Airedale Terrier Breed Card

Airedale Terrier Breed Overview

Group

Terrier

Height

23 inches tall

Breed Recognition

Yes

Weight

50-70 pounds

Country of Origin

England

Personality

Hardworking, Courageous, Strong

Lifespan

11-14 years

Shedding

Low

Airedale Terrier History

The Airedale Terrier, also known as the Bingley Terrier and Waterside Terrier, was bred during the 19th century in Yorkshire, England. They were originally created to be hunters of rats and ducks.
The origins of this breed go a long way from crossing the Black and Tan Terriers being experimentally mixed with the Otterhound to produce a breed that was big enough to hunt large vermin. This new crossbreed was then mixed with the Irish Terrier and Welsh Terrier in order to create The Airedale Terrier we now know today.

They are deemed the “King of Terriers” because of their large size and power. Historically, the Airedales are popularly known for their military service and work as police dogs.

The first Airedale to enter the United States was named Bruce in 1881. The AKC – American Kennel Club (recognized the breed IN 1888, and in 1990, the Airedale Terrier Club of America was formed.

Cost ✅

COST LEVEL

Low End: $800

High End: $1500

Airedale Terrier Physical Traits

General Appearance💡

The Airedale Terrier is a medium-sized dog but the largest of all terrier breeds. It has a slender yet lean build with an intelligent and alert expression. The hallmarks of the breed are the narrow head that sports a full beard and mustache and the dense, wiry coat that is tan with black markings.

Airedale Terriers have short backs and muscular loins, with forelegs that are perfectly straight and thighs that are long and powerful. The root of the tail is set up on the back and is not curled over. Their feet are small and compact and well cushioned, designed to fit their profile as agile hunters of vermin.

This breed has a face that is narrow and long, with flat and unpronounced cheeks and small, v-shaped ears. Their facial features include eyes that are round and expressive, tight lips, and a black nose. They have a moderately long neck that widens towards the shoulders and a deep chest that isn’t too broad and is approximately level with the elbows.

Airedale Terriers have wiry, short to medium coats that can come in colors such as black, tan, and grizzle. They have a double coat, with a wiry outer coat and soft undercoat. The outer coat is rough, dense, and very slightly wavy. The fur on their ears is a slightly darker shade than that on their body.

Size & Weight ❤️

Height: 24 inches
Weight: 50 pounds

Height: 23 inches
Weight: 40 pounds

Coat & Color

Eye Color

Dark brown

Coat Color

Black, tan, or grizzle

Coat Length

Short to medium

Coat Texture

Wiry

Airedale Terrier Temperament and Personality

Airedales are courageous, versatile, and intelligent dogs that have been used to compete in numerous ways, such as in sports, as watchdogs, or as companions. They are playful and get along with kids and other dogs.

They are independent dogs and may not have a very submissive attitude in the beginning, but they will thrive with persistent training. These are dogs with a great sense of smell as they were designed to hunt out rats. They like to chase after animals, bark, and tend to dig, so don’t be surprised to see some destructive behavior if you leave them too long.

Kid Friendly?

GOOD WITH KIDS

Bad Idea

Excellent Nanny

Yes, Airedales are great with kids and are a loving, playful breed. However, smaller kids should be supervised as they can get accidentally knocked over during playtime, but they form a strong bond with children in their families. They are known to be playful, humourous, affectionate, and friendly toward visitors as well.

Good with Other Pets?

GOOD WITH PETS

Bad Idea

Friendly Socialite

Yes, Airedales tolerate other animals they have grown up with and are not likely to show aggression toward other pets. However, if you have smaller animals like rodents in the house, be careful with having them interact with your Airedale, as they can instinctively chase and grab them by the mouth and accidentally hurt them.

Barks a Lot?

BARKING LEVEL

When Neccessary

Noise Maker

Yes, Airedales make exceptional watchdogs and guard dogs, so they will bark continually to alert the household of intruders or upon sighting a small animal running around the house. They will also become aggressive if they sense a threat to their family members as well.

Can Be Left Alone?

LEFT ALONE

Likes Being Alone

Sepration Anxiety

Yes, but a mature Airedale Terrier can only be left alone for 2-6 hours, and puppies and younger dogs may become destructive because of boredom. Airedales are high-energy dogs, so make sure you find activities for them to use their energy on even when you are not around.

Airedale Terrier Training

The Airedale has the strength and rambunctiousness of the terrier dog packed in a relatively large body, so obedience training is highly recommended. This dog is highly intelligent and can bond closely with family members, so it is best to start training in early puppyhood. 

The Airedale Terrier can get bored very easily, so you might need to consider varied training sessions, as repetition can cause them to lose interest. It needs ample mental stimulation, so it is best to provide the dog with challenging toys that will keep him happily occupied so that they don’t develop any destructive behavior. 

These dogs are eager to please their owners, so you can use this to your advantage when trying to train them. If you plan on housing them with smaller pets, their instincts to get excited seeing small animals around your house may be the most challenging thing you will encounter during training sessions.

Airedale Terrier Needs

Airedales are generally healthy dogs that are low maintenance. Their coats require very little care, and grooming them monthly will suffice. They are high-energy dogs, though, which means they require a good amount of physical activity and mental stimulation in the form of playtime, socialization, and exercise.

They will need high-quality meals that will give them enough protein and calories. Airedales are a loyal and affectionate breed that bond deeply with their owners, so they aren’t too keen on too much alone time.

Nutritional Requirements

FOOD MOTIVATED

Picky Eater

Voracious Eater

The Airedale Terrier will thrive on balanced, high-quality dog food. Any diet should be appropriate for the dog’s age. Puppies have higher protein and calorie needs but watch their consumption and weight as they can become overweight.

Treats can be an important aid in training, but be careful not to give too much. Also, keep in mind that there should be clean, fresh water available at all times.

Exercise & Activity Levels

ENERGY LEVEL

Couch Potato

Go-All-Day Stamina

Airedale Terriers are very active dogs with significant exercise requirements. Their high energy levels require them to have daily moderate play sessions mixed with recreational long walks, hiking, or outdoor exploration several times a day. On average, a one-hour session of physical activity per day is a must.

Grooming Needs

SHEDDING LEVEL

No Shedding

Shedding Machine

The Airedale Terrier is a low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. They do not shed very often and rarely ever need to be trimmed. Brushing once a week using a slicker brush is recommended, alongside a grooming session once every few months to avoid thick and unmanageable hair. This will also help remove dead hair.

Airedale Terrier Average Lifespan

The Airedale Terrier lives for an average of 11 to 14 years. With proper care, this breed can live for over 14 years. However, same as all dogs, it is prone to several health conditions.

Commom Health Problems

  • GI Tract Issues: The Airedale Health Foundation reports that the breed is predisposed to various diseases of the colon and gastrointestinal system. Your Airedale may go through bouts of diarrhea or constipation, or you may notice bloody mucoid feces.
  • Hip Dysplasia: A defect that occurs when there is an abnormal formation in the dog’s hip socket, which can cause hip joint pain, lameness, and arthritis.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: This is an eye problem that happens when the retina starts to deteriorate, which causes them to become vision-impaired.
  • Hypothyroidism: A defect in the dog’s thyroid gland that makes them deficient in thyroxine. If left untreated, it can cause hair loss and obesity.

Recommended Health Tests

  • Hip evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist evaluation
  • Renal disease DNA test
  • Cardiac exam

Tips for New Airedale Terrier Owners

Here are some helpful tips for Airedale Terrier owners:

Tip 1

Find a Reputable Breeder: It is best to get your Airedale puppy from a breeder that can fully disclose information on pedigree and lineage, making sure that it is sired from parents that do not have previous genetic conditions. Ensure your chosen breeder has fully taken care of and has provided basic sanitation and prophylaxis for their puppies.

Tip 2

Get Puppy/Dog Products in Advance: Prior to bringing your Airedale home, make sure you have prepared the necessary supplies and food that they will need. Airedale Terriers will be energetic and playful, so get toys and items that will really get them to use their energy. Prepare a cozy place for them to stay inside your home, as they are indoor dogs. Having the right supplies beforehand will significantly improve the transition into your home, not just for you but for your dog as well.

Tip 3

Provide an Active Lifestyle: The Airedale Terrier’s requirement for exercise is very high, so this dog is not recommended for those that lead sedentary lifestyles. Constant physical activity is also a way to forego any unwanted behaviors from occurring in the Airedale Terrier, such as barking and chewing.

Tip 4

Weight Management: Although they need a lot of calories day to day, never overfeed. Feed your Airedale high-quality dog food and maintain a healthy weight for them, as some dogs are prone to getting overweight. Treats and snacks can be an important aid in training, but giving too much may lead to obesity.

Airedale Terrier Similar Breeds

– Welsh Terrier
– Poodle
– Lakeland Terrier

Airedale Terrier Supplies You Need

Airedales are best fed with grain-free dry kibble that will suffice for their dietary needs at their life stage. Food and dog treats containing wheat, rice (white, brown), & corn should be avoided, and stick with low-calorie treats when using them for training purposes.

They don’t need a lot of maintenance in the grooming department but having a basic metal comb, or metal round-tipped pin brush can be used to brush through the coat, then use a dense natural bristle brush afterward.

These tools will suffice to keep your Airedale’s coat nice and tangle-free. Hypoallergenic dog shampoo should be used when bathing Airedales.

Prepare sturdy basic accessories like a harness and leash. Toys should be provided for your Airedale that can withstand their playfulness and energy level. Toys that move will be great for them to chase around. Get them a durable, medium-sized bed that is easy to clean.

Best Dog Beds for Airedale Terriers

FurHaven Luxe Lounger Cooling Gel Foam Dog Bed

FurHaven Luxe Lounger Cooling Gel Foam Dog Bed

$175.99 Get it on Amazon
Kuranda Chew Proof Dog Bed

Kuranda Chewproof Bed

$186.95 Get it on Amazon

Best Dog Food for Airedale Terriers

The Honest Kitchen Whole Food Clusters Grain-Free Beef

The Honest Kitchen Whole Food Clusters Grain-Free Beef

$92.99 Get 30% Off The Honest Kitchen
Open Farm Homestead Dry Dog Food

Open Farm Homestead Dry Dog Food

$25.99 Get it on Open Farm

Best Dog Supplements for Airedale Terriers

Honest Paws Probiotics

Honest Paws Pre+ Probiotic

$24.95 Get it on Amazon
Petlab co multivitamin chew

PetLab Co. 13 in 1 Dog Multivitamin

$23.36 Get it on Amazon

Airedale Terrier Fun Facts

Here are some fun facts about the Airedale Terrier, a.k.a the “The King of Terriers:”

Fun Fact 1

Airedale Terriers served in the British Armed Forces during World War I as messengers, sentries, and guard dogs. They also make excellent search and rescue dogs.

Fun Fact 2

They were known as three-in-one hunting dogs equally adept on waterfowl, upland game birds, and furred prey.

Fun Fact 3

The Airedale Terrier is considered hypoallergenic, making it a popular breed for pet owners with allergies.

Fun Fact 4

An Airedale Terrier named Jack was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest honor in the United Kingdom, for his brave service in the military by giving his life in delivering a message asking for reinforcements when a British battalion was cut off by the enemy. Jack completed his mission but died due to his injuries.

Fun Fact 5

Airedale Terriers are a popular dog among US Presidents. Woodrow Wilson had an Airedale called Davie, Warren Harding had one called Laddie Boy, and Calvin Coolidge had Paul Pry.

Why Trust Us?

This article was written by pet parents, for pet parents, and reviewed by our expert veterinary panel. We understand you want to ensure you are only using the best products to support your pet’s health and happiness. At veterinarians.org our mission is to provide you with the most up-to-date information and resources you need on the products you buy for your pet.

Our specialized content team of writers, reviewers, and veterinarians analyzes all of the information for you and presents it in an easy-to-understand format. We independently research and test the best products so you can make an informed decision since your pet only deserves the best.