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Airedale Terrier

Being the largest of all terrier dog breeds, Airedale Terrier dog breed is regarded as the “King of Terriers”. The breed originated in Airedale in Yorkshire, England. Airedale Terrier dogs are also known by other names like Waterside Terriers and Bingley Terriers. 

These dogs were originally used to hunt otters. They were also used as police dogs and wartime guard dogs during the Second World War. Nowadays, they are serving as highly devoted and entertaining companion dogs.

They are also good at search and rescue work and excel in competitive obedience. Airedale Terrier breed dogs are believed to have descended from black and tan terrier type dogs and were later crossed with Otterhounds and Manchester Terriers.

Physical Appearance

Airedale Terrier dog breed is square and well balanced in appearance. The eyes are small and dark in color bearing keen and intelligent expression.

The ears are V shaped and carried slightly folded towards the side of the head. The nose is black in color and the lips are tight. The tail can be docked. However, docking of the tail is considered illegal in certain countries.

Color: Airedale Terrier hair coat is predominantly tan in color with black or grizzle colored markings on the sides and upper part of the body.
Height: The average height of these dogs is generally about 22 to 24 inches. Female Airedale Terriers are a bit shorter, that is, 22 to 23 inches in height.
Weight: The ideal weight of these dogs ranges between 50 to 65 pounds. Bitches usually weigh about 40 to 45 pounds.

Health Problems

These dogs are fairly healthy and tend to have less number of health issues. Still, some common Airedale Terrier diseases are Bloating, Hypothyroidism, Hip Dysplasia, Joint Problems, Bleeding Disorders and other related dog diseases. They are also susceptible to eye problems, dry skin and skin infections.

Life Expectancy: The average lifespan of these dogs is around 10 to 12 years.

Grooming Requirements

Airedale Terrier grooming calls for regular brushing of the short, thick and slightly wiry hair coat. The double hair coat consists of soft undercoat followed by hard and wiry outer coat. The hair coat needs to be brushed on a daily basis, preferably with a pin brush.

The dogs being used for show purposes require extensive grooming with regular stripping and trimming. Some Airedale Terriers tend to shed heavily whereas some do not shed at all. Therefore, the shedding nature of the hair coat depends on the cut of the hair coat.

In addition, regularly trim the hair between the paw pads and clean the beard daily. Bathe the dog only when necessary.


Airedale Terrier temperament is characterized by a high level of intelligence, bravery, friendliness, affection, faithfulness, responsiveness, sensitivity and at times, stubbornness. They are usually good around children but should be left unsupervised as they tend to play rough.

As for other pets, they generally get along well with other household pets. They can also live peacefully with cats, provided the cats and dogs are introduced properly and the dogs’ natural predatory instincts are subdued.

Training and socialization are essential for these dogs to avoid aggressive and destructive dog behavior. They are quite easy to train as long as harsh and boring training methods are not used. Repeated practice of silly tricks does not interest them as they like challenging tasks.

Airedale Terrier puppies are more lively and playful as compared the adult dogs. Though fairly friendly with strangers, still these dogs make for excellent watchdogs.

Key Points

Airedale Terrier dogs are highly active indoors and do best when provided with sufficient space in at least an average sized, properly fenced yard for play. Long daily walks and regular interactive play sessions keep these fun loving dogs healthy, both physically as well as mentally.

In fact, Airedale Terrier dogs enjoy running, playing retrieving games and swimming. They are usually recommended for active and assertive experienced dog owners capable of controlling the dog rather than being controlled by him.

As these dogs are prone to dry and itchy skin, they should be given high quality pet food and supplemented with kelp and oils. Airedale Terrier dogs are not considered suitable for apartment situation.



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