For the last couple years, ever since we got married really, my wife and I had been looking at an addition to our family. As we are in our mid-20s, we decided that we would both best be served by practicing with a furry friend. Unfortunately, I am allergic to most dogs, so we had to take that into account, ruling out most breeds.
We researched a variety of breeds and decided to settle on an Airedale Terrier. We drove down to a breeder in Southern Oklahoma and $250 later, we had obtained our 10-week old bundle of joy. The poor little guy slept the entire 2-hour drive back home to Tulsa; we only stopped once on the way but he was too scared to go anywhere.
We found that he was extremely sweet and kind, as he was very attached to us and always wanted to play and lick our faces.
The first few weeks, I will admit, were quite rough. He was quite a stubborn pup, so housebreaking him was a little difficult. One time he peed in the house because he was mad because he didn’t get his way, and we had to let him know that that wasn’t ok. We worked hard to use positive reinforcement to train him, and with a lot of patience, it worked. Separation anxiety was also hard to handle at first, as I was frequently gone on business, and he was prone to getting very sad every time I left.
Once he got to about three months old, we took Winston to obedience school for a beginner’s class at Petsmart. He did very well, and while we could have probably taught ourselves most of what was done in the $109 class, the discipline and structure given by the class was well worth it. He graduated with his little puppy diploma, and we noticed considerable improvement in his behavior. Although was still the cute, clownish and silly puppy we always love, we could tell a big difference in his greeting of strangers and family members. He knew that he had to sit first before he could greet them, and this was a big relief to us having him jump all over everyone
We also had him fixed using laser surgery at around 20 weeks, and that made a major improvement in his temperament. Prior to him being neutered, he had a high tendency to be dominant and hump anyone or any dog in sight. We also did not want any surprise puppies to pop up, and as responsible parents, we can do our little part to help control the pet population.
Winston is now an almost full-grown, 8 month old pup now weighing nearly 75 lbs. He has gotten much better about the separation anxiety, and can be left alone for several hours at a time. He has gotten more and more lively in age, and we try to help with that in playing with him more and taking him on more walks and trips to the bark park. We love him very much and are very thankful we got him.