Fostering a ‘Dale

Guidelines for deciding to foster

The ideal foster home is:

  • Someone who is dog-experienced (preferably terrier or Airedale-experienced).
  • Someone who is a dedicated leash walker or has a securely fenced yard.
  • Someone who has a good relationship with a vet and charges reasonable fees or gives a rescue discount.
  • Someone who can separate dogs and cats with gates or crates if neceARGy.
  • Someone able to evaluate a dog’s behavior and temperament.
  • Someone who likes a challenge, who has patience, who has determination, and a commitment to rescue.
  • Someone who finds the satisfaction in turning over the leash to the dog’s new forever home.


Would I be able to adopt the dog myself if I want to?
With agreement from the rescue volunteer, this may be possible. We need foster homes much more than we need adoptive homes!

Could a strange dog be a health hazard to my own dogs?
Actually, most dogs come to us in good health and are recently vetted. Internal parasites are a possible problem, but probably not more likely to infect your dog than walking in the park. Ear and eye infections are seldom highly communicative.

Heart worm is not passed dog to dog. Fleas are, but if your animals are protected with flea preventative, the fleas won’t survive. The main concern for health problems lies with small puppies, or dogs with compromised health conditions, so fostering might not be wise if your home has these considerations.

Will my dog like my doing this?
They’ll probably love it! But if they is not dog-friendly or is highly protective of you, then this may not be a good project. By carefully introducing dogs on neutral turf, and considering each of their feelings in your home, dogs generally do fine.

If you have a very small dog or cat, a rough or unknown Airedale might not be good to foster. In any case, you must be prepared to separate animals with physical barriers as you learn about their interactions.

Does it cost money?
Yes. We expect you to supply food and provide toys, leashes and collars. We cannot pay for phone calls or transportation miles, but we do pay for any vet costs and spay/neutering.

Is it dangerous?
It should not be, of course. We cannot help dogs with mean temperaments and will not accept them if we know that they have ever bitten anyone unprovoked. Surrenderers understand that, and we definitely do turn dogs down. Still, it’s a dog that is inevitably confused, nervous, sad, overexcited, restless, depressed, frightened. And has teeth. We need to give them secure, kind environment where they will be able to relax.

But caution must be taken to see that the dog does not hurt anyone. It would be VERY unlikely to be bitten by a foster dog, and all steps will be taken to avoid the possibility of taking in an unreliable dog, but a fosterer must accept that working around any dog poses an element of risk. After all, that is part of why we are fostering…to determine the dog’s temperament and tolerance.

How long will I keep the dog?
As long as necessary. If altered and vetted already and comes from a reliable background, it may be a couple of weeks. If there is work to be done, it could be a couple of months. Rarely is it longer, but…it takes as long as it takes.

What do I do with a dog in foster care?
You go on with your life, you are getting to know them and getting them ready to be adopted. They may need to go to the vet, probably need to be groomed. Their needs to be evaluated in a variety of situations: walking on a leash, with other dogs, being in your yard (digging, try to escape?), are they crate-trained, get on furniture, high-energy or laid-back? You will understand what makes this dog tick.

How often would I get a dog?
Probably not often…these needs come in spurts. And not if it is not a good time to do it. Let us know about vacations and activities that would not be good times to take a dog in.

Do I get a say in what happens to the dog?
Of course! That’s what we are counting on a foster home to do. Do you think they should or should not be with kids, cats, other dogs, older people, active people, working people, very experienced Airedale-people? We will discuss the possibilities we have with you and you will help us decide on the right one.

I’ve got more questions…
Please ask, and we can see if fostering is right for you. Contact us at or click here to email.

10 Replies to “Fostering a ‘Dale”

  1. Hi Ladies.
    I will be GLAD to FOSTER Lilly with the STRONG POSSIBILITY of ADOPTING her. I have moved to Cartersville, GA with FLORA [also rescued from ARG), who is my LifeLine. I have fostered other ‘Dales with her and she was GREAT [although she DID pick up some questionable habits from Beowolf [90 lb ‘dsle]. Please give me a call at 770-851-9581–will be glad to travel to get her.
    Debbi Hadaway

    1. Hi, Deb. Christina Prange is going to contact you. Thank you so much for volunteering to help Lilly. She’s a wonderful dog, just needs some loving care.

  2. Hello! I live in southwestern Michigan and would be interested in becoming a foster home. I grew up with Airedales and do not have one on my own yet, I would love to donate my time. Would can o apply or be in contact

    1. Hello, Mr & Mrs Shealy. Thank you for your message about fostering Airedales. If you are in our region: NC, SC, TN, GA, or AL, please fill out an adoption application on this web site. It is the same info we need for people fostering or adopting. We appreciate your interest. Jackie.

  3. I am interested in fostering Clementine. Where in Georgia is she? I will begin the application process. Thank you.

    1. Hi, Connie. We appreciate your message and your application. One of our volunteers will be contacting you today or tomorrow. Right now, we are awaiting news of a medical condition of Clementine’s that we just found out about. That will affect our decision of her foster home. Thank you for your patience.

  4. We are looking to adopt a rescue Airedale if one becomes available. We had two Airedales year ago and looking to rescue another if its possible. We have a large yard and plenty of love and dog keeping experience.

    1. Hello, Doug. Thank you for your message. We always like to hear from folks who have had Airedales and understand their special nature. To be considered for adoption IF you are in our region: NC, SC, TN, GA, or AL, please go to and click “Adopt” and complete an application. One of our volunteers will contact you to discuss the application. After that we will check your references and arrange a home visit by one of our volunteers. Once you have been approved, we will consider you for any Airedale we get that will fit your situation. Thank you for your interest in a rescued Airedale. (If you are not in our region, please go to and click on Regional Rescue Contacts to find a representative near you.)

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