some countries I’ve stated above only need you to satisfy these requirements to finally have your Pitbull in.

Some destinations may require DNA testing to prove that your doggo doesn’t have a high level of Pitbull Terrier genes. But in this case, an exemption might be difficult to secure.

Some states may grant you an exemption if your dog has training certifications and a clean bite record.

traveling with a Pitbull

Check your accommodation

So your destination is Pitbull friendly and you finally found an airline that will accommodate your pooch’s transit. But how about the hotel or apartment you’re going to stay at?

Sadly, landlords have the power to decline an occupant who owns one of the “dangerous” breeds.

The silver lining here is that some landlords will give you an exemption if you can prove that your Pitty isn’t a safety threat. As you know, it pays to get your dog certified on the Good Canine Citizen Program of the American Kennel Club. Together with animal liability insurance, you have a high chance of getting an exemption.

But if you want to skip the hassle, inquire ahead of time. Make sure that you declare the breed and not just ask about “dog” rules. If you are moving to a BSL state or a Pitbull-restricting country, it will be a challenge to find a housing. Early preparation is the key here.

Consider pet courier services

If you’re not lucky to find an airline that will accommodate your adult Pitbull, your next resort is pet courier services. These companies specialize in transporting animals, like dogs. They will handle the documentation, purchasing of the crate, and other processes.

Some pet courier companies even designate a person to monitor your pet while in transit. This way, you’re assured that your pooch will be fed and taken care of while traveling. The only downside here is that you can’t get on the same flight with your dog. Still, you can use an app to track your pet’s location.

The likes of Happy Tails Travel, Airpets America, and Air Animal Pet Movers offer both domestic and international pet transit. Prices will vary on the destination and package you’re going to avail.

Conclusion

By knowing the rules, location, and means of transportation, you can have a worthwhile vacation or move with your Pitty. As much as other countries and U.S. cities prohibit the ownership of Pitties, there are still other destinations that are welcoming to this breed.

If you want to have a higher chance for exemption, always subject your dog to proper training. Secure certifications from trusted dog experts. This will soon become useful when traveling with a Pitbull.

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