The Airedale Terrier is sometimes called “the king of terriers” thanks to its size; it’s the largest of all terrier breeds.
Other Names: Bingley Terrier, Waterside Terrier
Country Of Origin: England
Dog group: Terrier
Recommended for: Families, couples, single owners
Maintenance Level: Medium-low
Lifespan: 10-13 years
Temperament: Tolerant, intelligent, stubborn
Good For the First-Time Owner? No
Good With Children? Yes
Good With Other Animals? Yes
Good With Strangers? Yes
Good For Apartments? Yes
Exercise Requirements? Daily walks
Can Live In Hot Weather? Yes
Can Live In Cold Weather? Yes
Can Tolerate Being Left Alone? Yes
Grooming? Weekly Brushing
Airedale Terrier was originally bred for both hunting and farm work and has since become a very popular breed around the world.
It’s also been used as a guide dog and a police dog.
Airedale Terriers are also popular show animals and often do very well in both agility and show competitions.
Color: The standard color specification for the breed is a black body with tan legs and head. It’s also possible to find black and red dogs, but these aren’t considered breed standard colors.
Coat length: Medium, but is usually kept short with trimming to stop it looking ragged.
Height: Males/females – 24.”
Weight: Males – 66-77lbs, females – 55-66lbs
Personality And Temperament:
Airedale Terriers are very intelligent dogs, which was a necessary trait to make them useful hunting animals.
They are also very independent, which can make training difficult, but as long as you start from an early age, you should have a little problem.
Airedale Terriers are also known to be quite stubborn, but this is a side effect of their intelligent and independent nature.
Related: “Airedale Terrier Temperament – The Good and The Bad“
When it comes to being around other animals, Airedale Terriers are mostly fine, but they need socialization from an early age.
They have retained some of their herding instincts; so have been known to chase after fields of cattle.
However, if you train the dog properly from a young age, this shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
This is recommended, though, as their size can make them quite an intimidating sight when rushing through a field.
Airedale Terriers can be kept in apartments, but it’s recommended to keep them in houses with outside space.
The breed is quite energetic and requires plenty of daily exercises, which becomes much more important if you keep them indoors all day.
You should aim to walk an Airedale Terrier for at least a mile or two every day, or more if you keep them in an apartment.
You should also try to provide them with plenty of mental stimulation, as they can get bored very quickly.
The breed can make for excellent family pets but should be integrated with children as early as possible.
Like most other large dog breeds, they can tolerate much more rude behavior than smaller dogs, and this makes them ideal for keeping with small children.
However, you should always test this out under very controlled circumstances before proceeding further.
Airedale Terriers can sometimes be very wary around strangers, but providing you train them properly, you can overcome this issue quickly.
They will be very protective of their home and family, however, and so make excellent guard dogs. Just be sure to give them no unnecessary cause for alarm.
Providing the dog is given enough mental stimulation; they’re fine to be left alone for extended periods.
This makes them ideal for working people, providing they still get enough exercise. They’re also suitable for first-time owners because as a breed, they’re quite low maintenance.
They’re also not particularly prone to health issues, so this makes them quite a proper “training” dog.
Although they have a double-layered coat, Airedale Terriers are fine to be kept in both hot and cold climates.
Their origins in England mean they’re bred for a temperate climate, but their coat can easily be trimmed or thinned to make warmer places more comfortable for them.
However, it’s worth controlling the amount of exercise they have during the warmest parts of the day.
Airedale Terriers have medium length, double-layered coats that are hard and wiry.
The outer coat is very bristly, but the undercoat is fluffy. Their fur is curly on the outer layer, particularly around the face and withers.
Their coat is hypoallergenic, which makes them ideal pets for those with dog allergies.
When it comes to grooming, the breed is quite low maintenance.
Many owners get the coat trimmed once or twice a year to keep it in excellent condition, but this is by no means necessary.
It’s much more common for show dogs, but it can make any dog look much fresher, and keeps them much more relaxed in the summer.
Other than that, weekly grooming is recommended and should be stripped every few months if you feel confident doing so.
Also, regular brushing is recommended to avoid dental problems, and you should always keep an eye on their nails, trimming when necessary.
Common Diseases And Conditions:
As a general rule, Airedale Terriers are quite a healthy breed. Hip dysplasia is prevalent, like other breeds.
Like many other terriers, they’re susceptible to skin conditions, particularly dermatitis.
It will usually manifests as itchy skin, baldness or alopecia, and possible oozing sores. However, it’s quite a difficult condition for owners to notice because of the breed’s thick and wiry hair.
By the time many realize, the condition has been going on for a while.
The breed is also prone to obesity, but at the same time are known to be quite picky eaters.
This condition is reasonably easy to spot, but you should take your dog for regular weighing sessions, and consult your vet if you have any concerns about their weight or diet.
Another dietary condition found in the breed is bloat, which is when their stomach becomes twisted and blocks gas in the esophagus.
And, in extreme cases, lead to death. Signs of this are stomach pain, attempts at vomiting, and dribbling.
However, because the breed is reasonably calm by nature, many conditions can go unnoticed because there won’t be any visible signs of distress.
S essential to get your dog checked regularly and to know the signs of common illnesses.
The Airedale Terrier originated in Yorkshire, England in the 19th century.
It was created by crossing the Otterhound with the English Terrier, along with several other breeds.
Working-class people in the area used them as working dogs, and by 1886 the breed was recognized by the English Kennel Club.
They began appearing in shows in the 1860s but appeared under several different names.
However, they chose their current name when the breed entered into the kennel club.
By this time, Airedale Terriers had risen above working dogs, and were adopted by the upper class for a variety of uses.
Airedale Terriers were used as hunting dogs, alongside their original use as a farm and working dogs.
The River Aire (in Yorkshire) was a favorite hunting site for upper-class locals, and the breed was favored because its long legs meant it could follow prey into the water, reducing the chances of escape.
The breed’s natural intelligence made it ideal for capturing prey, as owners could teach it a variety of different hunting strategies for different prey.
The breed was brought to America in the 1880s and was immediately popular. The first recorded Airedale Terrier to come to America won Best in Class at a dog show in 1881.
Airedale Terriers continued their heritage as working dogs during WWI, when they carried messages across enemy lines.
They were also used to find injured soldiers and were ideal at both of these jobs because of their speed and intelligence.
Similarly, in other colonial wars of the era, the breed was used for a variety of different purposes.
The breed is still used as a working dog in some parts of the world, but not for hunting purposes.
However, they’re mainly kept simply as pets and have remained favorite show dogs almost since their creation.
Their size, speed, and intelligence make them ideal for agility competitions, and their appearance makes them great for dog shows.
Airedale Terrier Infographic
Airedale Terrier Facts & Figures:
Did You Know?
- Not long after their creation, owners would host rat hunting competitions, taking bets on which dog would make the kill.
- Airedale Terriers are the largest breed of terrier, which has earned them the name “King of Terriers.”
- Jack, the Airedale Terrier, won a Victoria Cross for saving a battalion that was cut off behind enemy lines. Shrapnel injured Jack but still able to deliver his message.
- Airedale Terriers were one of the first breeds used by police in England, and this has continued ever since.
- Airedale Terriers have been popular with US presidents. Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, and Calvin Coolidge all kept them.
- Similarly, John Wayne was fond of the breed, and his nickname “Duke” was actually the name of his dog.
- They shed only once or twice a year, which makes them hypoallergenic, and a godsend to all those who hate vacuuming.
- a “miniature Airedale Terrier” looks like a Welsh Terrier.
- Airedale Terrier for sale: average cost is $700.- NextdayPets.com
- Airedale Terrier Rescue and Adoption, Inc.(ATRA) is an all-volunteer organization dedicated for Airedale Terrier Rescue.
You’ll find more British Dog Breeds in the links below:
1.” Breed Standard.” Airedale Terrier Club, www.airedale.org/your-airedale/breed-standard/
2. “Airedale Terrier Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, www.akc.org/dog-breeds/airedale-terrier/
3.”Airedale Terrier Pedigree Health Survey by Kennel Club,” UK’s largest dog organization: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/749036/airedale_terrier.pdf
4. “Seasonal flank alopecia in boxers and Airedale terriers.”- NCBI