The Airedale Terrier – Spirited and Intelligent

Airedale intelligence
airedale terrier intelligence

The Airedale Terrier is a medium-sized, long-haired breed that originated in the 19th century. They were bred for hunting and herding farm livestock. They originated from the area around the River Aire in Yorkshire, England.

This dog breed was first bred by working-class people to provide their children with a dog big enough for them to play with and small enough for the family to afford.

They were highly prized for their hunting abilities.

The AKC recognized the Airedale in 1885, but it wasn’t until later that this breed was accepted as an excellent family dog. The AKC is a registry of purebred dogs in the United States.

In 1908, a man named Chauncey Z. Bennett formed a club for Airedale enthusiasts. This club still exists today, under the name of the Airedale Terrier Club of America.

Airedale Terriers are used as rescue dogs in a variety of situations. They are often seen in search and rescue missions due to their strong noses and ability to find trapped people.

They were also the first police dog in Great Britain and Germany after WWI. Their level-headed personality and ability to take training easily make them great for these types of jobs. In Germany, they are still used as police dogs and air-scenting k9 units all over the world. 

What is the origin of the Airedale terrier?

Airedale Terriers were originally bred from a group of dogs called “Old English Terriers.” These dogs had been brought over to America before the Industrial Revolution and bred to work alongside their owners.

After the influx of new immigrants, a very similar breed type to the Old English Terriers was bred in different parts of the country. It is believed this new breed came from Old English Foxhounds, Otterhound, and the original Old English Terriers.

Airedale Terrier images


Dog Breed Group: Terrier Breed, is the largest terrier breed.

Weight: 45-65 pounds

Height: Males: 22 – 25 in. (56 – 64 cm), Females: 21 – 23 in. (53 – 58 cm)

Lifespan: Typically live between 10 and 13 years.

Activity Level: Moderate to High

Intelligence Level: Intelligent

Hypoallergenic: Yes

Scientific name: Canis Lupus Familiaris

Other Names: Waterside Terrier, Welsh Terrier, Bingley Terrier

Common Nicknames: Airedale, King of Terriers 

Original Purpose: Hunting – Searching, Tracking, Pointing, Vermin Control

More Reading: What Are The 7 Major Groups of Dogs?

Pros of Owning an Airedale Terrier:

  • Excellent family dogs.
  • Generally ok with other animals if raised with them from an early age.
  • Very intelligent.
  • Airedales are very loyal.
  • Airedale Terriers are generally active dogs.
  • The airedale’s coat doesn’t shed very much, making them good dogs for people with allergies.

Cons of Owning an Airedale Terrier:

  • Very energetic dogs and require lots of exercise.
  • They need to be groomed frequently.
  • Training can be difficult, so patience is needed.
  • Airedale Terriers are stubborn and determined, making them difficult to train at times.
  • Airedale Terriers can be aggressive or timid.
Airedale Terrier hypoallergenic

Airedale Terrier Temperament and Behavior

The Airedale Terriers’ personality is highly dependent on how they are raised by their owners. They can be stubborn and aggressive, or loving and loyal, depending on how they are treated.

They make an excellent family pet, but only if the owners can be patient with them and give them lots of love and affection.

The Airedale dog is protective of its owners and families and will be loyal to all members of the household.

It is recommended they are socialized with children at a young age to prevent them from being aggressive towards kids in the future.

This terrier is characterized by their intelligence, but they can be stubborn at times.

Airedale Terriers can live in an apartment if they are given enough exercise outside, but they will perform best when living in a house with a medium to large yard for jogging and playing.

Airedales do not like to be left alone and may become destructive when bored, they do best with other animals in the household to play with.

An Airedale terrier puppy needs constant supervision or they will chew and destroy everything in their path. They are the ultimate mischief-makers.

Exercise Requirements

Airedale terriers need a moderate amount of exercise every day, it’s best to take them on daily walks, but if you can’t manage that they’d still love to play fetch or go swimming.

These dogs were bred to go into the water and also love running through the woods or fields. 

Feeding Requirements

Airedale Terriers need to eat high-quality food that meets all of their nutritional needs and eat a balanced diet so their bodies have the right nutrients to stay healthy.

Airedales are large dogs and need a lot of food to maintain their weight.

They should be fed two meals per day to avoid bloating and gas.

Common Health Issues and Concerns

Airedale Terriers are prone to hip dysplasia and eye problems. It is important to monitor your Airedale Terrier’s eyesight every year.

They are also prone to allergies because of their double coat, which traps pollen and other allergens in their fur.

They are also more likely to suffer heat stroke during the summer months because of their thick double coats.

Additionally, this terrier dog should not be overfed because this can cause them to become obese.

5 Steps for Airedale Terrier Grooming

  1. Brush out or comb their fur weekly. Terriers shed more frequently than other breeds but are generally well-behaved when grooming is regularly performed.
  2. Bathe only when necessary. Airedale Terriers don’t need bathing often and should only be bathed when they get really filthy or after grooming for a show (if it’s required). Washing them too often strips their coat of essential oils.
  3. Airedale Terriers should get haircuts or professional grooming every three months, with grooming frequency decreasing during the less-active winter months. Getting your airedales professionally groomed will give them their best, most recognizable appearance.
  4. Brushing their teeth is important for the health of an Airedale Terrier’s mouth and gums, but make sure to use toothpaste formulated especially for dogs. Human toothpaste contains ingredients that can be dangerous or toxic to dogs if ingested, even in small amounts. Teeth should be brushed at least twice per week to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
  5. Clipping the nails should also occur monthly, this can be done at home.
Airedale Terrier Characteristics

FAQ About Airedale Terriers

What are some distinguishing features of airedale terriers?

Airedale Terriers are medium-sized with small pointed ears and a long, wavy, and wiry coat. Their coat is most commonly dark brown or black with various shades of gray. They have a “rough” hair texture and were originally bred to hunt by following scent trails.

What does it mean if an Airedale Terriers’ tail curves inwards?

The curvature of this dog’s tail is unusual and may indicate that the dog is anxious, especially during upcoming activities. They can also be genetically predisposed to this, so it doesn’t cause alarm unless the tail curves inwards consistently for more than a few months.

What are some common colors of Airedale Terriers?

Airedale Terriers are most commonly seen as dark-brown or black, but can also have a lighter color of tan on the head and chest. Airedale Terriers are also often seen with white markings on the feet, chest, or muzzle. These are most commonly seen in show dogs.

What are some good Airedale Terrier names??

Some common Airedale Terrier names are Max, Barney, Shadow, and Bailey. These dogs were bred to hunt alongside their owners, so names like these are fitting.

What are some good toys for Airedale Terriers?

They are known to be crafty with their toys, but some common favorites are squeaky balls and rope toys. These dogs love playing tug-of-war and carrying around their toys.

Airedale Terrier puppy

How much exercise does an Airedale Terrier need per day??

Airedale Terriers are moderately active during the day, requiring at least one daily walk and playtime outside.

Do Airedale Terriers like to cuddle?

Airedale Terriers are very affectionate with their owners, but they are not known to enjoy cuddling.

Are Airedale Terriers hypoallergenic dogs?

Airedale terriers are hypoallergenic dogs, meaning they typically produce fewer allergens than other dog breeds. They can still cause allergies and asthma, but this breed is considered a good choice for people with pet allergies.