Posted by: Kay | 2008/08/05

Adopting an adult Airedale Terrier


I am adopting an adult (3 year old) female Airedale Terrier. I would like to know what I can do to make her feel at home and happy with us. I have never before adopted an adult dog, only puppies, and I`m a bit nervous. What can I expect (her behaviour ect.)? I would appreciate any advice.



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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Dear Kay<br><br>Lets start with water, food a hot milo before going to bed and classical music playing in the background. If you want to calm your nerves before she arrives have a whiskey, but only one. You dont want to spoil the moment by letting your tongue slip if you have more than one drink.<br><br>Kay, you'll be fine. If you've had puppies before you'll be fine. If she has any serious behavioural problems seek the advice of a dog trainer. It may be worth taking her anyway so you can see how she reacts with other dogs.<br><br>Vivaldi usually works best.<br>

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Our users say:
Posted by: Aubrey | 2008/08/11

Love the cybervet comments well done Dr.

Reply to Aubrey
Posted by: Chill | 2008/08/05

Do you know why this dog is available for adoption? Sometimes people have genuine reasons for no longer being able to keep a dog, but often problem dogs are ' offloaded'  with a little half-baked excuse...

Not to say that a ' problem dog'  can' t also settle down and also be a wonderful pet, but forewarned is forearmed...

I think the best advice I can give you, other than the practical stuff that' s already been mentioned, is that an adult dog is going to have an already-formed understanding of life and behaviour and habit, and you are not going to know what this encompasses. Nor is she going to know what' s ok by you - and the biggest obstacle to adopting an adult is that when the dog misbehaves, to discipline it, and then if it does so again, to consider the dog ' impossible' . Very sad - but if you' re aware of this pitfall, you can approach it with understanding and compassion, and take the trouble to gently correct whatever behaviour doesn' t suit you. I' m talking here stuff like not being allowed on furniture, for example - she may in her previous home have owned her own couch. Or begging for food - peoples'  attitudes to this are incredibly polarised - I for one don' t really mind, but I know someone who spits with rage when the dog drools as he' s eating his spaghetti. Such things are not the dog' s fault, and should be handled compassionately and gently, until the penny drops.

Obviously if the behaviour is seriously unacceptable, you may need firmer action - that' s why I suggest you try to research the dog' s history a bit. Let us know if you pick up anything worrying and maybe we can come up with some practical solutions.

Do make sure, of course, that you establish yourself as the boss right from the beginning - do this by acting cool around the dog, not fussing too much, and letting her earn attention. Airedales are big dogs, they can be strong-willed, and they aren' t toys...

Best of luck with your new pooch!

Reply to Chill
Posted by: Megan | 2008/08/05

Hi Kay,
Congrats on your decision to extend your family!  )
We have also adopted an adult dog (1.5 years old) and it was probably much easier to make the little lady part of our family, than what it would’ ve been had she been a puppy. She only woke us up once or twice during the first week, but quickly settled into her new surroundings. She was also already housetrained and knew the basic commands.

Carol and Chill are two of the experts on this forum and I am sure they will be able to give some good advice, but I can share this from our own experience with you in the meantime: try to find out what food your Airedale Terrier is used to, how much and her feeding times. What schedule is she used to? Get her vaccination card if you can. Has the dog been neutered?
Any illnesses or injuries and are there any behaviour that you should be aware of, such as aggression towards strangers.

It will be great if you could get her favourite blanket and toy to bring along to her new home to make her feel more relaxed in her new environment. Prepare for her arrival by buying dog food, toys, a collar and lead. Also a bed and blanket if her previous owner can’ t supply this. Make sure you get a tag with your contact details–  dogs new to their homes are at a higher risk of getting lost.
When you arrive home take the dog to where her “ toilet area”  will be. Take her out frequently until you get used to her loo-schedule. Try to keep the dog under your supervision or in a doggy-proof area until you get to know her habits better –  this will help reduce the house-training accidents and destructive chewing.
Remember not to encourage inappropriate behaviour and to praise the good behaviour in order to reinforce it. If you’ re going to take her to training classes you should allow two weeks or so for the new family member to settle in before you start. Regular grooming will help you and your Terrier to bond –  even a little grooming a day will do the trick.
I am sure you will have loads of fun with the new addition to your family!

Reply to Megan

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