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Airedale Terrier – Dog Breed Information and Pictures

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Are you looking for a dog that can keep up with your active way of life, be a loyal friend, and also be adaptable enough to handle different tasks? The Airedale Terrier is the breed for you in that case!

The Airedale Terrier is a large breed of dog that was developed and is still mostly found in Yorkshire, England’s Aire Valley. Due to their size and power, they are sometimes referred to as the “King of Terriers.” They have a silky, double-layered coat that comes in a variety of colors, such as grizzle, wheaten, black, and tan. Airedale Terriers are devoted, lively, and energetic animals that make excellent family pets and watchdogs. They have a strong desire to please others and are brilliant, keen learners.

The Airedale Terrier is an excellent choice for a dog companion because it can perform a wide range of tasks, including herding and hunting, as well as participate in sporting events and serve as a therapy dog.

Curious to know more about the breed?

Let’s dive in and examine all the great traits of the Airedale Terrier to find out why this breed can be the perfect match for you.

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History of Airedale Terrier

History of Airedale Terrier
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The Airedale Terrier, the largest breed of terriers, was developed for the first time in 1853, though no special purpose was intended at the time. The Rough-Coated Black and Tan Terrier and Otterhound were crossed to create the breed to create a versatile sports dog that can hunt both otters in water and rats on land.

The initial crossbreeding produced a canine with the eagerness and swimming skill of terriers as well as the capacity to track game. Within a decade and a half of their birth, these dogs, known as Waterside or Bingley Terriers, had gained popularity as a breed for sports activities.

Even though the name “Waterway or Bingley Terrier” was not used until 1879, the Waterside Terrier appeared in the Broken-Haired Terriers division at the first Aire Valley dog show in 1864. The dog was assessed by well-known author Hugh Dalziel, who gave it the grade of “excellent,” which greatly increased interest in the breed.

A group of admirers consequently banded together to change the name of the breed from Waterside or Bingley Terrier to Airedale Terrier. It is thought that Dr. Gordon Stables came up with the term “Airedale Terrier,” although it is impossible to confirm this. Dalziel had the chance to assess the breed once more in 1880, and he referred to it as the Airedale Terrier in his analysis.

During World War I, Airedale Terriers served in many capacities, including messengers, guards, supply providers, scouts, ambulance dogs, rat-catchers, dogs for the Red Cross, sled dogs, and guards. Throughout the battle, these dogs showed courage and loyalty, which helped the breed become more well-known. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Warren Harding, and Calvin Coolidge were among those who owned and admired Airedale terriers.

Airedale Terrier Breed Characteristics

Airedale Terrier Breed Characteristics
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The Airedale Terrier is a rare breed renowned for its good looks and playful nature. The dog is mostly tan, with a dense, wiry topcoat and a short, soft undercoat. Even though this breed is not known for having a lot of shedding, regular brushing will keep its hair looking great.

Although fun-loving and wonderful family dogs, Airedale terriers may be too active for young children due to their high level of energy. If socialized and taught properly, they get along well with the other dogs in their home, but they can be aggressive toward unknown dogs and have the propensity to chase small animals.

Due to their keen senses and capacity to follow a scent, they are frequently utilized in search and rescue operations as well as in police work as a result of their innate protective instincts.

More About Airedale Terrier Breed

A brave Airedale Terrier named Jack heroically undertook a mission to carry a message to British headquarters during World War I, despite the hazardous battlefield circumstances. Jack heroically completed his quest despite being exposed to a barrage of artillery fire and having to travel through a risky half-mile of marsh, ultimately suffering a broken jaw and fractured leg.

Jack managed to finish his task despite his injuries, and his message helped save his battalion. Jack was posthumously given the Victoria Cross for his “Gallantry in the Field” because of his bravery. Today, Airedale terriers are valued for their adaptability and are frequently employed in agility, obedience, and hunt tests. They were initially designed to be multi-functional dogs with the capability to swim and track prey.

Though it’s crucial to always have an adult watch interactions between kids and dogs, the Airedale Terrier is a breed that thrives when given a duty to accomplish, like entertaining kids. The Airedale has a higher tendency for digging, chasing, and barking, as do all terrier breeds. They like daily walks and time spent playing in a yard, and they make excellent jogging partners.

It is important to keep in mind that the Airedale terrier is very sensitive to mistreatment and might harbor resentment towards the offender. This breed can be difficult to control at times since they have a strong hunting instinct and can be violent towards other dogs and animals.

Airedale is believed to not start conflicts but will tenaciously protect his family from outsiders. Because of this, it’s critical to provide the Airedale with consistent, positive obedience training and a sturdy fence. Although they can be aggressive, Airedales make excellent watchdogs and are fiercely devoted to their family. They are extremely polite with those who are allowed into their residence.


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The Airedale Terrier is a medium to large-sized breed of dog. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standard, males typically stand 23 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 50 and 70 pounds, while females stand about 22 inches tall and weigh between 40 and 50 pounds.

However, it’s important to note that individual dogs may vary in size, and some Airedales may be smaller or larger than the typical breed standard.


The Airedale Terrier, like other terrier breeds, is a very active, spirited, and driven dog with a high work ethic and a propensity to bark, dig, and chase. Understanding the difficulties associated with Airedale’s independent personality and its innate propensities towards potentially troublesome behaviors is crucial before considering ownership.

The high-energy breed of Airedale needs a lot of physical activity to be satisfied. It’s crucial to keep your dog busy. If it’s left alone for an extended period, it can become restless and bored. As Airedale quickly gets tired with repetitive exercises, it is important to train the dog using positive reinforcement methods like treats. The Airedale is a watchdog that is devoted to its family and would defend them, but it is also pleasant with guests and other people.


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The temperament of the Airedale is influenced by several factors, including genetics, training, and exposure to diverse situations and experiences.

They are courageous and caring, pleasant with known faces, intelligent, submissive, and devoted. They are sensitive and receptive, and they have a high level of trainable obedience. When they are young, Airedales are cheerful and playful but are readily distracted by objects like food, other dogs, or chipmunks.

The Airedale Terrier learns quickly and isn’t difficult to train, but they don’t respond well to harsh, aggressive training methods. They are capable of understanding what is expected of them and are intelligent, but they might object if asked to complete the same task repeatedly. It’s crucial to offer variation and make the training challenging and interesting. The handler must maintain composure while maintaining confidence and consistency throughout training. With the proper training and master, the breed is suitable for competing in dog sports, including defense trials.


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Although generally regarded as being in good health, Airedale terriers are susceptible to some genetic health issues. Some issues can be eliminated by purchasing from a reputable breeder who does health tests.

The following are some health issues to be aware of:

  • Dysplastic hips
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Heart problem (heart murmurs and dilated cardiomyopathy)
  • Allergies (environmental and dietary allergies, specifically skin allergies) 

To determine preventative steps for probable allergies and dental issues that could impact your Airedale Terrier, it is essential to speak with a veterinarian.


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The very active breed of Airedale Terrier needs frequent exercise to preserve both its physical and mental health. It is recommended to take two daily walks, but one is sufficient. They like playing, going on fetching missions, swimming, and other energizing activities.

Early training and socialization, beginning with puppy classes, are essential for Airedale Terriers. It’s crucial to integrate socializing into their training by introducing them to a variety of environments and situations, such as going to pet supply stores, outdoor activities, and crowded parks. This will teach them how to be amiable and get along with both people and other dogs.


Like people, dogs have different nutritional needs, and each dog is unique in terms of this. Naturally, a more active dog will eat more than a less active one. Your choice of dog food has an impact on your dog’s diet as well because high-quality food will be more nourishing and require fewer servings.

You should feed your Airedale Terrier twice a day rather than continually leaving food out for him to preserve his health. You can undertake a visual and physical check to see if he is at a healthy weight. If you can see a waistline when you look down at your dog, you can do this. After that, lightly push your hands against their back to feel the ribs. If the ribs are hard to feel, they need to eat less and move around more.

Coat Color And Grooming

Coat Color And Grooming
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The Airedale terrier has a remarkable coat with two distinct layers: a strong, wiry topcoat and a short, soft undercoat. Usually tan in color, this breed has black or weathered black with white, black, and grey mixed on the back and upper sides. The black may also have a red speckling, and the chest may have a white star. The Airedale terrier does not shed much, but brushing once or twice a week is required to keep the coat in good condition. Overbathing can soften the rough terrier coat, so bathing should only be done when necessary.

If you decide to have a professional groomer take care of your Airedale Terrier’s grooming, it may be expensive. But it takes time and works to learn how to trim your dog yourself, even if you’re very determined. It is advised to clean your Airedale’s teeth a minimum of twice or three times a week to remove bacteria and tartar buildup and maintain healthy dental health. Gum disease and foul breath can both be avoided with daily brushing.

To avoid unpleasant tears and other problems, it’s crucial to trim your Airedale Terrier’s nails once a month or more regularly if necessary. If your dog walks with a clicking sound, their nails are excessively long. When trimming the nails, employ caution because doing so too close to the blood veins in the nails can result in bleeding. Consult a veterinarian or groomer for help if you lack the confidence to cut the animals’ nails.

Every week, you should check your Airedale’s ears for any redness or unpleasant odor that might be signs of an infection. Use a pH-balanced ear cleanser on a cotton ball to wipe the outer ear to help prevent infections, but avoid getting anything inside the ear canal.

Children And Other Pets

Children And Other Pets
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A happy and amusing pet, the Airedale Terrier may fit in well with families. Although their size and high level of energy may make them unsuitable for very young children, in rare situations, they may acquire a protective tendency towards the family’s children. To avoid biting or pulling of ears and tails from either party, children must learn how to interact with dogs while under adult supervision at all times.

Never let kids get close to a dog when it’s eating or resting or try to take its food. The Airedale gets along well with other household pets as long as they’ve been properly socialized and trained. However, due to their history of hunting, they may bite unfamiliar dogs they perceive as a threat and have the propensity to chase cats, rabbits, hamsters, and rodents.


The Airedale Terrier is a joyful, outgoing, and energetic dog that makes a wonderful family pet. It might not be a good fit for homes with tiny pets or young children, though, due to his size and high energy level. Regular grooming is necessary to keep the Airedale’s coat looking well, and his ears and nails should also be examined frequently. Overall, the Airedale Terrier is an intelligent and devoted breed that may give the proper household a lifetime of happiness and companionship.


Are Airedale terriers hostile dogs?

These terriers can be aggressive and boisterous with other dogs and outsiders when they sense danger since they are fiercely protective of their homes and families. They make excellent security dogs because, if not kept under control, they may become noisy barkers who always let you know when a stranger is near.

Is an Airedale Terrier a decent breed for new dog owners?

It depends on the particular dog and the owner’s way of life. Due to their intelligence and energy, Airedale Terriers require regular training and lots of mental and physical activity. They might be difficult for novice dog owners because of their high level of activity, energy, and prey drive. Before introducing an Airedale Terrier into their home, new dog owners should conduct their research on the breed and think about their lifestyle and experience.

How much physical activity does an Airedale Terrier need?

A moderate to intense amount of exercise is necessary for an Airedale Terrier. This breed requires regular exercise to keep their bodies and minds active because of how animated and vivacious they are. This can involve extended walks, jogs, sports, and obedience instruction. To avoid boredom and disruptive behavior, providing enough physical activity is critical.

Do Airedale terriers need a lot of grooming?

Yes, terriers need a lot of grooming. Their wiry and dense coat necessitates frequent brushing to avoid matting and tangles. They also require regular nail trimming and the occasional bath. Both maintaining their teeth in excellent condition, and maintaining a healthy coat is crucial. Although paying a professional groomer might be expensive, motivated dog owners can learn how to do it themselves with the right instruction.

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