Breed Group: Terrier Group
Shoulder Height: 22-24 in.
Weight: 40-65 lb.
Life Span: 11 years
Colors: Black and tan, grizzle and tan
- The Airedale Terrier is one of the most distinctive terriers in the world thanks to their long flat skull. They are also the largest terrier, leading the breed to be nicknamed "King of the Terriers."
- They originated in County Yorkshire in northern England in the mid-1800s. The breed was developed to hunt otters primarily, but was also used in rabbit and badger hunting.
- The bravery of the breed was taken advantage of extensively in WWI as Airedale Terriers were used to carry messages to troops, as well as find wounded soldiers for the Red Cross. They have also served as police dogs in Germany and Great Britain.
The Airedale Terrier is one of the most eye-catching breed in the Terrier group with their wiry coat and whiskery beard. Existing primarily in the UK in the early stages of their development, their popularity skyrocketed following World War One following stories of their exploits in battle. That popularity continues to this day as interest in the breed remains high.
The main reason for this is the Airedale Terrier's personality. They are extraordinarily versatile dogs, serving roles as sporting dogs, working dogs, and house pets. True to the terrier formula, the breed is very smart and independent, while remaining cheerful and friendly. This can translate to stubbornness, but consistent training from a young age will enable the Airedale to follow your lead.
Airedales, despite being excitable, are excellent family dogs, though proper socialization will be essential so they do not overwhelm children. They also do quite well with cats, especially if they are introduced to the feline as a puppy. Airedales can have a strong chase instinct, so walk them on a leash. They tend to get on well with other dogs.
The curly coat of the Airedale makes grooming essential, as it will need to be stripped three to four times a year and brushed weekly. As with any active dog, regular physical and mental exercise is needed to keep them happy.
Airedale Terriers are sturdy little dogs with very few special ailments specific to the breed.
- Cancer is a common killer of Airedale Terriers.
- They may be susceptible to skin conditions, such as allergies, and to heart murmurs.
- The breed can suffer from hip dysplasia, though a responsible breeder will take steps to reduce the incidence of this disease in their pups.
- Bloat is another killer in Airedale Terriers of which pet parents should be aware. While genetics plays a big role in a dog's susceptibility to bloat, waiting an hour or two after feeding to exercise them and feeding smaller more frequent meals may also be helpful.
- Airedale Terriers have occupied the White House in three different administrations: Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Theodore Roosevelt.
- Kitty was an Airedale Terrier kept by John Jacob Astor IV. She perished on board the Titanic with her master.
- Paddy the Wanderer was an Airedale Terrier who was popular with the sailors and fishermen of Wellington, New Zealand during the Great Depression. He attained the name for his propensity to stowaway aboard coastal steamers.
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