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Airedale Terrier Dog Breed: All The Facts You Need

Airedale Terrier Dog Breed: All The Facts You Need

The King of Terriers – so named because he is the largest of the Terrier breeds – began in Yorkshire, when a group of breed aficionados got together to’show’ their terriers at Airedale Show, near Ilkley. Because of their work on riverbanks to keep pests at bay, the breed was known as the Waterside Terrier.

During World Wars I and II, the Airedale was deployed by the armed services, and his remarkable scenting abilities led to his usage as a tracking dog. He’s also worked as a Red Cross pack dog and as a courier dog in the trenches.

The Airedale Terrier is intelligent, extroverted, and confident, with a lovely playful streak that delights their owners. However, first-time pet owners and apartment dwellers should be cautious. These dogs have a lot of energy and require a lot of exercise, and their intensity may be too much for inexperienced dog trainers. You’ll be rewarded with a fun, loving friend for the whole family–even kids–if you can meet the breed’s physical needs and provide them with space to run, especially in the form of a large yard with a tall, secure fence.

It’s worth noting that the Airedale Terrier will keep a grudge towards the attacker if he or she is treated harshly. He can be violent towards other dogs and animals, and he has a strong prey drive, making him difficult to control at times. The Airedale is believed to end fights rather than initiate them. A securely secured yard, as well as consistent, positive obedience training, are essential.

History of the Airedale Terrier

Because it is the largest terrier, the Airedale Terrier is regarded as the “King of Terriers.” They were made by mixing Otterhounds, Old English Black and Tan Terriers, Bull Terriers, and other unknown Terrier breeds in the mid-1800s. They were found near the Aire River in England (which is where the name comes from). First, people in Yorkshire used them to kill big rats on the river called the Aire River. People even competed to find rats.

The Airedale Terrier used to be called the Waterside or Bingley Terrier. In 1878, it was changed to Airedale because it was born in Airedale, which is where it was named after the town. Airedale Terriers became more appealing to breeders as they became more interested in how they looked. They started to mix them with Bull and Irish Terriers. It was in 1900 that Master Briar, a famous Airedale Terrier, became famous. He won many show championships and became famous. Calvin Coolidge had Laddie Buck, which was also called Paul Pry. Warren Harding had one called Laddie Boy.

During World War I, this breed was known for being a hunter, a messenger, and a guard for troops. They’re still used by the police sometimes. Because they were once used mostly to hunt, they are now more common as pets and good security dogs in homes. They are very protective of their families and show a lot of love for them.


This dog is the largest of the British terriers, and it is called the Airedale. In good shape, they weigh 42–55 pounds and have a height at the withers of 23–24 inches for males, with females a little less tall. The standard set by the American Kennel Club is for a dog that is just a little bit smaller. Up to 121 lb Airedales are sometimes found in North America. They are sometimes called “Oorangs” because this was the name of a kennel in Ohio in the early 1900s that made Roosevelt Terriers, which are much bigger.

There are two types of coats on the Airedale: a rough topcoat and a soft undercoat. They are a breed that is alert and energetic, “not aggressive but not afraid.” People say that Airedales that are bigger than normal are more eager than Airedales that are smaller than normal. This isn’t always true, but it’s possible. Dogs of this size have been used for big game hunting and as family guardians or pets. They usually don’t do well in AKC American Kennel Club conformation shows. This type of Airedale is also much more likely to have problems with their hips than normal Airedales.

Coat of the Airedale Terrier

The breed has a “wired” coat, which is hard and wiry. If you keep it growing for too long, it will look shabby. It is meant to be kept for a short time so that it doesn’t look ragged. The outer coat is hard, wiry, and stiff, and the undercoat is a little more soft. The hardest coats are crinkly or have a slight wave to them. Curly, soft coats are usually a bit harder to maintain.

The coat is hypoallergenic, which means that they don’t shed that much. Most people groom Airedales with undercoats by hand stripping, where a small serrated edged knife is used to remove loose hair from the dog’s coat.

The AKC breed standard says that the standard coat color is either black or dark grizzle. This means that the dog should have a brown head, ears and legs; or it should be black, with a dark brown saddle. Red hair mixed in with the black hair on grizzle is usually what makes the best coats. Grizzle that is mixed with red hair is usually found on a dog’s back before the tail. There are, however, some Airedales that don’t have the standard black or “red” (tan) coats. Airedales that are all the same solid color are not allowed to be registered with the AKC because it’s believed that they are not true Airedale Terriers.

Grooming an Airedale Terrier

Although the Airedale Terrier isn’t noted for shedding excessively, he does shed at specific periods of the year. Regular brushing (once or twice a week) and bathing as needed keep the coat in good shape. Over-bathing is not recommended, as this softens the coarse terrier coat.

The family Airedale doesn’t need to be trimmed, but most owners get him groomed three to four times a year by a professional groomer to keep him looking tidy. Clippers, stripping, or a combination of both are used to trim the coat.

Paying a professional groomer to groom your Airedale is expensive, so keep that in mind when choosing this breed. It is possible for highly determined dog owners to learn how to trim their own pets, but it is difficult and time consuming.

Brush your Airedale’s teeth at least twice or three times a week to keep tartar accumulation and bacteria at bay. Brushing your teeth on a daily basis is even preferable if you want to avoid gum disease and foul breath.

If your dog’s nails don’t wear down naturally, trim them once or twice a month to avoid unpleasant tears and other issues. They’re too lengthy if you can hear them clicking on the floor. If you’ve never trimmed a dog’s nails before, seek advice from a veterinarian or groomer.

As soon as your Airedale is a puppy, begin brushing and inspecting him. Handle his paws frequently – dogs’ feet are sensitive — and inspect his lips. Make grooming a pleasurable experience for him, complete with praise and rewards, and you’ll be setting the stage for smooth veterinarian tests and other handling when he’s older.


The Airedale is a dog with a lot of drive, energy, and stamina. It is a hardworking, independent, and athletic dog. He is prone to digging, chasing, and barking, all of which are natural terrier traits. These characteristics can be aggravating to owners who are unfamiliar with the Airedale temperament.

Consider if you’re willing to live with an Airedale’s proclivity for possibly unpleasant habits — and whether you’re willing to take on the obstacles that come with his independent character. If you decide you are, the Airedale’s lively, fun-loving, and even funny nature will thrill you.

The Airedale is a vivacious breed that requires a lot of exercise. If you leave him alone for lengthy periods of time, he will become bored, which will lead to the harmful actions stated above. Repetitive exercises will bore the Airedale, so keep training exciting and fresh. Treats and other forms of positive reinforcement work best for him; drill-and-jerk training should be avoided.

The Airedale is a loyal watchdog who takes pride in guarding his family. He might be a ruthless protector, but he is kind and pleasant with his family and friends.

When they’re young, the Airedale, like all dogs, needs early socialization – exposure to a variety of people, sights, sounds, and experiences. Your Airedale puppy will grow up to be a well-rounded dog if he or she is socialized.

Enrolling him in puppy kindergarten is a terrific place to start. Regularly inviting visitors over and taking him to crowded parks, dog-friendly stores, and leisurely strolls to meet neighbors can all help him improve his social skills.

Are they a good family dog?

Children are often adored by Airedales, which is understandable given how much they like playing. However, you must ensure that they are properly socialized, and you should never leave your children alone with any dog, including an Airedale.

However, they can get a little rowdy when roughhousing, so be cautious about allowing them to wrestle with tiny children. They have a tendency to go too far without meaning to.

Because they have such high activity levels, you’ll probably need to recruit the help of the entire family to tucker them out. They’ll almost certainly be able to play for longer than you.

These canines are fearless, and they will bravely confront a threat to protect their families. Regardless of the size of the enemy, the Airedales will not be defeated.

Older families may not want to deal with the responsibilities that come with owning an Airedale, but if they can keep up with these pups, they’ll have a beautiful companion and capable guard dog on their hands.

Is this breed good with other animals?

Because Airedales were bred to work with other dogs, they normally get along well with other puppies. However, you must ensure that kids are appropriately socialized.

Smaller pets are less likely to be tolerated as well. Remember that Airedales were bred to take down smaller creatures like rats and foxes, so they may be perplexed as to why the cat or gerbil has suddenly become off-limits.

With a lot of training and socializing, you might be able to stop this tendency, but there are no guarantees. It’s probably best if you don’t mix the two animals together at all.

Health problems of Airedale Terrier dogs

The Airedale Terrier has a lifespan of 10-13 years on average. The breed is prone to a variety of health issues, including cancer, which is the leading cause of mortality.

They are also afflicted with urologic, cardiac, and orthopaedic problems.

Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, wobbler’s syndrome, and osteochondritis are all frequent orthopedic disorders among Airedales.

Unfortunately, the story does not end there. In their lifespan, the majority of Airedales will develop eye issues such as cataracts or glaucoma. Juvenile renal illness is a prevalent problem in young Airedales. Another issue to consider is gastric dilatation volvulus, sometimes known as bloating.

Since Airedales are purebred, they’re also predisposed to various genetic diseases.

This dog has a stoic demeanor, which allows infections and injuries to go untreated because the dog may not show signs of distress. As a result, owners should check their dogs on a frequent basis to discover and treat illnesses early.

Find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your dog’s parents if you’re buying a puppy. Health clearances demonstrate that a dog has been checked for and cleared of a certain disease.

Common health issues

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disorder in which the thighbone does not fit snugly in the hip joint.

Pain and lameness are the most common symptoms, which vary in intensity and might affect one or both rear legs.

Unfortunately, hip replacement is not rare as a result of the condition.

Ask any breeder if the puppy’s parents have been tested for Hip Dysplasia and cleared. Find a new breeder if they haven’t, or if the problem is present in one or both.


Glaucoma is a condition in which there is too much pressure in the eye, resulting in insufficient fluid drainage. If left untreated or becomes chronic, it can damage the optic nerve permanently, resulting in blindness.

Unfortunately, regardless of treatment, 40 percent of dogs with glaucoma lose vision in the affected eye within the first year.


Cataracts are cloudiness of the crystalline lens of the eye that ranges from partial to total opacity and is usually hereditary.

The crystalline lens’ cloudiness inhibits light from passing through the retina, resulting in some vision loss.

Symptoms are usually related to the severity of eyesight loss. Those with a low amount of cloudiness, for example, may not experience any symptoms, but those with a high level of opacity will experience vision loss.

Cataracts are a degenerative disease that, if not treated promptly, can cause your dog to go blind. Surgery is one option for treatment, however it is usually reserved for inherited forms.

Gastric dilation volvulus (bloat)

Bloat may not appear to be a serious condition, but it can be fatal to your dog if left untreated. Large, deep-chested dogs are more likely than smaller breeds to be impacted.

The stomach swells with gas and twists as a result of bloating. Blood supply to the heart is obstructed, blood pressure lowers, and the dog suffers into shock since he can’t belch or vomit to remove the gas.

Instead of one huge meal, break their feeds into several smaller meals throughout the day to minimize bloating. You should also refrain from exercising for at least half an hour after eating. Another factor to consider is drinking too much water too quickly, so keep an eye on that as well.

Gastric Dilation Symptoms A bloated abdomen, profuse drooling, dry retching, drowsiness, and a fast heart rate are all symptoms of volvulus.

Bloat can be dangerous if not treated promptly, so if you detect any of these signs, take your dog to the veterinarian right once.


Dog allergies are very frequent, and the Airdale is no exception. Food allergies are addressed by removing specific items from the dog’s diet; contact allergies are caused by a reaction to a topical substance such as bedding, flea treatments, dog shampoos, and other chemicals; and inhalant allergies are caused by airborne allergens such as pollen, dust, and mildew.

Dietary restrictions, drugs, and environmental adjustments may all be used depending on the cause.

Umbilica Hernia

This is a condition in which abdominal fat or internal organs protrude against the abdominal wall around the umbilicus, which is present at birth. If the hernia is minor, it can be ignored. Some minor hernias close spontaneously by the time the puppy is six months old, while some dogs live their entire lives with small hernias.

Large hernias necessitate surgery, which is frequently performed at the same time as the dog’s spaying or neutering. Surgery is performed to avert a more serious condition in which an intestine loop falls into the hernia and strangulates the intestine, posing a life-threatening threat.

Von Willebrand’s Disease

This is a blood condition that impairs the clotting process in both dogs and humans. Nosebleeds, bleeding gums, prolonged bleeding from surgery, prolonged bleeding during heat cycles or after whelping, and occasionally blood in the stool are all indications of an affected dog.

This condition is usually identified between the ages of three and five, and it is incurable. It can, however, be treated with treatments such as cauterizing or suturing injuries, blood transfusions prior to surgery, and avoiding certain drugs.


Because Airedales are exceedingly active, they require a high-quality kibble to maintain their performance.

We recommend a food that is high in protein (at least 25%). Look for a company that uses premium meats instead of animal by-products.

Look for kibble that includes a variety of high-quality fruits and veggies. If it’s beneficial for you, it’ll probably be good for your Airedale as well. Ingredients like wheat, corn, and soy should be avoided because they are low-cost replacements for better diets.

Treats and table scraps should be avoided as well. They can be used for training, but it is not required. Just be careful not to overdo it, as you don’t want these dogs to gain weight.

Rather than allowing them to free-feed, we recommend giving them one or two meals a day and then picking up the dish. If you want to give your Airedale a reward, hide food about the home and let them use their Terrier talents to find it (just remember where you put it).


Airedales require a lot of exercise, and it’s unlikely that you can give them too much. A stroll across the neighborhood won’t suffice (although it will still be appreciated).

These dogs adore playing, so they’ll spend all day in your garden chasing balls or youngsters. They adore wrestling as well, so don’t be scared to join them on the floor.

These pups require mental as well as physical stimulus. They flourish when given a task to do, and they can be trained to perform almost anything.

Agility exercise is beneficial to them since it engages both their bodies and minds. They’re small enough to take the full brunt of agility training’s impact on their joints.

They’ll become destructive if you don’t provide them with adequate mental or physical stimulation. They enjoy chewing and digging, and will do so wherever it is most convenient for them, not for you. Your yard and furniture will almost certainly pay the price if you don’t tuck them out.

Training an Airedale Terrier

Airedales can be trained to perform almost anything, but that doesn’t imply they’re easy to train. If they believe they can get away with it, they might be stubborn and disagreeable.

That means you’ll need to coach them with a hard, confident touch. Don’t be scared to hire a professional if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Because these dogs have strong predatory drives, you should teach them instructions like “leave it” and “stay.” You don’t want them chasing after every animal they see, and you need to be ready to stop them if they do.

You must also socialize kids from an early age. These dogs will not back down from any challenge, which can work against them at times. You must show them that the entire world is not a threat and that caution is often preferable than valor.

It’s important to remember that these dogs don’t mature as quickly as other breeds. Until they’re a little older, you could have some trouble getting them to focus and pay attention.

With the Airedale Terrier, crate training is also highly suggested. It not only aids with housetraining, but it also provides him with a secure den in which to rest and relax. In general, Airedales do well in most training situations as long as you keep in mind that they have their own mind.

The greatest technique to teach an Airedale is to use positive reinforcement. If you approach training with a positive, fun attitude and a lot of patience and flexibility, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with a freethinking, well-trained Airedale.

Before you buy an Airedale Terrier puppy

These small puppies enjoy a good frolic and will crawl all over you as soon as you sit down with them on the floor. They believe that your sole purpose in life is to play with them, and who are we to argue with them?

While that sounds adorable — and it is — you should be aware that living with Airedale puppies isn’t always easy. They can be abrasive, especially while teething, and their capacity to demolish objects is unrivaled.

Furthermore, because Airedales take longer to mature than many other breeds, they will remain in the puppy stage for a long time. Females arrive earlier than males, but you’re looking at a protracted juvenile stage regardless.

All of this is to imply that if you adore pups, an Airedale is an excellent choice. Otherwise, you might want to consider adopting a different breed.

What’s the price of Airedale Terrier puppies?

If you buy an Airedale puppy from a breeder, the price will vary greatly. The reputation of the breeder and the dog’s lineage are the two most important factors that influence the price.

If you want a blue-blooded Airedale puppy, expect to pay up to $7,000 for one. These high-end dogs are wonderful for displaying or breeding, but the average pet owner has no need for genetics like these. A typical Airedale will set you back around $1,000, give or take a few hundred dollars.

However, be wary of bargain-hunting for a puppy, as this may lead you to puppy mills or other untrustworthy breeders. Always check references and, if possible, visit their facilities in person. You’re probably dealing with a terrible breeder if the place is filthy and the dogs are grumpy and reclusive.

Of course, going through a rescue or checking out your local pound can save you a lot of money. Purebred Airedales are hard to come by in pounds, but they do exist, and it’s always better to save a dog than to buy one.

Ideal home and owner

The Airedale Terrier is a smart, independent dog. Even experienced dog owners may find it difficult to care for them because of these qualities.

Their ideal owners are self-assured and capable of asserting dominance. They must also be willing to start training the dog as soon as possible.

Airedales adore their family and are fiercely protective of them, particularly tiny children, which makes them excellent guard dogs.

They are pretty affectionate and love to spend time with their family. But they also appreciate their alone time.

They can survive in a variety of weather conditions. But you still need to protect your pup from extreme cold and extreme hot weather.

It’s crucial that kids have enough socialization and exposure to other people in order to improve their ‘people skills.’

Airedale Terriers are high-energy dogs who require a lot of mental and physical activity. As a result, they aren’t suitable for living in an apartment.

They do best in homes with a large, fenced garden, as these dogs are perpetual motion machines who must be kept active.


Do Airedale Terriers shed?

Airedales don’t have a lot of hair. They shed very little compared to other dog breeds, making them an excellent choice for allergy sufferers who are allergic to high shedders.

How big do Airedale Terriers get?

Airedale Terriers reach a height of 23 inches and weigh between 50 and 70 pounds. Terriers range in height from 9 inches (Yorkshire Terrier) to 22 inches (Airedale) for the tallest terriers (Norfolk Terrier and Bull Terrier). One of the reasons the Airedale is known as the “King of Terriers” is because of this.

Are Airedale Terriers suitable as family pets?

Yes, when properly socialized, Airedales can make excellent family dogs. Airedales enjoy being with their families and can make excellent family pets.

Do Airedale Terriers make good watchdogs?
Airedales are reputed to be excellent watchdogs. They’re courageous and brave, and while they don’t seek out problems, they are protective and enjoy barking.

Do they bark?

Airedales have a reputation for being a mouthy breed. As puppies, they enjoy roughhousing and will bark if left alone for long periods of time.

Do they have a lot of energy?

Airedales are a high-energy breed that requires enough of exercise to avoid bad behaviors such as chewing and digging.

What’s the difference between a male and female?

Male and female Airedales are normally of comparable size, though males are occasionally larger.

Females mature at a faster rate than males, but they still lag behind other breeds. Females are significantly more prone to aggression, especially against other females, than males are.

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My name is Katy and I am 27. I love to travel and you would be surprised how good I am at karaoke. 🙂 Passionate dog lover and a "mother" to a beautiful toy puddle named Zara. I work as a volunteer in a local shelter and I am a veterinary assistant helping our four-legged friends every day.