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Harley has been adopted!

Sponsored by Ilona and Alex in honour of their cousin’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Scarlett!


Meet Harley! He is a handsome and big powerful boy! He is true to the Airedale breed in many ways and requires an experienced dog owner that is committed to training and an adopter with Airedale experience would be preferred.

He was surrendered to a shelter due to guarding his owner and it was also noted that he guards food. While his foster parents have not seen any guarding of them since his arrival in their care, he does growl if touched while eating. He takes treats beautifully and does sit nicely to wait for his food but gets a bit impatient if you make him wait too long.

Airedales are generally known for having a steady temperament but can be stubborn. His stubbornish has been seen in getting into a car. He gets his front two paws in but that’s it. He needs some coaxing to get in all the way. Once he is in the car, he rides beautifully (although takes up most of the backseat). He lies down after a bit and you hardly notice he is there.

Generally, Airedale are high energy and require both physical and mental exercise to keep them well-balanced and this has been seen with Harley. He has been getting lots of exercise in his foster home including at least an hour and a half walk in the morning, at least a 1/2 walk in the afternoon and another 1/2 hour walk in the evening. If a walk is cut short, he is more restless. If he does not get an afternoon walk, he will need a longer evening walk to keep him a happy boy! He walks really well on an easy walk harness (leash clips on in the front).

He needs space to run as he is not a candidate for off leash due to his wonderlust potential (tendency to follow his nose and leave you behind if he gets a scent he wants to follow) so a big yard with a tall secure fence is a must. He does not have any recall, at this time, but as mentioned does sit nicely and also shakes a paw if asked.

Harley has a great curiosity. If a door is left open he will check it out to see if there is something worth playing with. He especially loves chewing on any Kleenex he can find/steal.

Harley loves a good belly rub and also gets excited easily. When he gets excited, he can be a bit mouthy. He does love to play with his toys and needs interactive ones. He loves to roll them, carry them and investigate. We think he would really enjoy puzzle toys. He can get frustrated if a toy is not moving but also doesn’t want you to take it sometimes. He will give up a toy (or stolen kleenex) in exchange for a treat.

He is vocal when he wants something from you like to play or if he doesn’t like something. He will bark and growl. An experienced owner will need to learn and know how to read his cues. Going slow with this big guy is important until he becomes more comfortable.

Harley has not been around children in his foster home but has barked at them when walking past on walks. Given his big size and guarding of food, he would not be suitable with a home with children. Older, respectful teenagers maybe fine.

When surrendered, his previous owners noted he didn’t do particularly well with other dogs but his foster home has two older calmer dogs which he does get along with. While on walks, he seems to be particular on which dogs he feels more comfortable around and will bark at some other dogs and people. With slow and proper introductions, he may be fine with some dogs but we feel he would do best in a home with no other dogs. He has to be muzzled during his vet visit. While he walked in with the staff no issue, he needed to be muzzled for the examination portion. Harley’s adopters will need a basket muzzle for future vet visits and grooming.

It is felt that a lot of his behaviour is fear based due to lack of socialization so working with a trainer and ongoing training, lots of exercise and socialization are required in order to be considered to adopt Harley so he can become a well-balanced dog and live up to his amazing potential.

Harley has a high prey drive and would not do well in a home with small animals. He will let you know when he sees a squirrel in the back yard with with his deep bark and maybe even a jump in excitement.

Harley is house trained and will go to the back door when he wants out. While the other dogs in his foster home enjoy the furniture, Harley has not jumped up on any furniture and sleeps either at the foot of his foster parents bed or in the living room with his foster sister. He hasn’t been left alone since arriving into foster care but given his curiosity, it would be beneficial to ensure he can not get into anything while alone.

We have said a few times that Harley is a big boy and if you are wondering how big here are his stats. After many treats to measure him, he is approximately 25 inches tall (to his shoulders), 25 inches long, has a 34 inch chest and a 20 inch neck.

He has started to really show his playful personality over the last few days and is a sweet dog. As mentioned, proper and slow introductions, exercise, socialization and training will be key in Harley becoming the best dog he can be.

The shelter that he was surrendered to noted that he was quite nervous there so he was placed on two anti-anxiety meds and his foster home has continued him on these. It is anticipated that he will need to continue on them to help him transition to his new home.

Harley has a low/moderate heart murmur which was confirmed at his recent vet visit. There were no other issues found and he is otherwise a very heathy dog. This is something that will need to be monitored at his future vet visits and it will be beneficial for Harley to be kept at a healthy weight and to avoid high sodium food and treats. Often these murmurs pose no issues throughout the life of the dog but they can also progress and there is no way of knowing at this time if Harley may require medication for this years down the road.

Harley was lovingly fostered by Susan