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Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier, mighty, dignified, and charming, is rightly called the “King of Terriers” since it is the biggest among the lot. They not just excelled in hunting ducks and rats for which they were primarily created but also became perfect police, tracking, and guarding dogs.

Besides their working skills, this breed does an outstanding job when kept as pets, due to their loyalty and protective instinct towards their family. Their immense love and affection towards kids also make them reliable baby sitters.

These adorable dogs are perfect celebrities, as several U.S. presidents like Theodore Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge owned them. The cute, loyal Ruff, of Dennis the Menace fame was an Airedale too. 

Breed Characteristics

  • Other Names:Airedale, Waterside Terrier, Bingley Terrier, King of Terriers
  • Colors:Black and tan, grizzle and tan
  • Life Expectancy:11 – 14 years
  • Height:21 – 23 inches (at the shoulder)
  • Weight:50 – 70 pounds
  • Temperament:Friendly, alert, courageous
  • Good with Kids:Yes
  • Exercise requirements:High
  • Hypoallergenic:Yes
  • Litter Size:7 – 10 puppies
  • Barking Capacity:Moderate
  • Health Problems:Canine hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, gastric torsion
  • Trainability:Moderate
  • Origin:England

Airedale Terrier’s History: Timeline

    Mid 1800

    The factory and mill workers created the Airedale terrier by crossing the presently extinct English Black and Tan Terrier with the Otterhound.


    Airedales first appeared at a conformation show that the Airedale Agricultural Society sponsored


    Breed fanciers decided upon the name “Airedale Terrier” for the breed


    Two Airedale terriers were imported to North America, with Bruce being the first to reach there


    Gained formal recognition as a breed by England’s Kennel Club


    Recognized by the AKC


    Foundation of the ATCA (American Terrier Club of America), the breed’s parent club


    Airedale Bowl, a prestigious trophy, introduced by the ATCA, awarded to achievers


    Recognized by the UKC


    Used as messenger dogs in the First World War


    Gained immense popularity in the United States


    Walter Lingo of Ohio began breeding Airedales in his Oorang Dog Kennels that developed a decade ago


    Ranked 20th of the 110 breeds AKC had recognized then

Airedale Terrier Puppy
Airedale Terrier Image


High on energy, the Airedale Terrier needs about 2 hours of exercise in a day to remain healthy and happy. Besides two to three short walks every day, give it ample playtime in your yard and garden. They are moderately suited for apartments and do better when living in a big spacious country home. The Airedale loves playing with your kids too, another way to channelize its energy positively, though supervise your little ones, as the dog could get boisterous at times.

The Airedale has a dense, wiry topcoat and a soft undercoat and would suffice with a weekly brushing. A full grooming session that would also involve stripping or clipping the coat, alongside bathing should be done at least thrice a year. You may hire a professional groomer to perform the task with efficiency.

Don’t miss out on the regular hygiene schedule of trimming its nails monthly, brushing its teeth twice or thrice a week, and cleaning its eyes and ears once in seven days using cotton balls or a damp washcloth.

Feed your Airedale terrier ready-made or store-bought food enriched with protein, fat, and other essential nutrients to keep it fit and maintain its high energy levels. If going for the commercially manufactured ones, Blue Buffalo, and Royal Canin are among the suitable options.

The Airedale’s intelligence and the close bond they share with their family is indeed a boon for their training. However, if it is your first stint with a dog, you could find it challenging to deal with its sense of independence and stubbornness.

Your first aim should be to train your big, rambunctious Airedale terrier on obedience by teaching it basic commands like “stay”, “stop”, and “sit”.

To have it mingle with other dogs of your family, you would need to socialize it since the time it is a puppy. However, getting it to coexist with cats and smaller pets like squirrels and rabbits will always be challenging.

Teach it to wear a leash; else, it could be out on chasing spree.

Airedale Terrier Size
Airedale Terrier Dog


Q. Is Oorang Airedale terrier a breed by itself?

No, it is a strain of the Airedale terrier that weighed between 80 and 120 pounds, though they never became a part of the breed standards.

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