If you are one of the families who have the unique opportunity to pre-adopt your new best friend and pick them up from transport this post is for you! It is important to remember that dogs who have been on a transport vehicle for any number of days (2-3 days from Texas to the west coast for example) will inevitably be stressed. Doggedly employs only the best transport organizations to deliver our precious cargo, but being on the road this long is stressful and tiring for anyone, especially a dog who doesn't comprehend the purpose of the trip. Be sure to arrive on time - our transporters are on a very specific schedule which includes multiple scheduled stops. It is of the utmost importance you arrive early and prepared to pick up your pup. Be sure to bring - a strong 4 foot leash, a slip lead of some type, poop bags, a towel, a water bowl, water, yummy treats, baby wipes.
Do not bring family pets to transport to meet your new dog under any circumstances -- it is much to stressful and you are setting your new pet and incumbent pet up for failure. First impressions are important, and if your new pup associates your incumbent pet/s with the stress of transport you will likely get pets that either never get along or will need significant training and counter conditioning to get along.
If young children are present for pick up pay close attention to body language. Do not allow children to pick up, hug, or kiss your new pet. Although this is an exciting time for everyone remember you are still strangers to your new pet and will have to earn their trust and learn their preferences over time. If possible, it is best to leave children at home and introduce them after the dog has had a few hours with you to begin a trusting relationship.
Equipment - All dogs from Doggedly are typically fitted with a martingale style collar prior to transport. Please bring a strong 4 foot leash to attach to this martingale collar IN ADDITION to a slip lead of some type. We find Mendota Pet Dog Slip Leads to be high quality and a fair price. Dogs fresh from transport may show fearful behaviors such as attempting to bolt, slip their collars, or pancake to the ground unwilling to move. Although this doesn't happen all the time it is a possibility and you need to be prepared. This is why you must secure your new dog with two forms of leash.
Typically the transport team will take your slip lead in to the van and return with your new pet already on lead. Make sure you get their transport paperwork which includes their vet records etc.
Do not introduce your dog to any other dogs from the transport. On leash greetings are no dog's favorite thing, especially when they are both stressed out. Keep a few feet between your dog and other dogs getting off transport.
Once the transport team has handed over the leash offer the dog some of your yummy treats. If your new pup is happily walking with you take them to a grassy area away from traffic and encourage them to go potty. If they are hesitant to walk, gently pick them up and carry them to a grassy area away from traffic and encourage them to go potty. Be sure to pick up any solid waste and dispose of it properly. Take note of the consistency of your pet's feces. If it is soft or runny it's most likely related to stress. Take note of the color and smell of your pet's urine. If it is dark or strong smelling it is most likely your pet is slightly dehydrated.
After you are sure your pet has gone potty take them to your vehicle and place them either in the back seat on a towel or in a crate. Never put your dog in an open truck bed unrestrained. Your Doggedly dog must travel inside the vehicle with you at all times. Having an airline crate lined with a towel available for getting your dog from transport to your home is ideal.
It never hurts to offer your dog some high value treats during the ride home if they will take them.
Do not remove the slip lead until everyone traveling with you is inside the vehicle and doors are securely latched for the ride home.
Once you have arrived home, ensure both leashes are firmly attached prior to opening the vehicle door. Gently lead or carry your dog out of the vehicle and into your yard/potty area and allow the dog an opportunity to sniff and relieve itself again. Then lead the dog to a quiet place in your home, place them in a crate with a bowl of fresh water and offer them a small amount of food. You can also offer them a long term consumable such as a bully stick, or a stuffed Kong. Licking, chewing, and sniffing are all ways dogs decompress and learn to relax.
Now that your new dog is home and settling in check out our post on decompression protocols!