Is an airedale terrier puppy the right choice for me and my family

The Airedale Terrier is a people oriented dog with patience for children. He is affectionate and will protect his adopted family. Early socialization with children is important. They are large, strong dogs and they may play a bit rough. They have been used as police dogs and are alert and make excellent watchdogs. For safety reasons, never leave very young children alone with any dog.

*Temperament. His temperament is loyal and he will protect his adopted family. Many believe he has a sense of humor. Training can be a little difficult as he is more inclined to be a clown.

*Approximate Adult Size. Males weigh about 65 pounds and are about 23 inches tall at the withers (tallest point of the shoulders. Females weigh 55 to 60 pounds and are about 22 inches to the withers.

*Ideal Environment. The Airedale is a large size dog that is energetic and needs plenty of exercise. A properly fenced back yard would help in his exercise needs. He is not recommended for an apartment unless he has frequent, brisk walks. The Airedale needs a lot of exercise and attention or he will get bored and become destructive. If you have a cat, another dog or other small pets, they can be aggressive toward them as they were bred to hunt animals. Having a animal or pet run from this dog will get his hunting juices going. Early socialization will help considerably but it is hard to defeat his hunting heritage.

*How Much Time And Care. The Airedale needs plenty of exercise and fresh air. They are happy to take brisk walks, swim, play fetch the ball and even jog or run along while you bike ride. This is a breed needing a lot of attention and if you want an easy dog to deal with you might want to keep shopping.

*Special Health Considerations. Airedales are very healthy dogs and the only significant special problems are hip dysplasia, as is the case with large breeds, low thyroid function and von Willebrands disease. Dry itchy skin is another common ailment. Most people feed a little extra oil in the diet and this seems to help greatly. A side problem is that these dogs can withstand the pain of injuries stoically and you may not always know when your dog is hurting.

*Grooming. The Airedale is not a prolific shedder but his wiry coat needs regular care including clipping and brushing. His coat is a double coat, a soft undercoating with wiry dense hair on the outer. Prepare to possibly shoulder the expense of hiring a professional groomer service. The most popular groomed look for Airedales is the King of Terriers look.

*Life Span. They can live between 10 and 12 years.

*Airedale History. He originates from England and is considered a modern breed. They are a cross between Otterhounds and smaller terriers. World War I saw them serve both the German and British. They delivered messages and found wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Several president conspicuously owned Airedales including president Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge the Theodore Roosevelt.

*Training. Airedales are thinkers so be creative about your training activities. They can be a little difficult to train but they are highly intelligent. Harsh training methods will get you no where as they can out last you. These are tough, thinking dogs. They can learn to do about any job.

SPECIAL GOOD POINTS Protective of his adopted family. Great watch dog. Good with older kids. Very little shedding.

SPECIAL BAD POINTS They are digging dogs, as are many terriers. Will fight other dogs so be careful with retractable leashes. Needs a lot of exercise. Will bark when very bored. Has a mind of his own. They may be very aggressive to other animals, cats, etc.