Airedale Terrier is the largest terrier dog, and has long been a working dog by nature. At first glance, it may look like a giant fox terrier in black and brown, but a closer look shows differences that go beyond size and color.
Friendly is the first thing that comes to mind when you see this large terrier. Indeed, Airedale terriers have a pleasant character, cute black eyes and gentle demeanor.
This does not prevent them from being good workers – after special training. So, the airedale terrier can be considered an excellent companion with the potential of a service dog.
If you are thinking of adopting a dog of these characteristics, it is essential that you are properly informed about its character and the care it requires because it is a very active dog with a particular personality. In this ‘ Pets Feed ‘ breed sheet, we will detail with you everything you need to know about the airedale terrier dog and its behavior. Read on:
The Airedale Terrier was born in England about 100 years ago. This breed appeared for the first time in the Aire valley, and was originally used for hunting small game (mainly to get rid of vermin). The airedale Terrier was originally named waterside terrier, and given its great qualities as a hunting dog, a means was sought to improve the breed for this activity.
In this quest, crosses were made between burrows at the water’s edge and otters, to give the breed a greater ability to swim. Over time, and while the name of the breed had already been established as Airedale Terrier, these dogs began to be used in various activities: small game, big game, guides for the blind, police dogs, search and rescue dogs , etc. Today, the Airedale Terrier performs few of these functions, but the working vocation still persists in this breed, so noble, versatile and elegant.
Characteristics of the Airedale Terrier
The Airedale Terrier has sometimes been called a giant Fox Terrier or the welsh terrier dog because of the characteristics that these varieties share, with the big difference in size. Its appearance is compact and muscular, although slightly longer than its size.
Its very elongated and peculiar head draws powerfully, ending in a strong and powerful jaw. The neck and chest are muscular, both of moderate size, and the legs are quite long and thick, very robust.
The tail is very solid but not too long, and it is raised when the dog is in action, always straight and never on the back. His deep black eyes and triangle-shaped ears that bend and fall on either side of his face, although not too long, are also striking. Overall, it is a well-proportioned and athletic dog, ready for action at all times and trained to perform all kinds of activities.
The airedale terrier is not an excessively large dog compared to other breeds, but compared to terriers, it is a huge animal, so it is considered a giant terrier. Its height is generally between 58 and 61 centimeters at the withers for males, a few centimeters less for females. As for the weight, it is generally between 20 and 29 kilograms, always slightly less in females than in males.
One of its most recognizable features is the Airedale Terrier’s coat. It comes in two layers, a very soft and short internal, and a hard and rough to the external touch, which has sometimes been called metallic hair. It is a type of wavy hair, but not excessively curly, and it is also very dense. As for the color, the accepted tone is black and tan, with black spots of different shapes and sizes spread over the top of the animal, although the tan should predominate.
Airedale Terrier dog character and temperament
This breed is generally very happy and active, intelligent, courageous and confident. He is sociable by nature and tends to get along well with others and with other dogs, but always from a good socialization as a puppy. It also requires a firm and adequate education of the puppy to avoid certain behaviors associated with its strong hunting instinct.
It is a perfect dog to practice all kinds of canine sports, because it has a lot of energy and a great agility. In addition, he has a lot of courage, so he will have to face new challenges that arise without hesitation. Due to his temperament, he can be a bit rough in some games, so you need to control the time the Airedale Terrier spends with children, but he never intends to harm them. This dog is impulsive and tends to exhibit intense prey behaviors.
It is an animal always attentive to what is happening around it, with a strong and protective character with its owners. However, with good exercise, it will also be calm when you are at home, and it is very rare for this dog to bark if there is no good reason to do so.
Living together with an Airedale Terrier is pleasant, interesting and optimistic. The large terrier is devoid of the explosive energy and sharpness of its small relatives, the fox terriers. In addition, the hunting instincts in him receded into the background.
The Airedale Terrier is completely human-oriented, he sees meaning only in joint activities, whatever it may be. Both work and entertainment give him equal pleasure, if next to him is a like-minded owner.
With an Airedale terrier you can go hiking, fishing and mushroom picking – wherever you go, it’s always ready. Without such forays, his physical and emotional nature will seek a way out.
In this aspect, the state of the Airedale Terrier does not cause concern. Of what is common, it should be mentioned:
- Dysplasia of the hip joint.
- Skin diseases.
Important! See your veterinarian as soon as possible if you notice signs of illness.
There are few specific hereditary diseases that would be characteristic of the Airedale Terrier:
- Melanoma (skin).
- Von Willebrand disease (blood).
- Factor VII deficiency (blood).
Physical and emotional mobility, combined with a good cardiovascular system, guarantee the Airedale a full life up to 10-12 years, after which the dogs switch to a gentle regimen. They spend another 3-4 years in the status of veterans.
Important! 10-14 days before each vaccination, anthelmintics should be given.
The Airedale terrier is able to live in an apartment, but in his heart, he dreams of a private house with a cozy aviary and a garden plot that can be dug up and down with trenches. It is better to build a booth for a dog insulated, counting on the autumn dankness. At the same time, leaving the Airedale terrier to winter in it is a gross violation.
This breed is not adapted to frost, and in bad weather its place is in the house. Long walks twice a day are a must in keeping Airedale terriers. But you can take these terrier dogs out into a forest-park strip or a vacant lot and let go of the leash when they have thoroughly understood the meaning of the commands “Come to me!” and “don’t move!”
Otherwise, one not at all beautiful day, your ward will be irrevocably lost in some roadside bushes. Going to the other extreme and dragging your pet on a strap around the streets for hours is also not worth it. For a full-fledged relaxation, the Airedale terrier needs personal space and, if not complete independence in decision-making, then at least the illusion that his actions are not controlled by anyone.
Brushing, clipping as needed, brushing the teeth is nothing special. The special thing is trimming, and this is the factor that has caused these cute terriers to lose popularity.
The Airedale terrier dogs do not shed on their own. The coat is simply pulled out, and this does not cause any unpleasant sensations in dogs. Such seasonal processing is required 2-3 times a year. This is a rather long and laborious procedure, which is easiest to entrust to a professional groomer.
When they try to speed up, lighten and even save money, the dogs are sheared. Only two seasons, and this ends with a complete change in the structure of the coat – it becomes thin and soft, with a tendency to lengthen. The pigment is lost, the Airedale soon loses its brown-red breed color and takes on a grayish tint. Sheared wool gets dirty and wet faster, does not keep its shape and does not protect the dog. Don’t do that.
Important! Experts recommend trimming your dog in the summer to help it withstand the heat.
All Airedale terrier dogs to be trimmed from 3-4 months.
The wool is not cut, but is pulled with the fingers, sometimes grasping small tufts with the trimming tool. Owners usually try to master this technique. Even if you do not manage to get a beautiful hairstyle with smooth transitions on your own, the Airedale terrier will look well-groomed, and its coat will become tough and functional.
Show-level dogs can’t participate without a hairdresser. And they should be shown to the master much more often. There is also a positive point – if the airedale is regularly processed, full trimming with plucking is not performed.
The success of the Airedale terrier at the exhibition is highly dependent on the correct hairstyle.
Airedale terrier’s double waterproof coat consists of coarse hair and a softer, shorter lower coat. It requires daily brushing, in addition to removing old hairs that begin to fall (twice a year).
The coat is a matter of conflict for those who have an airedale but who do not have enough time to deal with it. Airedale Terrier’s hairs require frequent grooming, but they also require specialized care on a regular basis. It is best to bring the dog to the groomer about twice a year and to care for him regularly. It is important to clean its beard frequently to avoid food debris. If you have an airedale terrier for exposure, hair care should be done by an expert and more often.
The Airedale terrier dog requires a lot of exercise, so it is not recommended to live in a small apartment. He must have at least a medium garden or patio to be able to play. In addition, long daily walks are necessary for his good socialization and to help him burn energy.
Play as a training medium is often very useful. Although having a garden, daily walking plus playing time is necessary, Airedale terrier may need more exercise, especially during its first three years of life. Therefore, it does not hurt to take him to the field or to practice a dynamic canine sport like Agility. In summary, an active dog like an Airedale terrier needs a moderate amount of physical exercise (1 to 2 hours per day) to avoid being bored and staying fit and healthy. In addition to playing and walking, the Airedales also like to swim.
The Airedale Terrier dog should be fed a good quality and well-balanced diet throughout its life, ensuring that it meets all of its nutritional needs.
Airedale Terrier puppies require special attention, and first of all it concerns the diet, because in the first months of life the pet’s physique is formed.
The activity of the dog in the future, the quality of its coat and nails, and the state of health depend on a balanced diet.
How often to feed your Airedale Terrier:
- Up to 3-4 months, you need to feed the Airedale terrier 5-6 times a day.
- Up to 6 months – 4 times.
- Up to 12 months – 3 times.
- After reaching one year, you can switch to 2-3 meals a day.
Important! From Airedale Terrier puppy hood, you need to introduce foods such as meat, fish and cottage cheese into the diet of the Airedale. Protein food for your dog is the staple of the diet if you want it to grow hardy, strong, and well-built.
Before you buy an Airedale Terrier, consider whether you can provide a complete diet.
It must not be forgotten that this breed assimilates raw foods best.
It is also important to know about those products that are strictly forbidden to give to a pet – these are sweets in any form, fried and smoked food, as well as spicy dishes and spices.
Instead of sugar, it is recommended to give fruits (apples, pitted berries) or honey (in small quantities).
It is also undesirable to feed terriers with potatoes, pasta, onions and citrus fruits.
It is forbidden to give the pet tubular bones, since their fragments can greatly harm the dog, it is better to give preference to the rib or shoulder blade.
The diet of an Airedale Terrier dog should be meat and fish products, boiled cereals (especially wheat and oatmeal), vegetables (pumpkin, beets, turnips, carrots).
The meat should be moist and lean. Beef is considered the ideal option, and occasionally lamb can be given.
But it is not recommended to give pork because of its fat content. Boiled meat can be given, but very rarely. And it is better to cut the raw pulp into pieces, they will digest better than minced meat.
The meat diet can be diluted with chicken, rabbit, offal and fish (its content in the daily diet should be 1.5 times more than meat). A boiled egg can be given every 3-5 days.
The diet of the Airedale terrier should be as varied as possible.
This dog does not like to eat the same food for several days in a row. Dry food is also not the best solution.
This is due not only to the monotony, but also to the high salt content and addictiveness in the feed.
Training and education
Unfortunately, the breed’s potential is now practically not used and is not developing. It’s a pity, because the Airedale terrier is very flexible to training, well-motivated to a variety of useful activities. They quickly grasp the essence of tasks; their skills and reflexes are firmly fixed. In addition, in the process of training, Airedale terrier dogs are not “food workers”. Professional trainers can attest that these dogs are the most reliable.
In the past, almost all owners of large terriers visited training grounds, participated in competitions and demonstration performances. And even now the official list of disciplines available in the breed in the FCI system includes 13 titles. The Airedale terrier retains the working class at exhibitions and the title of “Champion in performance”. As the saying goes, the owners would have a desire, but the dogs still can!
It is advisable for young Airedale terrier dogs to be given a good training course for any of the existing programs, from OKD to ZKS, big ring and obedience, then the dogs become even more contact. Applied types of training are very suitable for dogs, up to rescue in the waters. The “horse” of the breed is an obstacle course and work on shells.
Airedale terriers became out of work in serious service due to low aggressiveness. But this is what makes them great companions for people with a sport and tourist streak. They perfectly accept mixed companies of like-minded people; their leisure time passes without dog conflicts.
In everyday life, the Airedale terrier behaves intelligently, benevolently and does not cause any inconvenience. He is always ready to yield to the owner, even if natural liveliness and curiosity attract him for new impressions.
Airedale Terrier Dog Breed Facts
Dogs of the classic English Terrier group are loved all over the world for a reason. They are very smart, energetic and attractive in appearance. Sometimes they are too emotional and mobile. But these are small representatives of the III group of FCI. And a large terrier is the maximum of advantages.
- The Airedale terrier dog is known to be a wonderful companion and a good pet.
- He has a low wired coat.
- He is an extremely loyal and successful dog in a family environment.
- The Airedale terrier dog is very good with children of all ages.
- It is an excellent watchdog, which is a trait deeply rooted in its genes.
- It is an extremely playful dog and stays like a puppy until the age of three.
- Airedale terrier is a good choice for new owners, provided there is time to devote to it.
- He is not stubborn and not self-willed.
- Moderately active.
- He enjoys and successfully studies.
- Airedale Terrier can overprotect its family.
- He has a great sense of prey and does not trust pets and animals he does not know.
- Airedale Terrier is a very energetic dog who needs a lot of daily exercise and mental stimulation.
- It is quite expensive to maintain.
- The Airedale Terrier dog is independent and has its own spirit whenever it wants.
The only thing that scares off in this breed is the need for regular trimming. The problem can be solved with the help of a groomer and money, or you can master the technique yourself.
The versatile abilities of the Airedale terrier do not allow them to be recommended as a purely guard dog, let alone a bodyguard. Perhaps this is a minus?