Airedale Terrier - Dog Breed Info, Temperament & Facts

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The Airedale Terrier, developed in the 1800s in England’s Aire region, was originally bred for hunting otters and badgers. These terriers are the largest in their breed, with males standing around 23 inches tall and weighing up to 50 pounds. They sport a wiry, often brown, medium-length double coat, with a black or grizzled saddle. With a lifespan of 11 to 14 years, similar to other dogs of similar size, the Airedale Terrier requires significant care and is known for being very sociable. Recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1888, they currently rank as the 55th most popular dog breed in the United States.

Below, we look at Airedale Terrier dog breed, its history, personality, pros and cons of owning an Airedale Terrier, characteristics, and must-see facts. We will also examine how to care for this breed and more. Prepare for a tail-wagging adventure into the world of Airedale Terriers!

Dog Breed Airedale Terrier
Size Medium
Weight 40-47 lbs (average)
Height 21-23″ (average)
Location England
Ancestry Otterhounds, Various Terrier Breeds
Date of Origin 1800s
Group Badger, Otter and Fox Hunting
Life Expectancy 9-13 years
Price $600 – $800
Family Canidae
Scientific Name Canis Lupus Familiaris

📖 Breed History

The Airedale Terrier is the largest terrier breed and is often called the King of Terriers. It originated in England in the mid-1800s near the Aire River, which is where it gets its name. This breed was developed by mixing different terrier breeds, including Otterhounds, Old English Black and Tan Terriers (now extinct), and Bull Terriers. The Yorkshiremen who bred these dogs used them to hunt large rats on the Aire River and even held rat hunting competitions.

Originally known as Waterside or Bingley Terriers, they were later renamed Airedale Terriers in 1878 after their place of origin. As the breed gained popularity in dog shows, breeders started focusing more on the dog’s appearance and began breeding them with Bull and Irish Terriers. One notable Airedale Terrier, named Master Briar, became a star in 1900 after winning numerous show championships.

The Airedale Terrier has a rich history of famous owners, including the late actor John (Duke) Wayne, who owned a dog named Little Duke. President Woodrow Wilson had an Airedale named Davie, Calvin Coolidge owned Laddie Buck (also called Paul Pry), and Warren Harding owned one named Laddie Boy. These dogs also served alongside troops in World War I, performing various roles such as hunting, messaging, and guarding. They are still occasionally used in law enforcement today.

While they were primarily bred for hunting in the past, Airedale Terriers are now commonly found as companion pets in homes. They are known for their loyalty and strong protective instincts towards their family. They make excellent guard dogs and are highly devoted to their owners.

🐕 Airedale Terrier Appearance

Their skull should be long and flat, and their foreface should be evenly proportioned. Small, triangular-shaped, and pointing to the sides are the ears. They have a black snout and narrow, intelligent-looking dark eyes. Strong, white teeth with a flat, vice-like bite should be present in Airedale Terriers. Shoulder blades should be flat, and the neck should be relatively long and thick. The back is short and muscular, and the chest is deep but not wide. Straight, powerful, and in proportion to the rest of the body are the legs. The Airedale Terrier should have tiny, rounded feet with thick, cushioned pads. The short, wiry coat need to have a thick, somewhat waved coat. For warmth, there is a softer layer below. The head, ears, and sides of an Airedale Terrier should all be tan, and the back and sides should be black or heavily grizzled. On their chest, some dogs have a little white blaze.

👀 Eye Color Brown
🐽 Nose Color Black
🐕 Coat Color Black, Gray, Cream

Fun Fact: Airedale Terrier dogs are a social breed. They enjoy being around people or other animals. This breed doesn’t tolerate being left alone.


🐶 Traits & Temperament of Airedale Terrier

The personality and intelligence of Airedale Terriers are excellent. They must be trained to stop them from doing mischievously when left unsupervised, like as chewing up your furniture or digging tunnels under the fence. If you allow them, this breed will play nonstop and has to be socialized. Unless there is a cause, they rarely bark, but when they do, they really know how to bark. Friendly and devoted dogs who like their family yet do not back down from difficulties are Airedale Terriers. Since they are quite brave and fearless, you must introduce them to your friends or other guests that are invited into your home in order to stop them from attacking. Your Airedale Terrier will be a fantastic addition to the family if you give him the love, care, and training he needs. Being focused is crucial since a bored Airedale Terrier could create trouble.

🤝 Are Airedale Terriers Friendly or Aggressive?

Airedale Terrier dogs thrive when they are the sole pet in the family. They are not particularly fond of strangers and may not be the most welcoming towards them. However, Airedale Terriers are known to be friendly and good with children, making them a suitable option for families with kids. On the other hand, they are not cat-friendly or dog-friendly, so if you are looking to have multiple pets or participate in dog meetups, the Airedale Terrier may not be the most suitable choice. Additionally, they are often recommended for elderly individuals.

This breed is known for being:

  • Playful
  • Energetic
  • Alert
  • Courageous
  • Intelligent
  • Confident
  • Friendly
  • Outgoing
  • Obedient
  • Loyal
  • Adaptable
  • Brave
  • Balanced

🐩 Airedale Terrier Care & Maintenance

Although this breed doesn’t shed a lot, it still has to be brushed with a slicker brush once a week and groomed at least once every few months to maintain its attractive appearance. Although it is not necessary to trim them, many Airedale Terrier owners do so a few times a year, either hiring a groomer or doing it themselves. If not, their hair could be overly thick and unkempt. Be ready to spend at least one or two hours a day with your dog because Airedale Terriers are active and require a lot of human care. They don’t do well in apartments, but if they had to live there, they’d prefer to have a huge space with a yard to play in. However, if your Airedale is left in the yard unattended for an extended period of time without much to do, you can discover holes everywhere. Like other dogs, they require the appropriate quantity of high-quality food that is suggested for their breed, age, and weight.

Airedale Terrier dogs do not shed a lot of hair. This is a normal part of their hair growth cycle. The amount and frequency of hair loss can vary depending on their overall health and the breed they belong to. In terms of bathing, it is generally recommended to give them a bath every 4-6 weeks.

🍖 Food: We recommend 3 cups daily, costing you about $2.00 – $2.25 daily, or approximately $60.00 – $67.50 a month.

🐾 Exercise: Airedale Terrier dogs need quite a lot of exercise. Daily walks should be on schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.

This dog breed requires to be walked for roughly 7 miles per week, which equates to about 60 minutes of physical activity daily. This consistent moderate exercise regimen will help maintain their physical wellness and significantly contribute to their mental stimulation. Consciously setting aside this time for your furry friend can dramatically enhance their life quality, helping them stay energetic, healthy, and mentally alert.

Did you know: Airedale Terrier dogs are high-energy dogs. An active lifestyle makes them happy.


❤️‍🩹 Airedale Terrier Health & Issues

Some of the major concerns for Airedale Terrier Dog Breed can be:

  • Entropion
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Cerebellar Abiotrophy

While minor concerns include:

  • Thyroid
  • Corneal Opacities
  • Heart Problems

🤧 Important: Is Airedale Terrier hypoallergenic? Yes.

Bonus: Check out cool, creative, and funny names for Airedale Terrier.


⚡ Airedale Terrier Dog Breed Facts

What makes the Airedale Terrier a great choice for families with young children?
The Airedale Terrier is a great choice for families with young children because they are known to be friendly and loyal dogs. They love their family and are very good with children. However, it is important to always supervise interactions between the dog and young children to ensure everyone’s safety.

Is the Airedale Terrier breed considered a suitable breed for apartment living?
The Airedale Terrier breed is generally not considered suitable for apartment living. They are a larger breed and require a significant amount of exercise and space to roam. Airedale Terriers are best suited for homes with a yard or access to outdoor areas where they can get ample exercise.

How much exercise does a Airedale Terrier require compared to other breeds?
Airedale Terriers require a moderate amount of exercise compared to other breeds. They are an active breed and need daily walks or runs, as well as mental stimulation through play and training. Regular exercise is important to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors.

Is the Airedale Terrier breed known for being good with other pets?
Airedale Terriers can be good with other pets if properly socialized from a young age. However, due to their hunting instincts, they may have a higher prey drive towards smaller animals. It is important to introduce them to other pets gradually and supervise their interactions.

What are other low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Airedale Terrier?
Some low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Airedale Terrier include the Boston Terrier, Bulldog, and Basset Hound. These breeds have lower exercise needs and may require less grooming compared to the Airedale Terrier.

What are the common health issues that Airedale Terriers are prone to?
Airedale Terriers are generally a healthy breed, but they are prone to certain health issues. Common health issues in Airedale Terriers include hip dysplasia, allergies, hypothyroidism, and certain types of cancer. Regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy lifestyle can help prevent or manage these issues.

Are Airedale Terriers known to be easy to train compared to other breeds?
Airedale Terriers are intelligent dogs and can be relatively easy to train. However, they can also be strong-willed and independent, so consistent and positive reinforcement training methods are recommended. Early socialization and obedience training are crucial for a well-behaved Airedale Terrier.

Are Airedale Terriers more prone to separation anxiety compared to other breeds?
Airedale Terriers may be prone to separation anxiety if not properly trained and provided with enough mental and physical stimulation. Like many breeds, they thrive on human companionship and may become anxious or exhibit destructive behaviors when left alone for long periods of time.

Are there any dog breeds similar to the Airedale Terrier that are suitable for people with allergies?
Some dog breeds similar to the Airedale Terrier that are suitable for people with allergies include the Poodle, Portuguese Water Dog, and Irish Water Spaniel. These breeds have hypoallergenic coats that produce fewer allergens.

What sizes of dogs similar to the Airedale Terrier are best for individuals or families with limited space?
For individuals or families with limited space, smaller dogs similar to the Airedale Terrier, such as the Welsh Terrier or Miniature Schnauzer, may be a better fit. These breeds have similar characteristics but are more suitable for smaller living spaces.

Is the Airedale Terrier breed known to be good with children with special needs?
Airedale Terriers can be good with children with special needs, as they are generally patient and gentle. However, as with any dog, it is important to assess the individual dog’s temperament and supervise interactions to ensure the safety of both the child and the dog.

How does the grooming and shedding needs of the Airedale Terrier?
The grooming needs of the Airedale Terrier are higher compared to some other breeds. They have a medium-length double coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting. Additionally, they may need professional grooming every few months to maintain their coat’s appearance. Airedale Terriers are moderate shedders.


We use reliable and publicly available data and resources such as AKC and American Canine Registry to ensure that Airedale Terrier dog breed information is accurate and up to date. If you spot an error, please don’t hesitate to bring it to our attention.

Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy is a seasoned writer and an enthusiast of dog breed expertise. Having dedicated over 5 years to studying the intricacies of different dog breeds and their unique characteristics. His profound insights and love for our four-legged friends have made him an invaluable part of our DogsInsights.com team.

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