Airedale Terrier | Dog Breed Information & Facts – Pictures

Airedale Terrier

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.


Airedale Terrier photos

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Physical characteristics

This is the king terrier – the largest of the terrier group. Adult males reach 58-61 cm at the withers, females – 56-59 cm. The weight of males is about 25-28 kg, females – 21-23 kg, depending on their constitution. The dog has a rather stocky, muscular body, covered in coarse black/grey hair (on the lumbar part) with tan markings.


Distinctive features

  • Head: Small, passes smoothly into an elongated muzzle. The skull is not broad between the ears, flat and tapering towards the eyes. The neck is muscular and widens towards the shoulders.
  • Jaws: Strong with scissor bite. Their excessive development, leading to impertinence, is undesirable. The teeth are large, the lips are closed.
  • Ears: Triangular, rather small, close to the head. The crease line is just above the level of the skull. Tall and suspended – questions the purity of its origin.
  • Eyes: Dark and watchful. Not protruding, and not sunken. A lighter eye color is a sign of a non-standard individual.
  • Body: The top line is regular and strong, without sagging of the belly. The chest is not wide, but deep to the elbows with protruding ribs. The posture is majestic, the gait is proud. After all, it’s no coincidence that the Airedale got the nickname “King of the Terriers” in his homeland.
  • The tail is strong and thick, is high and is carried happily under the thief of the animal itself. Until recently, it was customary to moor tails, today this procedure has been abolished.
  • Legs: Rounded, small with dense pads. The fingers are relatively arched. The hind limbs provide an elastic jump.
  • Coat: Rigid and dense, slightly curly. The coat covers the whole body. It does not moult, so it must be pruned (pinched): 2 to 3 times a year. The guard hairs are coarse, stiff, the undercoat is shorter and softer. Long, soft hair is a sign of non-compliance with standards.

Character and behavior

The Airedale Terrier dog breed has a high energy level, which means the potential owner will need to plan their daily routine so that the dog has the opportunity to go outside for walks. Besides the fact that the animal simply needs to run, various active games and interactions with the animal are necessary.

The personal contact and connection with the animal is always good, whether you are at home or walking down the street. They love to chase after various interesting smells and dig up the ground – if you live in a private home, keep in mind that they will dig up your garden or lawn. Weaning a dog from this action, according to many breeders, really does not help, since you are depriving your pet of a very important action and entertainment for him, which, in fact, is in his blood.

These dogs can sometimes be quite independent and not listen to your commands. Sometimes they can be overly active and try to get other people’s attention. Typically, in this case, the behavior is not aggressive, but rather the dog is having fun and wasting energy.

With the children

He treats children well, likes to spend time with them, but it is better not to leave a dog with a child under 14, because there is a chance that the child will not adapt to the nature of the animal and its independence.

Due to his temperament, he can be a little rough in some games, so you need to control the time the Airdale terrier spends with children, but he never intends to harm them.

With other animals

Like all terriers, the Airdale terrier is very arrogant, but gets along well with other dogs. In general, these dogs get along well with the animals they are raised with.


Like the vast majority of other dogs, the Airedale Terrier is prone to certain illnesses, including:

  • Hip dysplasia is an inherited disease;
  • Allergy;
  • Hypothyroidism ;
  • Progressive retinal atrophy;
  • Umbilical hernia ;
  • von Willebrand’s disease;
  • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis;
  • Crayfish.

Life expectancy

Physical and emotional mobility, combined with a good cardiovascular system, guarantees the Airedale terrier a full life of up to 11-13 years.


The coat of the Airedale Terrier should be brushed once or twice a week, and that will suffice. Always make sure your pet’s ears are clean and also clean the eyes of deposits daily. The nails are usually trimmed three times a month and the dog is bathed at least once a month.


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.

An active dog like an Airedale terrier needs a moderate amount of exercise (1-2 hours a day) to keep the dog from getting bored and to stay fit and healthy.

History of the breed

The Airedale is a classic terrier, which means it comes from the UK. The name of the breed gives us a clear geographical reference of the origin: the valley of the River Ayr (air-dale), which is almost on the border of England and Scotland.

His past is like all burrows, hunting. With the difference that for certain types of game, larger dogs were necessary. The otter was such a game in the north of England, in Yorkshire, so local hunters came up with the idea of ​​crossing the Wire-haired Old English Terrier with an Otterhound. One of these mongrels in the upper reaches of the rivers replaced several dogs at a time and, in addition, successfully worked on poultry and small animals.

Large terriers could not operate in the burrow, but they were excellent rat hunters and participated in a popular game called “Rat-baiting matches”. A game show was organized on the banks of the river. The dogs swam well and were not afraid of cold water, as they had a hard, dense coat.

It is not possible to trace the genealogy of the breed with certainty. The Welsh Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Red Irish, and Fox Terrier are all close relatives of the Airedale. He is the only one to have surpassed the height and weight bar set by a distant black and tan ancestor. For several decades of the 19th century. The dogs were spontaneously crossed in different variations in order to consolidate their strong growth and their typical terrier character.

The general consensus was to prefer the Fox and Welsh type of construction, avoiding the characteristics of dogs. Broken wool was also needed.

Dogs of a certain appearance, first known as the “Coastal Terrier”, have been featured in shows since the late 1870s. The colloquial term “Airedale” has been found since 1880, which has not been officially recognized. established only in 1886. The first breed club was established in 1892, and from that time work began on the standard.

As soon as the Coastal Terrier left the northern county, its appearance was quickly refined by the efforts of English dog breeders. The Airedale Terrier rapidly increased in number and early in the 20th century. “Gone for export”.

As an assistance dog, he interested the military department in Russia during the war with Japan. In addition, the history of the Airedale terrier for many years was associated with the military – the Reds and the Soviets. The Terrier really worked and valiantly served during the Great Patriotic War.


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