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The Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier is a beautiful, strong and athletic dog – exhibiting all the tenacity and determination normally associated with terriers, only in a bigger package.

This fun loving dog makes an excellent family pet. They are affectionate with their owners and good with children, almost always ready to join in their games. However the Airedale Terrier tends to be suspicious of strangers, and can show aggression to unfamiliar people.

His territorial instinct makes him a good watchdog, however he cannot always discriminate between a friend and a stranger, and may give your children’s friends a hard time. Early obedience training and lots of socialization with people and other dogs is a must.

The Airedale Terrier is a stubborn breed: intelligent but sometimes difficult to train. He tends to be flighty and learn slowly. Don’t expect him to pick up on things as quickly as a Border Collie or German Shepherd. They need firm handling, but not too firm as they are often sensitive to the demands of training. If an Airedale resists learning a certain command, the last thing you should do is become even firmer. His resistance will increase. On the other hand he should not be spoiled either. A concise and incremental training technique needs to be implemented from the start.

But don’t let that scare you away, these dogs are very loyal, charming, and courageous, and have a huge heart. Airedale Terriers are also very active. A fenced yard is essential and it has to be a good fence or he will tunnel his way out with ease.

This breed needs daily exercise and makes a very good jogging partner. But that energy level makes him a less than ideal pet for the elderly and disabled. And if left alone for long periods he can become destructive and noisy. This breed also has a strong prey drive so be careful around small animals.

If you are considering an Airedale Terrier, consider your own personality. If you are a nervous person, chances are you’ll have a pushy, sometimes obnoxious dog that lacks confidence. If you tend to be overbearing you may bring out fear-based aggression. If you are firm without being pushy, and want a dog that has an active, tenacious temperament, then an Airedale might be right for you.

Breed History

This breed was developed by crossing the now extinct English black and tan terrier with Otterhound bloodlines. The Airedale was first used in 19th century England for big game hunting, vermin killing and police and military work. He is named after the valley of Aire in Yorkshire. He was first called Bingley or Waterside Terrier. After some decades, the breed was recognized as the Airedale Terrier. His size and courage kept increasing his fame as a hunting dog.

The Airedale is nicknamed the “King of the Terriers” and for good reason. He is the tallest of the terriers, standing 22-23 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 50 and 60 pounds. He has a strong, muscular and sturdy body and a wiry, non-shedding coat that requires frequent grooming with a stiff brush and periodic clipping. The coat sheds twice a year and for show dogs, professional hand stripping is needed at this time.


This is generally a very healthy breed although they are prone to skin irritations if not adequately groomed. Some may suffer from eye problems or hip dysplasia. They typically live 10-14 years and their average litter size is 8-9 pups.

Article Submitted By Isabella Miller.

Isabella Miller is a dog lover, who’s passionate to share her knowledge about pets. In her free time she helps finding a home for abandoned puppies and she writes at, a blog about dogs.

Image Source: Flickr