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Airedale Terrier

The Airedale terrier is a neat, upstanding, long-legged terrier. Overall, they are considered courageous, friendly, playful, trainable.

Overall Status

Height 21 to 23 inches at the shoulder
Temperament Friendly, Clever, Courageous
Weight 40 to 65 pounds
Life Expectancy 10 to 13 years
Coat Color Grizzle & Tan,Black & Tan
Barking Level Medium

Quick Factors

Dog Friendly
Exercise Need
Grooming Needs
Strangers Friendly
Family Affectionate
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Daily Care

Grooming Tips

Airedales need a weekly brushing and professional grooming every two months or so to look their best.

The family Airedale doesn’t have to be trimmed, but many owners do have him groomed by a professional groomer three to four times a year to give him a neat appearance (an untrimmed coat is thick, curly and unruly). The coat is either trimmed with clippers or by stripping, a process by which coat is thinned and shortened with a stripping knife, a sharp, comb-like tool, or a combination of both.

It is important to begin grooming the Airedale when he is very young. An early introduction teaches the independent Airedale that grooming is a normal part of his life, and teaches him to patiently accept the handling and fuss of the grooming process.

Weekly brushing is required to keep the coat neat between baths and trims. Airedales do not require frequent bathing, in fact, over-bathing this breed can cause the coat to break down and become soft, which is not the proper texture.

The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every few weeks. Keep the ears clean and dry to prevent infections. Check them weekly for redness or a bad odor that might indicate infection. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball moistened with a mild pH-balanced cleanser recommended by your veterinarian. Brush the teeth frequently for good overall health and fresh breath.

Exercise Tips

Terriersare generally known for their high energy levels. Given that the Airedale is the largest of all terriers, that energy must be channeled into safe outlets. Fortunately, Airedales love to play with other family members. A daily play session of moderate length, in additionto walks(or backyard time) several times a day, should be enough to satisfy the Airedale’s exercise requirements.

Airedales play well with children, but interactions with toddlers and smaller children should be closely supervised. Airedales are rangy but strong; that strength, combined with a boisterous personality, can lead to mishaps.

Feeding Tips

TheAiredale Terrier should do well on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian's supervision and approval.

Any diet should be appropriate to the dog's age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog's calorie consumption and weight level.

Treatscan be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about whichhuman foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Health Tips

Airedales are generally healthy dogs, and responsible breeders will test for health concerns such aship dysplasia, a malformation of the hip joint. AnAiredale’s earsshould be checked regularly to remove foreign matter and avoid a buildup of wax, and histeethshould be brushed regularly.


Airedale Terriers are known as quick learners, which means they’re actually relatively smart. This is a good thing, of course, but it comes with easy boredom.

If you're the kind of person who wants a dog to lounge around the house with them, this probably isn’t the dog for you. Airedale Terriers like to be challenged and can handle a surprising amount of training. Making sure that these dogs learn obedience from a young age is a priority.


Airedale Terriers are a relatively young breed, created in the 19th century by the working class rather than by aristocrats in the industrial Aire River Valley region of northern England. Their exact origin is not well-documented, but the Otterhound (for its sensitive nose), the Irish and Bull Terriers (for their tenacity) and the now-extinct Old English Rough Coated Black-and-Tan or Rat-Catcher Terrier (for its rough coat) are considered to be prominent in their development.

The breed probably began to be developed sometime in the 1840s. Like so many terriers, he was bred in a specific area to do a certain type of work over a certain type of terrain. Hailing from the Aire valley in Yorkshire, where by 1864 the miners and wool workers who favored them knew them as Working, Waterside or Bingley terriers, the proto Airedales hunted all types of game: fox, badger, weasel, otter, water rats and more. They worked on land and along the waterside, in partnership withOtterhounds, which did the actual water work.

The Airedale was first shown competitively in 1876 at Shipley, in the Aire River Valley, and became officially recognized in England shortly thereafter. The breed came to North America in the early 1880s, where it rapidly became known as a three-in-one gun dog – perfectly suited to hunt game birds on land, waterfowl on water and four-footed mammals wherever they might appear. Airedales grew steadily in popularity in the United States during the first part of the 20th century, especially among western farmers and ranchers.

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