is a neutered male Airedale Terrier and is approximately five years old.
He's a bit under standard at about 22 inches. He's muscular and strong,
and apparently very healthy.
his shots are up to date and he's suffered no illnesses in the last two
years. He is an owner surrender, and is looking for a childless,
Airedale experienced home. Mac would do well as an only dog, but will
get along with other dogs with some firm guidance and patience.
adopted from the Edmonton SPCA approx. two years ago. He was a stray,
and was not claimed by his previous owner. The
adoptive family kept Mac for two years, but were not able
to deal with Mac's growling and biting. He bit both the husband and
wife, as well as their young
daughter. In all instances, it appears that it was a fear reaction
and not an attack of any kind. Mac did not bite repeatedly in any of
cases, and was startled in
all cases. It was also stated that Mac had killed one of the family
The family contacted several
training centers in an effort to find an obedience instructor to work with.
They were told by one trainer that Mac was dog aggressive and would not
be allowed in group training sessions. Other trainers told them (upon
hearing of Mac's biting), that Mac should be destroyed. Except for one
trainer, no one offered to view Mac in person in order to assess his
behavior first hand.
When Mac came into my home,
it was apparent that he was a fearful dog, but not all the time. He
would growl if you hugged him, or tried to pick him up. He did not
charge at, nor make any aggressive moves toward my two dogs, and he
showed an avid interest in our two cats.
In order to ensure the safety of my two dogs, my two cats, and myself, I
purchased an elastic muzzle for Mac which fits in a way that allows for
panting, drinking, taking treats, etc., but does not allow enough room
for a full bite to occur.
Over the next several days, I introduced Mac to as many small stresses
as I could in an attempt to see if there was a point at which he would
bite. He never tried. He did growl
in some circumstances however.
Mac would not lie down on
command, and trying to make him lie down resulted in growls, which would
escalate to snarls. Still no attempt to bite. I used a clicker and
treats instead, and within one day, Mac was happily lying down on
command. He still needs a lot of work on obedience, but he's well on his
way in that department. Mac heels well, and is learning to sit
and stay, and to "finish". I use a clicker and treats, and Mac
understand the game very well. His mistakes occur mostly from sheer
enthusiasm, and not from stubborness.
I also did daily "hug sessions" with Mac. At first, with his
muzzle on, I would sit on the floor with Mac and pet him, stroke him and
then hug him in various ways. If he growled, I would say "NO"
very firmly, and if he allowed the hug without growling, I would click
the clicker to signal the occurrence of the desired behavior, and then
give him a treat. Within four days, I was not only hugging him, but he
was allowing it with tail wagging, and I was able to pick him up off the
floor with nothing more than a small grunt from Mac. After a week, the
muzzle was off all the time, and the hugs became even more enjoyable for
Mac. He now asks for hugs, pushing in close and turning to allow a hug
around his neck or chest, and readily gives lavish kisses.
He can be startled by sounds and by some things that happen over his
head, but I have been working with him on this as well. He's rewarded
for checking out strange things, and not allowed to run away. We work
out the fears together. His most persistent fear to date is the back
hatch window of my Blazer. He
doesn't like it over his head (this we can't avoid), and he apparently
is frightened by the sound it makes. I reward him for sniffing it, and
for checking it out. At this time he won't jump into the truck on his
own, but I can pick him up and put him in with no struggle if necessary.
I'm hoping that in time, he'll understand it won't hurt him.
Mac loves to wrestle, but he needs to learn a little restraint. He is
very mouthy and isn't aware of how hard he's biting. For now, he's not
allowed to play hard, and if he gets mouthy, he gets a tennis ball to
chew on rather than my arm. He does not get angry, and does not really
bite...he just plays too hard.
Mac is learning to be nice to the cats, and so far, he's really doing
well. He's very interested in the cats and likes to sniff them head to
toe. He will respond to a command to leave them alone, but I wouldn't give
any guarantees on his response to a fleeing cat. He would likely chase,
and in the heat of the chase he may indeed do damage to a cat. I will
not give him the freedom to find out.
Mac will do very well in a home that is used to Airedale mannerisms. Mac
is 100% Terrier, and other than being spooked occasionally by new sights
and sounds, he is a very normal dog. His sound sensitivity does not
appear to include thunder.
Mac is crate trained and sleeps in his crate at night. He is quiet all
night as long as he's in the same room as me. He also eats in his crate.
Mac has earned off leash privileges
in our home, and except for one leg lifting incidence early on, he has
behaved himself very well. He does
steal things from table tops, so his new home will have to be
puppy-proofed before he moves in.
I would prefer that Mac go to a home in the Edmonton area so I can work
with his new family for a few
weeks after his adoption. Mac will make a very loyal and committed
companion. He's curious about everything in his environment, and
wants to be in the middle of every activity. The more he's exposed
to new things, the more confident he's going to become.
Because of Mac's history he cannot be placed
in a home with small children, and his new family should have a good
knowledge of obedience training. Mac responds well to firm, consistent
training, and requires rigid rules to live by. In my home, he's not
allowed to roughhouse with either human, canine, or feline occupants
until he learns a bit of self restraint, and this training should
continue in his new home. His new family should also be prepared to keep
tabs on Mac at all times until he matures enough to settle down and earn
his independence either in the house or in other situations.
Mac needs someone to commit to being his forever home. He's now had at
least three major moves in his life, and he would really like someone to
love him for the rest of his life and never to give up on him. He
deserves this chance!
now the proud owner of a nice young couple and a new companion, another
dog to play with.
To Doc's story
To Havick's story