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Old 08-30-2023, 05:55 PM
catmandu's Avatar
catmandu catmandu is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sierra Nevada
Posts: 1,148
Default Dogs: 75lb Golden into back of 8?

I've got a 75 lb grand-dog that needs to occasionally visit his cousin-Golden of a similar age in Vancouver, BC. I'm not too fond of doing that 15 hour drive when there is an RV in the mix. I've got mutt muffs for him which he has taken to when I have him at the hangar with me for a couple hours. I plan to remove the aft stick and seat back and lay down a nice cushion, and a restraining harness attached to the shoulder straps. If he takes to planes like cars, he'll just lie down and wait for the trip to be over. I can probably lift him up and over, but always looking for the easier option. Any tips or tricks to get him up and over the canopy rail?

I PM'd our Christian brother Scott Chastain who did grand adventures with his dog in an -8 but, alas, he's gone dark and did not reply.

Edit: Obligatory photo of said pooch:

Mike C.
Sierra Nevada
RV-6A bought flying SOLD
RV-S8 bought flying

Last edited by catmandu : 08-30-2023 at 08:36 PM. Reason: I forgot!
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Old 08-30-2023, 09:04 PM
koupster's Avatar
koupster koupster is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SLC, UT (KBTF)
Posts: 446


I've been flying Pilots n Paws. Have an RV-6; so some differences. Here's my suggestions:

Get a good harness for Goldie? If it has a handle on top between the fore and aft loops that circle the neck and body that's best. Otherwise, make sure you can lift Goldie by the fore and aft connector strap. You can lift Goldie onto the wing like a 75 lb suitcase. Then, ideally with some help from the other side of the fuselage, lift into the back seat. If that's not working, gather the grand-dog up by circling all four legs with your arms and lift into the back seat.

The first dog we flew was a Shepard-Husky mix. I tethered her collar to the aft bulkhead pretty high up. She kept trying to climb into the front, and could get her forelegs over the seat support crossbar. Since then, I've been tethering the dog's collar to a point on the floor just behind the seats. I adjust the tether so the dog's nose and jaw can get over the crossbar, but their collar stops them from going any further.

All the dogs that I've flown since that first time have laid quietly or slept most of the flight.
Cheers, David
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Old 08-31-2023, 07:52 AM
bobnoffs bobnoffs is offline
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: n. wi
Posts: 1,034

boy, i would really check out the dog in his spot on the ground . i had a lab for years and one night i tethered him in the back of a ''station wagon'' while i was away for an hour. when i came back he was sitting in the drivers seat. the passenger seat was shredded. i don't know how it was still anchored to the floor. carpeting was torn up. it was impressive. dog was lucky i didn't have access to a deadly weapon!
so just saying i wouldn't want to deal with this in the air. i never tied him up in the car again and we lived happily ever after.
Bob Noffs
n. wi.
dakota hawk/jab 3300 built and flying. sold 6/18.getting serious about the 12. in the hangar now as of 10/15/19
RV-12 kit as of 9/13
RV-12 airworthiness cert. 11/30/2021
first flight 7/25/2022
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Old 08-31-2023, 08:37 AM
Mikeyb's Avatar
Mikeyb Mikeyb is offline
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Pasadena ca
Posts: 391

Interested to see what you come up with hauling a big dog in a -8.

I intend to try it with my 75#er. I can’t figure out how I would get him in and out without tooling and/or another person. Lifting a bag of sand gracefully in and out was an issue for me.

It also seems like the seat belts are too far forward to use as an anchor for a typical car safety harness.
SN 83764
Hartzell Composite CS
Phase 1 complete 10/29/22
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Old 08-31-2023, 09:36 AM
Carl Froehlich's Avatar
Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is online now
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
Posts: 4,346

My Border Collie is not as big, but rides well in the back of the RV-8. But - she always rode well in a car. She just sits up long enough to see me get in, then curls up for a nap. I suggest how your dog travels will be the indication if it will ride in the RV-8 or not.

What I do:
- Rear seat bottom cushion removed. Back cushion remains in place (but perhaps you might need the extra room).
- Rear stick is removed. I made a box out of 1/4” plywood and some 3/4”x3/4” wood as a frame. The box covers the rear stick socket. The rear of the box gets a 3/16” bolt that goes through the rear seat belt center strap hardpoint (center strap removed). This anchors the box so it does not move around.
- Aft of the box I use old cushions and such to build up the area. On top of that, and overlapping the box, I use a Harbor Freight moving blanket to make a comfortable bed.
- I considered strapping her in, but decided if she got tangled up I could do nothing about it. After one long trip with the worst turbulence I ever experienced she did not budge.

If you can, you might try flying with the puppy in a four seat plane so you can sit next to it. Good way to ease them in.

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Old 08-31-2023, 11:12 AM
Levoe210 Levoe210 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.
Posts: 29

I fly my 80lb boxer in the back of my 4 often. I've tried strapping him in with a harness, leash, to the belts numerous ways and its always been unlatched when we arrive. I stopped trying to strap him in, he just knocks out. Ive just been pulling all the cushions and stuffing his Costco dog bed in place of the seat bottom / back. Has worked perfect. And I just lift him up scooping all legs and placing him in the back.
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Old 09-09-2023, 03:43 PM
Brent Brent is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Hanover, Pa
Posts: 74
Default RV Dogs

I am impressed that we have so many folks who can hoist 74/80 lbs of dog into an RV 8!

Before the 8 I have an aircraft with a backseat. We had our very calm Chocolate Lab as a member of our family at the time. It was uneasy to put him through the potential stress of an hour trip to a Maine for the weekend. I removed the rear seat, installed his bed and hoped for the best. He jumped up on the wing over into the backseat area, and waited for takeoff.
The thing that fascinated me was that rather than being disruptive, after takeoff he sat there looking out of the window, apparently quite interested in the countryside, then when he had enough, just curled up and did his favourite thing, which was to sleep.

On arrival he jumped out, found a suitable place, pooped and asked what’s next?

I think the major consideration with the 8, after solving the getting in and out puzzle, would be removing the nose prints from the canopy.
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Old 09-09-2023, 04:52 PM
Pilot135pd's Avatar
Pilot135pd Pilot135pd is offline
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Vaca Moo Airport - TA37 in EAST TEXAS
Posts: 2,114

Originally Posted by Brent View Post
I am impressed that we have so many folks who can hoist 74/80 lbs of dog into an RV 8!
That was my thought as soon as I read the first post !
Sadly sold my RV-8 but still enjoying life by living on my airport with FREE campsites & facilities for all visiting pilots to enjoy while I putt-putt around in my Wilga while I wait for some used RV-15 to hit the market
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