Reprinted with permission from Kathy Dowd and Lori Valentine
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 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? Ask the breeder if the 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 them 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 your are choosing not only a compatible breed, but also a compatible animal and breeder! Expect your breeder to have a lot of questions. 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, 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.
For additional information on learning to live with your new puppy, see the RPD FAQ entitled "Your New Puppy" written by Cindy Tittle Moore.
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. Rescue dogs often require additional work but can also be very rewarding.
If considering an older puppy or dog, please read the RPD FAQ entitled "Your New Dog" also written by Cindy Tittle Moore, for more information.
Thanks to the following people who directly contributed their time and efforts toward this FAQ.
Kathy, Lori and the kids
Copyright 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 by Kathy Dowd. All rights reserved. You may download and print a copy of this file for your personal use. Further distribution must be with the explicit permission of the author. NOTE: Airedale Terrier Rescue organizations may freely distribute copies of this document.
Kathy Dowd and Lori Valentine (MoonDance) are members of the Airedale Terrier Club of America, and work together to breed, train, and show (conformation and obedience) Airedale Terriers.
Special thanks to those people sending helpful corrections/additional information:
Please visit the K9web for lots of useful dog related information.