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Hi, I will be driving home with my new puppy (8 weeks old at that time) all by myself next month. My husband has a major project going on at that time and cannot take time off but I can. We don't have friends or relatives nearby that we would feel comfortable asking to drive long distance. The breeder lives 7 hours away from our house. Here is how I plan on handling it: I will drive to the area 2 days before so that I can be all rested the day of travel. On the big day, I am planning on getting an early start - as early as possible by the breeder. I will crate the puppy and am planning on putting the crate on the front passenger side floor, so that he can see me and I can talk to him in an effort to comfort him. I will line the crate with newspapers, in case of any accidents. I will stop every hour on the hour to let puppy relieve himself. I have the following questions:
1) I have heard that 8 week old pups should not be allowed to use public rest areas because of germs. But most of my driving route is on the interstates, so what should I do? The breeder is very reputable and has assured us that the pup will be up-to-date on all his shots.
2) How often should I feed him and let him drink during the trip?
3) Is there anything else that I can do to make the trip easier for him and me?
Any comments and suggestions would be most appreciated.
UConnGSD
 

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It helps if the pup is used to car rides and a crate before the trip home..my pups always are, but this isn't always the case with every breeder.

I brought a pup home years ago than included a 9 hour drive. It took maybe 1/2 an hour for the pup to settle and I remember stopping every 3 hours or so to walk him and give him water. No food until we got home. I brought a towel and extra towels for the crate, some wipes" to clean up any accidents if needed, and paper towels, but never needed any of it. Good to have tho'!

As far as where to stop, I would avoid rest areas. Try to get off an exit and maybe a gas station or eatery has a good patch of grass.

A good bone to chew on and some stuffed toys that the pup can cuddle with will help too!

I always start taking pups on car rides to training when they hit about 5-6 weeks old, and like clock work, at 2 hours they always scream for me to pull over!! By 8 weeks I can make the 3 hour ride with no stops.

Good luck!!!
 

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Thank you, Kandi! That was most helpful. One question: wouldn't the pup feel hungry and sick if I have him go for so long without food? This is my first pup, so am wondering...
 

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He'll be okay without food for that long. I would not feed him the morning you leave. You don't want your pup to have an upset stomach in the car. You have the right idea about leaving early in the morning too. Make sure to give him as much water as he needs though when you take your breaks.

Also, see if you can get a toy or a towel from the breeder. It'll have the smell of his old home on it to make him feel comfy on the car ride and once he gets home.

We can't wait to see pictures!!! Good luck!
 

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Even though your puppy will be up to date on his shots, he will not be fully immunized until he gets at least one more vet visit, and he will still be at risk for Parvo, at least that's what my breeder told me- not to let her on the floor at PetSmart, or anywhere else that a lot of other dogs hang out that may be unvaccced until she had that last set of puppy shots.
I had a long car ride, 5 hours, and Lucy threw up, and had every kind of accident you can imagine. It was her first time out and she was pretty scared I think. I stopped 30 minutes into the trip but it had already happened, and it continued several more times on the way home even though I kept stopping. What a mess. The breeder told me to expect this, and sent me home with a familiar towel.
So here's this scared puppy, who is meeting her family for the first time. We go in the house directly to the bathroom where she gets a bath. She must have wondered what the heck kind of home she went to! It was a rough start

She never has had another accident in the car since.
I wish I had been smart enough to ask the kind of questions you are asking BEFORE I went to pick her up!.

Best of luck, yes post pictures, and that's a lucky pupster going to live with such a considerate owner.
 

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Hi,
I just did the same thing with my pup last month. It was a 9 hour drive and he was wonderful!

You guys gave good advice, as always


I would add is it's not too hard to find a "bathroom" spot off the beaten path, try Ranch exits or dirt roads away from where people stop. It's very important to keep them away from where other dogs have been before they are vaccinated.

I don't think anyone would object to giving him an appropriate size Rawhide. It kept my little guy occupied and now he loves the car because it is where the infamous rawhide lives.


Your boy will sleep a lot of the time. If he is sleeping "on the hour" mark let him sleep, but be ready to exit when he does wake up!

Remember to pack a leash, adjustable collar, poop bags, cleaning supplies, garbage bags and snacks for you.

I would be sure to get some kibble he has been on from the breeder. Since it was such a long drive for me I did give my boy very small amounts of food. It's a great opportunity to work on name recognition, I said his name and when he looked at me I gave the kibble


You can bring a towel to rub on the mothers belly to get her smell. It was a huge comfort for my guy.

Good luck - Do you have a name yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all so much for such great advice! I feel much better about the trip now. Yes, we have picked a name - Wolfgang (after my favorite musician, Mozart), Wolfie for short. This is our first GSD. I fell in love with the breed when I was 5 and have wanted one for 25 years!!!
 

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Re: Bringing home puppy all by myself - advice nee

Ah, he'll be fine.

Pups are put in crates and safely flown for 7 hrs.

He may sleep for the most part, and you know what they say.. 'let sleeping dogs lie.'

Follow your breeder's advice, drive carefully and enjoy Wolfie? Will you pronounce that "V"olfie?
 

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Re: Bringing home puppy all by myself - advice nee

My dog LOVES the car. She'll jump in if the door is open whether the crate is in there or not.

We drove home with her from CT. It was about a six to eighth hour drive. SHE DIDN'T CRY or WHINE. See was content (as was I) all the way home.
 
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