What are Airedales like?

Few breeds manage to be as stylish, noble, athletic, protective, and goofy as an Airedale. Once you've owned a good one, the only thing better is two or three more.

Characteristics

The finest animal on the planet"The finest animal on the planet"

Airedale Terriers enjoy a splendid reputation for reliability, courage, strength, devotion and all-round usefulness.

Whether a show dog or a big game hunter, the Airedale is a jolly companion for his master, a joker and a loving pet for the children.

The Airedale will protect its famly even at the risk of loosing its own life with unrivalled determination.

And yet it will tend a baby and look after the toddlers. It is claimed that the Airedale is the only breed that babysits.

Airedales also have a clownish streak that both amuses and exasperates their owners. Often a failure in training results in behavior so comical that the owner and anyone watching will laugh.

Airedale bowAiredale bow

The Airedale Terrier is highly intelligent and can be a quick learner, but true to his terrier heritage, he is often stubborn and unforgiving of harsh treatment.

Hard or abusive training methods will bring failure because the Airedale is truly tougher than any trainer.

Airedale stoicism is a blessing and a curse. Because he is well able to withstand pain and injury, the Airedale’s hurts and illnesses often go unnoticed until they become severe and require veterinary attention. Fortunately, the breed is hardy and has few health problems.

It's important to also note that the Airedale is a very energetic dog as well as being very family-oriented. The Airedale has a great need for affection. He must be part of the family. You can't send him to some lonely backyard prison and expect to have anything other than an exuberant juvenile delinquent on your hands.

Airedales were bred for active work, and therefore need plenty of exercise. Most of them love to play with a ball, swim or retrieve objects and once fully grown will happily run alongside a bicycle.

The exercise requirement does go down somewhat after the first two years (as with many dogs) but the first two years with an Airedale can be very strenuous on the human.

Appearance

General

Keen of expression and a swash buckling attitude, the Airedale Terrier is the largest of the terriers. He is a muscular, active, fairly cobby dog.

The Airedale Terrier is outgoing and confident, friendly, courageous and intelligent. Alert at all times, not aggressive, but fearless.

Colour

Body saddle black or grizzle (blue or red), as is top of the neck and top of surface of tail. All other parts are tan in colour. Ear colour is often a darker tan than the other parts of the body.

Coat

Airedale terrierAiredale terrier

Hard, dense and wiry, not so long as to appear ragged. Outer coat hard, wiry and stiff; undercoat shorter and softer. Hardest coats are crinkling or just slightly wave; curly or soft coat is undesirable.

Size and weight

The height of an Airedale Terrier is between 58 to 61cm (23 to 24 inches) for dogs, taken from the top of the shoulder; bitches are between 56 to 59cm (22 to 23 inches).

Weight is generally between 20 to 26kg.

Care and maintenance

Like all dogs, a well-balanced diet will maintain a happy, healthy animal. Regular immunisations and checks with the vet are essential to your dog’s long term well being.

Airedale Terriers are considered a "groomed breed" and require either hand stripping or clipping to keep their classic shape, as well as regular brushing.

The Airedale does not shed hair continuously, but will after the winter need thorough brushing to remove the dead hair. See more about grooming.