A pet is not only an investment but, more importantly, a lifetime commitment. It is the only member of your family that you have the ability to CHOOSE! CHOOSE WISELY! Some points to consider:
An AKC registration form offered with a puppy does not offer a guarantee of quality...nor does a pedigree sprinkled with champions. As a prospective pet owner, it is your responsibility to research the breed to determine if it is a good match for your family. As a prospective buyer, it is your responsibility to research the credentials of the seller to determine if the seller's interests are in the best interests of the breed!! Research the breed...then the breeder.
Puppies are not a mail-order business; conscientious breeders breed to dogs which enhance their overall breeding program...and often, this means, breeding to dogs outside of their geographic area! Therefore, do not expect to be able to "see" the sire of a litter--he may live hundreds to thousands of miles away! Every litter produced by a conscientious breeder is carefully planned! Conscientious breeders might produce a litter every year or two! Don't expect to "order" a puppy for a special occasion (Christmas, a birthday, etc.) and get a "quality" puppy from a conscientious breeder for that occasion! Expect to wait!!!
Puppies are a luxury--if not to the buyer, the breeder! Every puppy produced by a conscientious breeder is more than a dollar sign--it is the culmination of a commitment to producing a quality Airedale Terrier!!! Conscientious breeders will question your credentials as a pet owner because they care more about the individual puppy and the future of the breed than about making money! Conscientious breeders will, therefore, invite you to visit their premises and encourage you to learn about the breed. A good home is more important to them than a check in the bank!
Puppies should never be offered as "gifts"; the puppy or dog that appeals to one person may not appeal to another; if someone wants a puppy they should be afforded the opportunity to choose the breed of dog which appeals to them in terms of its temperament and general characteristics. Even if you know the breed of preference of the recipient, give a "gift certificate" to a conscientious breeder instead and let them choose the puppy that "wins their heart"!
Puppies are not toys that you can dispense with when no longer amusing; they grow up to be adult dogs...but their dependence on humans, never ends! Many purebred dogs (not to speak of mixed-breeds) are "purchased" as toys and many are euthanized in animal shelters every year because people no longer found them "cute" or "amusing"! Should you take this responsibility lightly, we encourage you to "witness" the "act of kindness" that deprives a perfectly healthy living creature of its life--and to understand and accept your responsibility in that process!
Puppies are not "meal-tickets" or potential "moneymakers" for a prospective owner. A conscientious breeder is concerned about overpopulation of not just the breed, but the species! To that end, conscientious breeders will place all "pet" puppies on limited registrations and/or spay/neuter contracts to ensure both the integrity of the breed and to limit commercialization of the breed! (And, please understand that a "pet" puppy produced by a conscientious breeder might be a "show" prospect of the wrong sex, or with a soft coat, or perhaps doesn't have just the right ear set!)
Puppies are breakable! A well-meaning but overzealous human can cause injury to a puppy! Though, sometimes, the injury may take months or even years to manifest, the damage done may be irreversible! Prospective puppy buyers should learn how to best care for their puppy and provide for its needs. Conscientious breeders will educate buyers about the puppy's needs, dietary requirements, and safeguards for its health!
Puppies are not educational tools or "exercises in responsibility" for children. Nor are they self-sustaining. They depend on the care of responsible (i.e., adult) human beings for their lives. If "teaching" your child responsibility by purchasing a pet is your primary motivation for purchasing a puppy, get a "Chia Pet" not a puppy.
Puppies don't come preprogrammed! They must be trained! Puppies don't understand that chocolate or daffodils might be toxic to them; that cars can run over them, or that electrical cords might electrocute them! Many puppies have sustained grievous injuries by being granted more freedom than they have earned! If you cannot supervise them, confine them! If you don't have the time to "train" them, don't buy them!
Puppies are not a finished product! That same adorable (8 pound) Airedale puppy becomes a gangly, awkward but enthusiastic adolescent, which becomes a demanding, active (50+ pound--and PLEASE remember that medications, etc., are based on weight so the more the dog weighs the more $s you spend) adult, which, eventually, becomes an aging pet with special needs. If you are not willing to commit to all of the stages of this puppy's life through its geriatric years, don't purchase the puppy!
Puppies may bond with or be purchased for a single family member, but their acceptance and emotional health depends on the approval and support of the whole family! Airedale Terriers are extremely sensitive and adept at "reading" their human counterparts; they will react accordingly. Make sure that every family member accepts and is willing to make a commitment to the puppy!
Puppies don't come with warranties--they are not refrigerators or other inanimate objects, but living creatures: no matter how conscientious the breeder, that breeder cannot guarantee the health of every puppy they produce! Conscientious breeders, however, make commitments to both the purchaser and to the puppy; they will refund your purchase price or replace the puppy if that puppy should evidence heritable genetic defects.
Puppies are, unhappily, often nonreturnable (though conscientious breeders will always take a misplaced puppy or dog back)! The wrong "choice" of a pet can be, at best, a nuisance; at worst, intolerable, in an inappropriate and non-supportive home. It is far easier to purchase a puppy than it is to rehome an adult dog; and less cruel to relinquish a puppy to a more appropriate home than to abandon an adult, and less adoptable dog, to a shelter!
Puppies are not inexpensive. You may be able to cut financial corners by buying from a "backyard breeder" or a "pet shop"-- both of whom sell pet-quality puppies at show-quality prices, and you may have gained a few dollars up front. But, the costs of that puppy for routine vaccinations, health checks, replacement of objects destroyed; potential health problems, etc., remain the same. Conscientious breeders do their best to ensure that you are educated in how to care for your puppy: that the puppy you purchase is healthy and free of heritable defects; and they will stand behind that puppy if problems arise!
Puppies are not status symbols--many breeds have gained notoriety through the media and films; people have purchased puppies because they're "in", or somehow equate to a status symbol! It is not the responsibility of any puppy or dog to afford you social standing or acceptance. It is, however, your responsibility, as a pet owner, to afford them the care that they deserve as living creatures! A conscientious breeder will help you determine if this is the right breed for your family and, if it is, help you in selecting a puppy best suited to your needs and lifestyle!
No intervention from humans can eradicate the basic instincts of the "founding" species--wolves! Just as humans do "human" things, dogs do "dog" things; they do bark, they do dig, they do play, and, if necessary (in their minds), they do kill or destroy! If you're not prepared to deal with the things dogs do, don't do the dog "thing!"
Many "texts" on the Airedale Terrier recommend that you shun the "shy, reserved puppy" because that puppy does not represent true "Airedale" temperament. "Airedale temperament" is a generic term which does not reflect individual idiosyncracies...or owner preferences! Dogs are pack animals and in every pack there is a hierarchy. That same "shy" puppy when allowed a degree of independence from its "oppressors" may, in fact, blossom! That same "shy" puppy might be the best companion you ever had!
If you want a puppy or a dog, take the time to determine the type of dog that best suits your lifestyle and preferences--investigate breeds, learn about their temperaments and characteristics! (If you think you might want an Airedale, please complete the AQ*)! The more carefully you research your options, the better the chances your choice will be a rewarding one!
For more information about the Airedale Terrier, please consult the ADT FAQ! For more information about breeders, please contact www.airedale.org.