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Discussion Starter #1
I see this method is used by some breeders and several airlines offer it (United pet Safe, Delta Pets First, etc.). What has been your experience? I've heard horror stories but would like to make an informed decision as this might be the best way(for me)to get my puppy home. It would be a 2 hour flight. Would the stress on the puppy be any greater than riding under the seat as a carry-on?
 

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I had my puppy shipped to me last winter and I was happy with how it worked out. The airline customer service was really helpful with any questions I had before the trip and called me the second she landed. The whole thing for mines trip was about 4 hours from drop off to pick up. She was tired but didn't seem too scared or affected by it. The breeder made sure she was comfortable with being crated and had been on several car rides beforehand.
 

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Both my dogs were shipped as puppies.

My Boston (now 2) was shipped prior to my getting her. I got her at 11 weeks, but apparently there had been a previous buyer before me who had payed to have her shipped from Ohio to Florida, but failed to pick her up at the airport, and she was shipped back to the breeder. They then found a different placement for her (ie, me).

My Lab pup was shipped to me from his breeder in Louisiana (just outside New Orleans) to Bay Area California, I believe about a 4 hour plane ride. I believe her flew American, as well, but can't remember 100% as the breeder set up all the airline stuff.

While I did not have a bad experience, it is still something I will look to avoid in the future if at all possible. It is a risk, and it is stressful for even a confident pup, even if nothing goes wrong. That said, if I had no way of getting the pup to me by flying in a cabin with it or driving for it, and I felt comfortable with not getting out to see the place the dog came from, then I'd do it again.
 

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I have two shipped across the US. Both were positive experiences. They were both season (temperature) appropriate One was direct no stop and I drove to pick them up, and the other was one stop but no delay.
 

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I have shipped with no issues, from California to New Jersey and used American. It was a long flight and all went well. Received info as soon as landed for immediate pickup and the puppy came out first way before anyone else's luggage.
 

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I can't speak to puppy shipping so I'm not sure if this is helpful, but I shipped a dog (just under 2 years old at the time) from Samoa to Hawaii to LA to Kansas with only an overnight layover in LA. At the time he had a severely dislocated leg due to a being hit by a car which was amputated when we reached KS. Other than being lost for about an hour in Hawaii on the tarmac, there were no real issues. The people working for the airlines were super nice and my dog made it without any additional nicks or issues. It took him a day or two to not be scared of me, but he made out fine.
 

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We got our first puppy flown in, as there were no domestic breeders at the time. It went fine, but I wouldn't do it again. I just don't think it is a good thing for a puppy to be taken away from its home and put in a crate for hours in the hold of a plane.
 

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My puppy will be taking a 4-5 hour flight to get to me on Tuesday. I'll let you know how it goes!

I did have a young dog fly in cargo though... I flew out west with her in the cabin, and picked up a new puppy (both Chihuahuas). I wasn't allowed to have both dogs in cabin (which is dumb, considering the size they were, but anyway....) so the older one - 2 years old - had to go in cargo. I was a wreck... but when I picked her up on the other end, you wouldn't know anything had happened, she was fine, happy, tail wagging, and pretty relaxed.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just wanted to close out this post to report that I had my Aussie puppy flown from New Mexico to San Francisco and it worked out fine. The total flight time was about 8 hours as the plane made a stop in Salt Lake City. She arrived about 7 and was obviously tired. She slept well the first night and seemed fine the next day. I used Delta and was impressed with their service. Apparently they ship a lot of animals for zoos, etc.
 

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Tessa was shipped cargo with her sister. They flew from Texas to Alberta with United PetSafe (the only option for cargo for us at the time). It was ~14 hours total (6 hours of flights) including drop off Both puppies arrived tired but in good spirits, albeit covered in pee.

That said, given the choice between flying in cabin and shipping cargo, I would pick in cabin. The only reason we didn't fly in-cabin is because there were two of us from the same city getting a puppy from the breeder, and they came home just after New Years - flights were prohibitively expensive, especially compared to splitting shipping costs between two people, and there weren't really any decent flight options that would've made travel shorter for the puppy anyway.
 
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