The origins of the Airedale Terrier can be traced back to the 1800's in England and was originally bred to hunt otter and badger. This largest breed of terrier takes it's name from the valley of Aire in the county of Yorkshire that was once densley populated by small game and is also sometimes known by the names of Waterside Terrier and Bingley Terrier.
Often called The King of Terriers, it has been employed as a police dog and used in the second world war as a guard dog. Today it is more likely to be seen as a companion dog but is still utilized as a working dog for hunting, rodent control, tracking, and military work in some parts of the world.
This breed is part of the terrier group, first registered by the American Kennel Club in 1888.
This breed is a confident, friendly, high energy level dog. Always alert, courageous, intelligent and fearless.
Fun-loving and playful when they are puppies, but can be a bit robust for very young children.
These dogs need to be socialized at an early age, especially if they are to be part of a family with young children and other pets. They are, after all, bred as hunters, so it's best not to leave them alone with cats or small animals. When properly trained they will become a devoted and protective companion.
The life expectancy is about 10 to 12 years and if you decide to breed your dog you can expect a pregnant bitch to give birth to a litter of around 9 puppies.
In general, they are very hardy and healthy dogs. However there are some health problems that you should be aware of.
Airedale Terriers, like many other large breeds of dog, have significant occurrences of hip dysplasia. When you choose a puppy, always use a reputable breeder and ask them questions about the condition of the parents. If it is possible, ask to see them before you decide.
Allergies may be the cause. These allergies may have food or other lifestyle reasons at the root of the problem.
The outer layer of this dog's coat is very wiry but it has a soft undercoat. This breed should be groomed about once a week. This is not just to make him look good, but it is also an excellent opportunity to spot any potential health problems and deal with them as quickly as possible.
The grooming routine should also include paying particular attention to eyes and ears. If there is an unpleasant smell coming from your dog's ears, he could have an infection, so keep them clean. Prevent gum diseases by cleaning your dog's teeth regularly.
If your dog is exercised on soft ground he may need his nails clipping before they become too long. Don't neglect this or your dog could be in a lot of discomfort.
Remember to trim the hair on the bottom of his feet between the pads.
The Airedale Terrier presents quite a challenge when it comes to training.
This dog has been bred to assess situations and react accordingly on their own intuition. They are quick to understand what is asked of them but, with a high level of distraction, it is critical for the owner to keep the training program varied and interesting. These dogs don't respond well to repetition but they do like a challenge. A good trainer will be firm and confident but not severe and overbearing.
There can be dominance issues when an Airedale is first introduced to a new home, especially with other dogs, so the owner will have to establish quite quickly who is the alpha dog in the family, (that's you). Once the dog understands this he will fit quite happily into your family routine
Being a high energy dog, is not recommended for apartment life. They do need plenty of exercise and so will do best with at least an average to large sized yard.
Airedales need long daily walks. Most of them love to swim, or retrieve things like a ball or frisby.
They are extremely lively and can be very unruly and bored if they do not receive enough mental and physical exercise. This can result in the dog becoming destructive and a nightmare to live with through no fault of it's own.
As the dog gets older, his exercise requirement becomes less, but for a young Airedale Terrier you'll need to be fit yourself to keep up with him.