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Airedale Terriers


Major Concerns: hip dysplasia, cancer, urologic conditions
Lifespan: 12 years
Avg Size of Female: 22.05 inch (56 cm) – 22.83 inch (58 cm)
Occasionally seen: hip dysplasia, dermatitis
Avg Size of Male: 22.83 inch (58 cm) – 24.02 inch (61 cm)
Minor concerns: gastric torsion (bloat)

Brief History on Airedale Terrier Origin

Airedale, a valley in the West Riding of Yorkshire was the birthplace of the breed. In the mid-19th century, working-class people created the Airedale Terrier by crossing the old English rough-coated Black and Tan Terrier with the Otterhound and an assortment of other breeds. In 1886, the Kennel Club of England formally recognized the Airedale Terrier breed. They were classified under a variety of names, including Rough Coated, Bingley and Waterside Terrier. Breed fanciers decided to call the breed the Airedale Terrier in 1879, a name accepted by the Kennel Club later down the line in 1886. The first Airedale to come to American shores was named Bruce. After his 1881 arrival, Bruce won the terrier class in a New York dog show.

Airedale Terrier Breed Appearance

The Airedale has a medium-length black and tan coat with a harsh topcoat and a soft undercoat. They are an alert and energetic breed, “not aggressive but fearless.” Like many terriers, the breed has a coat that is coarse and wiry. It lies straight and close, covering body and legs. The undercoat is much softer in texture. The hardest coats are crinkly or just slightly waved. Curly soft coats are highly undesirable. Traditionally the fluffy tail is long and erect. In most European countries and Australia it is illegal to dock dogs’ tails unless it is for the dog’s benefit (e.g., if the tail is broken). This has resulted in the emergence of a spitz tail in some dogs.

Airedale Terrier Breed Temperament

The Airedale can be used as a working dog and also as a hunting dog. Airedales exhibit some herding characteristics as well, and have a natural urge to chase animals. They have no problem working with cattle and livestock. However, an Airedale that is not well trained will likely agitate and stress out your animals. The Airedale Terrier, like most other types of terriers, has been bred to be an independant hunter. This breed is very intelligent, independent, strong-minded, stoic, and can sometimes be a bit stubborn too. If children and your Airedale are both trained correctly, this breed can be an excellent choice as a family dog. Airedales can do well with cats and other small animals, especially when they are raised with them.

Airedale Terrier Breed Maintenance

The coat is hypoallergenic, tending not to generate allergic reactions in people. This would be a great option for those who are allergic to most dogs. Airedales bearing undercoats are generally groomed by hand stripping, where a small serrated edged knife is used to pull out loose hair from the dog’s coat. Most Airedales require frequent clippings or strippings every six to eight weeks, as they do not shed.

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Written by Tamira Eliseo
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