His size, strength, and unflagging spirit have earned the Airedale Terrier the nickname “The King of Terriers.” The Airedale stands among the world’s most versatile dog breeds and has distinguished himself as hunter, athlete, and companion.
Friendliness towards other pets
Friendliness towards strangers
Airedale Terriers are hard-working, hard-playing dogs with boundless energy. The are vigilant and protective, making them excellent watchdogs, though they are friendly to family and friends. A true family dog, the Airedale loves attention from all people, will enjoy running and playing with children by day, and curling up for a belly rub with parents by night.
Care - Nutrition
The Airedale Terrier should do well on a 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. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human 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.
Care - Grooming Needs
The Airedale has a short, wiry coat that needs relatively little maintenance. Weekly brushing keeps the coat looking good and has the additional advantage of removing dead hair that would otherwise be shed around the house. (Some people with dog allergies have found that they can share a living space with a well-brushed Airedale without suffering any symptoms.) If the weekly session turns up any mats, they should be broken up with the fingers and then teased apart with a comb. Full grooming — where the dog is bathed, brushed, and stripped or clipped — should be done three or four times a year, either by the owner or a professional groomer.
Care - Exercise
The Airedale Terrier is a working dog, and has the energy and stamina that goes with it. He needs regular exercise — at least one walk a day, although two is preferable, coupled with a good romp in the backyard. The Airedale loves to retrieve, play, swim, and goof around. He is a great jogging companion, and in many cases, will tire out his owner.Training and socialization (the process by which puppies or adults dogs learn how to be friendly and get along with other dogs and people) are essential for the Airedale, beginning with puppy classes. Incorporate socialization with training by taking your Airedale with you to many different places — the pet supply store, outdoor events, long walks in busy parks. (Even if you don't imagine many children will be visiting your home, it is important to expose him early to kids of all ages.) Anywhere there are a lot of people to meet and sights to see is a good place to take an Airedale.Crate training is also strongly recommended with the Airedale Terrier. Not only does it aid in housetraining, it also provides him a safe den in which to settle down and relax. In general, Airedales do very well with most training as long as you remember that they have a mind of their own. Ask him to sit or stay in full sunlight in the middle of the summer and it's very likely he'll decide he'd prefer to do so in the shade.Positive reinforcement is the best way to teach an Airedale. If you approach training with a positive, fun attitude, and you have a lot of patience and flexibility, there's an excellent chance you will have freethinking Airedale who is also well trained.
Major concerns: CHD Minor concerns: gastric torsion Occasionally seen: colonic disease Suggested tests: hip Life span: 10-13 years
Breed Fun Facts/History
The Airedale has the distinction of being the largest of the Terriers. The first attempt at creating the Airedale Terrier, although no one had a blueprint in mind at that time, was in 1853. A Rough-Coated Black and Tan Terrier was bred with an Otterhound in hopes of creating a well-rounded sporting dog that could hunt otters in the rivers and rats on land.The first crossbreeding produced a dog that possessed the keenness of a terrier and was able to swim and scent game. The crosses were called Waterside or Bingley Terriers and within 12 years of the first crossbreeding, the dog had become a popular sporting terrier.In 1864, the first dog show in the Aire Valley was held and the Waterside Terrier competed under the Broken-Haired Terriers class (the Waterside or Bingley Terrier name was not mentioned until 1879). Author Hugh Dalziel, after judging the dog at a show, went on to describe the Bingley Terrier as "par excellence... an exceedingly good one." His comments brought immediate interest in the breed and a cry of protest from its fans who decried the fact that Dalziel pinpointed Bingley as the breed's birthplace.At this time, a group of fanciers joined together and decided that the Waterside or Bingley Terrier should be renamed the Airedale Terrier. It is believed that the actual name was first suggested by Dr. Gordon Stables, who had judged the dogs a year before Dalziel, but that fact is difficult to validate. In 1880, Dalziel again had the opportunity to judge the Airedale Terrier and referred to the dog as such in his report.The name Airedale Terrier was not accepted or commonly used at first, which generated much confusion. At various shows, classes were made for either one or all three names for the breed and it wasn't until 1886, that the Kennel Club in England accepted Airedale Terrier as the official name of the breed.The Airedale Terrier Club of America was founded in 1900 and, in 1910, the club started a perpetual trophy that is offered at parent club shows. This trophy is known as the Airedale Bowl and has the names of winners' engraved on the bowl and pedestal.Airedale Terriers were used throughout World War I as messengers, sentries, carriers of food and ammunition, scouts, ambulance dogs, ratters, Red Cross casualty dogs, sled dogs, and guard dogs. The war brought stories of the Airedale Terrier's bravery and loyalty and sparked popularity in the breed. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Warren Harding, and Calvin Coolidge were among the many people who owned and fancied the breed.In 1949, the Airedale Terrier was ranked 20th in popularity by the American Kennel Club, but has since dropped in rank. Part of this decline is due to the increased use of German Shepards in roles traditionally filled by Airedales.