The Airedale Terrier is a dog breed that belongs to the terrier group of dogs. In fact, its nickname is the “King of Terriers,” due to its size making it the biggest terrier type dog. The breed originates from the River Aire, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. It was a working type of a dog, but it also had other uses throughout its existence. It was most likely bred by mixing the Old English Black, Tan Terrier, the Bull Terrier, the Otterhound and most likely some other dog breeds as well.
This dog was used as hunting dog to catch big game and birds, but it also has a use as a war dog. Today, this the Airedale Terrier is used as a guide dog and also serves the police.
History & Origins
The Airedale terrier originated from the Airedale Valley in in the West Riding of Yorkshire. They were bred by working class people who needed a working dog to help them with various work that they did. They combined old English rough-coated Black and Tan Terrier with and the Otterhound. There have been some other breeds added as well and it all contributed to the final look of the dog that we have today.
Their original purpose was to be a working dog but it quickly evolved into them being used in hunting. With a great prey drive, lots of energy and a good scent, these dogs were great in hunting and purposing their prey in packs. Due to their size they were also able to snuff out bigger game, which other smaller terrier breeds couldn’t. Their purpose has evolved through the years and they have also been used in WWII and in police enforcement. Today they serve a great purpose of merely being pets and family dogs.
Airedale Terrier Characteristics & Temperament
An Airedale Terrier is a stoic animal and they are very intelligent. But like any terrier breed they can be independent and strong-minded. This would mean that they can be a handful to train sometimes, but in most cases training is done pretty easy, once you know what to do. They are actually very friendly with people and other animals as well. If you raise them together with cats and also adapt them to smaller children they will not have problems with that. But if you don’t you will have a problematic dog. Their heredity includes being a working dog, and they also have a mind for hunting and herding. So it can be in their nature to follow those instincts at times.
Like any terrier, this one requires walking and physical exertion. They are not as active as other smaller breeds of terrier, but they still need the same kind of treatment and exercise. Try to provide them with enough exercise space so they develop into a well-rounded dog.
Appearance, Colors, Size
The Airedale Terrier is greatly characterized by its size. It is actually the largest British terrier breeds as it can reach a height of 58–61 centimeters and weigh about 19–25 kilograms.
These dogs carry a double coat, with the top one being harsh and the undercoat very soft. They also have a characteristic broken coat, like many terriers do. It is hard and wiry and the dogs often appear as ragged. An important part about their coats is that it is supposed to be hypoallergenic and does not cause allergic reactions in some people.
The established and standard coat colors that have been accepted include either a black saddle, with a tan head, ears and legs, or a dark grizzle saddle.
Airedale Terrier Health
The life expectancy of an Airedale Terrier is pretty similar to other dogs of their size and other terriers. As has been estimated by certain Kennel Clubs, the breed has a lifespan of 11.5 years. The most common cause of death is still cancer, followed by old age, urologic and cardiac.
Certain conditions that you have to know about include hip dysplasia, gastric dilatation volvulus and various allergies. Not all dogs are susceptible to these conditions but there is still a greater chance for your Airedale terrier to suffer from these than anything else.
Grooming & Shedding
A very interesting factor with Airedale Terriers is that they do not shed. But you still have to remove the dead hair. You can do this in two ways, as the soft undercoat requires you to strip the hair by hand. But the rougher overcoat you can sheer and use clippers. Grooming is a necessary factor for this type of a dog and you will have to brush its hair on a frequent, daily basis. Of course, giving your dog baths is needed as well, but do not overdo it. These dogs are frequently used in shows and showcased, so you may hire a professional groomer who will take care of this part for you.
Airedale Terrier Price and Breeders
The price for getting an Airedale Terrier is pretty strange to define. It can start as low as 500 dollars and reach a price of 3,000 dollars the most. The breed is a valued one, that is for sure, but dogs with pedigree are valued more. So it is always good to check the quality of the breeder before you go on to buy one. Some best ones are still found din the UK and you will also be able to get them in the US and Canada.
Rescuing an Airedale Terrier is now pretty easy to do. If you have not planned on buying one, we recommend that you adopt one. Rescue organizations are now very frequent and are located in all sort of places. One of the most lucrative and best are probably Airedale Club of America Rescue and Adoption Committee and Airedale Terrier Rescue and Adoption. They will help you find a suitable dog for you.