|Group classification: Terrier||Country of origin: England||Date of origin: 19th century|
|Weight (M): ~55 lb||Height (M): 23"||Life expectancy: 10 - 13 years|
|Weight (F): ~55 lb||Height (F): Slightly less|
General Description of the Airedale Terrier
Among the largest of the terriers, the Airedale has a long flat head and a very wiry and hard coat. The head gives the animal the terrier look, with sharp keen eyes and a beard reminiscent of a Scotty. The nose is always black. The ears are V-shaped and can fold to the back of the head depending on the dog’s mood. The dog stands completely square when in formation and is level with straight forequarters and strong hindquarters. The tail is carried high with a slight curve that should not reach the back of the animal. The outer coat is dense and wiry, and the undercoat is short and soft. Coloring is typically in various shades of tan, with darker markings on the saddle and upper parts of the dog; white markings on the chest are also occasionally seen.
Airedale Terrier Temperament
The Airedale is often considered the most flexible of the terriers, being able to herd, retrieve and hunt in addition to the traditional terrier calling of exterminating vermin. Like most terriers, however, the Airedale is strong-willed and occasionally stubborn, and without proper training the dog’s considerable working skills will go to waste. Be firm when training your Airedale and make sure he knows you’re the boss, or he could become domineering and intractable. The dog is exceptionally intelligent and can pick up new tricks with surprising speed. In fact, it is fairly common for an Airedale Terrier to seemingly “forget” a trick, when in fact he has simply grown bored with his owner repeating the same trick request and is ready to move on to something else! The dog is a devoted family member, and can actually provide a surprisingly high level of protection. As one would expect with a protective dog, the Airedale is not the most open to new people and dogs, and should be taught and encouraged to socialize amiably. The Airedale Terrier is an alpha dog and can become hostile to another dog it perceives as challenging its supremacy; a small dog is therefore typically a better companion to this breed.
Caring for an Airedale Terrier
The Airedale Terrier is a highly active breed, and needs a chance to exercise everyday. The dog is especially fond of being let loose in a field where it can play an invigorating game, explore and dig. Grooming requirements are substantial, and include biweekly combing and monthly clipping and shaping. Puppies will sometimes need to have their ears “glued” to ensure proper shape. This hardy breed can live outdoors in temperate climates, but is much happier indoors with its family. The Airedale Terrier is a very healthy breed with few inherited diseases. Some things to watch out for include canine hip dysplasia, gastric torsion and hypothyroidism.