Airedale Terrier Information

Overview

The Airedale Terrier is the largest dog of the Terrier breeds and has been called "King of Terriers." The breed is thought to have been developed in the Valley of Aire, England. It may have descended from a black and tan terrier that is now extinct. Early Airedales had a completely different appearance and were known as Working, Waterside and Bingley Terriers. As time when on, the Airedale grew into a highly versatile dog, becoming known as the dog that could do it all. The Airedale has been used as a wartime guard, a messenger, in rodent control and for hunting birds and other game. They make a good family pet when given the correct mental stimulation and enough physical exercise.

Airedale Terrier
Basic Info
NameAiredale Terrier
Other NameWaterside Terrier, Bingley Terrier,Irish Red Terrier
OriginUnited Kingdom
Size Type Medium Dog Breeds
Breed Group Terrier Dog Breeds
Life Span11 -12.5 years
TemperamentIntelligent, Courageous, Confident, Outgoing, Alert, Friendly
HeightFemale: 22–23 inches; Male: 23–24 inches
WeightMale: 50–65 lbs; Female: 40–45 lbs
ColorsBlack saddle with tan ears, legs, and head; dark grizzle saddle (black mixed with gray and white)
Puppy Price$600 - $750 USD

Airedale Terrier

Physical description

Body Type

The Airedale stands on average 23 inches measured from shoulder to ground. Females are slightly shorter. The average weight for both sexes is 45 pounds. Airedales have a square appearance when standing. The muzzle is approximately the same length as the skull. The head is flat and long. Eyes are smallish and ears are V-shaped and fold to the side and forward. The teeth meet in a vice-like scissors bite. The foreface is strong, muscular and well filled in below the eyes.

The neck is moderately long and thick, gradually widening near the shoulders. The shoulder blades are long, flat and sloping down to the back. From a front view, the chest is deep but not broad. The ribs are well-sprung.

The loins are wide and muscular. The hindquarters are quite muscular, strong and do not droop. The base of the tail is set well up on the back, moderately long and carried gaily. The back is level, short and strong.

The forelegs are well-boned, muscular and perfectly straight. The elbows are perpendicular to the body. The stifles are well-bent and the hocks parallel to each other when viewed from the back. The feet are smallish, round and well padded, and toes are moderately arched.

Color

The Airedale has a double coat. The outer coat is dense and wiry and the undercoat is soft. The hair of the outer coat is straight, lays close and covers the body and legs well. Some of the coarser hairs of the outer coat may be kinked or wavy. The skin underneath the undercoat is tight, never loose.

The head and ears are tan with hair on the ears somewhat darker tan. There may be dark markings on each side of the skull. This is acceptable for AKC standards. The legs, thighs, elbows and undercarriage are tan. The tan color often runs into the shoulders. The upper parts of the body and sides are black or dark grizzle. There may be red mixed in with the black, which is also acceptable. Some strains of the breed have a small white blaze on the chest.

Coat

The Airedale has a double coat. The outer coat is dense and wiry and the undercoat is soft. The hair of the outer coat is straight, lays close and covers the body and legs well. Some of the coarser hairs of the outer coat may be kinked or wavy. The skin underneath the undercoat is tight, never loose.

The head and ears are tan with hair on the ears somewhat darker tan. There may be dark markings on each side of the skull. This is acceptable for AKC standards. The legs, thighs, elbows and undercarriage are tan. The tan color often runs into the shoulders. The upper parts of the body and sides are black or dark grizzle. There may be red mixed in with the black, which is also acceptable. Some strains of the breed have a small white blaze on the chest.

Characteristics
Good with Kids
 
Cat Friendly
 
Dog Friendly
 
Trainability
 
Shedding
 
Watchdog
 
Intelligence
 
Grooming
 
Popularity
 
Adaptability
 
Hypoallergenic  Yes

Grooming

The coarse, short hair of the Airedale's outer coat should be plucked around twice a year. More intensive grooming is necessary for those that are to be shown. The breed requires a good deal of brushing and grooming to avoid piles of shedding hair in the house. It is likely that the dog will need brushing every day. The beard needs washing daily to remove food residue.

Professional grooming for Airedales is highly recommended. Groomers use a method known as "hand-stripping" as opposed to clipping and scissoring. This keeps shedding to a minimum. After bathing an Airedale, the coat should be dried with a full-force hair dryer.

Check the coat and feet often for burrs. Keep excessive hair between the pads trimmed. Check the ears weekly and clean as needed. Brushing teeth twice a week will keep tarter from building up and help keep gums healthy.

History

The first Airedales were known as Bingley and Waterside Terriers. Looking much different than today's Airedale, they were descendants of a black and tan type of terrier that is now extinct. The former terriers were latter crossed with an Otterhound and possibly a Manchester Terrier to develop a good swimming dog. These dogs were developed at least a hundred years ago in the country of York.

The resulting dogs were used as a vermin hunter. The name Airedale comes from the Valley of Aire in England, a place heavily populated with small game. In addition to hunting small game here, the Airedale has been used to hunt larger game in India, Africa and Canada. During World War II, Airedales were used as police and guard dogs. Although the breed is used mainly for companionship today, there are a few working lines that exist. These jobs include rodent control, tracking, hunting, police work, military work, watchdog and obedience competition.

Temperament

The Airedale is a very intelligent breed and can be trained for obedience at a high level. The trainer should vary the training, as the Airedale will tire of doing the same task over and over and refuse to obey. They will not respond to harsh training. They should be trained not to jump on people.

The Airedale is loyal, pleasant and sensitive. They are playful and fun-loving, especially as puppies. They are good around children with early exposure and socialization. They may be too rough in play with very small children.

Airedales need plenty of mental stimulation and physical exercise. Otherwise, they will be too rowdy indoors. Avid hunters, they will take after small game such as rabbits and squirrels. They will do best on fenced property to keep them from wandering while chasing game. They get along well with other household pets. They may try to dominate other dogs. The owner/trainer must let an Airedale know that he or she is the "leader of the pack."


Interesting Airedale Terrier Facts

 

  • The Airedale's coat was designed to protect it from predators by coming out into the claws of the predator the dog was intended to hunt.

 

  •  The Airedales was the most popular breed of dog in the U.S.in 1920.

 

  •  U.S.Presidents Roosevelt, Coolidge and Harding owned Airedales in the White House.