Airedale Terrier

Loyal, Protective and Amusing Friend

Airedale Terrier

By Barry Gray - Last Updated on March 17th, 2021

Everything to Know About the Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier, also known as the ‘King of Terriers’, is the largest of all terrier dog breeds. Therefore, it does strike an imposing figure, but there is so much more to this breed than its apparent size.

First, it's a brave but not aggressive dog. Airedale will be your playful friend, full of character and devoted to the family. Easy to care for, they will quickly settle into your way of life while still keeping a sense of independence.

So, let’s check out everything that there is to know about the Airedale Terrier, starting with their appearance.

Fast Facts

Group - Terrier

Weight - 50-65 Pounds (male) 40-45 Pounds (female)

Height - 22-24 Inches (male) 22-23 Inches (female)

Hair Length - Medium

Shedding - Light

Lifespan - 10-13 Years

The Appearance of the Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier has a distinctive appearance starting with their head. It is elongated, flat, and relatively narrow. Their cheeks are flat to their face resulting in an overall thin appearance. 

The ears of Airedale are partly folded over and point more towards their eyes. Hair around their mouth may be kept slightly longer to create a beard effect, but that is more of an aesthetic rather than anything else. Their neck is strong-looking without being too thick. 

With a strong stance, they give a sense of power without being over muscular like some breeds. Their paws are moderate in size and round. The dog holds its short tail high at all times.

Finally, the AIredale has a short, wiry coat that is hard, dense, and close to the body. However, beneath this tough exterior coat is a significantly softer undercoat.

The Airedale Terrier’s appearance is similar to a Welsh Terrier’s. The main difference is size.

Featured Airedale Terrier Breeders

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The Colors of an Airedale Terrier

According to the AKC, there’s only one color combination allowed with the purebred Airedale Terrier, a black or dark grizzle and tan blend

The General Temperament of the Airedale Terrier

A key component of the Airedale Terrier temperament is that they will get on with pretty much any human or animal. That means they are perfect for families with young children or other pets as none of this will upset them. 

This breed is also brilliant, and that makes a difference when training them. They have a soft personality, but this is also a courageous dog looking back to their origins. They can be excellent guard dogs and will alert you to any problems or visitors to your property.

They are excellent at keeping themselves entertained as long as you provide them with a selection of toys. They are generally not too destructive around the home either, but they will let you know they are not happy with something.

Due to their playful nature, it may be challenging to care for an Airedale if you are a first-time dog owner. They do require some work to keep them entertained, so you must be prepared to put in time and effort.

They can also be quite intense and will seek a lot of attention, especially when they want to play. Unless you are experienced enough to train this behavior out of them partly, then it could become slightly troubling, which is another reason why they may not be perfect for a novice.

While all that energy may be an issue for some, it is part of their character. They are confident, capable of getting up to mischief but will make sure that they protect their family and territory. They were bred to be alert to what is going on around them, and that still exists even with the modern Airedale Terrier. 

Finally, you may need to be cautious if you have young children due to their high energy levels. While they will not actively seek to hurt your child, they could become over-excited, leading to accidents. 

We briefly mentioned how their intelligence helps with training the breed, but how easy is it?

How to Correctly Train an Airedale Terrier

Obedience training is the best initial approach for this breed. This blend of being intelligent while wishing to make their owner happy means they quickly pick up new commands.

While reward training will be a highly effective approach, it shouldn’t be the only way you seek to train your dog. The Airedale Terrier is intelligent enough to realize that they will do something when they want that snack. If they have no interest in the reward, they won’t obey.

Another tip is to make their training sessions as varied as possible. Failure to do so will only lead to them becoming bored. Don’t spend too long on the one trick. If they don’t feel like trying to master it, they will lose interest. Be firm and consistent in your voice and actions.

Due to their energy, you will need to train them to walk correctly on a leash. They will be excited and will attempt to explore as much as possible, so socialization is also an essential part of their training.

You must introduce your Airedale Terrier puppy to as many situations and people as possible. This has a profound impact on their character and reduces the chances of them developing any issues with people or dogs as adults.

Training is beneficial in many ways, one of which is grooming. So, with this thick, wiry coat, how do you groom an Airedale Terrier correctly?

How to Groom an Airedale Terrier

The good news is that the Airedale Terrier’s coat is low maintenance. However, don’t think that means you needn’t do anything as that’s not the case.

An Airedale Terrier has a low amount of shedding, and brushing them weekly will keep that shedding to an absolute minimum. This removes dead hair while keeping their coat looking healthy. Keep an eye open for matted hair and work on them with your fingers to break them up. 

The breed is also hypoallergenic, so if you have an issue with allergies, then you may be able to live with an Airedale Terrier without any problems.

The breed does require full grooming three times a year. This is when they are brushed, bathed, and stripped. Take them to a professional dog groomer to prevent any problems.

Airedales can get leaves or other small things stuck in their thick hair if they go off exploring while exercising, so check their coat after a walk to prevent any issues.

Living Area

The Airedale Terrier does tend to have a lot of energy it needs to use up throughout the day. A need to explore and move around does mean a small apartment would not suit this breed. Access to the outdoors at various times throughout the day, excluding their usual walks, will help keep them healthy and full of life.

The Health of the Airedale Terrier

The breed is known as being healthy, but there are several areas that you need to focus on when checking them over. Of course, any breeder should have conducted various tests before taking ownership of your puppy, so don’t be afraid to question them about their health scans before buying.

The most common health areas to check out with this breed include:

  • Dental Disease
  • Thyroid Problems
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Heart Disease

Exercise plays an essential role in looking after your dog’s health, and in the case of an Airedale Terrier, then a daily walk is necessary. We recommend several walks per day of around 20 minutes per walk. You should also throw in playtime with them and access the yard into their daily exercise.

As they can have issues with their hips and heart, it’s important to keep an eye on their weight. Only feed them high-quality food, and stick to the limits according to their age.

This also means offering them treats must be carefully controlled. They will snack if given the opportunity. 

The History of the Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier originates from Yorkshire, England, in the 1800s. Factory workers bred a formidable dog that could catch rats, ducks, and otters. The breed involved bringing together the Otterhound, Irish Terrier, and Bedlington Terrier.

Used in World War 1 and highly prized as a hunter, this breed has had numerous jobs. From a K9 dog, herder, and even a babysitter, this terrier has come a long way from its origins.

Airedale Terrier Mixes you would like to know about*

Dog crossbreeds or mixes are sometimes called designer dogs. The name fits since you are “designing” a new dog by mating two purebred dogs. It has become popular in recent times, and more and more breeds have several noteworthy crosses we could write about.

The thing with mixed puppies is that it is hard to know which characteristics they will inherit from their parents. You should research as much info as possible on the parent breeds to understand what you can expect. This way, you will find a mix that has all of the characteristics you want and love.

Read on to see the most popular Airedale Terrier mixes:

*Not all breed mixes are equal in quality! neither condones nor endorses any example of unethical and unhealthy crossbreeding. We encourage everyone to research in detail before they choose to get a crossbreed. 

Questions people often ask about Airedale Terrier

  • +Is an Airedale Terrier a Good Guard Dog?

  • +Are Airedale Dogs Smart?

  • +Do Airedale Terriers Need Haircuts?

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