7 Travel Secrets of Top Show Dogs

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Traveling with pets isn't easy. We asked owners and handlers to share what keeps their pampered pooches wagging their tails.

The Reigning Champ
Sadie ranks number one in the U.S., and the terrier from Rialto, Calif., is on the go every other week, three to four days at a time. Her entourage is never short of paper towels, wipes, and grooming tools, because you never know when a fan may request an impromptu photograph.
Handlers' tip: Handlers Gabriel and Ivonne Rangel accustomed Sadie to being inside a soft carrier from the age of one. The Rangels say: "Make sure your dog gets used to a crate before a trip. Start by using it daily for just a few minutes at a time. Once he or she is more relaxed (maybe after a week or more), take your dog in the carrier to a favorite spot, like the park."

Mr. High-Maintenance
Traveling to nearly 150 dog shows per year, Walker is like George Clooney in Up in the Air: He expects to be doted upon constantly. "He hates rain, wind, hot, and cold, and he wants everything done in the same way for each show," says his handler, Kaz Hosaka. "He's a sweet, spoiled boy. A sissy boy."
Handler's tip: "I once got on a plane without my dog making it. Never again! If one of my dogs has to travel in cargo, I ask a gate agent to communicate with the luggage handlers to confirm the dog is in the hold before I board. The agents are usually nice about checking."

The Weekend Warrior
To keep his standing as the number one toy dog in the U.S., Malachy hits the circuit every weekend, usually by car. He's a good traveler but—like any Pekingese—is prone to overheating.
Handler's tip: If nature calls when there's an airport security checkpoint between you and the outdoors, what to do? "A Wee-Wee Pad [fourpaws.com, from $8] is a way to avoid passing through security twice," says his owner-handler, David Fitzpatrick. Lay a pad on a bathroom floor.

Old-World Charmer
This winner of best of breed awards at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship has visited Italy, France, and Croatia, where he seemed quite at home—perhaps because of his European ancestry.
Handler's tip: "Some fliers don't realize that the dog has to come out of the carrier at the security checkpoint," says Tommy's owner-handler Tara Martin Rowell. "My advice is—with shoes and laptop and the rest of your gear—to wait until the last possible moment to let the dog out."

UNO THE BEAGLE (See a photo)
The Veteran Flier
In 2008, Uno earned his barking rights: He is the first beagle in the century-plus history of Westminster to nab the big prize. His "foster father," David Frei has been Uno's flying companion for years, and he offers this advice: "Be prepared for absolutely anything to happen. Uno was once picked at random for additional screening in the airport. Even the TSA workers, not known for their sense of humor, were smiling about this."
Handler's tip: Pets earn rewards on Continental, JetBlue, and Pet Airways, but not on most other airlines. One work-around: Pet carry-on fees can be $100 or so. If you charge them on a rewards credit card, you'll indirectly earn frequent-flier miles toward your next trip.

The Fashionista
Based in Malmö, Sweden, Manfred puts the "trot" back into "globe-trotting." He's recently been to Antwerp, Los Angeles, and New York City. The internationally famous pooch always travels with stylish outfits, such as a lambskin biker jacket or a Rolling Stones hoodie, because he's the mascot for the dog fashion house that bears his name.
Handlers' tip: When leaving the country, bring all of your dog's records of shots and vaccines, because no dog owner is immune to being quizzed by the authorities, says Björn and Ann Gärdsby, Manfred's owners. You otherwise risk having your dog quarantined.
Bonus tip: When traveling by air, always carry a leash with you—in case the airline loses your checked luggage.

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