The Airedale Terrier is a large and versatile dog breed originating from the Aire valley in Yorkshire, England. It is sometimes known as the “King of Terriers” because it is said to be able to do any job that any other dog can do, only better. Intelligent, fun-loving, hardworking and loyal, Airedale Terriers have a charming nature, a great spirit and a big heart.
The Airedale Terrier is an excellent family dog. He is sweet of disposition, devoted to his owner but aloof with strangers. Airedale Terriers make excellent companions and are good with children. Considered to be very intelligent and easy to train, the Airedale Terrier is a determined dog, so early obedience training will help make him an excellent family pet. Airedale Terriers are very energetic and should be exercised daily.
The Airedale Terrier is known for his independence, patience, loyalty and courage. Be advised that when keeping your Dale in a fenced-in area, he will most likely try to tunnel his way free. Airedale Terriers possess strong working instincts and are favored by many families seeking a devoted and protective family dog.
The Airedale terrier is known for its playfulness and courage, as well as its love and patience with children. It can, however, be stubborn and may challenge its owners for dominance in the “pack.” It may also be aggressive with other dogs. The breed originated in the 19th century in Yorkshire, England, along the Ire river, when a black-and-tan terrier (now extinct) was crossed with an Otterhound.
He is an intelligent animal, full of charm and ability to perform all kinds of tasks. Given a good trainer, there is nothing he cannot achieve. Not every good dog owner is necessarily the right person to own an Airedale terrier. For starter, he is a medium-to-large dog, about 23 inches tall at the shoulder and usually weighs 45 – 65 pounds. Then add the ability to cope with the Airedale’s exuberant and playful personality.
The Airedale is a protector of property, but will not necessarily stay on his own property. Solo expeditions by these hunters generally have sad endings with the traffic on our roadways. While the breed is not at its best in the city, there are exceptions. A strong lead and plenty of walks will suffice. Airedales are said to reach adulthood at about three years of age. To be truthful, some never do! Again, it’s part of their charm.
On the downside, Airedales are what is called “mouthy,” that is, given to barking loudly and for long periods, if not silenced, which is one reason why he should not be tied up.
The owner of an Airedale terrier needs a good sense of humour, be fair, firm and consistent; to reward every well-meaning effort with verbal praise and to be generous with treats for jobs well done. Remember, if you cannot control your Airedale, he will gladly; and instantly; step in and control you. They are all ready to move up in the family hierarchy. So, when we say that Airedales are capable of taking any job, that includes becoming “chairman of the board.” After all, he knows he is “The King of Terriers.”
He is persistently distracted by sound, sight and smell, whereas most other breeds are governed by only one or two of these three drives. The owner needs to understand this diverse mental energy before beginning to train. Praise works, but harsh correction doesn’t.
Only when he senses the need to do so will he attack. There are numerous stories about Airedales taking down bears and mountain lions.
He is a gentle, trustworthy family companion, and his intelligence is unsurpassed!
AT A GLANCE
Country of Origin:
FCI Classification: Group 3 – Terriers. Section 1 – Large and medium-sized Terriers. Working trial optional.
Outgoing and confident, friendly, courageous and intelligent. Alert at all times, not aggressive but fearless.
22 – 24 inches at shoulders
Body saddle black or grizzle as is top of the neck and top surface of the tail. All other parts tan. Ears often a darker tan, and shading may occur round neck and side of the skull. A few white hairs between forelegs acceptable.
Airedale, King of Terriers, Dale
Average Litter Size:
9 – 15 years
Medium. Airedale Terriers need their coat professionally trimmed every 4 to 5 months. Pay particular attention to keeping the leg hair tidy, the hair between the pads cleaned out, and the nails kept short.
None. His coat is broken (this means that he has a harsh topcoat and a soft undercoat). He doesn’t moult but needs regular brushing and combing, or a little shedding will occur especially when he is in need of a trim.
Gets into fights with other dogs. Will not back down from a fight, so firm leash control is necessary when walking the Airedale in public. Early socialization and training are essential in managing the dominant terrier temperament. It is not recommended that he be kept in the home with another dog of the same sex.
Suitability for Children:
Airedales are known for their infinite patience with children. However, young Airedales (up to about two years old) romp and jump with great vigor and need supervision when they are around small children.
High. The Airedale Terrier does need exercise, so a fenced yard or a long daily walk on a leash must be provided.
The Airedale Terrier can be a quick learner, but he is often stubborn and unforgiving of harsh treatment. Hard or abusive training methods will bring failure because the Airedale is genuinely tougher than any trainer. Airedales make superb watchdogs and would fight to the death to protect their owners from bears.
The Airedale Terrier breed is hardy and has only a few health problems:
- Hip Dysplasia is one of the most common hereditary disease affecting Airedale Terriers. (OFA certification of hips after 2 years of age. Preliminary x-rays may be done at an earlier age.)
- Cerebellar Abiotrophy (rare)
- Corneal Dystrophy
- Pulmonic Stenosis
- Retinal Dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Is Airedale Terrier the Right Breed for You?
- Airedales love to dig. A well-fenced garden is a must. Make sure that the fencing goes below ground level as some Airedale Terriers will dig their way out.
- They can be aggressive toward other animals (chasing instincts) or destructive and noisy when not exercised enough.
- To maintain the wiry outer coat, the Airedale Terrier’s coat needs to be stripped. Many professional groomers don’t do stripping because it’s really a very time-consuming task. If they do, you’ll have to pay a hefty amount of money, or, you’ll have to learn to do yourself.
Airedale Terrier belongs to terrier dog group. Most of the dogs in this group are relatively small in size, but, despite this, they are usually spirited and independent. Although many terriers were originally kept on farms, often as rat catchers, they have made a transition to household pets quite readily; to the extent that a number of them rank among the best-known breeds in the world. Their alert and curious nature, and their tendency to explore underground, means that they are more inclined to dig than other breeds, and they have an alarming tendency to disappear down rabbit holes when out for a walk. As a result, they are not true lapdogs, although they do make loyal companions. Terriers are usually lively, alert, and remarkably brave. They do not always get on well together, however, and enjoy every opportunity to run around on their own.