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Country of Origin, History of Airedale Terriers
The Airedale Terrier was developed for use in the Valley of the Aire in England where much small game flourished. He was originally used as a vermin hunter. Later he was crossed with the Otterhound to make him a better swimmer. Not only has he been a small game hunter, he has been used to hunt bug game in Africa, India, and Canada. He also was used as an army sentry dog in World War II and later as a police dog.
Most of today’s Airedales are companion dogs, but there are still working dogs. They are excellent at competitive obedience and agility.
Breed Selector Tool - is the Airedale Terrier the right breed for you?
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Airedale Terrier Calorie Calculator
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A General Appearance of the Dog
The largest of the terriers, the Airedale Terrier is a very rectangular dog with a boxy head. The back is very straight and level, parallel to the floor. The Airedale has v-shaped ears which fold forward on each side of the head. The head and muzzle are wide and flat like a three-dimensional rectangle.
The Airedale nose is black and the eyes are dark. The docked tail of the Airedale Terrier is carried high. If the tail is not docked, the dog carries it gaily but not curled over the back. Males have a mustache.
The Airedale Terrier is a very sturdy-looking dog, strong and muscular with a very alert expression.
The Airedale Terrier coat is tan with black markings. Some Airedale Terriers have some red or a small white star or patch which is on the chest. Legs, chest, underside, head and ears are tan. The back (basically a saddle), brows, and beard are black or mottled black and tan.
The Airedale Terrier has a harsh wiry coat all over his body. Its hair is bristly and resistant to dampness. The wiry coat has a soft undercoat. This coat is not shed so needs to be ‘stripped’ by a professional groomer every 6-8 weeks.
Males: 22-24 inches
Females: 22-23 inches
Males: 50 - 65 lbs
Females: 40 – 55 lbs
Temperament of the Dog
Bred for a variety of uses, Airedale Terrier can hunt, swim and serve as an excellent watchdog. Although the Airedale is courageous and protective, he can be friendly with strangers he meets on the street. He is intelligent and loyal.
Its mind is ever active and needs stimulation early as a puppy to keep it constructively directed. They are fun-loving and very playful. The Airedale Terrier is a lively and loving companion and can be a “puppy” for at least the first two years if not longer.
They can show dominance with other pets so should be introduced early but are seldom aggressive.
This breed is good with older children and makes a great companion especially if obedience or agility is introduced. They often are too rambunctious for small children or older adults.
Their owner should be one that
enjoys the training process and the rewards it brings
to them both. It is important for the owner(s) to
establish the Alpha dog relationship and keep it
established with the Airedale as he will challenge
that role every chance he gets.
Airedale Terriers need to feel loved and respected.
Chipmunks and rabbits are more important to an Airedale Terrier than obedience commands, playing, or even a steak. This attitude not only leads to disobedience but to stubbornness.
Airedales can be trained to a very high level, but they get bored easily in the process. The training must be mixed with fun and games so that the handler does not get refusals.
Better suited to an indoor or outdoor lifestyle?
The Airedale Terrier can live indoors as long as he gets plenty of outdoor play and work time. He could also live outdoors as long as the weather is not too hot or too cold and he gets plenty of time with his family.
Airedale Terriers are not recommended for apartment living as they are very active indoors and do not settle down as they age.
At least an average-sized, securely fenced yard is necessary for the Airedale.
Are they suited to homes with kids?
Airedales are not recommended for homes with small children or older adults; however, they do fine with older children or with singles or married-without-children couples.
How Active is the Breed?
This breed was developed to be active. The Airedale Terrier is a lively and loving companion and can be a “puppy” for at least the first two years if not longer. Its mind is ever active and needs stimulation early as a puppy to keep it constructively directed.
Swimming, jogging and possibly biking will make your Airedale happy and healthy. This is one of the highest energy dogs.
How Much Exercise Does the Dog Need at every stage of its Life?
Puppies, up to two years old or a bit older, often are too rambunctious for small children or older adults. After two years, he settles down a bit but is still very active even in the house. He needs both mental and physical stimulation.
Do not take your Airedale running or jogging until he is at least one year old so that his bones and muscles are fully developed.
They love competition such as obedience or agility – and training for it.
They are non-shedding dogs that require regular brushing to keep mats from forming and to remove burrs and such from its “Velcro” coat. A professional grooming may be required depending on density of coat once a year but most maintenance can be accomplished at home.
Bathing should be kept to a minimum to preserve protective oils in the coat.
A variety of eye problems plague the Airedale. Because of their size, hip and elbow dysplasia are always concerns.
A very breed-specific issue is dry skin and many skin allergies. If this affects your Airedale, try an adjusted omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio in the diet.
Litter Size: Average of 9 puppies
Life Span: 10 – 12 years
National Breed Clubs
British – National Airedale Terrier Association,
US – The Airedale Terrier Club of America, Inc. - www.Airedale.org
FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, CET, CKC, APRI, ACR
www.airedalerescue.net or www.airedalerescuegroup.com
Group: AKC and KCGB Terrier
AKC Popularity Ranking: 55
Also Known As: Airedale, King of Terriers
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Getting Pro help fast - how to get access to our expert trainers when you need them most.
One hidden psychological trigger that all Airedale Terriers have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.
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