I was hoping the folks might be willing to chip in their two cents. I am looking at getting a WPG pup from a breeder in Montanta. The breeder has been been really helpful in all ways. She mentioned though that she is reluctant to ship the pup to Alaska in the belly of the plane. She would prefer that I fly down to Montana and accompany the pup back with him under the seat (like a cat or small dog). Her concern is that standard shipping in the belly might place too much stress on the pup and possibly interfere with future crate training.
While I am not opposed to this outright, I am not sure that it makes a big difference. 6-7 hours in a crate with strange smells and sounds is 6-7 hours in a crate with strange smells and sounds, regardless if I am there or not. In fact, I might argue that it might be better for me NOT to be there so that he doesn't associate the ordeal with me. It's not like I will be able to take him for a walk around the cabin if he is upset.
To help mitigate the stress of shipping I thought I could ship his crate down a couple of weeks early and get him used to it as a familiar and safe place.