Airedale Terriers garner a significant amount of attention from their appearance. It’s not hard to see why given their cuteness and larger size compared to other terriers. Naturally, this combination makes people buy them without doing proper research.
But these dogs have very specific needs that require preparation before bringing them home. If they aren’t met, the situation can get out of hand with their energetic personality. They’re not a good match for people who aren’t prepared.
So if you’re looking into getting one, please continue reading this guide. It’ll ensure you know whether getting a cute, high-energy Airedale Terrier is a good idea for your next family pet!
Content & Quick Navigation
Complete Guide to the Airedale Terrier Dog Breed
This guide will cover everything a person could want to know about Airedale Terriers. I’ll walk you through their history, temperament, common health issues, and more. You’ll soon become well-versed enough to make a responsible decision about getting one.
Airedale Terrier’s History and Origin
Airedale Terriers first popped up back around the mid-1800s. During this time, they were near England’s Aire River, which is where their name originated. It’s an interesting start for a breed that would soon become known as the King of Terriers.
This title comes from their larger size that came from mixing several breeds. Most experts assume Otterhounds, Tan Terriers, and Bull Terriers were in the mix. But some debate exists about what specific other terrier breeds are in this breed’s development. In any case, the outcome was a larger terrier breed than seen previously.
Of course, the larger size comes in handy for performing certain hunting duties. Airedale Terriers soon became staples along the Aire River to hunt nuisance rat colonies. It’s a job that these dogs were quite effective at doing.
These terriers continued hunting rats and performing similar duties for a long time. But eventually, people started using them as show dogs. They even became a favorite within the dog show scene, especially once they began getting crossbred with Irish and Bull Terriers.
Aside from being dog show favorites, Airedale Terriers were also staples on the battlefields. They gained this reputation from being companions of troops during World War I. It turned out that they were perfect for hunting, messaging, or guard duties.
Over the following decades, Airedale Terriers continued excelling in these roles. It was even common to see them work as law enforcement dogs. But mostly, they engrained themselves to people as a trusted companion and are now found in many homes worldwide.
Airedale Terrier Physical Characteristics and Appearance
The most evident standout characteristic is an Airedale Terrier’s size. As mentioned earlier, these dogs are the largest terriers reaching 24 inches tall and 60 pounds. It’s quite different from a Jack Russell Terrier or Yorkshire Terrier.
But their size isn’t the only thing that makes them stand out. Airedale Terriers also have deep chests and muscular legs, which function perfectly in their hunting duties. It makes them a massive advantage when chasing down small prey like rats or squirrels.
Some other noticeable traits include a long/thick neck, a black nose, and small brown eyes. All of these traits are part of the breed’s standard. A dog simply wouldn’t be an Airedale Terrier without having each them.
As for their coat, it’s short-medium long, double-layered with a wiry/harsh texture. It can be a little off-putting if you aren’t used to petting the wiry fur. Owners will also have three color-selectable variations: black, gray, and tan.
I’ve only covered a small number of notable traits up to this point. So here’s a quick summary of all the other highlights about the appearance and characteristics to make it a bit easier:
- Weight: 40 to 60 pounds
- Height: 21 to 23 inches
- Notable Features: Small brown eyes, black nose, long/thick neck, deep chest, short/strong back, and muscular legs
- Coat Type: Short-medium wiry, harsh, and double-layered coat
- Available Colors: Black, gray, and tan
- Lifespan: 10 to 13 years
Airedale Terrier’s Temperament
Several personality traits stand out when looking at the Airedale Terrier’s temperament. The easiest place to start is their independent nature. It makes them much less work than you’d expect from other terriers like Jack Russells<span data-preserver-spaces=”true”>.
But they combine this independent nature with an athletic, hard-working mentality. In other words, Airedales will have much more energy than most breeds aside from other terriers. If left unchecked, it can result in destructive behaviors like digging, chasing, or barking.
So anyone who’s considered an Airedale Terrier must be aware of these issues. Otherwise, your apartment could soon become a disaster zone filled with ripped blinds and furniture. Trust me; there’s nothing worse than coming home after work and seeing your entire living room torn apart.
Another thing to understand about Airedale Terriers is they struggle by themselves. These dogs thrive on activity and stimulation, so boredom can cause issues. Due to this, extended periods of alone time often cause those unwanted destructive behaviors.
But people who are equipped to deal with their high energy often love them. For instance, a larger family or individual who works at home would be an ideal fit. After all, these terriers are a delight to have around when they have their needs met. It won’t take long for their fun-loving attitudes to infect the whole house with joy.
Furthermore, they’re an effective watchdog as terriers won’t miss anything. You’ll know whenever a stranger comes near your home or attempts to break into it. But don’t worry; this aggressiveness won’t extend to your family/friends if the dog’s been socialized correctly.
Are Airedale Terriers Easy to Train?
An Airedale Terrier’s temperament seems like it’d make them tricky to train. But it’s not true as these dogs are highly trainable when done correctly. Their intelligence allows them to learn a variety of commands and tricks.
Anyone looking for a more visual demonstration should check out this video. It shows an Airedale Terrier competing at a dog show, offering a better idea of their capabilities. Honestly, it’s amazing what these dogs can learn with the proper training.
However, a training session won’t be successful if the terrier doesn’t find it entertaining. Their independent nature will make them lose interest and do something else. So the key is finding training methods that are both entertaining and effective.
Most experts recommend using positive reinforcement techniques with these dogs. Common favorites are using treats or toys as rewards during the process. Although terriers aren’t the most food-motivated dogs around, so it’s best to use toys or have them hunt for their treat rewards.
But don’t expect them to remain engaged if the reward is constantly the same. Owners will need to switch it up every once in a while, or they will become bored. Doing so will keep them on their toes and create a more successful training experience.
If you don’t have any luck training them, there’s no shame in calling a professional. It’s crucial for owners who can’t seem to teach them basic obedience commands. So if you’re having trouble getting them to sit or with recall, call in the experts.
Common Health Issues for Airedale Terrier
Every dog breed comes with a specific list of common health issues. Airedale Terriers aren’t any different, and potential owners need to know them before getting one. It’s the only way to prepare for what could cause your new dog future issues. So without further ado, here are three conditions that cause Airedale Terriers issues:
Entropion refers to a dog’s eyelids rolling inwards. As a result, it’ll cause the hair on the eyelid to irritate the cornea. It’s not a fun experience for any dog, so owners must do regular eye checks.
If not, this condition can result in eye and vision damage. You’ll want to schedule a vet visit as soon as you think it presents itself. Some notable symptoms include squinting, eye discharge, and excessive tearing.
2. Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is one of the more common dog-related conditions, but it’s still a nightmare. Any dog who suffers from it with have hip joints that don’t fit correctly. So you can expect them to experience pain, swelling, and arthritis.
Common indicators include lameness, whining, limping, and decreased activity. If your Airedale Terrier shows any of these symptoms, get them to a vet immediately. It’s best to start treating this condition immediately to minimize the damage. You can also talk to your vet about supplements, like Vet Naturals Hemp & Hips Plus CBD.
The final common condition is called hypothyroidism, which affects thyroid gland production. It can lead to various issues like obesity, epilepsy, hair loss, and decreased activity. But this condition is manageable with the proper treatment and dietary changes.
Exercise Requirements for Airedale Terrier
Exercise is a massive component in keeping Airedale Terriers happy and healthy. These little jitterbugs require a significant amount to ensure their needs are met. Most experts suggest a minimum of an hour daily, but I’d push it to two or even three some days.
You can accomplish meeting these needs in several ways. The most obvious would be taking them on multiple walks to different locations. These adventures would stimulate them physically and mentally.
If I had an Airedale Terrier, I wouldn’t have the time to take them on multiple long walks. So I’d use extensive play sessions or my large backyard to burn off this excessive energy. There are several ways of meeting this exercise need: owners just may need to get creative.
They could even get another dog to play with their Airedale Terrier. Of course, the terrier would need to be socialized properly, but this other dog would keep them busy. It’s probably one of the easier methods of keeping your pup’s brain engaged and occupied.
Check out the video below for some more ideas for exercising your Airedale:
Care and Grooming Requirements or Airedale Terrier
Keeping up with the care and grooming needs of any dog is a necessity. These procedures are vital in ensuring a canine remains in the best shape possible. Of course, it’ll all begin by staying up-to-date with regular vet checkups.
Nothing will ever beat a vet visit concerning early illness or condition detection. So don’t put them off or avoid them altogether. It’s not a smart way of keeping your terrier or any canine healthy or in good condition.
In particular, one care area that needs close attention with Airedales is their dental hygiene. Terriers are known for chewing and ripping apart various objects, so their teeth can get gnarly. I’d suggest accounting for these issues by brushing twice or three times weekly.
Ears are also a potential problem area for these terriers. Owners should be vigilant about weekly checks for redness or suspect odors within these areas. I’d even recommend cleaning the outer ear area with a cotton ball during these checks if there’s a noticeable build-up.
Meanwhile, the grooming practices with Airedales aren’t too overbearing. It’ll only require brushing them twice a week and bathing when absolutely necessary. Some examples of required bathing would be your terrier rolling in a dead animal or poop.
Lastly, nail trimming will need doing about every two months. I’d recommend going to the groomers with terriers, as they tend to be extra sensitive about their paws. Early introduction to grooming practices can make the process easier, but it’s often still a struggle.
Airedale Terrier FAQs
Are Airedale Terriers Good House Dogs?
Airedale Terriers are excellent house dogs when stimulated and properly trained. In these situations, owners couldn’t ask for a better family pet.
How Much Do Airedale Terriers Cost?
Buyers can expect to spend anywhere between $800 to $1600 on Airedale Terriers. It’ll depend on the breeder and lineage of your chosen terrier.
Are Airedale Terriers High Maintenance?
Airedale Terriers are high maintenance with their grooming, exercise, and required attention. This breed isn’t an ideal first pet or suitable for an owner who’s not around consistently.
Airedale Terriers can be an adorable, delightful addition to the right home. But their stubborn natures and high energy are hard to manage for inexperienced owners. So this breed should only be an option for people with the time, patience, and experience to work with them.
Do you have an Airedale Terrier? Let me know in our comment section and post any other thoughts that came up after reading this article. I’d love to hear from you!