Updated 13-06-2023

Airedale Terrier Characteristics, Facts & Traits

For a dog that's been called "King of Terriers," the Airedale Terrier is in fact the largest. To catch otters and rats, the breed was developed in the area between the Aire and Wharfe rivers in Yorkshire. During World War I, they proved themselves to be an exceptional working dog, establishing their importance as a hunting companion.

The Airedale Terrier, also known as the Bingley Terrier and the Waterside Terrier, is a breed of dog native to the Yorkshire Dales. For the most part, Airedale's head has no stop (forehead), V-shaped ears that are tilted forward and an upright docked tail. These dogs have a square shape and a strong build.

For the Airedale, the colours are black and brown with a dense, rough hair with a softer undercoat, like that of a typical terrier. A well-grown coat will appear curly-looking. Hand stripping of dead hair preserves the coat's sharpness and colour the longest. If your pet Airedale is clipped, he or she may seem tan and grey.

The Airedale Terrier is an intelligent, outgoing, and self-assured dog that loves to play with its owners. Those who are new to caring for pets and living in small spaces should be aware, however. First-time dog trainers may find it difficult to keep up with these high-energy canines, who require a lot of exercise. You'll get a fun, affectionate friend for the whole family, including children, as long as you can meet the breed's physical needs and give them plenty of room to run.

Below are all the Airedale Terrier dog breed facts and features that you'll ever need to know.


  • In common with other Terrier breeds, Airedales are naturally drawn to digging, chasing small animals, and barking.
  • Airedale Terriers are sometimes referred to as "reliable babysitters" because of their affinity towards youngsters. The exceptions are children and pets, both of which should never be left alone.
  • Airedales require regular grooming, so either hire a professional or educate yourself on how to do it yourself.
  • Airedale Terriers are avid collectors of human artefacts. It doesn't matter if it's just socks, underwear, or children's toys; he'll pick them up and add them to his collection.
  • Airedales like chewing as another of their favourite pastimes. A crate or kennel with solid toys should be used when you're gone from home to keep him from chewing on anything.
  • Despite his independent nature, Airedale is happy to be a family member. In his natural habitat, he is happiest when surrounded by his family.
  • The Airedale Terrier, a high-energy working dog, requires regular exercise. To a large extent, his entire existence is one long burst of physical activity and boundless enthusiasm. He cannot live in an apartment and needs a wide, fenced yard in order to be happy and healthy.
  • In order to instill good canine behaviour in an Airedale, adequate training and socialisation are a prerequisite. A quarrelsome dog is one who is unfamiliar with people and other canines.
  • Never buy a puppy from a puppy mill, negligent breeder, or pet retailer if you want a healthy dog. When looking for a trustworthy breeder, make sure she does thorough testing of her breeding dogs to ensure that they are free of hereditary disorders, as well as that they have good temperaments.


Social Appearance 


How well a breed adapts to new situations. Noise, weather, and schedule disruptions are just a few examples of what could fall under this broad category. Contrary to popular belief, only tiny dogs qualify as apartment pets. Tiny dogs can be too rambunctious for high-rise apartments.

Apartment dogs should be quiet, low-energy, tranquil indoors, and nice to other neighbours. You may also acquire a wonderful dog kennel here for your pet's privacy.

Sensitivity Level

Some dogs take a strong rebuke in stride, while others take even the tiniest hint of a sneer into account. If you have a loud or pushy owner, a chaotic home, or a routine that is unpredictable or variable, your low-sensitivity dog, often known as "easygoing," "tolerant," "resilient," or even "thick-skinned," will be able to handle it better. Playing in a garage band, having small children, or living a hectic lifestyle are all signs that you might fit into this category. Make sure you get a dog that isn't too sensitive.

Protective Nature

The ability of a dog to alert you to strangers. These dogs are more likely to react to any potential threat, be it the mailman or a squirrel outside the window. These dogs are friendly to visitors if they are welcomed by their owners' family.

Potential for Playfulness

When it comes to playing, a dog's breed is a good indicator of how much they enjoy it. There are some breeds that will continue to play tug-of-war or fetch well into their mature years, while others will prefer to curl up on the couch with you.

Personality Appearance


Like working dogs that run all day, dogs raised for jobs like herding livestock need mental stimulation as well as physical activity. Unstimulated children may create their own work, usually with activities you dislike, like digging or gnawing.

Dog sports and jobs like agility and search and rescue can help exercise a dog's brain.

Energy Level

High-energy dogs are constantly ready to go. They can work all day long herding animals or chasing prey. These creatures are more likely to jump, play, and investigate new sights and smells.

An energy-sucking dog loves to stay home all day. Consider whether a feisty, lively dog will be exciting or annoying.

Easy To Train

They can swiftly link a command (like "sit"), an action (sitting), and a reward (receiving a treat). It takes patience and repetition for other dogs. Many intelligent breeds will need to be taught through prizes and games.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Some breeds are stubborn and aloof, some create deep ties with a single individual and are uninterested in others, and still others pour affection on the entire family. Not only does a dog's breed influence their amount of connection, but so does their upbringing.


While certain breeds are stubborn and aloof even when raised by the same person since puppyhood, others create deep relationships with a single person and are uninterested in anybody else, and still others show devotion to the entire family.

Dogs raised in a human-dominated environment are more likely to build strong human-dog ties than those raised in a dog-dominated environment.

Dog Friendly

Human and canine friendliness are distinct ideas. Some dogs attack or try to dominate other dogs, while others prefer to play than fight. Breed matters. Social dogs are those who lived with their littermates and mother until six to eight weeks old and played with other dogs a lot as pups.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in the house means dealing with dog hair on your clothes and in the house. The amount of hair loss varies greatly between breeds. Some dogs blow seasonally, others both ways, and yet others shed very little. If you're a neat freak, choose a breed that doesn't shed much. A de-shedding tool can help keep your home cleaner.

Drooling Potential

What a breed's propensity for drooling is. When it comes to dogs, if you're obsessive about cleanliness, you may want to avoid dogs that leave slobbery strands on your arm or large wet spots on your clothing.

Easy To Groom

Some dogs may be brushed and go, while others need to be bathed, clipped, and otherwise groomed on a regular basis in order to maintain their health and cleanliness. Grooming a dog that requires a lot of time and patience may not be in your best interest if you do not have the time or the money to do so.

Exercise Needs

Some breeds are happy with a leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood at night. Those that were originally developed for physically demanding jobs, such as herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise.

They can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, including barking, chewing, and digging, if not given enough exercise. Breeds that require a lot of exercise are ideal for folks who enjoy spending time in the great outdoors or who want to train their dog for a high-intensity canine sport like agility.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


20 - 26kg


12-14 years


Dogs - 58 to 61cm

Bitches - 56 to 59cm

Breed Type


History of the Airedale Terrier

The breed originated in the Aire Valley of Yorkshire, England, as a versatile all-rounder. The largest terrier breed. During the Industrial Revolution in the mid-19th century, local workers and farmers bred these dogs.

They're a mix between an otterhound and an extinct black-and-tan terrier. They may also have Bedlington and Irish terrier traces. They were often hired to hunt vermin like rats in factories and farms because of their adaptability and herding skills. Early on, they were used for rat hunting contests along the Aire River's banks.

Airedales have been a favourite hunting companion since the late 1880s. The AKC recognised them in 1888. Their intelligence, fearlessness, and agility made them ideal lookout, guard, ratting, and supply dogs during WWI.

After being severely injured by shrapnel, an Airedale named Jack was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery. They were replaced as police dogs by more enthusiastic German Shepherds. John Wayne, Theodore Roosevelt, and Warren Harding, among others, owned Airedales.

Personality and Temperament

Adding a terrier to the mix has softened the Airedale's demeanour. It's true that these are still ferocious dogs, but they tend to get along better with other dogs than some of the other breeds. Airedales are generally good with children, though they can be a little rowdy around little ones if they were reared with other pets.

Airedales need to be socialised and trained from an early age because they are initially reserved with strangers. Airedales are highly clever dogs, yet they can also be stubborn or independent in their approach to things. From the time they are puppies, they need a hard but gentle hand. In keeping with their terrier heritage, most Airedales are not large barkers, but they can be serious diggers and chewers. To be happy, Airedales require human contact.

The Airedale Terrier is one of the most adaptable breeds of terriers, known for its boldness, playfulness, and sense of adventure. This is a bright species, but one that can be stubborn and unyielding in its beliefs. While some can be tyrannical, the majority are obedient, dependable, and considerate of the wishes of their loved ones. As long as Airedales are given regular mental and physical stimulation, they make excellent family pets. When another dog tries to take over the role of leader, they may not do well. However, they normally get along well with smaller dogs.


Regular exercise allows Airedale terriers to display their athletic, energetic personalities. Even if they are well-adjusted with their owners, Airedales can become protective and distant when irritated.

The Airedale terrier, like many terriers, enjoys digging. If your garden is tidy and well-kept, consider training and enhancing it. Having a designated digging area is beneficial.


Generally speaking, Airedales are healthy dogs, but as with any breed, they are susceptible to specific health issues. If you're considering getting an Airedale, it's vital to know about these diseases, even if your dog doesn't have them.

If you're considering getting a puppy, look for a reputable breeder that can provide you with copies of the health clearances for the dog's parents. An animal has been cleared of an illness or disease when it receives a health clearance.

Hip Dysplasia 

The thigh bone does not fit tightly into the hip joint, which is a hereditary disease. Some dogs show signs of pain and lameness on one or both of their rear legs, while others don't. X-ray screening is the most accurate method of diagnosing the issue. 

As the dog ages, he or she may acquire arthritis. You should not breed dogs with hip dysplasia, so if you plan to acquire a puppy, make sure the breeder can provide confirmation that the parents have been examined and found to be healthy.

Bleeding Disorders

Hemophilia is a condition that affects your Airedale Terrier. Before we do surgery, we will undertake diagnostic testing to determine his blood clotting time. Because major bleeding may occur after surgery or after a traumatic accident before we discover your pet has this disease, this test is critical.


All dogs, including the Airedale, are prone to allergies. Food allergies, contact allergies, and inhalant allergies are the three types of allergies in dogs. The dog's diet is restricted to treat food allergies. Allergic reactions to topical substances like bedding, flea powder, and dog shampoos create contact allergies. Treatment options include dietary restrictions, medication, and environmental changes.

Neurologic Problems

Airedale Terriers are susceptible to a variety of neurological conditions. Seizures, imbalance, tremors, weakness, and excessive sleepiness are all symptoms of neurological issues that can occur. Please seek quick veterinary attention if you observe any of these signs in your pet.


The thyroid gland is affected by this condition. Epilepsy, alopecia (hair loss), obesity, lethargy, hyperpigmentation, pyoderma, and other skin diseases are thought to be caused by it. Medication and a healthy diet are used to treat it.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

The retina gradually degenerates in this group of eye diseases. Affected dogs go night-blind early on, but as the condition progresses, they lose their ability to see during the day. When a dog's surroundings remain the same, many of those impacted by eyesight loss adjust well.

Umbilica Hernia 

Abdominal fat or internal organs protrude against the abdominal wall at the umbilicus, a condition that is present at birth. Small hernias don't need to be addressed. At 6 months of age, some tiny hernias spontaneously close, while others persist throughout a dog's entire life. 

Hernia surgery is commonly performed during a dog's spay or neuter procedure. When an intestinal loop gets stuck in the hernia, surgery is used to avert a more dangerous condition in which the intestine is at risk for strangling.


By the age of two, 80 percent of dogs have dental problems, making it the most frequent long-term condition canines face. Airedale Terriers are more likely than other breeds to develop dental issues. There is a progression from tartar build up to gum and root infection, which can lead to tooth loss. 

You and your friend's health could be in jeopardy if we don't take action to prevent or treat dental disease. Actually, your Airedale Terrier's life expectancy could be reduced by a year or more. Keep your dog's teeth clean at home with the help of our professional cleanings.

Von Willebrand's Disease 

This is a blood condition that impairs the clotting process and is found in both dogs and people. Symptoms include nosebleeds, bleeding gums, prolonged bleeding after surgery, prolonged bleeding during heat cycles or after whelping, and occasionally blood in the feces for a dog affected by this disease. 

In most cases, it is detected between the ages of three to five, and it cannot be treated. However, it can be treated with cauterising or suturing injuries, blood transfusions prior to surgery, and avoiding certain drugs.

Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis 

Fresh or digested blood can be seen in the vomit and diarrhoea of patient dogs with this condition. The source of this illness is unknown, and it manifests itself swiftly. Because so many diseases have symptoms that are identical to the one being diagnosed, a diagnosis is made through elimination. Those with hemorrhagic gastrointestinal illness should seek immediate medical attention.

The dog needs IV fluids to stay hydrated, despite the fact that the illness is over in a few days. Dogs with dehydration have a higher risk of developing a thick, slow-moving blood stream if they don't drink enough water. Disseminated intravascular coagulation, a condition that can lead to death, can arise from this. It is also treated with antibiotics and anti-ulcer medicines.


Dogs, too, are susceptible to cancer. A person's chances of surviving cancer depend on the sort of cancer they have and the therapy they receive. In some cases, tumours are surgically removed, while others are treated with chemotherapy, and yet others are both surgically and medically eliminated.

Recommended Health Tests 

Hip Evaluation

Cardiac Exam

Ophthalmologist Evaluation

Renal Disease DNA Test


The recommended daily intake is between 1.5 and 2.5 cups of high-quality dry food, divided into two meals.

Your dog's weight, age, build, metabolism, and activity level all have a role in how much he eats as an adult. Dogs, like people, are unique beings who require different amounts of nutrition. It's practically a given that an active dog will require more food and water than a sedentary one. Your dog's health depends on the quality of the dog food you buy, and the better it is, the less you'll have to add to your dog's bowl.

Measure your Airedale's food and feed him twice a day instead of leaving food out all the time to keep him healthy. Give him the eye and hands-on tests if you're not sure if he's overweight.

First and foremost, fix your gaze on him. A waist should be seen. Place your hands on his back with your thumbs positioned along his spine and your fingers extended outward. If you press hard enough, you should be able to feel his ribs but not see them. If you can't, he'll benefit from a diet that's lower in calories and higher in activity.


  • The Airedale Terrier's coat has two unique layers: a thick, wiry topcoat and a shorter, softer undercoat. It is gorgeous and distinctive.
  • Generally speaking, the ears, legs, and underbelly are tan, while the back and upper sides are either fully black or mottled with grey and white.
  • The Airedale does not shed excessively, especially at specific seasons of the year.
  • Brushing your dog's coat once or twice a week is recommended to keep it in good shape. Their harsh terrier coat can be softened if they are frequently bathed.
  • About every three or four months, take your pet to the groomer to get their hair and nails done professionally.


  • An Airedale needs at least an hour of exercise each day to burn off its excess energy. The dog will find ways to entertain itself if it doesn't get enough stimulus. In addition to regular exercise, the dog should have access to a variety of enrichment opportunities around the house.
  • You may considerably lessen the likelihood of your dog engaging in destructive or wild behaviour by providing plenty of interactive and challenging chew toys, as well as scheduling entertaining training sessions and other brain-training activities.
  • Airedales can do well in dog sports like canicross if their ferocious intelligence, natural agility, and joyful enthusiasm are properly channelled. It's a terrific approach to keep them enriched and develop your relationship with them.



  • If you want to own an Airedale, you'll need to be familiar with dog training and behaviour, or be willing to learn. An owner's patience may be put to the test by the antics of the breed, which is known for its stubbornness.
  • To make an Airedale perform an action it doesn't want to, you'll have to go to great lengths. Reward-based training strategies are significantly more effective at encouraging the dog to make excellent decisions.
  • Airedales, like many terriers, can be prey-driven. Getting a great recall and keeping them on a leash may be necessary if you live in an area with a lot of wildlife.


Children and Other Pets

Fun-loving Airedales are a great addition to any household. He may even become protective of the family's youngsters in some situations, although his enormous size and high level of activity may be too much for very small children.

In order to avoid any biting or ear- or tail-pulling on either party's behalf, you should always oversee any interactions between dogs and young children, as you should with any breed. As a parent, instill in your child an understanding of the dangers of approaching dogs while they are eating or sleeping. A youngster should never be left alone with a dog, no matter how friendly it is.

With proper training and socialisation, the Airedale may get along well with other dogs in his family. When confronted with unfamiliar canines, he can become violent. Airedales have been known to chase cats, bunnies and other small animals because of their reputations as hunter-gatherers.


Airedale puppies should be socialised and trained from birth. They seem lively and interesting. To keep them from gnawing on your shoes and furniture, you must provide them with suitable chewing materials.

They'll romp all over you if you lay down on the floor with them. Who can deny that your major goal in life is to play?

Even if they're cute, Airedale puppies aren't always a joy to be around. They are harsh while teething and have destructive powers. Because Airedales develop slower than most other breeds, they'll stay a puppy for a long period. No matter if you're dealing with a male or female, expect a long juvenile stage.

A purebred Airedale puppy can cost upwards of $7,000. The high-end bloodlines of these dogs are ideal for showcasing or breeding. A normal Airedale costs around $1,000, plus a few hundred dollars for good measure.

The cost of an Airedale Terrier varies. The location of a puppy, its parents' lineage, and the breeder's reputation all influence the price. Do your homework before buying a puppy from a breeder.

Dogs breed related to Airedale Terrier

Poodles, Labradoodles, and German Shepherds are all dog breeds that are similar to the Airedale terrier.

  • The standard poodle is a hypoallergenic and highly intelligent dog that is around the size of an Airedale. Airedales are more spirited and courageous than Poodles.
  • Dogs of the Labradoodle breed are playful and hypoallergenic, and they blend the greatest qualities of both the poodle and the Labrador. You can't help but laugh at their antics.
  • In terms of size and shedding, the German shepherd is a bit larger than the Airedale. In spite of this, they are extremely bright and can be excellent pets for a family.