Schedule of an ATP student

I am starting in February for the professional pilot program at ATP Tampa. I want to bring my dog down with me to the apartment I rent. Is a majority of the school at home studying? Will I be home at decent times to take care of her? Thank you.


I would caution against taking your dog. Sometimes you’ll be home decent times, other times you won’t and there will also be some very long days. While there is a considerable amount of self-study there’s also ground and sim. You’ll want to participate in study sessions with the other students and dogs are not permitted in the ATP apartments. Once you start the crewing phase you may be gone a few days at a time and for CFI school you’ll be gone for 2-3 weeks. It’s going to be tough on you and tough on your dog as well.


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Thank you for your feedback. I want to do what’s best for me and what is best for her, so this helps out with that decision.

As a side note, animals are not permitted in ATP’s apartments.

I am with Adam on this one, leave the dog at home.

I am not staying at the ATP apartments, so that part does not affect me. Thanks.

It’s a lot to ask someone to part from their dogs for nine months to two years (CFIs have much more packed schedules than students), but it would certainly affect their way of life. I have no problem caring for my two dogs, but they had a much higher quality of life before the program. Now they don’t get to go on walks or runs as often, or to the park nearly as much because of how much time is necessary for me to be at the training center or studying. I don’t live in ATP apartments, but I would recommend a roommate who is willing and capable of helping care for your dogs. Most flights are less than two hours, but there are still a good amount of flights longer. I’d suggest professional dog-care services like Rover or back home my groomer/daycare was a great place for them to be for days at a time too.

Students are actively engaged with instructors about two hours a day at the training center, but we are still expected to be available from 8-5 Monday through Friday. Sometimes plane availability changes last minute, or your instructor might find some extra free time (perhaps when another student cancels) and you will definitely want to capitalize on that time. CFIs work full eight hour days, sometimes with no meal breaks, hardly any bathroom breaks, and certainly no spare time to run home to let out the dogs. I’ve seen a handful of instructors climb straight from one plane with one student, walk about fifteen feet to the next plane and student, and get right back in the air. Being a student with a dog at home will be tough, being an ATP instructor would be even harder on the dog.

And being an airline pilot with a dog is even harder yet.

I had my dog through training and had only one issue - crew cross countries. Though policies have changed and it is now easier to plan for. But you’ll probably need someone (or a service) to care for them at times during this phase.

That being said, I had to put my dog with family when I went to the airlines due to the schedule and his quality of life. But if you have your own housing during training then I think it can be a benefit to you to keep your dog. I certainly felt it was great for helping me relax. And it never negatively impacted my training as I was successful in all rides during the 5 month zero to hero. Good luck to you!!