So we thought it would be a good idea to get a new puppy! Our 12 year old Airedale Terrier passed away last Fall, and ever since, the house felt empty. We missed the companionship and our walks. Given that we fell in love with the breed, we decided to get the same type of dog. So we found a breeder; they interviewed us and we interviewed them. Before we knew it, we were placing a deposit for a puppy in the next litter; we had a 5 month wait. Meantime, as we waited impatiently, we tried to find a name that everyone in the family liked equally. We thought of Diesel, Hemmie, Bronco, Hunter, Tucker and Raptor. It took about 2 weeks to decide! Can you guess what we named him?
Our last Airedale, was mature, obedient and balanced. So we had a dreamy idea in mind that our next Airedale would be the same. Wrong. Adoption day came, we brought him home and the fury started. Normal for a puppy to be energetic, mouthy and playful, but this guy wouldn’t stop. Mister dominant with his razor sharp teeth wouldn’t let up and was even drawing blood. Of course try explaining to a puppy ‘no biting’ or ‘leave it’ and all he hears is blaghbla blagh. I guess we forgot the puppy stage: the biting, the crazy energy, the separation anxiety thing (resulting from taking him away from his mom and siblings), oh and of course potty training, teaching him to stay off furniture and all that fun stuff. It was like having a newborn baby. Every day we thought to ourselves: “what were we thinking?!”
Airedale puppies are very rambunctious and bite everything in their path. They won’t bite in anger or aggression, they are either doing it to play or it soothes their teeth (teething). We thought though that after a little while, he would start to understand that biting hands, ankles, furniture, digging holes to China, and ripping out the perennials was not cool. Mr. Dominant didn’t get it. Whenever he got too spazzy (aka psychotic), we would help him self-regulate by putting him in his crate (so glad we decided to crate train him). Crate training is very effective, it helps doggy enjoy his special place (they think it’s their den), prevents him from getting ‘distructo’ on everything, and helps us stay sane and of course get some sleep at night.
So we took it one week at a time. But with his ‘bityness’ and ‘spazzyness’, we questioned whether we should keep him or return him. We started nicknaming him Raptor and Broncosaurus, and questioning whether he was a dum-dum, a psychopath or just a puppy.
Airedales are an extremely intelligent breed. Finally, now after 3 months, he’s understanding that being gentle is way more cool. Sure he’s still a baby and has his spazzy moments, but with training, brisk walks, socializing, $100 worth of dog toys dispersed all over the floor, as well as the upcoming puppy obedience classes and proper guidance and instructions, he will become the most amazing devoted companion ever.
Do you think that being patient during the puppy phase is worth it?
Do you think we should have called him Raptor instead?