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If a puppy will be shipped via mainfest cargo, it must travel in an IATA-approved transport crate in the cargo area of the airplane. The correct size of crate depends on the size of the puppy (AVI Dimensions):

Measure A = length of the puppy from the tip of the nose to the base/root of tail
Measure B = height from the ground to the elbow joint
Measure C = width across the shoulders or the widest point, whichever is greater
Measure D = height of the puppy in natural standing position from the top of the head (floppy ears) or the ear tip (pointed ears) to the floor


LENGTH = Measurement of A + 1/2 of B
WIDTH = Measurement of C x 2
HEIGHT = Measurement of D

Generally speaking, we normally use "SKUDO 5" transport crates (dimensions listed below) for 10-12 week old Tamaskan puppies as most Tamaskan puppies of this age fit comfortably within these dimensions. The "SKUDO 5" transport crate currently costs 110 EUR (2024). Sometimes, depending on the airline, we have to affix wire mesh on the outside of the transport crate as some airlines have a "minimum opening size" of 1cm x 1cm.



If the puppy is accompanied by a human traveler on board the same flight, it is considered a "non-commercial movement" (traveling with your pet) even if the human travels in the passenger cabin, and the puppy travels in the cargo/luggage area. However, any puppy that is flying alone (unaccompanied by a human onboard the same flight) must travel in an IATA transport crate in the cargo area of the airplane, and it is considered a "commercial movement" (purchasing/importing a pet) and there are certain rules/regulations for manifest cargo shipping, with regard to import/export protocol, customs duties, etc.

Our transshipping agent handles all the necessary paperwork and documentation for export, but a customs clearance agent/broker is sometimes required for handling the import paperwork, particularly for puppies flying to the USA. On that note, it is considered a "non-commercial import" if you are importing a puppy as your own personal family pet. However, if you are importing a puppy (or puppies) to later resell or adopt out or rehome, then this is considered a "commercial import" and much stricter regulations apply (including much higher minimum age limits, etc).


It is important to keep in mind the national regulations for importing puppies as well as the airline regulations. While most airlines follow the same rules as the national regulations, which varies depending on the country, some airlines will only transport puppies that are aged 10+ weeks old, while others will only transport puppies that are aged 12+ weeks old. Some airlines will only transport puppies that are 15+ or 16+ weeks old.

Whenever possible, we try to ensure that puppies are able to fly as young as possible (usually 10 weeks old). This is because it is less stressful for puppies to travel internationally at a younger age, in the sense that they soon forget the stress of the journey, so it has less of a long-term traumatic impact and they tend to recover much faster.

What is the best age for a puppy to go to its new home?


Whenever possible, for long-distance international flights (for instance, to Canada or the USA) we try to ensure that 2-3 puppies travel together in the same crate. Many airlines allow 2 puppies to travel together, and some allow up to 3 puppies in the same crate. By traveling together with their siblings for comfort and companionship, the journey is much less stressful overall. It also has the added benefit that the new owners can then split/share the transport costs so it works out cheaper for everyone. Of course, this requires a LOT of organization and communication between the different families and the transshipping company but it's usually the best solution, if possible.


We usually include several toys in the transport crate to keep the puppies occupied during the journey. However, these are sometimes removed by airport authorities along the route. A food/water bowl (attached to the door of the crate) is mandatory; unfortunately, these are usually made out of plastic and can be easily broken. Puppies must always have access to fresh water during the journey but it is not recommended to feed them before/during the flight. Instead, a bag of food travels with the puppies (in the compartment on top of the crate) in case of any delays, or in the event of overnight stays at an Airport Animal Lounge if the journey is divided by 2 flights (for instance, Zagreb to Istanbul to USA). We do not put any blankets or soft/rope toys inside the crate, as it is too risky that the puppies will chew/swallow pieces, which can cause a life-threatening intestinal obstruction. To be completely safe, we also remove all collars, leashes, and harnesses, which are then attached to the outside of the crate or in the compartment on the top of the crate.


Transport costs are not included in the puppy purchase price because the cost of manifest cargo shipping depends on destination and crate size. For instance:

1 puppy from Zagreb to North America (USA and Canada) usually costs approximately 1400 euros in a "SKUDO 5" transport crate.

2 puppies from Zagreb to North America (USA and Canada) usually costs approximately 1800 euros (divided by 2 families = 900 euros per family) in a "SKUDO 6" transport crate.

3 puppies from Zagreb to North America (Canada ONLY) usually costs approximately 2100 euros (divided by 3 families = 700 euros per family) in a "SKUDO 7" transport crate.

So, it often works out cheaper if more puppies travel together, despite the larger crate size. However, it is a LOT of work to organize combined shipments with multiple families, and one shipment / transport crate has one AirWay Bill (AWB) with one listed Consignee (CNEE) to sign for the puppies.

Recently, a lot of airlines / clearance brokers don't like handling multiple puppies with multiple owners on one AirWay Bill (AWB) with one Consignee (CNEE) since it generally causes some confusion with the customs authorities to calculate the import tax (usually each AirWay Bill is considered as one shipment for the overall combined import value of the puppies traveling together). So, many airlines are now refusing multiple puppies in the same transport crate, unless they all belong to the same owner.


In the past, we used to ship puppies from Zagreb (ZAG) to Frankfurt (FRA) with Lufthansa or from Zagreb (ZAG) to Amsterdam (AMS) with KLM, and then on to the USA / Canada. Unfortunately, the EU transit regulations were recently updated, so now puppies must be 15+ weeks old to "transit" the EU (even if they are traveling via one rabies-free EU country to another, and they don't leave the confines of the international airport).

Now we ship the puppies from Zagreb (ZAG) to a non-EU airport (usually Istanbul or Doha) so that they transit outside the EU, where they stay overnight at the Airport Animal Lounge, before continuing on to their USA / Canada destinations (the airports are considered "rabies free" transit zones).

When we're booking the flights, we're primarily looking for the best possible rates and the most direct routes / shortest flight time (for instance, via Istanbul rather than Doha) as well as the destination airport (closest to the new owners / less driving distance). However, we have to look at the routes / destinations served by each airline (direct flights only) usually to a main "hub" international airport: for instance, ZAG to IST to MIA with Turkish Airlines (TK) or ZAG to DOH to ORD with Qatar Airways (QR).

Turkish Airlines (TK) allows puppies to fly at 10+ weeks old, while Qatar Airways (QR) allows puppies to fly at 12+ weeks old. Therefore, whenever possible, we try to ship the puppies at a younger age (with TK at 10+ weeks old vs QR at 12+ weeks old) especially as IST is closer (less flight distance) than DOH. Unfortunately, some options aren't always possible, due to certain embargos, for instance "AVI embargo" or "weather embargo" (etc) for particular destination airports depending on the time of year and available facilities at the destination airport.


Regardless if 1, 2, or 3 puppies are traveling in the transport crate, acclimatization to the crate is of paramount importance. We usually start with crate-training when the puppies are around 6 weeks old; we introduce the puppies to the crate slowly, over a long period of time. At first, they have constant access to the crate (with the door removed) so they can walk in and out of it as they please, sniffing and playing all around it. Then, we put the door back on and begin to feed the puppies inside the crate (with the door closed) for every meal so they have a positive association with going in the crate and don't mind the door being closed. Finally, we gradually build up the time they spend inside the crate with the door closed, making sure to let them out again before they get stressed.

By the time the puppies are ready to fly, they usually don't mind being in the crate for extended periods. Of course, after a long and stressful journey, 10+ hour international flight(s), they will usually have an aversion to going back inside the crate again, at least for a while, once they have arrived at their destination. When they are settling into their new homes, it's important not to force the puppies to go back into the crate again too soon, if they don't want to, and to gradually build-up the time they spend inside the crate with consideration to the fact that the crate may now have a negative association, which must be gently overcome through positive reinforcement and plenty of patience. Conversely, some puppies find that the crate is a source of security and comfort, a "safe space" where they can go for some quiet time, so it really depends on the individual puppy.