Many dog breeds have enjoyed much popularity over the years for their extreme loyalty and also for their abilities to guard property as well as their owners and their families. Although breeds such as the German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Boxer, Cane Corso and Mastiff have risen and fallen slightly in popularity, these breeds are still included as popular dog breeds worldwide.
In recent years, Pit Bull Terrier breeds have become more popular. Actually, a Pit Bull is a term referring to several breeds, mainly the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. All of these breeds can be raised as great family dogs if they are properly trained and socialized; however, they are extremely strong and can cause a lot of damage if stressed.
After years of collecting statistics on dog aggression and incidents of dog bites, some dog breeds and their mixes have been classified as “dangerous” by many commercial airlines, and, as such, they are either banned from transport or must fly in a CR 82 crate that is stronger than commercial plastic crates. This is because these breeds have the strength and ability to chew their way out of plastic crates. Because of this, CR 82 crates have become a requirement for flying Pit Bulls and other dog breeds on most airlines that will fly them.
In the effort to secure safe passage of these breeds, several airlines have imposed restrictions on the crates they can fly in and require what is known as a CR 82 crate. The specifications of this crate are defined by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). It is a container that will ensure the safety of dog breeds known for their strength and also powerful jaw during air transport.
Due to international shipping costs, many pet owners need to have these types of crates custom made. Here are some of the specifications required by IATA for custom crates that are CR 82 compliant.
Your dog’s crate must be measured properly, allowing your dog to stand up with head extended and turn around in the crate easily without touching the sides or top of the crate. Snub-nosed breeds such as Boxers will need generous sizing.
Your dog’s crate must be made from non-toxic materials such as untreated wood or metal that is suited for this use. The bottom of the crate must be waterproof and absorbent padding should be placed in the bottom of the crate. All sides must be made from solid wood or metal.
Food and water containers must be provided and either attached to the door or fixed inside the crate with access for refilling by airline staff.
Your dog’s crate must allow for easy handling with a minimum of 2 inch (5 cm) thick forklift spacers on the sides that allow for lifting, whether manual or forklift.
Your dog’s crate must have adequate ventilation on three sides (domestic flights) and 4 sides (international flights) which is not blocked in any way. The ventilation openings should be 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter and cover the top third of the sides and the entire back of the crate, spaced 4 inches apart. Openings must not allow any part of your dog to protrude from the crate.
The door of your dog’s crate must be constructed of metal mesh and it must be escape-proof and include a lock that cannot be opened by your dog. No part of your dog should be able to protrude between the bars of the door. A sliding piece of wood or metal with larger (4 inch – 10 cm) and smaller ventilation holes (1 inch – 2.5 cm) that can raise and lower should cover the door.
The frame of the crate must be solid wood or metal and all parts must be bolted or screwed. Additional metal bracing must be added if the weight of the crate and your dog will exceed 132 pounds (60 kg).
There can be nothing protruding on the inside of the crate (nails, screws, etc.) which could cause injury to your dog.
The crate must be extremely sturdy and rigid. It must be able to withstand freight damage. All joints must be secure and gnaw-proof.
The crate must be able to fit in the cargo door of the aircraft that serves your route. It is extremely important that you contact your airline to confirm that your dog’s CR 82 crate can fit through the cargo door of the aircraft that serves your route.
Remember that these regulations are in place to secure the safety of your dog. Your dog’s temperament can change drastically when in the active and noisy environment of a cargo facility at the airport. The bottom line is keeping your dog from escaping its crate as that is when it is most vulnerable and subject to harm.
Click to see a crate that can be modified to be IATA CR 82 compliant with the addition of a door and brace.
You can also check your airline’s pet policies on dangerous dog breeds here.