Flying a Puppy

If you don’t live close enough to drive, than we will ship the puppy via a national air carrier like Delta or American. These reservations are made between 10-3 days before the ship date. When I have the flight information, I will email it to each out-of-state puppy buyer. It will look something like this:

Delta Booking 888-736-3738 (before they leave)
Delta Tracking 800-352-2746, option 2 (after they leave)

Shipping Thursday 3/22/10

Receiving Puppy:

John Jones
123 State Rd, Cityville, CA 12345
123-456-7890 – cell
Flight 123 Knox 6:05a to Atlanta 7:36a
Flight 4546 9:08a to SAC 1:05p
ref# 12345678

I am given a ref# when I make the reservations, I will get an airbill # when I drop the puppies off. The airbill# is the one you will need to check flight times once the pup is enroute.

You will need to call the 888 or 800 number for the carrier and find out WHERE to pick the puppy up. Sometimes it’s cargo, sometimes it’s baggage claim, and sometimes it’s a ticket counter — get directions AND a local phone number in case you get there and the puppy doesn’t show up. You will need the reference number to look things up

Make sure this is the date you expect to receive the puppy — getting time off work and showing up on the wrong date can be hazardous for your blood pressure <G>

The airline personnel will want to see photo ID, so make sure this name and address is accurate to your ID. 

I ask for a mobile phone number because you may be on the way to the airport when I find out there was a delay and I’ll need to tell you to go back home.

Delta, and other carriers will subcontract some of their commuter flights, it’s still a Delta flight, but they won’t always have the most up to date information on cargo on these contracted flights.

Use the 800 number to check the status of the puppy as she makes connecting flights. Give them 30 minutes after the expected arrival or departure to update their computers, but you should be able to track her across the country,

TIMES ARE LOCAL TIMES, local to the airport in question. It’s conceivable that a puppy could arrive before she left. <G>

When there is bad weather at any airport, sometimes flights are delayed or cancelled. The carrier wants the puppy delivered almost as much as we do, so they will do what they can to get the pup on another flight. Calling the 800 number will give you a better idea of scheduling.

All the carriers will tell you that it takes up to an hour for the pup to get from the plane to the area you will be. That’s true. Sortuv. I have walked in the door of cargo and been on the phone with Delta trying to find out when my pup would arrive and been told it would be on the flight in 30 minutes… only to be staring at her in her crate. Employees will sometimes put a pup on an earlier flight if they have time. Or it may take an hour. FFA regulations require that animals are the last to load and the first to unload. But they may sit in the luggage carts on the tarmac until the plane is unloaded.

When we ship pups, we must use an approved airline crate, which you get to keep and which the pups will have in their play pen for several weeks to become accustomed to it.

They will need an acclimation certificate & interstate health certificate from my vet within 10 days of shipping.

And we will insure the pup for the full purchase price — just in case. So far we have not had to use it, and hopefully we never will.

When the pup arrives, she should be safely secured in her crate with zip-ties. Inside the crate you will find:

Puppy with collar.  Add your own ID tag ASAP, you should have brought it with you along with a leash AND another collar for the leash. NEVER hook a leash to a collar with ID tags on it because if the collar breaks, the puppy will be loose and you will have the ID. I recommend your ID tag read something like: YOUR-LAST-NAME, YOUR-CITY-STATE, YOUR-MOBILE-PHONE NUMBER, and AKC ALASKAN MALAMUTE or MICROCHIPPED MALAMUTE. If you put the name of your dog on the tag, than thieves know the name of your dog… not a great idea. Use a mobile number because if you are away from home on a trip and they find your dog, they will call your home phone… where you won’t be to retrieve the message.

Wee-pads, paper towels, regular towels, or fleecy blankets for absorbency. Wee-pads & paper towels are disposable, everything else has been rubbed all over mom so it smells like home. If you need to wash the reusable items, don’t use a strong detergent or bleach at first. Unscented fabric softeners, detergents, and dryer sheets will be better for the puppy than scented — you WANT the pup to be able to smell mom while everything is new and strange.

Toys. I try to have at least one puppy squeaky and one Monster fleecy rope tug. Fleece tugs are wonderful for teething. Just dip in a very diluted bullion or chicken broth, drain, and freeze. Now it’s a teething toy. I keep two/puppy so when I leave them in their crate they have a teething toy AND there is a back-up in the freezer.

A useful 2qt stainless steel water bucket and a required but useless double plastic cup.

Perhaps a mess. Pup will likely have to REALLY go, so if you can get them outside or to a clean wee-pad, they are less likely to go on your shoe. Some pups will hold it and hold it and have to go several times. Some pups can’t hold it on longer flights or bumpy fligths.

When the crate arrives, there should be taped on top:

Dog food of whatever they are used to — either Eukanuba Large Breed puppy or Diamond Performance 30/20. I recommend you stick with whatever they are used to at least through a 40-lb bag. It’s already working and housetraining a puppy with stress diarrhea is impossible.

2 signed contracts. Read the contract. This was printed off the web the night before. The date of sale is the date the puppy was shipped. Initial the bottom of every page of BOTH copies. Sign BOTH copies. Witness BOTH copies. Put the copy that does NOT have the medical attached to it back in the mail to me, When the contract arrives I will use the following information from the contract for the AKC papers SO PRINT NEATLY PLEASE: Puppy name that we agreed to previously and you filled in

Buyer’s name(s) – two names means they are equal owners in the puppy in the eyes of the AKC and the law

Buyer’s mailing address

Buyer’s phone number

Buyer’s email address 

When you have the necessary paperwork taken care of with the airline, take the puppy outside ON LEASH, and potty her. While this is happening, let her sniff and play and explore. Some pups don’t jump right out of the crate and into your arms. That’s OK. Gently take the pup out with soft hands and a gentle voice and give her space to do her business.

While she is doing her business, you can stand there and say, “Potty, potty, potty.” Or you can CALL YOUR BREEDER 423-365-6039 and tell her the pup arrived OK. Interrupt your brief conversation and say, “Good POTTY, Good puppy!” But keep the praise soft and gentle because too much excitement might make her quit and come to you for attention.

As hard as it is, put her in her crate to take her home. If you have an accident on the way home from the airport, you may be unconscious and unable to control puppy from leaving the vehicle on a busy street. If you can’t bring yourself to crate her again, leave her leash on the puppy and tie the end to something in the vehicle — or short-leash her. To short-leash a dog, tie a knot in the leash below the handle. Close a car door on the leash so the knot & handle are on the outside of the car and the leash clip is hooked to the puppy’s collar on the inside of the car… in your lap, we all know it, just confess it, pup is in your lap and you are looking at her instead of driving. <G>

When you get home you will have a gallon of bottled drinking water — she is not used to the chemical composition of your water yet. Give her about half-a-cup of water from the bottle and refill with tap water. Keep doing this so the percentage will gradually go down to all tap water. Even so stress diarrhea is caused by STRESS, not job stress, just things-are-different stress. She can have the most mellow, easy-going family on the planet, but it’s not what she’s used to and that equals STRESS, which equals digestive upset. When she’s home you can also offer half a cup of the kibble from her crate. You should feed her VERY lightly the first 24 hours she is home. She will have been free-fed here, but if you want to have a chance at housetraining her, you will put her on a schedule of water and food.

Remember, a puppy bladder has very little control. They will have to go after they wake up, after they play, after they eat. They have to go a lot. 

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