Going to the Airport to Get Your Puppy
Several Days Before the Arrival of your new puppy
The day is arriving when you will go to the airport to pick up your new puppy so let’s go over the things you will need to do before your puppy comes home.
______1.  Re-arrange the house for your new arrival.  Pick up stuff and put it away.
______2.  Find a place that will be just for the puppy.  The puppy could use his own “bedroom” where he can be himself, where there is no stress.  This could be a closet, the mudroom, or a wire exercise pen.  This all depends on the age of your new pup.

There should be a way out to his potty area, or an area made for the pup to relieve himself when need be.  Put newspapers near the door out to his potty area. If your pup is not familiar with relieving himself indoors, either make sure the newspapers cover 80 % of the floor if he is to stay inside or make a place for him outside.

    If he is to stay outside then you best put him in a kennel near your bed or inside where you can condition him first.  No puppy that I have ever known could adapt in one day to the outside without any other animal or person to let him know that he is not lost or alone.  Dogs are social animals and need someone or something to be with.  If your dog will spend a lot of time outside, fix up a place for the pup to have his water BUCKET and his FOOD DISH.  Purchase a large doghouse that has a small entrance as most dogs like dens.  You may wish to hammer down a carpet on the floor of the doghouse and a carpet to flap over the door now or in the future.

 You should have the following:

______ 1.  Doghouse, crate or someplace the dog can go to get out of the elements.

______ 2.  A water bucket.

______ 3.  A food dish.

______ 4.  A fifteen or twenty-foot leash for training the “come.”

______ 5.  A choke chain and a collar.

______ 6.  Doggy shampoo special for your allergies? You should also have cream rinse, old towels and a blow drier.

______ 7.  A large tooth comb and a shedding blade.

______ 8.  A toolbox to put all his stuff in.

______ 9.  A toy box and doggy toys.

______10.  A “cookie jar” and chew’s.

______ 11.  Chicken franks cut up into thumbnail size pieces, put in small baggies, and frozen. One baggy in the refrigerator. You have cheddar cheese cut up and put in baggies for rewards when his stools are too lose or he is tired of the chicken franks.

______ 12.  Lots of newspapers if your puppy will be in the mudroom, laundry room or other enclosed places.
The Day Before your Pup Arrives
______ Get instructions on how to get to the airport from {} on your computer.  On the map find the rest stop areas and highlight them.  Get a close up of the airport so you will know where to go.  See if you can find the closest grassy area from the building.

______ Call the airport and tell them that you will be picking up a pup.  Give them the airplane flight number.  If you need to pick the pup up in a cargo building instead of the airport, they will tell you.  Ask if the flight will be on time.  Tell them this is your first time receiving a pup from an airport and ask them if there is anything else you should know.

______ Get a large paper bag and put in the following:  a towel, a gallon sized zip lock bag filled with kibbles, a gallon jar of water (if it is a large pup) and a doggy water bowl, a choke chain, a leash, a flat collar you think might fit. (I say choke chain because any size choke chain will work but a too large flat collar may come off and you do not want to lose this pup). The kibbles should be the same type that your breeder has been feeding the pups.

______ Get some scissors or fingernail clippers to cut the plastic ties off that all the airlines put on dog kennels for security purposes. Put them in your purse.

______ Get some plastic bags that you get from the grocery store. These will come in handy if your pup potties. To pick up your dogs feces, put your hand in the plastic baggy, pick up the poop and then pull the bag off your hand never letting go of the feces you grabbed with the protected hand. The feces will now be inside the baggy. Tie a knot in the baggy and throw in the nearest trash. I usually use two baggies one inside the other as my pups potty BIG.

______ Put the map on top of the bag of doggy stuff and get some sleep.  Set the alarm for thirty minutes before you have to walk out the door.  Unless you are like my husband Jim and you require two hours to wake up.
The Day the Plane Arrives
Ok, today is the day and everything is ready.  Have a cup of coffee and get dressed.

Get your purse, driver’s license and do not forget the bag of doggy stuff.  Drive safely.

    When you get to the airport, if you do not know where you are going . . . get out at the door of the airline that your pup flew in on, (KEEP THE CAR RUNNING as long as there is someone driving the car) go in and ask the ticket person where you can get your puppy.  You may wish to go to the baggage pick up area and ask an attendant.

    You may now have to park your car if it is a large airport or you may have to drive to the cargo building.  If it is a small airport, you may just have to drive up to the door nearest to the baggage claim.  Take the scissors, a towel and your identification with you to go get the pup.  Have your husband bring the collar, leash, and water bottle or have him stay in the car if you are in the ‘yellow zone’.

Show the airport personnel who you are and tell them you are there to pick up a puppy.  They will show you where your pup is.  Take the pup out to the grassy area.  Clip off the ties and get that puppy out of the crate.  Put the collar and leash on the puppy and hug your puppy. You may need to use the towel.  If your pup is a large puppy you may have to walk the puppy through the crowds at the airport so take your time and GUIDE HIM.  He is probably very confused.  He may be excited and he may pee on the floor, thus the towel.

Get this pup to the grassy area- While someone goes with the pup to the grassy area, one person may go to the car if not too far away and get the dish and the gallon of water.  Take your time, be with your puppy, and let him drink.  Judge the distance to the first rest stop and how much your puppy is drinking.  Allow the pup to walk, run, and hug.  You may wish to give the pup some kibbles, maybe a handful.  This is an important puppy-bonding period as his old pack is gone and you are now the new pack member.  Keep in mind that there are germs all over the place and if your pup is a very young pup do not allow him to run around.  Place the young pup in a spot and walk around in that small spot until he goes then pick him up.  Wiping his feet off may help.

    Ok, the hard part is over.  Have someone hold the pup or sit with the pup while you drive to the first rest stop.  If your pup came from my place your pup will be wonderful in the car.  If the pup doesn’t mind the kennel, you may wish to return the pup to the kennel until you get to the rest stop (If the kennel is clean).  The pup may be familiar with the kennel he arrived in and he may wish to go back into it.

At the first rest stop, give your pup more water and more exercise. Walk the pup around, do not stop walking or the pup may find someone else to walk with.  Walk in a very large circle and keep walking.  Exercise him.  Give him more water and a handful of kibbles if he is hungry.  Take your time and enjoy the day, unless the pup is without shots.
Bringing Your Pup Home

When you bring your puppy home he/she will be missing the pack.  It will cry and howl when left alone.  I suggest you bring your pup home on a Friday so that you will be able to give this new pup all the attention you can for at least three days.  Get him use to your routine early.  Pretend to go to work at your normal hour and peek around the corner, plan it all out.  Does he have enough room?  Can he get into anything while you are away?  Does he have something to keep him occupied?  Can you come home at lunch, get off early, and bring him with you?

I suggest you also provide a crate for the new pup and put it next to the bed, close enough for your hand to tap the crate so the pup will know you are there.  Please be patient with your new puppy.  Alsatians are companion dogs and do not like to be alone.  Anything your pup does in its crate, playpen, or exercise pen is ok.  Deal with it, but do not punish the pup.  If he potties in his crate blame yourself not the dog.  The puppy had no choice.  You were not paying attention.  Your pup does not want to soil his bed.    

 Give your pup something to do or to think about.  If your pup is whining and crying and carrying on for no reason (because you left him for a second, or just because he is in the crate) then put the crate in a separate room and let him carry on.  The reason I say that is so the whining and crying doesn’t upset you.  If you give in to the whining your pup will win and whining will be a way to get you to come to him.  This learned behavior gets worse, never better and you end up with a whining dog that your neighbors will not tolerate.  I once knew a man that went down the street and shot a Doberman pup just because it was whining too much.

Do not go to him under any circumstances when he is whining or he will think his crying made you come to him.  The trick is to pay attention to him when he is quiet and good.  Two minutes after he stops messing around, go to him.  Talk to him, pet him, give him a treat, and then go outside the door.  Get back to him before he starts up again.  Repeat this until he realizes that you have not left him for good.

Here is a list of things one might need

  • Dog food
  •     Newspapers
  •     Vari kennel
  •     Puppy shots
  •     Worm medicine
  •     Choke chain
  •     15 ft. Leash
  •     Large stainless steel food bowl
  •     Water lick or steel water bucket (both)
  •     Curry comb
  •     Toenail clippers
  •     Walking shoes and a pair of old jeans
  •     Work out coat or jacket
  •     Cloth training bag to carry his training equipment in.

Don’t forget this list is mine not yours.  I’m an animal trainer who feels all animals must obey commands, signals and words even if we do live on a farm.  I love my dogs too much not to have that communication between us.  I know that not training my dog may cost him his life.