The first Airedales looked completely different from the Airedales
of today. They were originally known as the Waterside and Bingley
Terriers, descended from the now extinct black-and-tan type terrier.
The breed was later crossed with the Otter Hound to make him a better
swimmer. It is also said to have the Manchester Terrier in its blood
lines. They were developed about a hundred years ago in the county
of York from the ancient Working Terrier being used as a vermin
The Airedale is often called "The King of Terriers,”
and was named from the Valley of the Aire, which was heavily populated
with small game. In addition to his role as a small game hunter,
the Airedale has been used to hunt big game in India, Africa, and
Canada. The breed was also used as a police dog and a wartime guard
in World War II. Today the Airedale is primarily a companion dog,
but there are still working lines to be found.
The Airedale Terrier is the largest of the terriers and stands
square in appearance. The skull is about the same length as the
muzzle, with a very slight stop that is hard to see. The head is
long and flat. The nose is black. The teeth should meet in a level,
vice-like or scissors bite. The small eyes are dark in colour. The
v-shaped ears fold slightly to the side of the head and forward.
The chest is deep. The top line of the back is level. The front
legs are perfectly straight. The tail is set high on the back.
The double coat has a hard, dense and wiry outer coat with a soft
undercoat. Coat colours include tan and black and tan and grizzle.
The head and ears should be tan, with the ears being a slightly
darker shade of tan. The legs, thighs, elbows and the under part
of the body and chest are also tan, sometimes running into the shoulder.
In some lines there is a small white blaze on the chest. The back
of the dog, sides and upper parts of the body should be black or
dark grizzle in colour.
The Airedale Terrier can be part of a family with children as long
as the proper boundaries are adhered to although they can be quite
lively and therefore not ideal with small children. A courageous
and protective dog that is fairly friendly with strangers being
Intelligent, pleasant and loyal. Sensitive and responsive, the Airedale
can be obedience trained at a high level. Airedale Terriers are
fun-loving and playful when they are puppies.
Airedales will be happy to please you, as long as there is nothing
to distract them such as another dog or food. An Airedale is extremely
loyal but often do not return when recalled because of their hunting
instinct. They are naturally lively and can be very rowdy if they
do not have the exercise they require. Train this dog not to paw
or try to jump up at people they meet.
The Airedale Terrier needs proper obedience training and an owner
who knows that being the pack leader is paramount. The Airedale
Terrier may have dominance challenges toward family members he sees
as submissive. This can lead to wilfulness and disobedience. They
are easily trained and will not respond to harsh overbearing training
The Airedale Terrier is intelligent enough to perceive quickly
what is required of it, but if you ask it to do the same thing over
and over again it may refuse. Try to give it some variety to its
training, making it challenging. They need a calm, but firm, confident
and consistent handler. With the right handler, the Airedale Terrier
can do well in various dog sports. This breed generally gets along
well with household cats and other animals, but they sometimes try
to dominate other dogs.
Height: Dogs 56-61 cm. Bitches 56-58 cm
Weight: Dogs 23-29 kg. Bitches 18-20 kg
A very hardy breed, although some may suffer from eye problems,
hip dysplasia and skin infections. If your Airedale Terrier has
dry skin, he should be fed a food high in omega-6/omega-3 fatty
The Airedale Terrier is not recommended to live in flats or small
dwellings. They are very active indoors and will do best with at
least an average-sized garden.
Airedales were bred for active work, and therefore need plenty
of exercise. They need to be taken for at least two medium to long
walks a day. Most of them love to play with a ball, swim, or retrieve
objects and once fully grown will happily run alongside a bicycle.
Without enough attention and exercise the Airedale Terrier will
become restless and bored and will usually get itself into trouble.
The exercise requirement can go down somewhat after the first two
years (as with many dogs) when they start to get mellower
About 10-12 years
Average of 9 puppies
Airedales have a hard, short-haired, double coat. The hair should
be stripped about twice a year, but for dogs that are to be shown,
much more intensive grooming is needed. Trim excessive hair between
the pads of the feet when necessary. If you keep the coat stripped
it will shed little to no hair, however if you do not strip the
coat, you will most likely find fur piles around your floor, even
with trimming, and brushing almost every day. They actually require
a good bit of grooming. Burrs stick in the coat and beard. The beard
should be washed daily because of food residue.