In my own words
Some people don’t realise that I’m a terrier when they see me. I think it’s because of my long legs! I am a bit tall for a terrier I suppose, but my personality proves my breed group. I’m energetic, spirited and fun loving. I thoroughly enjoy running about, having a good old bark and letting everyone know that I like to be in charge!
Yeah, I can be a bit bossy when I can get away with it but my stubborn independence is all down to my intelligence. I can pick up training pretty quickly if I feel like it you know? Training can be fun sometimes, but I have to admit I can get pretty distracted. After all, I love finding things to play with and I’d much rather enjoy a game then learn new tricks!
My ideal owner(s)
Seniors and retirees
Experienced dog handlers
Active, sporty people
Families with older children
People who enjoy long walks
What they say about me
Aloof at times
Energetic and spirited
Please read on to find out more about me, and whether I’ll be someone you’ll be happy to live with for the next 14 years!
Is this Airedale Terrier for you?
Test your knowledge about the Airedale Terrier
Information essential about the Airedale Terrier
Kennel Club Group:
Small: Weight Male 44 – 50 lb (20 – 23 kg) Female 44 – 50 lb (20 – 23 kg)
Height Male 22 – 23” (56 – 59 cm) Female 22 – 23” (56 – 59 cm)
The Airedale Terrier was extremely popular during the 1920s, particularly in America where it was the most popular breed of pedigree dog at this time. The breed’s popularity has since dwindled, though it remains relatively popular. The Airedale is not just loved as a family pet but can also be seen working in the police force, military and as assistance dogs for the blind and people in need.
Originating from the area surrounding the River Aire in Yorkshire, England, the Airedale Terrier dates back to the early 1800s. Living near the river, and being derived from the old English Black and Tan Terrier and the Otterhound, the Airedale was originally called the Waterside Terrier.
The name Airedale Terrier comes from the Valley of Aire, where the breed comes from. The breed was commonly used in the Aire Valley to hunt foxes, badgers, otters, weasels and water rats.
It wasn’t until 1879 that the breed was given the name Airedale Terrier when the dogs were shown in classes in the Airedale Agricultural Show. This distinguished them from the many different breeds of Waterside Terrier.
The Airedale Terrier was popular among farmers who needed a versatile dog who was small enough to work as a ratter but big enough to hunt larger wildlife. Therefore, the Airedale Terrier was bred to be taller and leggier than most terriers and he also has superior swimming and scent tracking skills in comparison to other terrier breeds.
Their versatile nature and excellent chasing and tracking abilities soon found the Airedale Terriers as police and military dogs, and they were most commonly used in these positions during the First World War. As well as tracking down criminals, Airedales began to hunt much larger game. They were not only used on hunting expeditions in the UK, USA and Canada, but were taken on wild safari style hunts in India.
The Airedale Terrier’s distinctive look, intelligent character and eagerness to learn has also found the breed in a number of films and television shows, and is a big hit in Hollywood. The showmanship of the Airedale has also helped him create a strong presence in dog shows.
Your Airedale Terrier is extremely intelligent, eager to please you and wonderfully loyal. Airedale Terriers tend to be aloof with most people, but with their owners they show a playful and fun loving side and can be fantastically affectionate and loving. Your Airedale Terrier is a great family dog when he is properly socialised with children from a young age. He will love playing with older children who can respect his boundaries and he thoroughly enjoys being part of family life – wherever you are going, you can be sure he’ll want to be there with you! It’s important to remember that, despite being a small dog, your Airedale Terrier is a dominant breed and must be properly trained and socialised throughout his life. They can show guarding behaviour around food and toys, as well as becoming snappy and irritated at times. Teaching basic manners and obedience should take place from an early age and be reinforced throughout adulthood. Airedale Terriers will usually get on well with other dogs, particularly submissive breeds, but due to their hunting instincts and high prey drive they will not be well suited to households with non-canine pets.
Your Airedale has a typical terrier’s temperament. He is very head strong and can be stubborn and wilful due to his strong independent streak. Males tend to be more stubborn than females, though any Airedale terrier that has not been well trained and socialised at an early age will show a stubborn or bossy side. While the Airedale is intelligent and quick to learn, training can still be a challenge because they are so independent. It’s important to ask any breeders about how well they have been socialised as young puppies when buying an Airedale Terrier puppy. Your Airedale Terrier is full of energy and of a very lively dog. He needs lots of mental and physical stimulation to keep him happy and relaxed and he’ll love getting the chance to run and chase wildlife in the great outdoors.
The largest Terrier in the UK, the Airedale Terrier has a relatively large and lean frame, with long legs. The head is long, flat and fairly narrow with a long muzzle. The ears are dropped and fold forward while the eyes are small, dark and V shaped. The strong neck slopes down to meet a short back. The chest is deep while the tail points straight up. The Airedale Terrier coat is wiry, short and coarse and the face features longer hair on the lower jaw, creating a beard.
Airedale Terrier’s coats are commonly tan with a black saddle, tail and occasionally ears. They may also show red markings.
Terriers are generally not easy to train, but the Airedale is one of the easiest breeds of Terrier to teach obedience to. Airedale Terriers can be stubborn, but they are also highly intelligent and will pick up new things quickly when their owner shows authority. Your Airedale Terrier needs you to show confidence and be firm yet fair. In order to keep your Airedale interested in his training sessions, they must be short, intense and fun. Positive, reward based training is key to training your Airedale Terrier to be a polite and well behaved dog. Airedales can become easily distracted, so they are best suited to an experienced dog owner and obedience classes are recommended for the breed.
Your Airedale Terrier’s coat needs brushing with a stiff bristle brush every two to three days, in order to remove the dead hair which can accumulate and become matted. The undercoat should be hand stripped twice a year and bathing should take place only when necessary. Very minimal trimming is needed and the Airedale Terrier is a low shedding breed, making them a possibility as a pet for allergy sufferers.
The Airedale Terrier is a very robust dog with a low susceptibility to illness. However, Airedale Terriers have been known to suffer from eye problems, skin infections and hip dysplasia. Bloat, a common health problem for dogs, is also an issue. Cancer is the most common cause of death in Airedale Terriers, followed by old age. The average lifespan of the Airedale Terrier is 12 to 14 years.
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The following grid gives a fast track review which covers all breeds. You can apply it to help you decide if an Airedale Terrier is suitable for you, the environment where you live, your personality and your lifestyle. On the grid, 1 = strongly disagree, and 5 = strongly agree. For example, if you are looking for a dog that is suitable for an experienced dog owner, look down the list under ‘training and obedience’ and you will see that Airedale Terriers are perfect for experienced owners, scoring 5. If you are looking for a dog that would make a good jogging companion, look under ‘activities’ and you’ll see an Airedale Terrier would be an excellent choice, also scoring 5. You might like to save or print off this section and keep it for reference while you check some other breeds before making your choice.
*PLEASE NOTE: All our breed profiles are general, and all dogs are individuals. Always talk to the breeders and meet the owners you are buying from. Try to meet the dog and its parents if it is a puppy in their home environment.