Blue, born in March 2010.
The two puppies I retained from my last litter of Airedales are at the age where I start to train them. What I teach them are the basic skills I need to make my life with them more peaceful, and to make them more useful on the farm. Here's my basic list:
Come when called
Don't pull on leash
Don't get on the furniture, ever.
Don't jump on anyone
Lay down until told you can get up
Go left / Go right / Go where I am pointing
The basic rule that I follow is that you always treat a big dog puppy as if it's a big dog already. I don't roughhouse with them, as fun as that is with a puppy because it leads them to believe that roughhousing is a good thing. Its ok when they're puppies, but when they're north of 60lbs, a friendly nip or jump can get someone hurt, or scare someone who doesn't know the dog. So we just never do it.
I know that you called me, but if I sneak away slowly you won't noticeAiredales are willful dogs. They're stubborn and loyal, and they tend to stick with an idea once they get it into their heads. So I'm a bit stricter with them than I might be with other dogs. This shows up when I teach them to lay down. Lay down for my dogs means their chin is on the ground. that means when they resist it's by raising their heads. If I taught them that lay down meant laying down with their head up, resisting is walking away slowly.
On the right, Red, last years littermateSome Airedales have a very strong prey drive. I've written about Red, pictured above, and my challenge in getting him to stop eating my poultry. he's very good at herding, listening to the call-off signal and supporting the other dogs, but he does like his poultry, and this is a problem if he's bored or unsupervised.
Blue, this years pup
Blue has shown some potential as a herding dog as well. He's calm and friendly, and has a good conformation. Nothing at all wrong with him. He's still growing (note red on the left and monster over the top of him for size comparison) and I expect him to be around breed standard at maturity.
Monster, the father of the pupsMonster, the dog of this pack, is starting to grey out a little, but is still doing his job on the farm every day. He I trust to not mess with the livestock, and as top dog he gets more face time with me than the other dogs. He's my pickup truck companion as well as the tireless rat hunter at the farm.