Is the Airedale Terrier the right breed of dog for you?The big clue to the Airedale Terrier's origin is in his name: Airedale, which is situated in Yorkshire, part of the UK. This breed, in common with the Yorkshire Terrier, evolved to fit the work that the miners of the region required from their dogs.
Hunting badgers, fox, water rat and otters throughout the rivers and dales of that part of Yorkshire developed the hunting instincts and skills required of the forerunners of the breed. Those qualities were coupled, through the organised dogfights between nearby mines, to produce a dog of outstanding courage, agility, and intelligence. Eventually, the modern day Airedale Terrier emerged and he was rightly crowned the "King of Terriers".
The Airedale Terrier was recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1888 and duly classified in the Terrier group. Being the largest of the terriers; the males measure up at around 23 inches at the shoulder, and the females slightly less. Both should be well muscled, and sturdy ,and weigh in at around 55-65lbs. The top coat is 'broken', dense, and wiry, whilst the undercoat is soft and short. The standard coat colours are either a dark grizzle saddle [a mixture of grey and white] or a black saddle, and a tan head, legs and ears.
Pound for pound the Airedale is a formidable opponent: fearless but never aggressive. So, it's no coincidence that they were one of the first breeds to be recruited in to the police forces of the UK and Germany. Likewise, they have seen extensive military service as a war dog, performing many heroic duties.
The Airedale Terrier could be an apartment dog with the right type of owner, one who is willing to give the Airedale the kind of regular, energetic off the lead exercise that she needs and loves.
There are no real concerns about the Airedale's health, being a relatively healthy breed of dog. Likewise feeding should not prove to be a problem as they are hearty, unfussy eaters.
The Airedale isn't an everyman dog or a first time owner's dog. The coat needs regular work, and to keep it in tip-top condition; stripping is recommended and may require a degree of expertise that will take the novice a while to master. But professional help is usually only a phone call away.
Their innate intelligence means training an Airedale should be easy, as they learn quickly. But, they are renowned, like many terrier breeds, for their stubbornness. So training must start from day one and must be consistent. It should also be interesting and fun. These dogs have a real sense of humour and you can easily become the butt of their joke.
If you're seeking the type of dog that has the sweetest of temperaments, is loyal, playful and an amiable companion, but is also steadfast and a reliable guardian, then perhaps the Airedale Terrier is the right breed of dog for you.