Shipping Your Puppy Home
If you buy a puppy from a distant breeder, you may need to have her shipped to you. Breeders ship quite often, but before you make arrangements to have your puppy shipped, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Consider Personal Pickup
The early puppy months are impressionable times. The noise of being in the cargo hold and the stress of being carried around in her crate might be frightening for your poodle. The pup might handle it just fine, but if she has a fearful temperament, it might be very traumatic.
Even if the breeder isn't within easy driving distance, you might be able to avoid shipping your puppy. A Toy or small adult Miniature Poodle can be carried on the plane in the cabin. A young puppy of any variety is probably small enough to fit under the seat in front of you in the cabin of the plane. Consider flying to your breeder's location (which gives you the advantage of being able to meet him in person and see his kennel) and bringing your poodle home with you.
If your breeder of choice is far enough away that you can't pay a personal visit, thoroughly check him out anyway. Ask for references from puppy purchasers. Ask to see pictures of the sire and dam and, ideally, the kennel. Ask for copies of all the health clearances and find out about the health history of other litters the breeder has bred.
If you're getting an adult Miniature or Standard that is too big to fly in the cabin, you can buy a one-way plane ticket to your breeder's location and rent a car and drive her home (or drive both directions). You'll have plenty of bonding time during this trip, and your pup will avoid the trauma flying in cargo.
Plan Every Detail
If you do decide to have your puppy shipped, try to arrange for a nonstop flight. The last thing you want is for your puppy to miss her connection and be stranded at a place where you have no contacts. Try to arrange for flights that are scheduled during the most temperate parts of the day. In the summer, that means early mornings and late evenings. In the winter, it's midday.
Be sure to contact the airline and find out exactly where you should pick up your puppy. If she's being shipped as cargo, that might mean you need to go to a special cargo terminal. Many airports have more than one; make sure you know the one where you'll find your puppy.
If shipping your puppy via air is impossible due to routes or weather (as there are federal requirements about shipping animals in extreme temperatures), at least one company specializes in shipping pets via truck: Pro-Pet Transports.