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Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terriers are the largest of the terrier breed group. Their muscular bodies are covered with a hard, wiry coat that’s hard to miss. They’re intelligent and confident dogs that are easy to love, but their intense nature might be challenging for first-time dog owners.

The need-to-know
  • Dogs suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Large dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks, alerts and may be physically protective/suspicious of visitors
  • Might not like other dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • Great family dog
  • Needs a large garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

The Airedale dog is generally a hardy breed. As with many breeds, they can suffer from:
- Hip dysplasia. 

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
- Hip dysplasia screening scheme

Key Facts

Lifespan: 10-12 years
Weight: 25-28kg for males and 21-23kg for females
Height: Adult males measure 58 to 61cm to the top of shoulder, and females 56 to 59cm
Colours: Black/grizzle (on the saddle) and tan
Size: Large
Kennel Club group: Terrier

Ratings

Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 2/5
Airedale terrier lying down on the floor.

Personality

In common with most terrier dog breeds, the Airedale is confident, bold and outgoing. They are loyal, friendly, curious, energetic dogs who are fun loving, eager and tireless. They are devoted to their family and will protect them if they feel it is necessary. Airedale Terriers can sometimes be reserved with strangers and may not be entirely friendly to unknown dogs. While mostly kind and docile, they are the kind of plucky, fearless dogs that while they might not start a fight, will always finish one. A typical terrier, they may not be reliable with small furry animals and cats.

Airedale Terrier on the beach with person.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: England

Known as the ‘king of the terriers’ the hardy Airedale Terrier was created in the 19th century in the Aire, Wharfe and Calder river valleys of Yorkshire by hunters who wanted a terrier to help protect the fishermen’s catches from otters. They were developed from crosses from the now extinct Black and Tan Terrier to give them the rough coat, the Otterhound to give them the nose, and the Bull Terrier to give them tenacity. While they were primarily developed as otter hunters, they quickly found other jobs including as a duck-catcher, a ratter, a gun dog, a guard dog, an army messenger dog and even a transport police patrol dog.

did you know?

Did you know?

  • Airedales have been extremely popular with US Presidents - and in fact three presidents in a row all had Airedales called Davie, Laddie Boy and Paul Pry respectively.

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