Airedale Rescue Training

Checking the Dog's Fence During a Home Visit

In Issue No. 7 of this series of articles, Suzie, our new rescue volunteer was learning how to do a good home visit.  After completing the home visit, while writing up her report for her state coordinator, Suzie realized she hadn’t closely inspected the fence in the yard.  Yes, she had seen the fence, and it had looked good from the porch where she had stood.  Now she remembered what had happened:  the applicant had asked Suzie a question about their dog crate, wondering if Suzie thought it would be large enough for an Airedale.  At that point, applicant and Suzie had walked back into the house to look at the crate.  Suzie now realized she had forgotten to go back to look more closely at the fence.

These errors of omission can be made by a new rescue volunteer, so as a helpful tool, Suzie could make a simple checklist for the next home visit.  A small notebook containing one-word clues to jog her memory:  sleep (where the dog will sleep); food (where and what the dog will be fed); fence (inspect the fence).  You get the idea, Suzie can make a list of all the points she wants to be sure to inspect, and these points can each be triggered with a one-word clue.

An inspection of the fence that is meant to keep the rescue safely contained in his yard is an extremely important part of the home visit.  First of all, what type of fencing is it? Wood or metal?  If a wooden fence, is the wood still in good condition?  Wooden fencing can begin to rot where it meets the ground.  Does the wood come all the way to the ground?  Is the bottom of the wood still good and solid, or is it beginning to rot?  Are all the wooden slats or panels well secured, or are they beginning to come loose in some sections?  Does it look like a dog could dig under it?

If a metal fence, what style is it?  Are the openings large or small?  Is it a type of fence that a clever dog could climb?  This is important information for the volunteer who will be selecting a good rescue for this family.  You certainly would not want to put a rescue that is a known climber or a digger into a yard with a fence that he could possibly climb over or dig under.

How tall is the fence?  Here again, the agility of the rescue determines what height fence will contain him.  A four-foot high fence may be fine for an older dog who is not a climber, or one with bad hips, but for a very tall rescue, or a known climber, it would probably not be safe.  Also, check the top of the fence.  Some people put barbed wire across the top of a fence, thinking it will keep a dog from crawling over it.  Possibly it would, but it could also be a cause of some nasty wounds if a dog tried to crawl over the top and got badly ripped from those barbs.

Don’t forget to inspect the gates.  Is the gate itself tall enough, and in good repair?  Could the rescue climb over or under the gate?  What is the distance from the fence to the gate, could a dog get through there?  Check the locks/latches on the gates.  Is it the type of latch that a clever Airedale could flip open?  Some latches are the type that an Airedale’s nose could push up to open the gate.  Does the latch/lock need to be repaired or replaced?

If necessary for utility service people to enter the yard to read meters, etc., ask the applicant how that is handled.  Is the dog allowed to be in the yard on those occasions?  What protection is there that the dog would not escape through an opened gate?  It’s quite possible the home owner has not thought of this and a plan needs to be made.

What kind of neighborhood is it?  Could children or others open the gate from the other side?  If so, locks as well as latches should secure those gates.

As you see things that need to be repaired and/or replaced, point these items out to the applicant, and get his agreement to get them repaired/replaced prior to the arrival of an Airedale rescue.  Write these items into your home visit report, so the coordinator will be able to double check to see that they have been done before a rescue is placed.  What is the attitude of the applicant when you point out these items?  Your coordinator will want to know if he is very agreeable, or if he is too casual, or resentful, and if he seems not agreeable to doing them.

Remember! Never feel shy about telling the applicant what needs to be done - it is the life of the rescue we are concerned about, and if the applicant is not as concerned, the coordinator needs to know that.  Perhaps this is not a good applicant for an Airedale.
Now the big question:  Would you leave your own dog in this yard and be confident he would be safe and not escape?  Write that into your report too!

ART Newsletter Copyright 2010 by Sally Schnellmann and National Airedale Rescue.  Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden without the publisher's written permission.


When Suzie Q first decided she wanted to be an Airedale rescue volunteer in her area, she turned to the ART (Airedale Rescue Training) program to help her learn the rules of rescue and get started.  With no organized Airedale rescue group in her area, there were no other local Airedale rescue volunteers to turn to when she had questions.  What Suzie DID have, was the wealth of information on the National Airedale Rescue (NAR) website. Suzie was thrilled to discover just about everything she needed to learn about Airedale rescue was right there at her fingertips.

My goal in this article is to provide for you a quick study of what Suzie found  contained in our NAR website, and how to quickly find the information you need, when you need it.  Nothing is better than taking the time to read the complete website, so when you have the time to do just that, please do it.  You’ll be amazed at the amount of information contained on this website.  You’ll absolutely gain important rescue knowledge, and even our more seasoned volunteers will come away with even greater rescue knowledge than they started with.

To start our journey, simply go to the NAR website at  HYPERLINK ""

On that opening page, after taking a couple of minutes to read about the current Featured CoverDale, and notice the other regular features there, turn your attention to the tabs that are across the top of the page.  When hovering over each tab, a drop down menu will appear showing the areas of information covered there.

Let’s start with the first link, and its drop down menu.

ABOUT US (place your curser over that tab for the drop down menu)

Purpose:  Our reason for being in rescue, and what we intend to accomplish.

Mission:  The formal statement of the aims of our organization.

Officers and Committees:  Who and how to contact your organizational leaders.

Policies and Guidelines:  The rules and regulations adopted by our organization over the years that spell out the proper way we must operate to rescue Airedales.

501(c)(3) Status:  The Federal Government IRS statement proving our non-profit status.

Information about Using Our Logo:  When and how you may use our Logo.

RESCUE CONTACTS (place your curser over that tab for the drop down menu)

Regional Rescue Contacts:  The most current NAR roster, state by state, of the NAR Airedale rescue volunteers.  Print this list to include as part of your Presentation Notebook (discussed in our ART Issue #12). Check back often as this roster is updated with all changes of volunteers.

Regional Rescue Groups:  Those groups that are part of our NAR network.

Support Organizations:  The wonderful organizations that do fundraising for NAR.

Become A Rescue Contact:  All the information you need to know if you want to be listed as an Airedale Rescue Volunteer and/or to join the AireSupport discussion group.  This is where you find the Volunteer Application Form, which must be completed and submitted to be considered for entry as an Airedale Rescue volunteer, or to join the AireSupport discussion group, developed especially for Airedale rescue volunteers.

Airedale Rescue Training:  Learn about our Airedale Rescue Training program.  This is a new program developed to aid new candidates who want to be rescue volunteers.

POLICIES (place your curser over that tab for the drop down menu)

Basic Rescue:  The basic information we must know and accomplish when accepting and placing all Airedale rescues.  Extremely important information, to be memorized and fulfilled.  The groups that are part of NAR are highly respected in the rescue community because of the high standards we adhere to in rescuing Airedales.

Stray Dogs:  How to deal with shelter dogs, and how to search for a lost dog’s owner.

Pet Store Dogs, Auctions, Puppy Mills:  Rescue does not purchase dogs.  If you feel you have a special situation, first refer to this section. If you need further assistance,  contact one of our NAR officers.

Owned Dogs:  When accepting a dog into rescue, we must have a signed statement showing proof of ownership of that dog.  The releasing owner must understand the contract they sign when releasing the dog, so review this clearly with the owner.  No special arrangements are to be made.  The owner is to be encouraged to assist in the financial needs of the released dog.  Read and follow this section to avoid any problem later.

Out of Region Placements:  When considering placing a rescue in region other than your own, remember there are rules to follow when doing so.  Read this section carefully.

Breeders and Rescue:  By virtue of membership in the ATCA, member breeders have signed and are committed to the Code of Ethics.  Go to this section and read that code so you know the proper way to deal with ATCA breeders’ Airedales.  ATCA breeders will want to know when one of their breeding is in need of rescue, and we must notify them.

Reimbursement:  Volunteers are entitled to be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the proper rescue of Airedales-in-need.  This section will spell out the requirements and provide the forms needed. 

ABOUT AIREDALES (place your curser over that tab for the drop down menu)

Is it an Airedale?:  Photos of adult and puppy Airedales, groomed and ungroomed, will give you help in identifying a purebred Airedale.   There are variances in sizes and colors, and coats, so this is a good way to broaden your knowledge of different types.
Print off the photos on this section for inclusion in your Presentation Notebook.

Why an Airedale?:  DO NOT BUZZ PAST THIS SECTION!  Take a few minutes to sit back and enjoy this section.  Read the fun stories along the way, and be sure to go all the way to the end of this section, and click on the link where it says, “A picture's worth a thousand words” - if this doesn’t bring you to laughter, you’re not an Airedale lover in my book!

The Airedale Personality:  Another site on which to spend time while reading great Airedale stories.  One of my favorites may be a good one to share with someone who is considering her first Airedale... direct her to this section to read “What Sit Means to an Airedale.”  If she is still smiling after reading this short article, she may be a good candidate for her first Airedale!

Airedale Terrier FAQ’s:  Anyone who is contemplating getting an Airedale should be directed to this section.  This section covers a broad spectrum of information that any prospective Airedale person should read.  Loads of good information here!

ShAire The Good Stuff:  Look here for toys, books, and supplies that have been recommended by experienced Airedale owners.  Your new adopters will appreciate having you direct their attention to this is a great section.

Books Available:  If you’re looking for books on Airedales, here is your link. If you know of a new Airedale book not yet listed, let us know!

Lost Airedales:  Thankfully, there is a place to turn when an Airedale is lost.  Our website maintains a venue for posting all lost Airedales, and also reports when they are found.  NAR has valuable volunteers who search all sources every day for lost and found Airedales.

Adopting:  The place to send any person who is considering the adoption of an Airedale.  This section gives the information needed, and how to proceed.

Senior Airedales:  The loves of my life... those precious senior Airedales that are looking for retirement homes for their final years.  Definitely direct prospective adopters to this section to learn more about the need for senior homes, and to read the stories about many of our wonderful senior ‘dales.  Senior Airedale rescues are a wonderful match for senior human adopters.  If human senior finances are a factor, refer to our section on the Senior Fundraiser for a possible solution for unexpected expenses.

Hall Of Fame:  Another section full of great stories about special Airedales who are honored here for their contributions to the Airedale World.  Stories, stories, stories!

Safety Issues:  Very important information to keep our Airedales safe.  Articles about items such as flea and tick product warnings, and cocoa mulch warnings.  This section should be read frequently, by everyone!

CoverDale Archives:  On the opening page of our NAR website you will find one of our CoverDales.  Here you have the opportunity of seeing all the CoverDales in the archives, plus learn how YOUR Airedale can be a CoverDale.

(place your curser over that tab for the drop down menu)

Regional Rescue Contacts:  Direct link to our NAR Roster of Airedale volunteers and to the Volunteer Application Form.

Regional Rescue Groups:  Direct link to our NAR family of recognized Airedale Groups.

Support Organizations:  Wonderful groups of faithful Airedalers that do fundraisers to generate necessary funds that allow us to do our rescue work.

Airedale Rescue Partners:  Those that support our rescue efforts by providing publicity and exposure for NAR.

Airedale 911:  Beginning back in 1991, NAR has produced an annual listing of Airedales rescued that year, with stories and information of our efforts.  This site houses the archive of those wonderful records.  Read and enjoy.

E-Newsletter Archives:  Forever adding to and updating our educational tools, our more recent contributions to the information available on this website have been the E-Newsletters which cover the topics of Fundraising, Airedale Rescue Training (ART), Safety, and Airedale Information.  The archives for these four e-Newsletters are available here.  The current newsletters are also available from our website’s opening page.  If you haven’t read them all, now you are able to do your catch-up reading.

Volunteer Information:  Everything you need to know about rescue can be found on these pages that are jam-packed with vital information.  For those ready to start training with the ART Program, you will find information here.
Historical Statistics give you the history of the work done over the past years. 
Here you can print out a LOST AIREDALE POSTER.  When hearing of a lost Airedale, direct the owner’s attention to this section to print off this poster. 
Found here are links to NAR Rescue Policies
Links are also here for Airedale Rescue Basics, and Regional Rescue Contacts.  Want information on joining AireSupport, the Airedale Rescue Discussion List? There is a link here for that. 
Other subjects covered here include detailed information on Fostering, Dog Intake, Placement and Transportation
Learn more about Microchips, and How to Locate Free or Low Cost Spay/Neuter Resources
This is where you can find Sample Letters for Inquiring Adopters and Veterinarians Requesting Discounts.
This also is where you will find all the Adoption Related Forms you need.
Directions on Transporting Rescues, Reimbursement Policy and Forms, plus many, many Articles on Working With and Training The Airedale Rescues
If you don’t spend time in this section, you’re just not interested in Airedale Rescue!

Rescued Airedales Survey:  This is a section our volunteers use to report information on the Airedales they rescue.

Airedale Rescue Training:  Learn about our Airedale Rescue Training program.  This is a new program developed to aid new candidates who want to be rescue volunteers.

DONATE (place your curser over that tab for the drop down menu)

As a non-profit volunteer rescue organization, we depend on donations to operate our program and fund all rescue expenses.  NAR is a fund raising arm for Airedale Rescue.  We greatly appreciate our generous donors, those wonderful people who care as we do about the lives and care of our rescues. 

We Thank Our Donors:  Here we list and honor our donors. NAR sends letters of thanks to our donors, but also be sure to direct your donors to this section so they will see their names listed.

Estate Planning:  For those who choose to include Airedale Rescue in their Estate Planning,  we provide important information that will be needed by their personal attorney.  Please direct your possible donors to this section.

Special Donations:  This section describes the variety of ways donors may choose from to make their donations to National Airedale Rescue.  Please direct your possible donors to this section.

Financial Statements:  NAR provides full disclosure of our financial status.

Memorials and Tributes:  It’s terribly hard when we lose a treasured Airedale, and many of us feel the best way we can honor a lost Airedale companion is by a Memorial and/or Tribute in that companion’s name.  We can also honor special Airedale owners in this way.  Please direct your donors to this section.

June Dutcher Memorial:  An absolutely beautiful memorial, dedicated to Airedale rescues.  Read here how you can honor your Airedale on this permanent memorial.  The June Dutcher Memorial is displayed each October during Montgomery County week at ATCA’s annual gathering.  All Airedale owners should be aware of this memorial.

Senior Fundraiser:  The Senior Airedale Fund is supported solely by donations. It is used to help pay for necessary medical care of Airedales aged ten and over in Rescue. With National Airedale Rescue committee approval, medical expenses can be funded so that senior Airedales may remain in loving homes that lack the means to pay for necessary medical procedures.  All Airedale owners should be aware of this Senior Fundraiser.  After all, their young Airedales will be seniors one day.

Quilt Fundraiser:  Once a year the ladies of the Airedale Quilting Bee produce a fabulous quilt masterpiece that is raffled off to raise money for National Airedale Rescue.

No Ball At All:  A unique concept that has been recently developed as a fundraiser for Airedale Rescue.  Visit this site to learn all about it.

SHOPPING (place your curser over that tab for the drop down menu)

It’s the rare Airedaler that doesn’t enjoy finding great Airedale related items to add to our collections.  You should definitely be telling your adopters the location of this great Airedale shopping area.

NAR Products:  Here you will find affordable items that include Airedale Window Clings, Picture Frames, plus wonderful Airedale Greeting and Holiday Cards and Ornaments.

Affiliated Merchants:  Offerings here include a variety of items sold by merchants who donate a portion of their profits to Airedale Rescue.  Purchase items you need and provide an automatic donation to NAR.  Visit this site to learn how that works.

Aire-Aid Catalog:  Airedale rescue groups throughout the United States and Canada create and sell wonderful and unique items to fund their own group’s rescue expenses.  Rather than trying to search them out, the Aire-Aid Catalog brings them all together in one spot for your shopping convenience.

CONTACT US (Just click on this link)

We want to hear from you! 

General Questions or Comments:  This is the place to contact us with your questions or comments.

Micro Chip Program Manager: Any questions about this program?  This is the place to send your questions.   Do you need more micro chips?  Order them right here.

Website Questions or Comments:  This is the end of our tour, so what do you think?  Contact the webmaster with your questions or comments  right here.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey through our Airedale Rescue website. 
I’m sure you’ve learned new things along the way, and if you still have questions, let me know.

See you next time...

ART Newsletter Copyright 2010 by Sally Schnellmann and National Airedale Rescue.  Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden without the publisher's written permission.


We all know the saying, “Work smarter, not harder.”  As a believer in that philosophy I’d like to suggest how you can organize the information about rescue contacts and related information in the area in which you work.

First, get a standard, snap-open, 3-ring notebook, one that you will carry in your car when out on Airedale rescue volunteer business.  Purchase or make dividers for that notebook so you can easily locate the sections of information you will be entering into that notebook.

This is NOT the same as the Presentation Notebook we discussed in our last article. The Presentation Notebook is one you carry with you when calling on contacts in your area.  The AIREDALE RESCUE VOLUNTEER NOTEBOOK is your personal rescue notebook, with your personal notes on people and places you work with.



Information on this page will identify who owns this notebook, should it be misplaced or lost.  Information to include:

  • One of your Airedale volunteer business cards can be stapled/glued to the page.
  • If no card, write your name - phone number - email address.
  • If your notebook has a pocket, that is a handy place to store several of your calling cards.


This section will define the geographical area that you are able to cover for Airedale Rescue.  This could be described as:

  • The distance in miles you’re able to travel from your residence
  • Counties within your state you can cover
  • Names of cities and towns within the area
  • Coverage of complete state or states
  • Include any maps that will be helpful.


This section is to hold a copy of the National Rescue Roster.  You can find this on the NAR website.  Go to and from the opening page click on “About Rescue”.  From the drop down menu, select “Regional Rescue Contacts”.  Print this list of contacts for your notebook.  This provides you ready information when you need to contact Airedale Rescue volunteers in other areas of our country.

If you are in a group that has their own roster, include that in this section also.

NOTE: Frequent changes are made to the rosters, so be sure to FREQUENTLY check and update your rosters.


This section should contain veterinarians in your geographical area.

  • Prepare a separate page for each veterinarian/clinic in your area, and put the      following information on that vet’s/clinic’s page.
  • Note the address and contact information:  phone, fax, email.
  • Name of contact person(s) at each clinic
  • Which vets will work with rescue
  • Courtesy discounts each vet will give to Airedale Rescue
  • Vets that have boarding facilities
  • Discount vets will give to Airedale Rescue on Boarding
  • Create notes on each clinic as you visit

On return visits, these notes will be helpful.  Call employees by name when you can.  Having noted information from previous visits gives you credibility when you call again, you won’t have to ask the same questions twice.


This section is for shelters in your geographical area.  Prepare a separate page for each shelter in your area, and put the following information on that shelter’s page.

  • Record address and contact information:  phone, fax, email.
  • Visit and establish contact with each shelter. (REVIEW ART ARTICLE #12:  Working With Animal Shelters in Your Area.)
  • If you’re able to offer help at a shelter, find what areas need help.
  • Keep notes as to what you have offered, and dates, etc.


This section should contain groomers within your area.  Create a sheet for each grooming shop.

  • Which groomers will work with rescue?
  • What discount the groomers will offer Airedale Rescue?
  • Always make notes of the names of owners and employees.
  • Evaluate:  Would you leave your dog there?


This section is for boarding kennels within your area.

  • Which boarding kennels will work with rescue
  • What discount the kennels will offer Airedale Rescue
  • Evaluate:  Would you leave your dog there?


Use this section to list Airedale breeders within your area. Keep updated information, such as:

  • When do these breeders usually have litters
  • How many litters do they produce annually
  • Number of pups in each litter
  • Price they sell the pups for

ATCA breeders will be aware of Airedale Rescue and what we do.  It is a courtesy to introduce yourself to them.

Backyard breeders may or may not be receptive to your services.  However, dogs produced by these breeders are the dogs we frequently get into rescue.  It could be to your advantage to introduce yourself and explain what we do.


In this section, create a list of advertising places for dogs that you can check for lost dogs or dogs in need of adoption:

  • List of local papers that have advertising for dogs
  • Craigslist for your area
  • Petfinder for your area
  • Any other pet service you choose to use


...remember that this is YOUR notebook, ready for you to record all the information that will be helpful to have at your fingertips.  Creating this information in a 3-ring binder allows for easy insert and/or removal of pages as the information changes.  Work smarter, not harder!

ART Newsletter Copyright 2010 by Sally Schnellmann and National Airedale Rescue.  Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden without the publisher's written permission.


I call it a “matchmaking” service when we, as rescue volunteers, decide which waiting rescued Airedale to place with which approved waiting adoptive family.  One of the most common questions newly approved applicants will ask of volunteers is:  “When will we get an Airedale?”   I make it a point to clearly explain that we do not place rescues on the basis of the next available rescue going to the next waiting family on our list.  It simply does not work that way.  We need to carefully analyze the needs, strengths and weaknesses of the rescue with those of the waiting family.  Naturally we don’t place a shy and nervous rescue with an extremely busy family with rambunctious young children.  That could be overwhelming to the nervous dog who would probably be more comfortable with a single owner or a couple who would provide a more quiet and settled lifestyle.  A lively rescue who loves children and lots of activity would do best if placed with a family with young children and a big fenced yard for playing.  Placing an energetic young rescue with a senior couple will probably be too demanding for the couple while not allowing enough active playtime for the dog.  This is not difficult to figure out, is it?

First of all, we really need to determine if the family who has never had an Airedale is really a good candidate for one of our rescued Airedales.  When we tell folks that terriers are lively and need lots of exercise, how can we tell if that applicant really comprehends what “lively” and “lots of exercise” means in regard to a terrier?  It might be completely different from what the family, who has not been exposed to terrier energy, thinks it means.

Years ago, while doing Airedale rescue in Florida, I devised a fun quiz to help applicants determine for themselves (and for me) if they really qualify as terrier ownership material.   The quiz is designed to be fun, but in reality will serve a good purpose in weeding out applicants that may not know what “terrier people” really means.  I’ve pulled out that quiz and want to share it with our new volunteers now.  Copy the following and insert it into your Presentation Notebook that we discussed in an earlier article.

Is an Airedale the right match for you and your family?

If you’ve had an Airedale before, you’re familiar with the fun-loving personality of this breed.  You know an Airedale is smart, curious and strong-willed.  You also know he needs owners who are capable of and willing to do obedience training with their Airedale if they expect to have a well-mannered canine companion.  For those who have not lived with an Airedale as a member of their family, please read on.

Undoubtedly you’ve heard this many times:  “This breed is not for everyone.”  This phrase is often repeated, and there is a valid reason for doing so.  Each breed has their own typical characteristics.  When you’re looking for a dog to be part of your family, you want one that best fits your family’s lifestyle.

In general, an Airedale tends to be:

  • More energetic rather than being more laid back
  • More independent rather than being obedient
  • More dominant rather than being more submissive
  • More spirited rather than being more docile
  • Happier as an inside dog, being part of the family, rather than living outside

The Airedale is often called a clown because of his wonderful sense of humor.  He is intelligent, and he likes to be the leader.  An Airedale is curious and will want to be part of everything that goes on in your family.  When you walk into the house with a bag of groceries, he will want to stick his nose into the bag to see what you bought!  He will want to interact with all your guests, and may be quite insulted if not allowed to do so.

To test yourself to see if you are “An Airedale Type Person.” take this fun test.

  • Your Airedale has discovered the door stoppers on the floors in your home.  He’s learned to pull the springs back so they make that wonderful “boingy “ noise when released.  Do you:     
    • Scold him for daring to have fun with this “new toy”?
    • Remove the door stoppers while he’s not looking and worry about it     later.
    • Get your harmonica and join in the music making.
  • Your Airedale leaves puddles of water all over the floor as he makes multiple passes by the water bowl, and then lovingly places his very wet beard in your lap as you sit quietly reading.  Do you respond by:    
    • Grabbing the scissors and cutting off his beard and whiskers.
    • Putting his bowl outside and allow him to only drink there.
    • Smiling to yourself, thinking, “That’s my boy!” while getting the towel you keep handy for that purpose.
  • Your Airedale puppy is digging holes in your garden.  Do you:      
    • Cry and scream because your perfect garden is disturbed.
    • Never let the dog into the yard again.
    • Realize that it is normal for terrier to dig, so train the pup to dig only in “his” designated area.
  • You’re in the bathroom and your Airedale insists on joining you.  Do you:      
    • Insist this is totally improper, scold him for not staying out of the way and promptly lock him in his crate for punishment.
    • Give in.  Leave the bathroom door open.
    • Accept his company and figure this is a good time to have him practice his sit and stay commands.

If you selected the first choices above in each of the situations given, we definitely suggest you continue your breed search because we don’t feel an Airedale is the right breed for you.  However, if you’re still grinning and laughing at the imagined scenes, stay with us... this just might be the right breed for you!

In most cases we find that an Airedale needs the benefit of a fenced yard in which to exercise and play.  Our experience has shown that in many cases electronic fences are not always satisfactory to contain Airedales, therefore we prefer to have barrier fences.  Airedales do require regular grooming to look their best and keep their coats in good condition.  They require regular brushing and need to be professionally groomed 4 to 6 times annually.  Owners can learn to groom their own dogs.

We want to make a good match between the rescue Airedale and the Waiting Family.  To do that, we consider many things, such as (but not limited to):

  • Do you have other pets in your home, and if so, are those pets good with other dogs?
  • Is this rescue Airedale good with other pets?
  • Do you have children in your family, and is this dog good with children?
  • Is the waiting family willing to obedience train the rescue, if needed?
  • If the family has requested a young rescue, does their lifestyle provide them enough time with the dog to give him the required attention, exercise and obedience training?
  • If all adults in the family are employed, how many hours will the dog be left alone?

Put this quiz in your PRESENTATION NOTEBOOK for easy reference.  You can make copies of the quiz so each applicant is able to do the quiz and retain it for later reference.

You can also give the quiz verbally and watch the applicant’s reaction to the responses to the questions.  Keep it casual, make it fun, and you will learn much just by “reading” the applicant as they do the test. As a new volunteer, you will be learning more with every interview, and this quiz will help you to more quickly gain valuable experience.  Expand upon the quiz with some of your own quiz questions and answers.  As Airedale owners we all have lots of material to work with!

Note: Comments and feedback on these articles, plus suggestions for future articles are always welcome!

ART Newsletter Copyright 2010 by Sally Schnellmann and National Airedale Rescue.  Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden without the publisher's written permission.

Working With Animal Shelters in Your Area

As a new Airedale Rescue Volunteer, you’ve been researching and studying all the vital information on the NAR website at Perhaps you’ve assisted with a transport of a rescued Airedale and/or done a couple of home checks. Now you want to let people know that you are an available Airedale rescue person in your area. You know there are animal shelters in your town, and you’ve been wondering how to introduce yourself to them.

Prior to your first visit to a shelter, I suggest you prepare a Presentation Notebook to take with you. Holding this Presentation Notebook when you walk into a shelter will assist you in making a professional presentation as well as giving you the confidence of knowing the points you plan to present to the shelter personnel are in your Notebook. It’s easier to make a fluid presentation when we have written notes to guide us, and that is what your Notebook can provide for you. At the end of this article, I’ve listed some items you should consider for inclusion in your Presentation Notebook. Once you’ve finished constructing your Notebook, you’ll probably be surprised at how knowledgeable you feel and how your Airedale Rescue self-confidence has grown.

Be Prepared for Your Visit

Prior to your visit, obtain the name of the shelter Manager. If you make an appointment with that person, you will have a better chance of speaking to him/her when you arrive. Shelters are very busy places, and managers have many duties each day. If you choose to call without an appointment, ask for the manager by name when you arrive. If the manager is not available, speak to the next person in charge. Introduce yourself and offer that person your calling card. Ask for a few minutes of her time. Begin your presentation by using your Notebook. An opening page in your Notebook should be a copy of your personal Letter of Introduction, which you can point to as you introduce yourself as an Airedale Rescue volunteer. As you tell her Airedale Rescue is a non-profit organization, point to the page illustrating our IRS statement of our 501(c)(3) status. The next page in your Notebook should be Airedale Rescue’s Policy, and you can point to this page as you tell her these important points.

As you can see, you will be using your Notebook to guide you through the presentation. Arrange the pages in the order in which you will be discussing your material and it will give you confidence and make it much easier for you to do a professional presentation.

Your goal in this presentation is to make a good impression for yourself and for Airedale Rescue: That you are knowledgeable, responsible, and you will be quick to respond when they contact you about an Airedale that arrives in their shelter.

If the shelter person seems less than excited with your visit, try to see things from their perspective. The shelter sees more mixes than pure breeds, and some shelter workers resent that breed rescue groups ignore the other dogs. Shelter workers have many horror stories of trying to work with other (undependable and unreliable) rescue groups. They may want to share those stories with you, and it’s important that you listen to their stories. Be understanding. Nod and commiserate as you listen. Promise that we are different. When the time seems appropriate, let them know, in a friendly way, that we care for all the dogs, but realize we can’t save them all. As much as we wish we could do more, since we are experts with the Airedale breed, we feel we can offer our best service by staying with that breed. If you are prepared to help with Airedale mixes, let them know that you would try.

If you are willing to help with other breeds, let them know! Maybe you’re able to assist with other terrier breeds. Offer whatever help you can. One of the best ways to make friends with a shelter is to offer them something beyond just picking up Airedales. Could you offer to help in some other capacity? Walking dogs on Saturday morning? Grooming long-haired dogs? Calling other rescues? Transporting? Participating in a fund-raising event? Much good will is garnered with the shelter and you get your foot in the back room of that shelter, which gives you the opportunity of personally connecting with the people working in that shelter. If you can do this, you’re going to have success stories to share. Share them here! Send them to me and we’ll feature them in an upcoming ART article.

A Little Bit More About Shelters

One reason shelters prefer to place the dogs themselves is because they need the adoption fees for their operating expenses. If possible, offer to pay the adoption fee that is sometimes waived for rescue groups. Appreciate the fact that the shelter was there for that Airedale when needed. Perhaps you could consider a fund-raising project to cover these fees.

Airedale Rescue has been an effective rescue organization for many years. Unfortunately, some other groups do not have our good reputation. Animal rescue seems like a wonderful thing to some naive new volunteers - until they realize how much work and dedication and time it can take to do the job properly. They start out with vigor, but fall to the wayside when the job gets too demanding. What happens then? The shelter calls them, and the volunteer never returns the call. Some rescue groups misrepresent themselves and dogs don’t get the care promised. You can certainly see why such bad experiences can darken a shelter person’s opinion of rescue groups in general. It’s our job to convince them that we are serious and responsible. Offer to come in and do Airedale breed identification for them. Point to the photos in your Notebook of “before and after” Airedale pictures. Point to the photos of Airedale puppies and how they look.

When the shelter does call you, RESPOND IMMEDIATELY! If for a breed check, that will only take a few minutes and they will appreciate the prompt assistance. Never let an Airedale languish in a shelter. When you get a call, bail that ‘dale out immediately or as soon as possible. Get the dog to a vet’s office or boarding kennel until you can arrange foster care.

Never assume the shelter people don’t care. They have a very tough job. Volunteers may change frequently, so call back periodically to re-introduce yourself and let them know you are serious. This is very important. You may have to call back many times before they feel they can trust you. Thank them for adding your name to their contact list for Airedales. Thank them for working with you.

Finally, make notes on every visit so you can remember names and positions of various employees and volunteers in the shelter. This will be very helpful when you make your follow up visits.

Your Presentation Notebook

Your Presentation Notebook can be a standard 3-ring notebook. The pages will be printed on standard 8-1/2 x 11 inch paper, enclosed in clear sheet protectors.

When constructing your Notebook, consider including the following:

  • A supply of your own Airedale Rescue Calling Cards. If you need assistance in obtaining your own calling cards, contact me (Sally) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Your personal letter of introduction. This will be a copy of a letter you have created to mail to shelters that you can’t visit personally. (If you would like a sample letter, contact me (Sally) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Airedale Rescue proof of non-profit 501(c)(3) status. For an IRS document showing the National Airedale Rescue status as a non-profit organization, click here and print a copy of this document. When you tell the shelter personnel that we are a non-profit organization, you are able to point to the page in your Notebook to illustrate the point.
  • NAR’s Policy. Printing the NAR Policy page (click here for the link) with the four Airedales pictured there will make a very attractive Policy Page for your Notebook. Before Placement, all rescue dogs must be:
  • spayed or neutered
  • bathed and groomed
  • checked for heartworm and parasites
  • brought up-to-date on shots based on the age of the dog, any known history of vaccinations, the laws of your locale and consultation with your veterinarian
  • microchipped
  • carefully evaluated for temperament and personality in order to be matched with an appropriate forever home
  • prospective adopters must be thoroughly screened and evaluated for a suitable Airedale
  • all rescue dogs must be placed as house dogs with a securely fenced yard.
  • Any Airedale Rescue Brochures that you have available. There is a variety of pamphlets available for printing, courtesy of ATRA, that can be found by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom of the page. Print off copies that you feel will be helpful to you in your presentation, with extra copies you may choose to use for distribution. Be sure to include your contact information on each brochure.
  • Copy of the Placement Agreement used when you place a rescue. If you don’t have a contract used by your local group, you can click here for a copy of NAR’s Placement Contract.
  • Before and After pictures of Airedales. Most times when an Airedale comes into a shelter, they are ungroomed. Their coats may be dirty and/or matted, and hardly recognizable as a handsome Airedale! As you illustrate these pictures, it is a good time to offer to come in and do Airedale breed identification. For Before and After pictures of Airedale, click here to go to NAR’s website for the section titled, “Is It An Airedale?” for excellent pictures to include in your Notebook.
  • Any additional information that will be an asset to your Presentation Notebook. Perhaps you have photos and stories of your own that you’d like to include. Great! Make this interesting and informative Notebook your own by including your own local stories or national stories you’d like to share.

The content of this Presentation Notebook will give you quick reference to items of special interest when you are making your initial introduction to the shelter personnel. It makes it easier when you can display pages as you talk about the various points. By enclosing these individual pages in clear page protectors you can keep your Notebook fresh and clean.

There are often several animal rescue shelters in any area. There’s the public shelter, private shelters, the pound (Animal Control Organizations), all-breed rescues, etc. Contact with all of them is important. However, once your Presentation Notebook is done, it will be easy to check in with all of them and cover all the bases.

ART Newsletter Copyright 2010 by Sally Schnellmann and National Airedale Rescue. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden without the publisher's written permission.

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Airedale Information

Each year several hundred Airedales find their way into rescue and begin new lives.  Because of the generous support of donors like you, National Airedale Rescue, Inc. is able to assist with the financial needs of Airedale rescue organizations throughout the United States and Canada each year so these great dogs continue to find loving homes.  We appreciate your donations!