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Airedale Terrier

 Photo of Airedale Terrier
Photo: Int/Ital/Eng Ch Robroyd Jet. Courtesy of Jan Huxley

Airedale Terrier Books

Group: Terrier || Breed Standard


Originating in the 19th century in the regions or Aire and Wharfedale in Yorkshire, the Airedale Terrier was originally bred for hunting otters and were developed by crossing Otterhounds with the now extinct Black and Tan Terrier. During World War I the Airedale was one of the first dogs to be recruited by the British Army as a guard dog and for carrying despatches in the battlefield.


Height about 58-61 cms (23-24 ins) for dogs, taken from top of shoulder, and bitches about 56-59 cms (22-23 ins)

The largest of the terriers, the Airedale is a medium sized dog of square build. A deep chest with short, strong and level back. Head is long and rather narrow with a flat skull and long muzzle. Ears are small and V-shaped, folded to the side of the head, not pointing to the eyes. Tail is set and carried high, but not curled over the back. Tail is customarily docked to a length where the tip of the tail is the same height as the top of the skull. The outer coat is stiff and wiry, lying close to the body, while the undercoat is shorter and softer.

Colours are black or dark grey with tan head, ears, underbody and legs.


The Airedale is an outgoing and friendly dog, always alert and although he is courageous and fearless he is not aggressive. A good family dog that is full of charm and loves nothing more than to be with his family. Known as the "King of Terriers" he was born to entertain you with his antics! Intelligent and inquisitive they will get up to all sorts of mischief. They make excellent pets and are also good guard dogs.

Breed Health

The Airedale Terrier is quite a healthy breed and if cared for properly and fed a good, well-balanced diet, they will very rarely need to see a vet. Hip dysplasia is found within the breed and breeders hip score dogs used before breeding under the BVA/Kennel Club hip scoring scheme.

Breed Care

Regular grooming is important and should be done at least 3 times a week. Ideally they should be brushed on a sturdy table with a non-slip mat, so that they are used to it as when they need to visit a grooming parlour for clipping, where they may have to stand for at least 2 to 3 hours. Their coat will need hand trimming or clipping at least 4 times a year.


An energetic breed that needs long daily walks. Whilst growing, puppies should have restricted walks until about 12 months of age.


The Airedale is intelligent who is willing to please, but with his strong and playful character can be quite a handful at times. While he requires a firm hand he does not take kindly to harsh treatment, and all training should be reward based. See our books on training

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Last link added: 11 Mar, 2008