Some rescue groups believe that a fenced yard is mandatory for keeping an Airedale safe. A fenced yard is a huge convenience when owning a dog but is no guarantee of safety. In the history of ATRA at least 6 Airedales have been hit by cars after gates have been left open or the dogs have climbed over or dug under the fence. Airedales left too long alone in a fenced yard quickly become bored and get into trouble. They also frequently become problem barkers and an annoyance to your neighbors. A fence becomes more important when there are children in the home who will forget to keep doors closed allowing an Airedale to escape.
We are often asked if electronic fencing works for Airedales. Our answer is yes and no... Some adoptive homes have had success with it. We know that to work, the equipment, including the collar batteries, must be kept in proper working order or it is useless. The dog must be properly trained on the boundaries. Keep in mind that the dog receives a shock for crossing the boundary coming home as well as leaving so once he leaves he may be hesitant to come back! Also it doesn't keep other dogs from coming into your yard and enticing your dog to run loose. Whether electronic fencing works for your Airedale depends on your dogs temperament. For some dog's a shock is no big deal if the stimulus (rabbit, cat) is great enough!
A word of caution with electronic fences... Never leave your dog outside unattended! An Airedale in Michigan in a very upscale neighborhood was left outside only to disappear. Her electronic collar was found lying cut in half on the front lawn. She had been stolen.
Boundary training in our opinion cannot be done with a rescue Airedale. ATRA's adoption agreement does not provide for it. Our history of over 2000 Airedales re-homed includes seeing too many of our dogs hit by cars when folks insisted they had just taken them off leash for a short run and thought it was safe. We do not do this for profit and a piece of our hearts go with every Airedale placed. It hurts too much when something like this happens so we just don't engage in the debate of boundary training with a rescue Airedale.
A word about applicants with no fence. Some adult applicants live in neighborhoods where a fence is not possible. Many of these folks have successfully owned Airedales before and kept them safe. These are some of the best adoptive homes possible as they spend lots of time walking their dogs several times daily! We understand their situation as long as they have a history of safe dog ownership and intend to keep their dog on leash.