Going to the airport
Bring doggy treats (cut up chunks of hotdogs are a favorite) with you to the cargo department of the airline your new dog will arrive in. Give the flight details we provide you at the counter. When you approach the kennel, start talking to the dog in a friendly tone repeating his/her name several times. Your new dog will be looking for familiar people and sounds.
The sound of his name coming from you will automatically generate a beginning level of trust and is the first step in the bonding process. When you are ready to open the door of the crate, have the leash (located in the packaging on top of the shipping kennel) ready to snap on the collar. Be sure to get the lead on the dog as he comes out. Once you have the leash on the dog, the bonding process can really start as you now have a real and physical connection to the dog. All dogs know whomever is at the end of the leash has control, helping establish you as the pack leader immediately.
The person who first opens the crate door and attaches the lead is normally the first person the dog will give it’s trust to.
After the dog has relieved himself, he/she should be returned back to the crate for the ride home, if possible. He/she will be more comfortable riding in the crate than being loose in the car. Every dog will need time to adjust to the new surroundings. The natural acclimation period will differ between dogs. Travel affects the dogs in the same manner as people. Some are very good travelers and acclimate quickly and others need more time to adjust. This period is commonly referred to as jet-lag. Try to arrange to have at least 48 hours that that you can dedicate to your new dog when it arrives. He/she needs quality time with you.
This is an important bonding time when your new dog is feeling most stressed and vulnerable in his new environment. Keep household activities and visitors to a minimum while your dog gets familiar with everything. Some will be more cautious and unsure of their new surroundings indicating that they need to be introduced more slowly into their new home.
For information on what to expect when you bring you new dog home, see Related Read: What to Expect from Your New Dog