Airedale Terrier

June 22, 2020 // 7 minute read

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Airedale Terriers or also known as the “King of the Terriers,” is the largest dog breed in the Terrier group. The Airedale Terrier stands at the height of 23 inches and weigh 50 to 70 pounds, which makes them medium to large-sized dogs. Their bodies are covered with a wiry coat that comes in tan color with black markings.

Although the largest of the Terrier dogs, Airedales are playful, energetic, and can be stubborn. They thrive for human companionship and causing mischief. They are not excellent pets for first-time dog owners, but they make excellent companions for experienced ones.

Airedale Terrier Breed

Airedale Terrier Statistics

Dog Breed GroupTerrier
Breed SizeMedium
Height23 inches
Weight50-70 pounds
Lifespan11-14 years

Airedale Terrier Ratings

Energy level
Exercise needs
Requires attention
Friendly with family
Friendly with kids
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other dogs
Prey Drive

Airedale Terrier Dog Breed


The history of the Airedales can be traced back to 1864 when they were first introduced in a dog show in Aire Valley. But it is believed that their breeding started in 1853.

Like other Terriers, the Airedales were originally bred to hunt vermin of various sizes. They are created to be large and fearless to take care of pests in the manufacturing company.

The dog breed was originally called Waterside or Bingley Terrier. But a group of fanciers suggested that it be changed to Airedale Terriers. Debates have come on several sides as to the name of the breed, and by 1886, the England Kennel Club registered Airedale Terriers as the official name.

For years, Airedales have been used for several work jobs. They have been messengers, sentries, and guard dogs during the first World War. They are hunting dogs for both land and water. The name King of Terriers is fitting for their incredible versatility.

Now, they rank 59th in the most popular dog breeds in the US. Because aside from being excellent working dogs, they are also great family companions.

Airedale Terrier Temperament

Airedale Terriers are described to be friendly, smart, and courageous dogs. They may be a handful as puppies, but as they grow mature, they are dignified and self-assured.

As a Terrier dog, Airedales are playful and athletic. They love games, and they love doing this with their family. If you own one, you mustn’t let him feel bored as they can become destructive. He’ll find ways to entertain themselves, and this is in the form of digging holes in your beautiful landscape.

They are affectionate with family members and can become protective when the need arises. These dogs are reliable watchdogs and guardians.

And unlike other Terriers, having the blend of Hound in their genes, made these dogs a bit soft. They can get along well with other dogs than many other Terrier breeds. They are also tolerant of other pets raised with them.

If you’re looking for a family pet, Airedales will make excellent family members. They get along well with children but must be supervised if left with toddlers.

Airedales are aloof to strangers, but they are not aggressive. Early socialization is highly essential, so these dogs grow to be well-rounded. It helps if they are introduced to new people, animals, sights, and sounds.

Training should also come easy. Airedales are intelligent dogs so that you wouldn’t have a lot of problems with them. Just make sure to treat them kindly and never be harsh. They are sensitive dogs, and he’ll remember if you ever mistreated them.

Airedale Terrier Care Requirements

  • Nutrition: As highly energetic dog breeds, the Airedale Terrier needs a well-balanced diet. Regardless if you’re feeding them with home-cooked meals or dog food, it’s essential only to feed them high-quality food. For dog food, make sure to buy premium dog food that doesn’t contain any fillers. These are safer, and it’s easier for them to digest. For home-cooked meals, all you need is to have a balance of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Protein should come from high-quality animal meat such as beef, poultry, lamb, or fish. You can also add some fruits and vegetables as sources of fiber and vitamins.
  • Grooming: The Airedale Terrier’s short, wiry coat sheds occasionally but needs to be brushed frequently to avoid mats and tangles. Weekly brushing would help remove debris and any loose hair that can scatter on your floor and furniture. But it’s best to brush more often than that, especially when it’s shedding season. Bathing should be done three or four times a year, and this would include clipping the hair as necessary. It will help if you bring your dog to a professional groomer for expert care. Ears should be cleaned regularly even if you’re not bathing them. This is important in removing ear infections. Nails should be trimmed as frequently as possible and should never be kept longer if you don’t want your dog to feel any discomfort or pain.
  • Exercise: Airedale Terriers, just like any other Terrier breeds, have relatively high energy. They also love to play and join in the family fun. Exercise should be given daily in the form of long walks or play. Keep them on a leash during walks, and make sure to have a secured fence if you’ll let them off your backyard. These dogs make excellent playmates for children, and it’s an excellent exercise for them too. However, if you’ll let them play with toddlers, supervision is necessary.
  • Health: Airedale Terriers are also prone to certain health conditions; most are genetically transferred. The most common diseases the breed can get are hip dysplasia, allergies, hypothyroidism, progressive retinal atrophy, umbilical hernia, von Willebrand’s diseases, and cancer. As most of these diseases are transferred from the parents, it’s best to meet one parent of your Airedale Terrier. This way, you’ll have an idea of what conditions to watch out for. Screening tests are also available for some health conditions, and it’s best to have your dog take one.
  • Lifespan: The life expectancy of Airedale Terriers is 11-14 years.

Airedale Terrier Puppy

Famous Airedale Terriers

  • Bruce: The first Airedale Terrier to come to America
  • Jack: An Airedale Terrier that earned the Victoria Cross, the highest honor in the UK; this is due to his bravery and success in delivering a message despite his many injuries
  • Colonel: An Airedale Terrier cast in the live-action movie “101 Dalmatians”
  • Davie, Laddie Boy, and Laddie Buck: The Airedale Terriers of Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, and Calvin Coolidge, respectively
  • Duke: John Wayne’s pet Airedale Terrier; John Wayne also got his nickname Duke from his pet
  • Ric: The Airedale Terrier of artist Lea Stein

Fun Facts about Airedale Terriers

  • Airedale Terriers originated in the Aire River Valley in England, where they got their name.
  • They were originally used as ratters.
  • These dogs were the result of crossbreeding the Old English Black and Tan Terriers (both are now extinct).
  • They’re the largest of the Terrier breeds.
  • They are also called “The King of Terriers” and “Jack of All Trades.”
  • They had served the British military during World War I as sentries and couriers.
  • They’re one of the first few breeds used for police work.
  • The breed has won four Best in Show Awards in the Westminster Dog Shows.
  • They first came to America in 1881.

Check Out Other Terrier Dog Breeds:
American Hairless Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Australian Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Border Terrier, Bull Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Cesky Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Glen of Imaal Terriers, Irish Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Norfolk Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier, Rat Terrier, Russell Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Sealyham Terriers, Skye Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Welsh Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier

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