Teaching Dogs to Fly
Amanda Bayhi | October 24, 2013
Service dogs can learn how to stay calm on an airplane, thanks to a dog-loving producer in Los Angeles.
Talaat Captan — whose Twitter bio describes him as “an avid traveler, Producer, Animal lover, CEO and Founder of Air Hollywood” — has created a program that trains dogs service dogs and their handlers to calmly fly together, ABC News reports.
“I [saw] a dog and its owner freaking out,” Captan told ABC News. “And then it really hit me that I have a facility [where] I can train these people.”
The program, “K9 Flight School,” uses Captan’s Air Hollywood facility to teach service, working and emotional-support dogs to remain calm during flight by simulating takeoffs, turbulence and landings. The program also allows the canines to get accustomed to the environment of an airport.
“The dogs are with their people, they are with their handlers, so they know how to be happy and safe with them, but if any of the dogs do get nervous or upset, we can remove them immediately, bring them back to a neutral happy spot and then start over,” said teacher Megan Blake.
K9 Flight School costs $349, a price that could be worth a safe and comfortable flight.
“It gives us the confidence that she can do it and it eliminates the unknown,” customer Bill Carpenter said of the classes his emotional-support canine, Breeja, has attended. “The more exposure she gets, the better.”
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