Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier is the true king of terriers, with a size to match his personality. Although these dogs aren’t huge, they are the biggest of the terrier breeds. Airedales have graced many famous households and still today they’re quite popular. It’s no wonder, with a steady disposition and brave heart. Read on to learn more about the Airedale Terrier.

Description of the Airedale Terrier

These dogs are startlingly large for a terrier. That doesn’t mean they’re huge, but well proportioned and about knee-high. Airedales are constantly on the move: playing, exploring, and sometimes making trouble.

They’ve got a rectangular look about them, similar to many smaller terriers. Indeed, they look a bit like an overgrown version of a Welsh Terrier.

This breed was also bred in the United Kingdom, but in a northern part of England called Aire Valley. They were pioneered by factory workers who needed versatile hunters. Later, some even served as military canines.

Airedales have wiry hair with a beard and mustache. They come in a characteristic black and tan.

Life Expectancy and Size

These dogs stand a substantial 23 inches at the shoulder, and weigh 50 to 70 pounds. They definitely feel like large dogs, but are still agile enough to be adept hunters.

Airedale Terriers normally live between 11 and 14 years.

Protective Ability

This breed can be quite protective. Some Airedales are more territorial than others, but most have a strong desire to protect their people. With brave hearts and courageous spirits, these dogs have most components of an effective guard dog. Of course, this breed is much smaller and less intimidating than breeds like the German Shepherd.

It is important to socialize early. Most Airedales are inherently friendly, and it is important to reinforce this attitude.


Training and obedience classes are arguably more important for the Airedale than any other terrier. Because of their large size, they can cause massive amounts of trouble if their curiosity and energy are allowed to run out of hand.

Start training early to avoid big issues. These dogs respond well to reward- and relationship-based methods. They appreciate positive feedback, and are quickly responsive to food rewards.

To keep their attention, try short and frequent training sessions.

Energy Level

Airedales are typical terriers. They are energetic, athletic, and curious. These dogs absolutely need daily activities to keep their exuberant personalities in check. Otherwise, they will expend their energy in inopportune ways.

What Living with an Airedale Terrier is Like

This breed is great for an outgoing, athletic owner that isn’t worried about being prim and proper. These dogs have the spunk and tenacity of a terrier, but in a larger package. That means that they can wreak even more havoc.

However, many owners enjoy their lively spirit. Airedales are very loyal and love their owners unconditionally.

Care of the Airedale Terrier

These hardy dogs need social time and plenty of exercise. Otherwise, they don’t have many specific requirements.

Environmental Needs

Airedale Terriers will do just fine in most climates. They have no particular problem with the hot or the cold, but additional care may need to be taken in either extreme.

Exercise Needs

This breed needs to have some outlet to vent their energy each and every day. At minimum, they need one or two long walks. However, they’d rather break more of a sweat. They can easily keep up with joggers, hikers, and bikers. Some Airedales have difficulty off leash because of their hunting roots.

These dogs also enjoy playing with their owners. A safely enclosed yard can be perfect for this. Try games like fetch or Frisbee. Most Airedales won’t exercise themselves if simply thrown out in the yard alone.

Shedding and Grooming

Airedales have relatively low-shed coats. Moreover, their wiry coats trap the hair that does fall until it is brushed out.

Brush at least weekly to remove this excess hair and debris. These dogs will also need to be clipped a few times a year. Otherwise, only bathe when necessary.

Ideal Home Environment

This breed is popular with many types of people, including some former presidents. They are not short on personality, and should join a family that appreciates their spunk.

The ideal owner can provide the Airedale with enough energy and attention. Otherwise, they may become bored or lonely and destructive.

Health Concerns

The Airedale Terrier is generally a healthy and happy breed. As they age, they may begin to develop painful hips or deteriorating eyesight. Some of these dogs have also been reported to have heart disease. Maintain their fitness through exercise and diet to avoid any complicating issues.

Behavior Problems

This breed, especially as a puppy, can be a handful. Airedales need plenty of exercise to stay sane, and even then they may race around the house at breakneck speed. This is especially true of puppies, and most individuals calm down somewhat later in life. Do not expect a lapdog or a lazy one.