The Airedale Terrier is a lively and intelligent breed that measures 21 to 23 inches at the shoulder and typically weighs 40 to 65 pounds. These dogs have a dense and wiry coat, a soft undercoat, and come in tan and black and tan and grizzle. They are a muscular breed with a square body, V-shaped ears, and small, dark eyes. Airedale Terriers can easily live up to 13 years with proper care and nutrition.
They are a muscular breed with a square body, V-shaped ears, and small, dark eyes.
Airedale Terriers are highly intelligent, independent, athletic, and sometimes stubborn dogs who get along very well with humans, including children, but don't easily make friends with other animals. They are full of energy, prone to digging and causing trouble, and need a lot of love and attention from their human caretakers. Without training, the breed can be difficult to handle and is therefore not a good choice for inexperienced dog handlers.
These dogs are sometimes called "the king of terriers" due to their intelligence and charming personality.
Airedale Terriers are adaptable, playful, and intelligent, and they make great additions to most households. They are excellent dogs for older children and they love to play games and spend time with family. The breed is known for dancing and clowning around, and Airedales need and give a lot of affection and attention. If left alone or ignored too often, the breed will bark excessively and become depressed or problematic.
They are a territorial breed, which makes them a problem around other animals. Airedales do not get along well with other dogs or with cats. They are social with humans but not very accepting of strangers. Being territorial and very aware, they are natural watchdogs and can be fiercely protective of their family.
Airedales have a lot of energy and can become hyperactive and difficult to manage unless provided with plenty of exercise and opportunity for play. This makes them unsuitable for households where they are alone for significant periods, and it makes them a poor breed choice for small apartments.
Airedales are prone to hip dysplasia, dilated cardiomyopathy, hypothyroidism, and some types of cancer. The breed is also more likely than some other dogs to develop colonic disease, gastric torsion, and some skin disorders. While the breed is generally healthy, Airedales need regular veterinary checkups to watch out for these conditions.
Choosing a healthy Airedale puppy from a reputable breeder may reduce the likelihood of any congenital disorders. It's important to note, however, that any puppy can develop health problems, even if the line appears healthy.
Routine vaccinations, proper nutrition, regular exercise, and weight management can give Airedale Terriers a long and healthy life. With proper care, Airedales live 10 to 13 years.
The Airedale Terrier needs consistent and firm training from an early age to prevent behavioral problems. Without training, the breed is difficult to handle. Airedales enjoy digging and will tear up a garden in a matter of hours. They will also chew sofas, steal food, and eat everything in sight that will fit between their teeth.
The breed is not well behaved around other animals and has a strong prey drive. They do considerably better in a single pet household and should not be left alone with smaller animals, including cats and other dogs. Their territorial nature also makes them a threat to approaching strangers. Fortunately, early training and socialization can minimize these traits.
Airedale Terriers need a lot of activity to keep them out of trouble. This means regular walks, frequent playtime outdoors, and plenty of toys to stimulate them both physically and mentally. With the right training and adequate attention, Airedale Terriers make fun and loyal companion animals.
Airedale Terriers don't require trimming, but it will keep them looking neat and will prevent tangles in their thick, curly hair. The breed should be brushed weekly and see a professional groomer at least every couple of months. Show dogs require considerably more grooming due to their difficult to manage, wiry coat. Shedding is seasonal and is manageable with frequent brushings with a slicker brush. Bathe Airedales only when necessary; bathing too often is not good for the terrier's coat and will soften it too much.
Trim the breed's nails every few weeks or as needed, and prevent ear infections with regular cleanings. Airedales needs their ears checked at least weekly for odor, redness, or other signs of infections. If the ears need cleaning, a pH-balanced cleanser will prevent irritation.
Dental health is important and should begin early in life. Brush the teeth as often as possible and include dental examinations with routine veterinary care. Dental treats are helpful at reducing tartar buildup between brushings. Signs of dental or gum disease require immediate attention.
Begin grooming Airedale Terriers as early in life as possible to prevent issues. The breed is not the most cooperative when it comes to grooming, but early exposure can reduce resistance.
The Airedale Terrier breed comes from the Aire valley in Yorkshire and originally looked much different from today's Airedale Terriers. Although records are unclear, the breed probably originated in the 1840s from the black and tan terrier, which is now extinct.
Early on, Airedales were used to hunt a variety of game, including weasel, otter, fox, water rats, badgers, and others, mainly along the waterside. They were so skilled at hunting that they were brought along on hunting expeditions to Africa, Canada, and India. They were also used as police dogs in Germany and Great Britain in the mid-19th century.
The breed was exported to Philadelphia in the very early 1900s and became a huge hit. A number of American presidents have loved the breed, including Calvin Coolidge, Warren G. Harding, and Woodrow Wilson.
The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Airedale Terrier in 1888.