The Airedale Terrier is the largest of the terrier dog breeds. The Airedale has a hard, dense and wiry coat that is water resistant. This well-balanced terrier has a long flat head with a deep chest and straight front legs. The dog’s tail is usually docked. The Airedale’s wiry outer coat is bright tan-colored with black or dark grizzle body saddle and top of neck and tail. Male dogs range from 23 to 24 inches and female dogs from 22 to 23 inches at shoulder height. Airedales can weigh from 40 to 55 lbs.
Airedale Terriers are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Terrier Group.
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The Airedale is named after its place of origin in the Aire ‘dale’ (valley) of Yorkshire, England. This breed was developed in the 19th century to hunt otters as well as other animals and birds. As a result, Airedales are good swimmers and enjoy the water. In the past, the Airedale has been used as a hunting dog, a seeing-eye dog, a police dog and a watchdog. Lately the breed has evolved into a companion, family and show dog. This terrier was ranked 54th out of 154 breeds in the 2004 AKC registrations.
This English terrier breed has an even temperament and sweet disposition, although some Airedales will get into fights with other dogs. This terrier is dignified, patient, loyal and intelligent and makes a great companion dog that loves to play with children. The Airedale should be watched with young children as it may play too rough with them. The dog has earned the nickname – “king of the terriers”. Airedales are a very intelligent breed and can be trained to a high level as anything from a guard dog or watchdog to a seeing-eye dog. Airedale puppies are playful and exuberant and obedience training should be started early and re-enforced through adulthood by a knowledgeable owner. Airedales were bred to chase prey, so running after a chipmunk shouldn’t be perceived as willful disobedience – just normal for the breed. These Terriers will try and dominate submissive family members so Airedale owners should be confident and experienced and be firm and patient with their dogs.
Airedales can be wary of strangers and make good watchdogs. The Airedale breed is probably not the best breed for a novice dog owner.
The Airedale is an active dog that requires long daily walks. In fact these Terriers make ideal jogging or biking companions as they love to run. During the first two years, Airedales need lots of activity and attention to keep them from getting into mischief. The Airedale breed adapts well to city living in a house with a backyard and can even adapt to apartment living as long as it gets enough exercise.
The Airedales short-haired double coat should be brushed about three times per week. The dead hair should be plucked out or hand-stripped twice per year. If you plan on showing your dog, much more intensive grooming is required. The terriers beard should be combed or washed daily to remove food and the bottom trimmed for cleanliness. The Airedale is a very light shedding dog if the coat is properly groomed and is often referred to as ‘hypoallergenic’.
The Airedale breed has a life expectancy of about 11 to14 years and is normally a very hardy breed. Some common problems include occasional hip dysplasia and skin infections.
Article type: xdogbreed