Enter the ‘King of Terriers’. What has the Airedale Terrier done to earn this badge of honour? Should we start with its impressive combination of power and agility for a dog so small? Or its role as a clever little companion for the police forces? Or its unparalleled hunting instincts? Or its playful and protective nature that makes it a firm family favourite? There’s no shortage of accolades that cement this breed’s place at the top of the Terrier league. Let’s walk through the characteristics of the Airedale Terrier.
The Airedale Terrier is the biggest Terrier in the breed spectrum. Hailing from Yorkshire – the Valley of Aire, so the story goes – it was kept busy hunting the abundance of small game in that neck of the woods. Not a dog to let its diminutive size deter it from setting goals, this breed has also proved indispensable in the past for hunting big game in Africa, Canada and India.
You can expect your Airedale Terrier to live on average 10 to 13 years.
Health conditions include bloat, colonic disease, eye problems, skin infections, hip dysplasia and thyroid issues.
The ‘small only in stature’
Airedale Terriers are playful to the point of boistrous and may not be suitable for having around small children. They’re smart, proud, and their hunting background and exceptional nose makes them ever so slightly wayward. A measured but firm approach to training with help you keep control of yours in public spaces. Regular and rigorous exercise – aim for an hour a day – will also help keep them cool, calm and collected. Beware aggression towards other dogs and socialise yours well.
The thick, wiry coat of an Airedale sheds twice a year and will need tending to professionally to keep it looking spick and span. You should also aim to brush it three times a week – and arrange a trim once a month. Twice if you’re feeling generous.
Airedale Terriers are easy to train as long as you practise a firm, calm and consistent manner.
Where to find an Airedale Terrier
Airedale Terrier Groups
Looking for fellow followers of the King of Terriers? Find an Airedale breed group below.
The South of England Airedale Terrier Club
National Airedale Terrier Association
West of England and South Wales Airedale Terrier Club
Midland Counties Airedale Terrier Club
Airedale Terrier Club of Scotland