The Airedale Terrier is a larger sized terrier breed. They are animated and full of energy. They have been used as a work dog and also as a companion dog. So, they have a great balance of work ethic and playful attitude.
The Airedale Terrier has smooth walk and style. The body is short and the hind area is muscular in build. They are parallel to the ground with no slope in their back. The tail is straight with no curl. The chest is deep, yet lean. The shoulders are tight to the body and the neck is held high on the shoulders. The head is also held high with a well balanced appearance. The ears are wedge shaped and fold over and the eyes are dark, yet full of life. The lips are delicate and the muzzle is tapered. They have a beard and mustache, typical of terriers and bushy eyebrows. The skin is tight without wrinkles and the coat is wavy. Coloring can be black and tan, usually with a black saddle and tan points.
The coat of the Airedale Terrier is a double coat with a wavy outer coat and a soft inner coat. It is medium in length, though often trimmed to assist with grooming. They have a beard and bushy eyebrows which are almost always left untrimmed.
The Airedale Terrier came from Scotland in the 1800s. They were used as hunting dogs by farmers. The larger size was achieved by breeding terriers and Otterhounds and created a dog that was a better swimmer than most terriers and had better hunting skills. They have also been used as police dogs and even as a safari hunter. Many Airedale Terriers have made their way onto the big screen as stars in movies. They are well behaved and so smart that they make natural actors.
The Airedale Terrier has plenty of energy. It can be demanding and try to become the leader. They are a smart breed that will learn fast, but also sometimes be too smart and try to outsmart a trainer. They have to be taught with a firm manner so they learn that they can not pull one over on anyone.
This breed is a great dog for a family. They do well with children and other pets, but always must be watched for the characteristic terrier possessive nature. The Airedale Terrier does need to be used to cats before they can live happily with them, so it is best to only have a cat in the same house if the dog has been raised living with it. They can be rather independent and stubborn. However, good obedience training and socialization training will go a long ways towards preventing excessive behaviors.
The Airedale Terrier has fairly good health. They need regular vet visits and proper preventative care to maintain good health. The main issues that are encountered with the Airedale Terrier are hip dysplasia, gastric torsion and skin problems.
The Airedale Terrier does shed and will benefit from regular plucking of their wavy coat. This should be done three to four times per week. Many owners clip the coat to help prevent tangling and cut down on grooming care. The beard and eyebrows are usually allowed to grow out, though. The pads of the feet should be regularly trimmed of excess hair. The eyebrows and beard will need to be cleaned often, especially after eating. The ears, eyes and teeth should be wiped and cleaned often to prevent problems.
The Airedale Terrier needs plenty of exercise. They are great at getting enough exercise themselves if they are provided with a nice outdoor area and allowed out often throughout the day. They like to run about and take a role as a watchdog by patrolling the yard. They will also make a great friend to play games with. They can play almost any game you desire and are well adapt at playing fetch and tug of war. However, games that are aggressive in nature, like tug of war, may encourage a male dog to be overly aggressive, so care should be taken when playing with them.
This breed often does great with activities that are both physical and mental. They like a challenge and will thrive when they get to work at something. If they do not get enough mental stimulation they can be rather rotten in the house, often tearing things up and digging.
The Airedale Terrier Can be an excellent pupil. They have to be watched for stubborn behavior which can put a damper on training, however, they are very smart and can learn almost anything they are taught with ease. They are not aggressive towards people, but they do have a possessive nature which can manifest as aggressiveness towards other animals. They have to be well socialized and obedience training is quite important, especially if they are to be living with other pets in the home. They do best with consistent, firm training that is positive. They need both physical and mental challenges to prevent boredom and bad behavior. Training should always follow exercise so the dog is not overly excitable during training.