Airedale Puppies

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Photo compliment of Rita Galetka

Look for a reputable breeder when selecting your Airedale puppy. If possible, visit the home of your potential puppy. Remember that the first 8 weeks of any puppy’s life are very important. A great companion/show dog begins at birth.

Make a list of questions before talking to or visiting the breeder. Observe the puppy’s environment.

  • How do the puppies react to the breeders?

  • How do they react to you?

  • Is their area clean?

  • Have its parents have been checked for dysplasia?

  • Has there been a family history of allergies?

  • Have the puppies been around children?

  • Have they been around cats?

  • Will the breeder be available to answer questions in the future?

  • Does the breeder offer a contract? It is virtually impossible for a breeder to guarantee that the health of any animal, but the breeder should be willing to take the animal back and replace it! Responsible breeders will often require that the animal be returned to them if, for any reason, you are unable to keep the animal. This ensures that the animal will be cared for in the future.

  • What vaccines have been given?

  • Have the puppies been wormed? Various areas need various levels of worming, due to climates.

These are just examples of some of the questions that you should ask.

If possible, go look at several litters and talk to several breeders. Remember that you are selecting a companion for many years to come, so take your time, make sure that you are choosing not only a compatible breed but also a compatible animal and breeder!! Expect a lot of questions from your breeder. He/she is also selecting a companion for an animal into which many hours of love, thought and energy have been invested.

When you pick up your puppy, your breeder can tell you the puppy’s schedule, a brand of food and can recommend a future diet. Then you can gradually change the diet to suit your preferences. Remember that sudden changes in diet can severely disrupt the puppy’s digestive system and cause gastric distress. The Airedale can eat quite a bit, especially as a young and rapidly growing puppy.

 

Note: Remember in many cases, an older dog may suit your particular situation much better than a young puppy. Many breeders place older puppies and dogs. These dogs are often “show prospects” that didn’t mature as was expected or maybe were returned to the breeder for various reasons. (My personal experience with adopting an older dog has been very successful.) Every breed rescue organization is in search of good potential adoptive homes.

Training

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Photo compliment of Rita Galetka

As with other breeds, begin socializing your Airedale at an early age. Socialization will begin to lay the groundwork for a happy and obedient companion by increasing the dog’s confidence. Airedales can tend to be “dog aggressive” which makes socialization and obedience training a must. Your dog must respect you but you have to earn that respect. Your puppy needs a consistent set of rules to live by. For example, will he be allowed on the couch or not? Consistent rules will produce a reliable companion.

Puppy classes, if available, are a good idea.

Airedales do not respond well to harsh methods of training. They want to make you happy, but they have to UNDERSTAND what is expected of them. PATIENCE!

Several hints for successful training are:

  1. Don’t bore your dog. Airedales will not become “robots.” He will go check out an interesting onlooker before repeating the same “silly” heeling pattern over and over.

  2. Remember that Airedales are “thinkers.” Don’t ask them to do foolish things. The only time my old girl ever broke a down was because the “judge person” was foolish enough to set the dogs up in the sun so that the judge could stand in the shade on a hot July afternoon.

  3. Use positive motivation. It doesn’t matter how silly you feel, he has to feel as though he is making you happy. Be creative. Remember, Airedales are thinkers, not robots.

  4. Training is relating. Approach each “training” session as an opportunity to learn more about your companion. Try to look at each command from your dog’s point of view. This way of thinking will increase the mutual respect that should develop while training.

  5. Your Pros should know. Increase your chances for success by working with people who appreciate and understand terriers. Do NOT allow any obedience instructor or anyone else to compare your Airedale to those “perfect” Shelties, Borders and GSDs. I heard a story of a woman working an Airedale in an obedience class taught by a Border Collie trainer. During one class, they were working on heeling patterns. The instructor was busy pointing out the Airedale’s inability to follow the pattern as the instructor and Border Collie tumbled over a jump while the Airedale watched from a perfect sit just in front of the jump. The “stupid” terrier just “smiled.”

 

You must be very flexible in training your Airedale. Expect the unexpected and know your companion. Do not try to put a square peg into a round hole. It is a very common MISCONCEPTION that Airedales cannot be trained. In my opinion, Airedales simply require more ingenious and patient trainers.