Buying a puppy is different from the experience of buying anything else. Picking the right breeder will mean support, behavioral counseling, and training advice throughout the life of your Airedale.
When evaluating an Airedale breeder consider:
- Does the breeder actively show or work
their Airedales? By competing in conformation and
dog sport events a breeder has the opportunity for a objective
expert to rank the dog as a good or bad representative of
the breed. You should buy from a breeder who mates only
Airedales who have titled in conformation or performance
events. (preferably both)
- Does the breeder belong to the Airedale
Terrier Club of America and a local AKC or breed club?
Membership in organizations indicates that your breeder
is up to date on breed-specific information and training
methods and is professionally linked with other breeders.
- What health guarantees does the breeder
have on the puppies? A good breeder will state
in their contract that the Airedale will not have genetic
medical problems at any point in his life, and if he does
there will be compensation available.
flag: a breeder who lets you take an Airedale puppy home at
6 or 7 weeks old.
Puppies learn important socialization by remaining with their
mother and littermates for 8-12 weeks. Veterinary research
indicates that when a pup stays in it's litter with it's mother
and siblings till 8-12 weeks, the puppy will learn it's place
in a pack (so it will respect you as leader!) and learn appropriate
play from its siblings and and bite inhibition from its mother.
By this time the puppy will have a firm foundation on housebreaking
by watching and following its mother. A breeder may also be
breeding too frequently and trying to get rid of the puppies
to make room for another litter.
Red Flag: A breeder who picks a puppy for you without
interviewing you thoroughly.
Some breeders will pick a puppy for you or give you a choice
of only a few of the puppies in the litter. This is a common
practice among responsible breeders who want to get to know
their puppies, then match the puppies with appropriate families.
You should be concerned if the breeder picks a puppy for you
before you tell the breeder about your lifestyle and the activities
you plan to share with your dog.
Red Flag: not being allowed to see all the
Airedale puppies or the breeder's home.
You should be able to see all available puppies,
mother, and their living environment. All puppies
should be healthy and bright eyed-- although even the best
bitch may look haggard after caring for all her puppies for
two months. The area where the dogs are kept should be inside
the home, in a clean area with some natural light. The puppies
should be being encouraged to go outside with their mother
to go to the bathroom. (It's highly unlikely the airedale
puppies will be housetrained, but NOT encouraging them to
go outside means you'll be starting from scratch when you
take your puppy home)
Red Flag: Puppies kept in cages or outdoors.
Never buy from a breeder who doesn't live with their dogs.
No matter how clean the kennels or cages are, it is impossible
to breed happy, well socialized Airedales when the mother
and puppies are kept outside of the home and away from people.
It is, of course, necessary to confine curious puppies when
they cannot be watched, but pet gates and closed doors should
be used in place of cages or garages. Never, ever buy from
a breeder whose Airedales are "outdoor dogs" only.
Outdoor Dogs are poorly socialized and lack the socialization
to pass on to puppies. Outdoor dogs are many times more susceptible
Be cautious of a breeder who has both parents on
This one causes some raised eyebrows, but if a breeder is
carefully breeding the best to the best, it's unlikely they
will be lucky enough to own both the male and female. Be cautious
of a breeder who cannot provide you copies of a several-generation
pedigree on the sire and dam. (They don't have to recall it
from memory, but they should have access. It is important
that they have researched their Airedales and have not bred
dogs who are relatives of each other)
The very minimum you should receive when you pick up your
pup is (1) the AKC registration slip. You will select a name
for your puppy and submit this form to AKC, with a fee, to
register the pup in your name. (2) A record from a veterinarian
indicating what shots the pup has and when the puppy was wormed.
(3) Three days supply of the puppy food the pup is used to
eating. Abrupt changes of food can upset small stomachs.