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TRANSPORT

Generally speaking, it is best for Tamaskan puppies to travel by car, despite possible carsickness, as it is usually more relaxing and you can stop to take breaks / stretch legs as necessary, on your own time. That being said, for international long-distance travel (for instance, to Canada or the USA) transport by car is not an option; therefore, puppies travel by plane. Some airlines allow small dogs and cats to travel (accompanied) in the passenger cabin inside a soft carry-bag, which must fit within specified dimensions (each airline sets their own dimensions). The universal standard for most airlines is that pet + carry bag (combined weight) must weigh less than 8 kg (approx 18 lbs). At 8-9 weeks old, most male Tamaskan puppies are close to this weight limit and some large male puppies will be slightly over… however, a small male puppy or average-size female puppy will usually be within this specified weight limit. Any puppy that is over the specified weight/size limit must travel in an IATA transport crate in the cargo area of the airplane. The dimensions of the crate depend on the size of the puppy.

  

COST

Transport costs are not included in the puppy purchase price because the cost of transport depends on the method of transport as well as the destination. The cost of the soft carry-bag (for travel in the passenger cabin) is approximately 60 euros and the cost of transport in the passenger cabin depends on the destination (cost of round-trip human ticket + 50-150 euros for pet one-way). The cost of the IATA transport crate is approximately 100 euros (80-120 euros: depending on the exact size and brand) and the cost of cargo transport depends if the puppy is traveling accompanied (with a human on board the flight: cost of round-trip human ticket + 50-150 euros for pet one-way) or unaccompanied (cargo shipping: 800-1400 euros depending on destination and crate size).

  

AGE

It is important to keep in mind the national regulations (age limits + required vaccinations) for importing puppies as well as the airline regulations. While most airlines follow the same rules as the national regulations, which varies depending on the country, some airlines will only transport puppies that are aged 10+ weeks old, while others will only transport puppies that are aged 12+ weeks old. Some airlines will only accept puppies that are 15+ or 16+ weeks old.

Whenever possible, we try to ensure that puppies are able to fly from 8-10+ weeks old… sooner rather than later. This is because it is less stressful for puppies to travel internationally at a younger age, in the sense that the journey has less of a long-term traumatic impact and they tend to recover much faster from the stress of the journey. Whenever possible, we try to avoid shipping puppies around 15-16+ weeks old, as this usually coincides with a major “puppy fear phase” and, at this age, the journey can have more of a long-term traumatic impact and they tend to take longer to recover from the stress of the journey. What is the best age for a puppy to go to its new home?


REDUCING STRESS

Whenever possible, for long-distance international flights (for instance, to Canada or the USA) we try to ensure that 2-3 puppies travel together in the same crate. Many airlines allow 2 puppies to travel together, and some allow up to 3 puppies in the same crate. By traveling together with their siblings for comfort and companionship, the journey is much less stressful overall. It also has the added benefit that the new owners can then split/share the transport costs so it works out cheaper for everyone. Of course, this requires a lot of organization and communication between the different families and the transshipping company but it's definitely the best solution overall.

We usually include several toys in the transport crate to keep the puppies occupied during the journey; however, these are sometimes removed by airport customs/security along the route. A food/water bowl (attached to the door of the crate) is mandatory; unfortunately, these are usually made out of plastic and can be easily broken. Puppies must always have access to fresh water during the journey but it is not recommended to feed them before/during the flight. We do not put any blankets or soft/rope toys inside the crate, as it is too risky that the puppies will chew/swallow pieces, which can cause a life-threatening intestinal obstruction. Instead, we simply layer multiple sheets of newspaper on the bottom of the crate as it is both absorbent and not harmful if chewed/swallowed. To be completely safe, we also remove all collars, leashes, and harnesses, which are then attached to the outside of the crate.

  

Regardless if 1, 2, or 3 puppies are traveling in the transport crate, acclimatization to the crate is of paramount importance. We usually start with crate-training when the puppies are around 6 weeks old; we introduce the puppies to the crate slowly, over a long period of time. At first, they have constant access to the crate (with the door removed) so they can walk in and out of it as they please, sniffing and playing all around it. Then, we put the door back on and begin to feed the puppies inside the crate (with the door closed) for every meal so they have a positive association with going in the crate and don't mind the door being closed. Finally, we gradually build up the time they spend inside the crate with the door closed, making sure to let them out again before they get stressed... rinse and repeat. By the time the puppies are ready to fly, they usually don't mind being in the crate for extended periods. Of course, after a long and stressful journey, 10+ hour international flight(s), they will usually have an aversion to going back inside the crate again, at least for a while, once they have arrived at their destination. When they are settling into their new homes, it's important not to force the puppies to go back into the crate again so soon, if they don't want to, and to gradually build-up the time they spend inside the crate, with consideration to the fact that the crate may now have a negative association, which must be gently overcome through positive reinforcement and plenty of patience/practice.