Airedale Terrier Temperament: The Good And (Bad)

So you’re wondering about the Airedale Terrier Temperament?

First off, let me say that if you’re thinking about the Airedale Terrier (a.k.a. Bingley Terrier and Waterside Terrier) as a potential pet, great choice! ?

I have worked with many Airedale Terriers throughout my life, and have distinguished them as a very smart, independent breed.

But while I do think that they make an excellent companion for some people, I must also point out that they are not for everyone.

And that’s why I’m going to talk about both the good – and the bad – about the Airedale Terrier breed.

Today we’ll talk about several points, including:

  • Are Airedales Friendly?
  • Are Airedales good for the family?
  • Are Airedale Terriers aggressive at times?
  • What is the difference between the Airedale and the Miniature Airedale Terrier?
  • What’s it like to live with an Airedale Terrier?
  • Airedale Terrier puppies price

So let’s  not waste another minute:

Are Airedale Terriers Friendly?

Airdale Terrier dog breed walking on the lawn

The answer to this question depends on who you are talking about.

With regard to family members,

The Airedales are very friendly with members of their family, or others that they interact with often.

With that being said, this friendliness may not extend to strangers and other pets.

The Airedale is unlikely to become aggressive with strangers but can be somewhat aloof upon first introductions.

Regarding other animals and pets, this dog does best on its own.

While the breed will tolerate other pets that it has been raised with, it usually doesn’t do so well with outsiders.

For this breed to become adequately socialized, it requires plenty of training and socialization in its younger years.

Are Airedales Good Family Pets?

airdale terrier breed playing with a woman in the garden

It depends on the family and the family lifestyle.

For some families, the Airedale would make the perfect pet.

For others, not so much.

The Airedale is a very intelligent and independent breed of dog, that is very athletic and has plenty of endurance.

For this reason, they make excellent companions for athletic owners and would be happy to go with them on long runs.

Otherwise, they need an owner who has time for plenty of activities, including running, hunting, obedience, agility training, playing games, etc.

And now, you’re thinking,

What are the “bad sides”?

Mental and physical stimulation is essential for this breed.

When not provided with enough stimulation, the breed can become bored and destructive.

The breed is prone to digging, chasing, and barking, which are all traits that can be frustrating to owners.?

Because of their strong personalities, the breed requires a strong owner that can be firm and consistent in training.

They can be very headstrong and stubborn and are therefore best suited to owners that are patient, assertive, and that can establish themselves as an alpha – they are not a breed suited for first-time dog owners.

Because the breed also has so much energy, they require an owner that has ample time for walking and exercise.

If you are very busy or work a lot, the Airedale may not be the best breed for you.

But what If I have kids?

If you have small children, this pet can make an excellent companion, but close supervision is required.

It is unlikely that an Airedale would ever intentionally harm a child, but because of its dynamic nature, accidental injury can be a concern.

Are Airedales Aggressive at Times?

airedale terrier playing with a cat on the lawn

Yes, they can become aggressive.

Here’s what I mean:

Airedale Terriers were originally bred to hunt other animals, so:

Their strong hunting instincts/high prey-drive can lead them to become aggressive towards other animals, especially towards smaller animals like rabbits, rodents, and cats.

“It is never a given that Airedales will get along with cats”

Airedale Terrier Rescue & Adoption (ATRA)

The breed can also become aggressive with other dogs, especially to those of the same sex.

That said, early socialization can help to reduce the likelihood of aggression in Airedale Terriers.

For example, it has been found that Airedales that are socialized with cats at a young age can become tolerant of them.

It really depends on training and individual animals. The same is true with other dogs.

Training with this dog breed needs to start at a very young age to prevent aggressive tendencies.

The Airedale is very headstrong, and the longer you wait for training, the more difficult it will become.

In terms of people, it is RARELY aggressive towards humans, including strangers.

Amazing isn’t it?

With that being said, they require plenty of playtime and exercise. Without it, the Airedale can become destructive, and over time, this destructiveness can turn into aggression towards people.

With proper training, socialization, and adequate exercise and stimulation, this aggression can usually be avoided.

Airedale Terrier Vs. Miniature Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier vs. Miniature airedale terrier size comparisonHere is what I discovered:

The Welsh Terrier is often referred to as the “miniature Airedale Terrier.”

The obvious difference between the two then is the size.

Airedale Terriers stand approximately 24 inches tall at the shoulders, while the smaller Welsh Terrier stands about 15 inches.

Similarly, the Airedale weighs around 50-55 pounds, while the miniature terrier weighs an average of 20 pounds.

Other Differences Between The Two Breed Include:


  • Stranger Tolerance: The Welsh Terrier does better with strangers and is more affectionate than the Airedale.
  • Tolerance to Small Spaces: The Welsh Terrier does better indoors and in smaller spaces (like apartments) than the Airedale.
  • Independence: The Airedale Terrier is more independent than the Welsh Terrier

Health And Grooming:

  • Energy Levels: The Airedale Terrier has higher energy levels than the Welsh Terrier and requires more exercise.
  • Grooming: The Welsh Terrier requires significantly more coat maintenance than the Airedale Terrier
  • Health Issues: The Airedale Terrier is more prone to health concerns than the Welsh Terrier.

Common concerns for the Airedale include things like allergies, cancer, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, umbilical hernias, and baldness or alopecia

Here’s a little case study of Alopecia in Airdales: Read The Study

whereas the only major concern for the Welsh Terrier is skin irritation.

Living with an Airedale Terrier

Airedale playing fetch at the park

Airedale Terriers live an active lifestyle and will require their owners to live an active lifestyle as well.

Daily life with the Airedale will include regular walks, runs, and daily exercise. The Airedale does best when physical stimulation is combined with mental stimulation, so training and socialization are also necessary on a day to day basis.

With that being said, as we mentioned before, the Airedale can be extremely strong-headed and can be challenging to train.

They require plenty of patience, time, and commitment to training properly.

The Airedale Terrier does best when it has a yard to run in and therefore, doesn’t make the greatest apartment dog.

That said, keep a close eye on your gardens, as the Airedale Terrier loves to dig, and will quickly drill their way out of your yard if not carefully monitored!

They also tend to bark and chase, and again, early training is required to reduce this.

In terms of protection, you never have to worry when the Airedale Terrier is around.

With the Airedale Terrier, you can rest assured that you have an alarm when danger is near.

Because the Airedale was originally bred for hunting, you can also rest assured that they would not hesitate to protect their family if the need were to arise.

Grooming-wise, the Airedale Terrier doesn’t require much. They are perfect for those with allergies because of their hypoallergenic coat.

Regular trimming every few months, combined with a quick brushing once or twice per week is plenty enough to maintain the breed.

Airedale Terrier Temperament Infographic

Airdale Terrier Temperament Infographic Image

How Much Do Airedale Terrier Puppies Cost?

If you were to Google “Airedale Terrier For Sale” you would find that the average puppy costs between $700 and $800.

This price is generally for puppies that do not have papers, or that do not have proof of proper breeding.

But, If you were to buy off of a reputable breeder, the price for an Airedale could range anywhere between $2000-$5000.


Airedale Terriers’ temperament is unique.

If you know how to treat them, they can make an excellent family pet but definitely isn’t for everyone.

The breed may be a good choice for you if:

  • You live an active lifestyle
  • You have plenty of time and patience to dedicate to training and socialization
  • You have experience with dog training and can establish yourself as pack leader
  • You have a medium to large size yard for your Airedale to run
  • You are looking for an excellent guard dog

Alternatively, the breed may NOT be for you if:

  • You are a first-time dog owner
  • You live a busy lifestyle and require a dog that will entertain themselves
  • You don’t have patience or tolerance for things like jumping, barking, and digging
  • You live in a small space
  • You own other small pets

If you think that an Airedale Terrier may be the right breed for you, consider searching Google for “Airedale Terrier Rescue.”

Many people who purchase Airedales without doing their research first can end up finding that they are too much to handle, and end up sending them to shelters.

In return, there are many Airedale breeds out there that need adoption, and looking for a loving family like yours!

Wanna Know Other British Dog Breeds temperament? (links below)


About the author: Driven by his lifelong passion for dogs and an insatiable curiosity about their diverse breeds, Pablo Pascua founded Through this website, he seeks to expand his knowledge and share his findings with fellow dog enthusiasts. Having owned several dogs throughout his life, Pablo’s experiences have fueled his interest in learning more about these beloved animals. His mission is to provide accurate and comprehensive information to help pet owners make informed decisions about their furry companion.