An intelligent, tough dog, the Airedale terrier tolerates pets it grows up with and generally gets along well with other dogs and children.
Airedale Terrier At a glance
Male: 44-50 lbs.
Female: 40-47 lbs.
Height at Withers:
Male: 23 in.
Female: 22 in.
Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Very energetic
Longevity Range: 10-13 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: Low Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Moderate
Tendency to Dig: High Social/Attention Needs: High
Badger, otter hunting
Characteristics: Double coat, hard coat, wiry
Colors: Tan with black or grizzle saddle
Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate
AKC Classification: Terrier
UKC Classification: Terrier
The Airedale Terrier is known as the "king of terriers" partly for his size.
The Airedale Terrier is known as the "king of terriers" partly for his size. They range in height about 23 inches and in weight from 45 pounds for a small female, to 70 pounds for a large male (20 to 32 kilograms).
The Airedale has a classic terrier head with virtually no stop (forehead), v-shaped ears tipped over and a straight back with an erect docked tail. The outline is quite square and these dogs are sturdy.
Coloring for the Airedale is black and tan, with a classic terrier coat of dense, harsh hair with a softer undercoat. A grown out coat will look almost curly. The coat and color stay sharpest with hand stripping of the dead hair. Pet Airedales that are clipped may appear gray and tan.
The blending of hound and terrier has softened the personality of the Airedale a bit. These are still tough dogs but usually get along better with other dogs than many of the terrier breeds. Airedales are tolerant of other pets they are raised with and generally get along well with children, though they can be a bit rambunctious for small children.
Airedales are somewhat aloof to strangers at first, and need early socialization and training. Airedales are very intelligent dogs, but have a bit of stubbornness or independence. They require a firm, but gentle hand from early puppyhood. Most Airedales are not big barkers, but true to their terrier heritage they can be serious diggers and chewers. Airedales need human interaction to be happy.
Airedale terriers can vary greatly from being quite finicky eaters to being prone to obesity. This breed is active and needs plenty of daily, regular exercise. Combining training with exercise is often a good move as Airedales thrive on mental and physical stimulation. Airedales tend to live about 12 years.
You can count on your Airedale to sound an alarm for danger and he will have the courage to back up that alarm. They can be quite protective of their families, especially small children. Early socialization is important. Airedales can be quite stoic, and owners must be cautioned to be aware of any injuries.
Grooming can vary quite a bit. Keeping an Airedale in show coat requires skillful hand stripping every couple of months. Most pet owners elect to go with clipping the curly coat down once or twice yearly. With the clipped coat, a quick brushing once or twice weekly is adequate.
The Airedale terrier traces its ancestry back with many of the other terriers to the extinct black and tan terrier. These feisty dogs were bred to hunt vermin of any size or shape. They were somewhat lacking in scenting skills and swimming ability though, so in the 1800s near the area of the River Aire these terriers were crossed with otter hounds to create the "king of terriers": the Airedale terrier.
Probably some crosses were made with Irish and bull terriers as well to help create this tough, good-sized hunter. Airedales not only hunt vermin, but have been successfully used on large game and as defense and security dogs. Most American Airedales trace their ancestry back to CH Master Briar, a British dog brought over to the United States near the turn of the century.
Airedales can still be seen today working as hunting dogs for both large and small game, in police work, and as wonderful family companions. Airedales are seen in agility and obedience competitions as well.