Scottie loves gardening and Airedale Terriers. He is particularly fond of ripening tomatoes and dog training methodology.
Have you decided to get an Airedale Terrier?
You are going to have your hands full.
Having an Airedale around stands much of the conventional dog training advice on its head. This article recounts my experience with Airedale Terriers.
After having had three of them, it is a promise. On the other hand, they are smart, loyal, affectionate, and impish clowns. It is worth the effort to train them because they are a wonderful breed if you take charge firmly and early.
Airedale Attitudes and History
For all of their wonderful traits, they have others that can drive you to into therapy. They are extremely intelligent, very strong, fearless and stubborn. After all, they were bred to hunt badgers, just about some of the meanest, most aggressive and dangerous animals on the planet. To an Airedale, that is the ideal game.
They are so tough and courageous, in fact, that in World War I they were used as dispatch carriers to send messages to other neighboring troops because they could sustain an injury and still reach their target.
It is hard to believe that the cute little bundle of wiry black fur could ever be your worst nightmare. Unless you establish control early and firmly, that is exactly what that adorable puppy will become.
Airedale Puppies and Training
The boundless energy and curiosity of Airedales are inevitably guaranteed to give you some interesting memories.
When you talk to reputable breeders expect to be asked if you have ever had an Airedale before. They do not want to place them into the home of the faint-hearted. Owning an Airedale is a bit like trying to tame a kangaroo. And training one, without expecting to encounter their headstrong nature, can be quite a shock.
Breeders know that prospective owners are charmed by their seemingly amusing temperament, and handsome appearance, only to find that their dog expects to be in charge. That is why so many Airedales end up as rescue dogs. In despair, many less-than-firm owners simply give up.
What fun to come home from a long day at work to find part of your home ravaged. My second Airedale, even after being fully trained, accidentally managed to lock himself in an interior bathroom with no windows. In a panic, he clawed down the bottom half of a solid wood door. It takes a very strong and very determined animal to accomplish that feat, but that is classic Airedale. The telltale “warm spot” on the couch meant that afterward he calmly and imperiously returned to lounging on the couch once he had gotten free.
I installed a door that could not lock involuntarily.
Obedience...or Lack Thereof
My third Airedale, in a burst of energy, tripped on the cord of a halogen lamp, causing it to set the couch on fire before I returned to the room. Not thinking, I told the 911 dispatcher that my dog set the couch on fire. The five firemen who arrived to be sure the fire was out were quite amused and could not resist asking me “Lady does your dog smoke?” As I explained: “Not yet, he is still underage.”
I moved the lamp.
But since he seemed more exuberant than most, I promptly enrolled him in obedience classes, where he flunked out. Well, not exactly. It was so embarrassing to take him to class, I opted for homeschooling. Being around a room full of dogs was more fun than he could stand. Rather than participate in class lessons he would immediately begin leaping wildly with delight, leaving me to weather the cold glances of those with less obviously disobedient beasts.
Even so, I would never have another breed.
Some Wonderful Things About Airedale Terriers
For one thing, they don’t shed. Airedales do not have fur, they have hair. And so they really do not shed at all, particularly since they are kept groomed with short hair. They are good watchdogs because they are quite attentive and protective of their family, and their turf.
If you can survive their early years, and train them to accept you as alpha male early on, they are wonderful companions. Once trained, their playfulness can be charming, and they have a sweet and loving disposition, that makes them very appealing.
But to get to that point, there are things that must be done while they are young.
Tips for Training an Unruly Airedale Terrier
- My first tip is to be consistently firm. No slip up in behavior should ever go un-addressed. Some over tolerant dog owners make the mistake of “excusing” unacceptable behavior “just this once.” With an Airedale, that leniency is paid for with years of insubordinate challenges. When house training, if an “accident” happens, show him calmly outside after directing his attention to his “error.” If he chews a favorite shoe, scold, but don’t punish him. And train yourself while you are at it to close the closet doors. Because they are headstrong, training through praise usually works better than punishment.
- Go to obedience school (which is actually to train you and not the dog). Even if he can’t cope with the public environment, you will learn enough to train him to follow commands. It does not matter if you never want him to sit, stay, heel or lay down on command, teach him anyway. That lets him know who is boss. And it is also a good way not to get nipped in his enthusiasm to get to that treat in your hand.
- Accept that there are some things you probably can’t train out of him. He will always be extremely curious, but if he has been trained not to destroy property, this is not a bad trait.
- Force him to learn proper leash behavior, unless you want to learn sidewalk skiing. They are very strong dogs and can easily take a full-sized adult human off balance if allowed to have their way on a leash. Get a prong collar early and use it every time you are out. He will quickly learn that heel means heel. The collar will teach him restraint in a humane manner, unlike choke chains. And in time, you won't need it. He will learn.
Once he finally is clear that you call the shots, not him, he will be one of the most wonderful dogs you could hope to have taken into the family. His natural high energy level and clownish behavior are wonderfully amusing, and he will be a dedicated and loyal companion who is usually very good with children.
No matter what else, you can be sure with an Airedale in the house, life is always exciting
Questions & Answers
Question: How do I teach my Airedale to stay off of furniture? And how do I teach her to use her dog kennel?
Answer: First let's talk about what I am, and am not. While I know a lot about Airedales, and to some degree, dogs, I am not perfect. No matter what I did, I never succeeded in keeping my 'dales off of the couch when I was not home. A repeated firm "no" works for when you are home, and being smart they get that the furniture is off limits when the parents are home. Being smart they quickly learn they can hear the key in the door before they get caught. Of course, I did not have the technology at that time that exists now. If you could find a way to rig a security camera with a really loud horn each time she is on the couch, she would quickly learn. Otherwise, I settled for a throw on the couch when I was not there. But once the "pain" of being on the couch exceeds the pleasure of those warm cushions, you have a solution.
Kennels are the exact opposite. You want to make it pleasurable to be in one. Obviously, it is easier to start with puppies. I would try storing favorite toys in the kennel and leave the door open. Gradually she will decide the kennel has enticing features. Then I would put some favorite treats in it, to reinforce this concept. Finally, I would put something really fun in it like a real bone properly prepared. Once she enters, close the door, leave the room and see what happens. Leave the room for increasingly longer times. In time, she will prefer the kennel. It's like their "den." Hope this helps, we have lots of seasoned 'dale owners in this thread. They may have suggestions I missed. Good luck.
Question: My dog is always digging. Can it be stopped or must we accept a minefield? Now that winter is over I see a problem!
Answer: The word "terrier comes from the French word "terre" which means "earth". All terriers, not just 'dales are bred to be "diggers." My three Airedales did not dig much and I suspect upping play and exercise time helped. Do not underestimate the energy level of these dogs. A walk around the block is just not enough. Two-mile walks might be what it takes to exhaust your fuzzy excavation officer. Again, if this digging happens when you are home, try a loud horn to make the digging crew dislike it. Any creative inspiration to make him/her dislike digging is great, so long as the neighbors can tolerate it.
Rod & Linda on March 30, 2020:
I read EVERY little thing in this post to help shed light on just what I have got myself into. I have had German Shepherds for most of my life( I am 60 ), I am 100% disabled and my last dog Hansel died very unexpectedly at 7years, 8 months, 14 days and 5 hours, he was the joy of our life. Hansel was the very epitome of what a well trained dog is. After losing him my wife and I were coming out of our local market and low and behold there was a picture of the funniest looking dog I had ever seen, it was an Airedale. We talked back and forth and read about 300 pages about Airedales. We finally made the decision that we were going to give it a try, HAH, I NEVER COULD HAVE EXPECTED WHAT I GOT MYSELF INTO, first of all they are not a dog they are a cross between a PIRANHA and a CROCODILE with the sharpest teeth I have ever seen on a dog. They use these teeth from when they wake up until they go to bed. They are more active then ANY DOG I have ever seen. Airedales have a mind of their own, if you are looking for a dog to be at your side and hang at your every word this is not the dog for you, they have a very strong curiosity level and an independence level that you will not remove. This does not mean they are not trainable just the opposite, THEY ARE THE SMARTEST DOG I HAVE EVER WORKED WITH , my dog got the title" KING BIGELOW OF CHESTERFIELD" with the nickname "BIGZ". From the beginning Bigz was different, he is so smart that you have to read what others have said because you WON'T figure it out on your own. He waqkes up at 8:00am daily goes straight outside has his morning pee and comes back in has his breakfast plays for about an hour and then naps for another hour, this is where he makes his change. When he wakes up from his nap he is like a overwound toy for the next twelve hours! He absolutely DEMANDS your attention, he will play non-stop, at around 4:00 he goes for a 2-3 mile walk/hike ( we live in the mountains )and when we get back he drops like a log onto his bed and konks out for two hours,when he gets up it's time for school, that starts with yesterdays class and todays new lesson. He wears a harness 100% ( except while sleeping at night) of the time. this gives us a sense of quick control. When school is over it's free time outside in the yard until he is ready to come in ( 2-3 hours ). He has a snack and his food is pulled for the night (around 5:00pm or 6:00pm ), we never pull his water. he comes in and plays with us for a couple hours we call this our bonding time, he lay's on his bed and plays with his toy's while we watch tv, He is on his leash 100% of the time in the house that way we don't have mistakes that we have to blame on him, he let's us know when he needs to go out to pee every time ( he has NEVER pooped in the house,( NOT ONE TIME SINCE 5 WEEKS OLD ). VERY SMART! At between 10:30 and 11:00 pm he is out cold,he can't even walk up the steps to our bed and does not wake up until 8:00 am the following day. He has been on this routine for four months now and we love him very much even though he tests you every minute of the day. I almost forgot we have two cats that was interesting to him for about the first two weeks and then they just became roommates and he doesn't give them the time of day other then to want to play with them. They tease the crap out of him ! His training at this point consists of SIT,STAY, FOCUS,COME and SIT UP, next is HEAL, LAY DOWN, CRAWL and PLAY DEAD. I will repost this site in three months with his progress. At the rate of his progress I would say he is going to be one of the most promising Dog's I have ever owned. His love for us is amazing the way he has bonded is truly wonderful and he lives to please.
Best dog ever on February 06, 2020:
Wonderful article! I am loving my 3rd Airedale. First 2 were females and current is a male. OMG my male is the greatest dog I have ever known. I loved my first two, but my Kirby is the best. He was a challenge as a puppy as he was very destructive. Once he turned 3, he mellowed out. Prior to age 3, he was know to go under my husband’s car and tear out the trailer wiring, twice. Once we were at our cabin that had cedar shingles on the outside. We kept hearing an odd sound, so we went out to investigate and Kirby was happily pulling the shingles off the cabin. He had put them in a pile for us to see.
We work from our home and Kirby is allowed to be in the office with us while we work. One day my husband was on the phone with a client and Kirby wanted his attention, so Kirby stood up and bit straight through the phone cord. I am watching this as I look at my husband holding the phone receiver up to his ear now with the phone cord bit in 2 and dangling about 16” from my husband’s head. We cried as we were laughing so hard. Yes, you better have a sense of humor if an Airedale owns you.
Scottie JD (author) on July 25, 2019:
THIS IS NOT MY ARTICLE.
WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE, CONSENT OR ADVANCE WARNING, THE SITE CHANGED THE TITLE, THE CONTENT AND DECIDED TO LABEL ME (ERRONEOUSLY) AS A MALE AND CREATED A BIO I DID NOT WRITE. I AM TRYING TO REMOVE THIS ARTICLE, BUT IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS, PLEASE HIT THE "CONTACT AUTHOR" BUTTON AND WILL TRY TO ASSIST.
Scottie JD (author) on July 01, 2019:
Thanks for the great comments. No doubt they will help others. You are not crazy but braver than anyone I know. LOL. Your first dog was an Airedale! The good news is Lucy is past 3 years old. Like all dogs, the older they get the more they calm down. The other thing is, and I KNOW I sound like a broken record here, exercise, exercise, exercise. Wear her out. If you are taking her for one mile walks, take her for two. Part of that walk is for her fun: sniffing, inspecting, etc. But part needs to be unbroken, fast paced walking. Wear her out.
Also, if house cleaning is involved after her "fun." Its more than mischief. Start thinking like an alpha male, your life will be easier. LOL. Again, thanks for the great note, and enjoy your 'dale.
Airemom on July 01, 2019:
Thank you! This reinforced that I am not crazy and gives me something for non-believers to read-- i.e. it's just a dog I've trained many-- I will carry this with me. My Lucy, now 3, pushed me to the brink. I would cry and cry because I thought I was ruining my dog because she just would not behave! We/she went to training for 4 weeks only to come home 'SLIGHTLY" better. The trainer even said I chose a tough breed. The breeder did "warn us", but as a mom and now 60 yrs old I knew I could handle this. HA Even with being told everything and reading up on them, those warnings weren't enough to convince me I wasn't up for it. I see it like trying to tell your kids something and they say "but this is different". My brother in law has had dogs for 50 years and he said: "give her to me I'll show her who the boss is and she'll listen". He is a loud trainer so I said no, Now after these 3 years he has come around to Airedales are a different breed. Lucy has done more damage to our house in 3 years than 4 children did in 20!
There is something mysterious about Dales, they suck you in and I can't get enough of reading about them and their antics.
To say I love Lucy is a gross understatement. She goes with me nearly everywhere and never fails to draw attention.
She is far from perfect in her manners but she is loving and fun and not really destructive just mischevious. She is my very first dog. Had I known what it was like to be an Airedale mom I would have done it 40 years ago.
Thank you for listening to me carry on about the Aire life, it's really no different than any other. When I learned that part I felt tremendous relief.
All I think about lately is getting another...
To Aire is divine!
Scottiejd on December 13, 2018:
No, thank you. Its nice to know a few words might benefit others. Love your username, so I am sure you really understand. LOL
Airedale guy on December 13, 2018:
Thank you SO MUCH for your perspective.
Veronica Barnsley on October 29, 2018:
We’ve had a couple of one to one obedience sessions and I’ve signed her up for a four week course so we’ll persevere シ
scottiejd on October 29, 2018:
Undoing bad habits is harder than not letting them start, but like parenting, we have to learn by doing. If you can possibly get her into obedience training, it might work wonders. Also, with most dogs, if you can train for "heel" in a quiet, confined area (fenced yard?) that is better than in a "freer" setting. Hope this helps. Enjoy your 'Dale.
Veronica Barnsley on October 29, 2018:
Thanks for this article! We have an 18 month Airedale who is tonnes of fun & the kids adore her. We made the mistake of letting her run free too much (having little Airedale knowledge) and now struggling to train her to stay with us, particularly when there are squirrels around! Using a long training leash & balls / treats but when she gets the urge she still manages to run off. She comes back to the whistle eventually but it’s on her terms! Any tips on what else we can do?
Scottiejd on September 27, 2018:
Thanks Megan. Mine actually ended up being well behaved, but we certainly had adventures along the way. Main point is with Airedales, you have to know those challenges are coming. Appreciate the nice comment.
BellaMunro on September 27, 2018:
Really great read, thoroughly enjoyed and thankful for my 3, well behaved in comparison. I think all new dog owners should be made to read your article.
Scottie JD (author) on August 21, 2018:
Thanks for the kind compliments. Truth be told, your stories top mine in the Airedale Challenge Olympics. Glad you lived them, not me. Thanks for sharing, you had me laughing too.
Kyle on August 19, 2018:
Scottie, I'm generally a stern, discerning consumer of prose yet the stories and descriptions were precisely relatable and I was laughing multiple times while reading. Look at you, almost a decade and still entertaining folks with your article! Many points hit home, yet the most bizarre commonality was the bathroom story. Last year, Kava, a now-3-year-old male Oorang Airedale somehow managed to lock himself into the bathroom of the house we were living in on an organic farm. I came home from the greenhouse at the end of the day and was completely dumbfounded...I couldn't find him anywhere! Not even under the bed! I then opened the bathroom door as my exhausted and final guess...there he was lying quietly in defeat! Interior of door torn up and handle chewed to a mangled squarish shape. He eventually learned how to open rounded door handles by biting and rotating his head...levered handles being a previous learned skill. He also figured out how to "nose up" unlocked windows and punch out the screen. He escaped twice that way until I learned my lesson. He's so attached me that he'd never go anywhere...he simply wants to exercise that immense curiosity! Thanks for the article, I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Scottie JD (author) on August 08, 2018:
Tim, could you be a bit more specific? Not sure how to respond without more information. Happy to help but not sure what you are asking.
Tom ritter on August 07, 2018:
We want an airedale
Scottie JD (author) on June 29, 2018:
Great info stagetek. I did not know a brand. Thanks. Like you, I found that after a few "pulls" my 'dale learned not to pull with the prong collar on. Like yours, he associated the device with the experience and quit pulling.
stagetek on June 29, 2018:
One of mine flys with me as my service dog. Had a couple of others that could do the same; took a bit of work though.
As to pinch collars; Sprenger makes excellent ones, be sure to get a quick release martingale style and back it up with a regular martingale collar. My wife and i have found that after a; while just the collar without attachment to the leash will do unless there's prey in the area. Start the pup early and it takes very little time for them to learn 'if i pull it pinches'. Martingale makes sure the pinch is limited; you can also put covers on the prongs.
Just my opinion.
Scottie JD (author) on June 22, 2018:
Hi Kris--13 weeks is dog owner hell, no matter what the breed. You are doing the right thing with walks and wearing him out. As for prong collars, I got the suggestion from a very reputable breeder, and tried it on myself first. The "prongs" pinch when the dog pulls too hard making him in control of the pressure. Choke chains are both dangerous and inhumane, these, by my experience are not. I do not have a particular brand, but you can sure check with the national Airedale Terrier association, or your local humane society. Bless your heart, HELP suggests this little guy is putting you through your paces. Just do not let any "error" slide, you will pay later. Good luck to you.
Kris B on June 21, 2018:
I have heard not to use prong collars as they are inhuman. What is a good one. I have a new 13 week old male and am in need of HELP.
scottiejd on November 28, 2017:
Dana, this is usually a sign they need more exercise or possibly more companionship. You might be right about another dog, if so. Usually by age 5 they tone down a bit. But my last one at age 8.5 would play with a friends dog at such a level that it was exhausting to even watch it. But no other behavior problems. He was too tired. Now if you can take him for 2 LONG walks a day, that will sure help. This dog needs to work off a lot more energy. Being an Airedale, he's smart. Guessing you had more time off than usual over Thanksgiving, and he is letting you know he was not properly appreciated with an investment of your time. LOL
Dana on November 27, 2017:
I really needed your article this evening! My Airedale, a 5 year old male has been pushing my buttons for the last couple of days, demanding his way or else he will drive me crazy. I finally through him outside just to get a break. He now is enjoying barking, talking to the coyotes and letting the neighbors know he is outside. No matter where I put him it seems he controls the scene. While I work he sleeps, when I come home he is ready to start his day. I am thinking maybe he needs another dog to wear him out.
Robert Hobbs on November 09, 2017:
We had many different breeds of dogs when I was growing up at 17 we got an Airedale. I thought we were getting a dog I got a brother. He was king of the neighbourhood. I was described as the kid with that proud dog by those who were yet to meet me.He had play mates 2 little girls 2 who ask if Max could come out and play and 4 who take turns riding him up this very steep hill near our house.
He was super protective over those kids.
He could open our garage door stare down a unannounced criminal and was so playful he truly a friend.
If I left the table he would grab my steak of my plate.
He was amazing.
Roy on October 15, 2017:
Our 15 month old loves to grab my wifes clothes and rip them, also flies in the air with his mouth open and grabs her. He is very smart but very bad boy.
Jonathan on July 30, 2017:
This is the most accurate article about Airedales I have ever read. Mine has been to doggie jail probably five times in his first year. Now that he is too he is getting a lot better. But he's the best dog I've ever had in my entire life.
Ron on November 01, 2015:
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Debbie on May 11, 2015:
I have been owned by 4 Airedales.my first 2 were brother and sister and due to some tragic circumstances, I had to say goodbye to both before either had even reached 8. Worst time of my life. Now I have a four year old boy and a 9 month old girl. Zimri, the 4 year old, has matured into a sweet, dependable boy who listens(most of the time) and has just enough mischief to keep me on my toes. About Riley.....lets just say that the past few months have not been easy. But we will continue to persevere....and keep our shoes on high tables...and in about 15 more months it will all be worth it. They seem to really just calm down after 2. To everyone who has an Airedale in those first difficult months....stick to it. It will be THE best thing you ever do. There is nothing like these dogs. The amount of joy they bring is indescribable. Best breed in the world.
Karen on September 21, 2014:
Love this piece. After growing up with a Bedlington, when it was time for our family to get a dog I had to have a terrier and my husband wanted big, so we brought our first airedale into our lives when our daughter was 8 months old. We went on to have a son and another Airedale. Such a fun, crazy adventure! Now that the kids are grown, I decided to "downsize" and go back to the breed of my childhood. After all the years with Airedales, I thought something might be wrong with our Bedlington. He is just so easy, LOL. I do miss having a wiry haired clown around the house, but I think I can wait until my son gets his first dog, which he says WILL be an Airedale. The tradition continues :)
Diane on September 20, 2014:
LOL Hilarious! (p.s. you do NOT need a prong collar for your Airedale - just a sense of humor and being consistent with training. Very funny. Love the couch being on fire lol.
VK on July 29, 2014:
It's funny, my experience with my Airedale was the opposite. He was an absolute terror as a puppy, but he grew up to be a very sweet, composed dog. I have had other dogs before, but the bonding experience with the Airedale is the deepest pet experience I have ever had.
b.arnold on January 09, 2014:
positive reinforcement;'calmness; short daily lessons; i do not use pinch collars; use head halters and back up withnylon martingale flat collar. by far the best dogs if you are up to them. must have great sense of humor!
Bernice on June 18, 2012:
I adopted Aimie not knowing her back ground, Her owner had died
and placed her in a SPCA (no putting animals down), so we wanted to
see how she would get along with our mixed lab. She did fine, she
and Lilly both live in our house, love the back yard. And I have never
seen any fights. When and if we need to board, they always stay
together if the cage is large enough. I have not had any house problems. I enrolled in basic training with her and she passed with
178/200. I think she did very well, i believe she lost points in her
heel and when I stop she should sit, that is not going well, Also her
heeling was not too good. Sit Stay she is excellent. The course was 5 weeks 2 hours at a time. (There were mixed dogs in the class but only 5 other dogs) The fall classes will be much more difficult, the same sit,stay and heel without a leash. I am usingCeasar Milan's illusion collar it is helping alot.
Wouter on May 27, 2012:
I have been owned by one for nearly a year now and I have not once regretted my decision to get one. Sure, as the article says, they are a handful and should you ever make a decision to get one, know that he/she will take up A LOT of your time and demands a great deal of patience. It is totally worth it though - there is no dog like them.
As another poster pointed out, the tennis ball under the couch - I know it too well. Mine also has some weird fetish with socks and it is the one thing I can not stop him from getting. Putting on socks in the morning is not a simple task anymore - I forgot what it is like to not have to battle and say "no" while trying to get them on. He also has this great trick where he would stand on a rug and jump into the air by kicking all fours at the same time with the effect of the carpet turning ball shape under his feet. Funniest thing for him in the world.
I have managed to talk my girlfriend into getting another one. A female friend. I do not think she realises how much training and effort is waiting for her but I am not going to say one word! Wonderful breed and wonderful article - thank you.
Rosie on May 04, 2012:
but they do shed....lots, how do i make it stop?
Beth on April 26, 2012:
Loved the article... I just got my first Airedale 4-21-12 and he is a handful very stubborn but I love him so much dearly... Your article helped so much
Wayne and Theresa on March 29, 2012:
What a great article! The only thing better than an Airedale - is 2 Airedales. To Christy: Scotty is right on when he says get some professional training for you and your Airehead- it will make all the difference in the world. Patience and consistency is the key. You'll
never regret it!!
christy on February 02, 2012:
Help my airedale is turning one we love him but are losing our strength! About at the end of our rope. Any one care to help?
I love my airedale and want to keep him!
Lisa on July 21, 2011:
Good luck in your hunt for another Airedale. It will be a very fortunate dog as you already understand and appreciate how amazing they are. I'm considering trying the pinch collar. I can barely control mine when he really wants to go.
ScottieJD on July 19, 2011:
I am in between Airedales right now, but eager to get a new rescue 'Dale. Glad you circled back.
Lisa on July 19, 2011:
Had one growing up and always swore I'd own another. It took until I was 48 but it's been worth the wait. He has such human emotions and is just so loving and sweet. He was a huge handful but now at 4 it's all paying off.
I also have a Welsh Terrier. Great dog as well but looking like a mini Airedale is as far as the comparison goes. She is much more intense and the Airdale is a saint to put up with her.
Max on June 22, 2011:
Great column, Scotty !
I have an Airedale girl, and all I can say is that it was a no issue to train her, as she is so smart, .....she replaces many people in my life and all I can say to anyone wanting an airedale- invest in the training ! it pays with big dividends !
ScottieJD on August 22, 2010:
Thanks for the great comment. You know, if your wife says "too big" you might consider Airedale rescue, the dogs are older, and some are not as large. And, that way you know going in what the maximum size will be.
But that's me, there is no breed for me but Airedales. Good luck with your lobbying.
Paul on August 22, 2010:
Thanks for the article. It brought back memories having grown up with two airedales. Nadia we got as a puppy, and my mother named her after the gymnast. She was a handful for sure, always finding tissue boxes somehow and tearing them up. Obedience school fixed that. When she was two we had her bred and for a few months we had 11 airedales in the house (10 pups no fatalities) We ended up keeping one and naming him Duke. We knew right away to train him. They were great dogs and still got into some mischief mostly involving carelessly misplaced items on the houses human inhabitants. At 14 and a half we had to put nadia down. Duke was never the same and almost 2 years later he too had to be put down.
sorry for rambling. airedales are great companions, the wife and I are thinking about getting a dog and I keep saying "AIREDALE" and she says "too big!" We might end up getting a Welsh or an Irish terrier. Thanks again for the article, it made me smile!!!
Cyn on May 02, 2010:
I am currently owned by an Airedale named Robin, full name Go For Its Sir Robin of Locksley, as in Robin Hood. While reading your article I was summoned by Sir Robin, it seems his tennis ball, one of many was under the couch and needed sorting. Never mind he has dozens, this one was needed now. They are great dogs, just never let them hide your cell phone or car keys.
PeterKlibs from United States on January 31, 2010:
Great article, I can relate to much of it with my Airedale
scottiejd on January 23, 2009:
Thanks. Like you, Airedales will always be my heart breed too. I don't have a dog right now, but for sure, if I did, it would be another Airedale. While I understand "downsizing" I will hang on with the big guys for as long as I can. 14 is a long time for an Airedale. My last one, Bruiser, decided to challenge a car at 9 and a half, and the car won. As hard as that was, I am not sure I could have had the courage to put him down, like you did Jack.
Thanks for your great comments.
Ida-May from Yorkshire on January 23, 2009:
Great Hub Scottie! I don't know whether to laugh or cry. In Dec 07 we had to have our beloved Airedale Jack put to sleep he was 14 which I'm sure you know is a very good age for an Airedale. As a child I grew up with Glen and then Tara and my parents still have an Airedale called Sally. Because of our circumstances we have 'downsized' to a miniature schnauzer he's fantastic and we all love him to bits but Airedales will always be my heart breed
Scottie JD (author) on November 14, 2008:
Glad you enjoyed it. Great dogs!
Aussie Joe on November 14, 2008:
Scottie JD (author) on November 03, 2008:
Sally, but for dealing with some well regarded Airedale breeders, I would have thought the prong collar to be cruel. It really is safe, not painful, and a good start to getting them to obey on a leash. Airedales are big dogs, even the smaller ones are 55 pounds, and can pull you down the street on a regular leash. The important thing is to use verbal commands when she feels the pressure. Then she learns to obey commands, not force.
As for not taking on an Airedale, I certainly understand. Now that I know the drill, I would have no other, but they are not everyone's dog.
Thanks though, for the nice comments.
Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on November 03, 2008:
I really enjoyed your words.
I am not a dog person. I have a nine-year old Goldie whom I rescued a year ago, and she is my first dog. Ever. Almost. Anyway, it's been a real learning experience, and I'm glad I got her as an older dog, sort of. She was never trained beyond house training and a few cute tricks. My challenge has been to keep her from running me over on a leash walk. Actually, my challenge has been to get her to pay attention to me instead of what her nose finds.
I promise you, I will never take into my house an Airedale pup.
Oh, and about the pinch collar. Wonderful training tool. It's the only way I can control her when she meets new people on a walk. Little by little, she's learning through the use of it.
Scottie JD (author) on November 03, 2008:
Thanks, great dogs, even with all the challenges!
Becky2 from Brisbane, Queensland on November 03, 2008:
NICELY WRITTEN SCOTTIE.