From the stress of securing a doggy daycare spot to the dread of leaving your furry friend behind, a vacation with your pet at your side can be a fantastic solution.
By jetting off with your cuddly companion at your feet, you’ll have the opportunity to embark on a unique journey with your dog. While a vast number of canines are prohibited from joining you on your flight, there are select small-breed beauties that meet the criteria for cabin transportation.
Are you unsure which dog breeds that fit under airplane seats are right for you? This guide will help you through the kaleidoscope of dog breeds usually permitted as cute live carry-ons and how their common characteristics might be fair on a flight.
- 1 27 Dog Breeds That Fit Under Airplane Seats
- 1.1 1. Yorkshire Terrier
- 1.2 2. Miniature Pinscher
- 1.3 3. King Charles Cavalier Spaniel
- 1.4 4. Maltese
- 1.5 5. Miniature Dachshund
- 1.6 6. Chihuahua
- 1.7 7. Toy Poodles
- 1.8 8. Papillon
- 1.9 9. Jack Russell Terrier
- 1.10 10. Shih Tzu
- 1.11 11. Pomeranian
- 1.12 12. Norwich Terrier
- 1.13 13. Brussels Griffon
- 1.14 14. Chinese Crested
- 1.15 15. Pekingese
- 1.16 16. Havanese
- 1.17 17. Scottish Terrier
- 1.18 18. Toy Fox Terrier
- 1.19 19. Schipperke
- 1.20 20. Tibetan Spaniel
- 1.21 21. Japanese Chin
- 1.22 22. Affenpinscher
- 1.23 23. Miniature Schnauzer
- 1.24 24. Australian Terrier
- 1.25 25. Pug
- 1.26 26. Lhasa Apso
- 1.27 27. Boston Terrier
- 2 Dogs Fit for Planes — 3 Things to Consider
- 3 Best Dogs for Your Legroom | Final Thoughts
27 Dog Breeds That Fit Under Airplane Seats
Whether you’re planning to emigrate or jet off on a vacation, your pet could potentially travel at your feet for your comfort (and theirs).
With airline company policies and typical breed weight distribution, these types of canines have been known to be popular passengers in aircraft cabins. Here are some of the best dog breeds for plane travel.
1. Yorkshire Terrier
Image by Shannon Richards on Unsplash
A long-haired beauty that is known as a low-maintenance dog breed, a Yorkshire Terrier is an excellent choice for pet parents looking for an easy travel partner. As this breed is small in stature, you’ll easily fit this peppy pup into a pet carrier.
As a Yorkshire Terrier is known for the odd case of “zoomies,” be sure your pet has ample exercise before your flight. Mixed breeds, such as the Shih Tzu and Yorkie mix, are often allowed on the flight as carry-on passenger if they meet the criteria.
Average weight: Typically, Yorkshire Terriers are at most 9 pounds.
2. Miniature Pinscher
Image by Dorena Beckendorf from Pixabay
A dynamo dog breed that resembles a pocket-sized Doberman, the Miniature Pinscher is a relatively taller breed than a few of the others on the list. Also known as “Min Pin,” this type of dog is a popular teacup breed and bears the characteristic of regular barking habits.
While this is not the best trait for confined air travel, your pup will likely settle down when their anxiety levels diminish.
Average weight: They might seem bigger in size, but the average Min Pin ranges between 8 and 11 pounds.
3. King Charles Cavalier Spaniel
Image by Alexa from Pixabay
This seemingly regal small dog breed is the ultimate pawed pal to take on board, as they weigh little and tend to act clingy toward their owners.
Due to their affectionate and deep bond with humans, it could potentially be the best option to ensure lessened separation anxiety from the dangers of pet cargo traveling option.
Average weight: This breed can go up to 18 pounds, so it would be wise to check your pet’s weight in advance to see if they meet the requirements.
Image by Petra from Pixabay
A snow-colored and fluffy companion seemingly made to fit comfortably in a carrier, the Maltese is a popular pick in the toy dog breed category. These long-haired dogs are hypoallergenic, which means you’ll have fewer fellow passengers sniffling from allergies.
As a calm dog breed that doesn’t shed, this snowy sidekick is a great pick for travelers looking for an easy and hassle-free journey with a pet.
Average weight: Around 4-8 pounds.
5. Miniature Dachshund
Photo by Kyle Mackie on Unsplash
A long-bodied canine that is sure to adorn the appearance of a puppy forever, a Miniature Dachshund makes for a great partner-in-flight. While you might think an average dachshund could fit, these walking sausages tend to be stockier and, therefore, heavier.
The cocktail version, however, is sure to fit comfortably under your seat with a carrier. On average, Dachshunds tend to bark when overwhelmed by a rapid change of environment, so be sure to keep your buddy calm.
If you’re looking for an in-flight method of pet stress relief, a natural calming spray is a holistic alternative to ail your anxious pup.
Average weight: Generally, they can go up to 11 pounds.
Image by Thomas from Pixabay
Often seen peeking out of celebrities’ luxury handbags, this marvelous Mexican pooch is a popular breed for traveling in-flight with their human counterparts. They might be the perfect size for an airplane journey, but this breed tends to have behavioral attributes that could be a nuisance for fellow passengers.
From the bad habit of insistent barking to tiny bladders, there are potentially a number of problems that could arise during your flight. Dog pee pads are incredibly essential to add to your pet crate in order to ensure there is no unsanitary leakage.
Average weight: Around 5-8 pounds (depending on their gender).
7. Toy Poodles
Image by Alison Pang on Unsplash
These curly-haired cuties are an excellent option as your designated flight friend, as a typical toy poodle temperament is accompanied by intelligent and people-oriented traits. Toy poodles can grow up to 11 inches in length, which makes them the optimal size to fit inside a pet carrier with enough space.
However, these pint-sized pooches are delicate, so be sure to check on them if your plane ride comes across a hefty bout of turbulence.
Average weight: 4-10 pounds (depending on their age).
Image by River Fx on Unsplash
The Papillon is a wide-eared wonder that comes from the Spaniel family and is a treat to travel with on a flight. Their name is derived from the butterfly-esque shape of their ears, which give their head a particular winged effect.
While they are generally considered an energetic breed, Papillons are one of the smartest small dogs, making them relatively easy to train and obey various commands.
Average weight: They range from 4-10 pounds.
9. Jack Russell Terrier
Image by Juli Kosolapova on Unsplash
While this dog type teeters on the heavier side of the small breed spectrum, a Jack Russell can be considered a carry-on companion if their weight is monitored beforehand. However, this terrier type is known as one of the worst-behaved dog breeds and could be seen as a problem child on the flight.
Jack Russell Terriers tend to be quite energetic and, at times, aggressive if they don’t obtain mental and physical stimulation. If you’re set on traveling with this breed, you’ll want to opt for crate training to ensure your pet is acquainted with this type of travel.
Average weight: They often range between 13-17 pounds.
10. Shih Tzu
Image by Nikolay Tchaouchev on Unsplash
A small dog breed usually encased with luxurious long locks; the Shih Tzu is a Tibetan treasure often regarded as a friendly and affectionate breed. They tend to be quite closely bonded to their chosen humans, so cabin travel is an optimal option to reduce any anxiety that could be caused by air travel.
This breed has two different types: American and European Shih Tzus. The latter could be considered better for cabin travel as they tend to be smaller and lighter than the American type.
Shih Tzus form part of the “flat-faced” breeds of dogs, also referred to as brachycephalic, which often causes breathing problems for pets. Therefore, some airlines have restrictions for this breed, so be sure to research before you book your tickets with a specific company.
Average weight: They can often go up to 16 pounds.
Image by Сергей Корчанов from Pixabay
A fluffy pet that could easily be mistaken for a stuffed animal, this bear-like dog breed (in appearance alone) is a common choice for a cute cabin companion. Pomeranians form part of the toy dog breed variety, which makes them the perfect size to place at your feet on your flight without a struggle for leg room.
However, they are another dog type prone to barking when encountering an experience that induces stress or fear. If your small pet is prone to anxiety, you can throw a blanket over their crate to offer a sense of noise reduction and a form of separation from the stress-inducing environment.
Average weight: About 4-7 pounds.
12. Norwich Terrier
Image by Andrei Trishkin on Unsplash
A small fluffy dog breed that was bred for its rat-hunting abilities, the Norwich Terrier is a great canine co-passenger to catch flights (not rodents) with. Their appearance resembles the coveted Yorkshire Terrier but with a shorter coat.
In accordance with their hunting ancestry, Norwich Terriers can often be busy bees when it comes to outdoor exercise. So, this breed is best to travel with on short flights in order to keep them from getting restless.
Average weight: Around 11 pounds.
13. Brussels Griffon
Image by Abbie Love on Unsplash
A toy dog breed with a face only a dog mother could love, the Brussels Griffon is small in stature and big in personality. While they might have a permanent grumpy look on their face, this weird dog breed is lovable and loyal to their owners.
Brussels Griffon belong to the flat-faced group of dogs, which increases the likelihood of breathing problems. Before your flight, be sure to consult with your vet about your pet’s breathing quality, as the air quality in planes is often diminished.
Average weight: Can go up to 12 pounds.
14. Chinese Crested
Image by Katie Bernotsky on Unsplash
An expensive dog breed with an interesting appearance, the Chinese Crested would make a terrific air travel companion. There are two varieties of this breed: with and without hair. The hairless variety is known for its hypoallergenic coat, which is great for travelers with a sensitivity to dog dander to minimize any discomfort during the flight.
Due to their hairless nature, the Chinese Crested also falls under the dog breeds that don’t smell category, which is a plus if you’re planning to fly a long distance. So, if a wet dog or unpleasant canine scent is lingering in your cabin, you’ll know your pup isn’t to blame.
Average weight: Can go up to 12 pounds.
Image by Michał from Pixabay
The Pekingese is a fluffy and long-haired canine within the toy dog breed variety that is relatively calm and affectionate regarding their temperament. They belong to the flat-faced dog community, which means a number of airlines could have this pup on their banned list.
This Asian dog breed is also often restricted on flights in the summer months due to higher temperatures that might affect their breathing negatively.
Average weight: 6-14 pounds.
Image by Lindsey Duncan on Unsplash
The Havanese is a floppy-eared and fluffy breed that will keep you calm on your flight with its lovable charm and affectionate nature. They are known for their adaptability, which is an excellent quality in terms of the stressful nature surrounding air travel.
If you’re between a Havanese and a Shih Tzu for a travel companion, Havenese tend to be more level-headed when placed in a new environment. The Havanese also have a hypoallergenic coat and less vigorous grooming requirements.
Average weight: 7-13 pounds.
17. Scottish Terrier
Image by Obsidain Photography from Pixabay
A wiry-haired beauty that originates from Scotland, the Scottish Terrier is a top choice for travelers looking for an independent and self-assured breed to fly with. They do tend to be range on the heavier side, so it’s best to travel with this black dog breed when they’re still relatively young.
Average weight: They can go up to 22 pounds, so it’s imperative to check and monitor their weight well before your flight.
You might enjoy reading my post on dog breeds that stay small forever.
18. Toy Fox Terrier
Image by onepony on Canva
A dog variety that has been crossed to obtain its tiny stature, a Toy Fox Terrier is a friendly and affectionate pup to travel with on flight. While you might think the Toy Fox Terrier and Miniature Fox Terrier are one and the same, they are quite different.
The toy variety originates from the US and is generally smaller than the miniature. The miniature, in turn, originates in Australia and is a popular breed for hunting purposes.
Average weight: 4-9 pounds.
Image by @M111reks from Pixabay
With the appearance of a tiny wolf, a Schipperke is a playful and affectionate companion that could easily fit by your feet on a plane ride. This wily creature is often a nimble and successful escape artist, so you’ll need to check that your pet carrier is secure and safely fastened.
These confident creatures are often weary of strangers, so be sure to keep a blanket handy to cover their crate if they seem troubled by other passengers nearby. If you’re worried that their barking habits might hinder your travel experience, be sure to invest in some crate training lessons well before your travel date.
Average weight: 10-17 pounds.
20. Tibetan Spaniel
Image by Dimitar Stevcev on Unsplash
While this dog breed is not generally well-known, the Tibetan Spaniel is a stellar choice if you’re looking for a family-oriented and cuddly pet to take on your travels. With a rich backstory, including being bred by Tibetan Buddhist monks, this breed is quite hard and expensive to obtain.
This toy breed is also not prone to excessive barking habits and could mean you’ll have a restful and quiet trip with a furry friend.
Average weight: 9-15 pounds.
21. Japanese Chin
Image by Goran Horvat from Pixabay
Also commonly referred to as a Japanese Spaniel, this adorable small dog breed is an excellent cabin companion. They tend to be naturally drawn towards an indoor environment, which is perfect for travelers looking to fly for an extended period of time.
However, you’ll need to check the airline restriction list regarding dog breeds beforehand, as they have facial features associated with flat-faced dog breeds.
Average weight: Can go up to 15 pounds.
Image by Ida Damkilde from Pixabay
A small-sized dog breed that resembles Ewoks from the Star Wars franchise, this adorably ugly breed is a great balance of affection and independence in a small package. They do require a hefty amount of fur maintenance and would need a trip to the doggy parlor before your trip to ensure you meet the airline’s pet hygiene requirements.
Average weight: 7-10 pounds.
23. Miniature Schnauzer
Image by Sebastian Coman Travel on Unsplash
A Miniature Schnauzer is a mustached and small dog breed that generally has a great temperament and personality for flying. They are intelligent (making them very trainable), have a friendly demeanor, and tend to be adaptable to new environments.
As this breed tends to be on the chunkier side of the small breed variety spectrum, you’ll need to monitor their weight consistently before your departure.
Average weight: 11-19 pounds (depending on gender).
24. Australian Terrier
Image by No-longer-here from Pixabay
A confident breed that bears the appearance of a Yorkie and Scottie combined, the Australian Terrier has a lot of personality in such a tiny body. They thrive in human company and are very loving creatures, which is why they are one of the dog breeds that can fly in cabin rather than cargo.
As they can weigh up to 20 pounds, females and relatively young Australian Terriers are best for cabin travel in order to keep to the restricted weight limit.
Average weight: 14-20 pounds.
Image by JC Gellidon on Unsplash
While this dog breed might seem like a no-brainer to add to the list, many airlines have banned this pudgy pup from boarding flights (cargo and cabins). This is primarily due to the anatomical composition of their noses, which restricts their airflow.
If you find an airline that allows this breed in the cabin, you’ll find that they are one of the best-behaved dogs to travel with.
Average weight: 13-18 pounds.
26. Lhasa Apso
Image by Sonja Kalee from Pixabay
The Lhasa Apso is a popular choice for travelers looking for a low separation anxiety dog breed to fly with. From their cuddly nature to their fluffy behinds, this small breed is a wonderful addition to your travels due to its minimal behavioral problems that might affect your flight experience.
Average weight: Up to 18 pounds.
27. Boston Terrier
Photo byIgorTheGoodBoy on IG — Boston on Unsplash
Boston Terriers, a relatively well-known small terrier breed, can be a breeze to travel with because of their generally happy and lovable nature. However, it’s important to note that this breed has three different weight categories ranging from under 10 to over 25 pounds.
If you’re looking to add this tuxedo-styled dog coat cutie to your cabin, ensure they fall into the correct weight category to board the flight.
Average weight: 10-25 (depending on gender and weight category).
Dogs Fit for Planes — 3 Things to Consider
Air travel with your small dog might seem relatively straightforward, but a variety of factors need to be highlighted to ensure an informed decision.
1. Airline Requirements
While it might seem like a no-brainer, it’s important to note that not all airline companies provide provisions for small dogs.
However, a vast selection of air travel corporations allow carry-on pets that are within the bounds of their company policy and regulations. Take a look at a few standard requirements regarding in-cabin dogs compiled by the IATA (International Air Transport Association):
- The pet needs to be in a suitable container that meets airline policy requirements, which include space for your dog to stand and proper ventilation.
- Vet records and necessary health certificates (this usually includes updated vaccination documentation, etc.).
- Typically, the maximum weight of a dog with a carrier should be 20 pounds.
- It’s essential to confirm specific in-cabin pet requirements with the chosen airline, as companies have different criteria, and confirm your reservation.
- Certain airlines ban specific small dog breeds in accordance with their policy.
2. Your Pet’s Comfort
Not all dogs are meant for the skies, as many canines find the journey traumatic. Flat-faced dog breeds could have a hard time during air travel as the oxygen quality and flow are different and can cause breathing problems.
From excessive and strange noises to bumpy flights, a wide variety of factors could induce an anxiety-ridden experience for your pet. So, if your pet has higher stress levels, keeping your dog at home is best.
Airline companies require a selection of health certificates and vaccination updates from a certified professional. It would be wise to then enquire with your vet to assess your pup’s mental and physical health to determine whether air travel is viable.
Beyond the usual criteria of size and breed restrictions, travelers will often have to pay a hefty price tag to have their dog at their side (or feet) during air travel. The price for an in-cabin trip will differ across the various airlines that allow it, which is usually determined by whether you’re flying internationally or domestically.
Typically, the starting price is around $100 for travelers to have pets with at their feet during the flight.
Best Dogs for Your Legroom | Final Thoughts
From spunky spaniels to calm Pekingese, a vast selection of small breeds meet the requirements for air travel. A cargo option might seem like a hassle-free travel solution, but who wouldn’t want to see their fur babies safely at their feet?
While legroom space is an essential factor in determining your ideal small dog companion, there are other critical criteria to consider before making a decision. Whether it’s general temperament or breathing difficulties from snub-noses, you’ll need to assess your pet thoroughly in order to see if they are fit to fly.