Airedale Terrier – Your Guide To This Amazing Dog Breed

The following information is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not constitute pet medical advice. Clever Fur is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Airedale Terriers are the largest of all the terrier breeds. They are also known as “King of Terriers”. Airedales are confident, lively, outgoing, and intelligent, they are also able sporting dogs. They are a perfect fit for the whole household including children. Airedale Terriers are a fascinating breed, they are courageous, stylish, athletic, and silly.

History of the Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terriers originated in the Aire Valley of Yorkshire and got their name after this valley, they were created to hunt rats and otters in the regions between the Aire valley and Wharfe Rivers.

They are known to be the largest of the Terrier breed thus earning them the name “King of Terriers”. The first trial at creating an Airedale Terrier was in 1853, a rough-coated Black and Tan Terrier was bred with an Otterhound with the hope of creating a well-rounded sporting dog that could also hunt rats on land and otters in the rivers.

The first crossbreeding created a dog that had a terrier’s keenness and was still able to swim and smell game, these crosses were called Bingley or Waterside Terriers and in the 12 years that followed the first crossbreed games, they had become a popular sporting terrier.

Did You Know?

President Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Warren Harding were among the many people who owned and adored the Airedale Terrier

Appearance and size

Airedale Terrier

Male Airedales stand 23 inches tall while the females are slightly shorter. Male Airedales usually weigh around 50 – 65 pounds while females weigh 40 – 55 pounds.

The Airedales coat has two layers: a topcoat that is wiry and dense, and an undercoat that is soft and short. Airedale Terriers have a particular coat combination, the majority of the dogs in this breed are Tan— ears, legs, head, underbelly and the shoulders; the back and upper sides are either grizzled or black— black mixed with white and gray.

In some cases, there is a bit of red in the black and a small white star on the chest. They have long muscular legs that give them a real lift. They have a long head with a sporty beard and mustache, dark eyes and neatly folded ears.


Grooming is very necessary with this breed. Regular brushing helps keep their coat in good condition, it helps to eliminate dead hair and remove mats and tangles.

Brush their coat once or twice a week. Over bathing is not advised as it’ll soften the coarse coat of the terrier, bathe them once a month. Brush their teeth at least 3 times a week to get rid of bacteria, gum disease, bad breath and tartar build-up, you could also brush their teeth daily.

Trim his once or twice a month, check his ears weekly for redness and odor which are signs of an infection. While you check your dog’s ears, clean their ears with a cotton ball and a gentle pH-balanced ear cleaner to aid in the prevention of infection, clean only the outer ear, do not insert anything into the ear canal.

Check your pup often for rashes, sores, tenderness, redness, inflammation on the nose, mouth, eyes and skin. Their eyes should be clear with no discharge or redness. Make grooming an experience your pup looks forward to by filling it with rewards and praises. By so doing, you make it easy for them to have veterinary exams as well.


Dogs of this breed are outgoing, intelligent, and confident, they are very playful and spend most of their time entertaining their owners. Airedales are courageous, brave and fiercely loyal to their family.

They have high energy and need to stay active and exercised. When you shower Airedales with love, attention, care, affection and exercise, you will be rewarded with a playful and loving companion for the whole household.

Airedales have the distinct personalities of a working dog and a sporting dog. These dogs don’t like being idle, they are at their happiest when they have a job to do, they enjoy playing with and entertaining children as they get along with children smoothly nevertheless their interaction with children should never be left unsupervised by an adult.

True to their nature as Terriers, Airedales enjoy barking, digging (sometimes they dig in the middle of flower gardens or in the middle of the yard) and chasing small animals, this breed is known to have an independent streak but they also enjoy being a member of the family and being included in the day to day activities of the family, they are happy when they are with their owners and are not meant to be backyard dogs.

Airedales are dogs that can think for their self and don’t wait for directions, commands and orders from their owner. If you desire a dog that awaits your every command, an Airedale is not the dog for you.

Airedales are rather unforgiving of harsh treatment and will most definitely hold a grudge against an aggressor, their strong prey drive makes them a lot to handle sometimes and they can be aggressive towards other dogs and other animals.

Not surprisingly, Airedales are excellent watchdogs and will do anything to protect their family from intruders and strangers. They are extremely brave however they can become friendly to invited guests in the home.

Behind all the tough dog attitude, they are comical and playful, they adore the company of family as well as playing, grabbing food and tossing toys, they are generally mischievous.

They enjoy picking up and collecting souvenirs to remind them of their human owners and families. They mature slowly but still remain puppies at heart well into their old age. Being high energy dogs, they are better suited to a home with a large fenced yard so they can exercise daily to remain active and full of energy. It’s worth noting that Airedales enjoy chewing and will chew anything.

Training and exercise

Training and early socialization of Airedales are essential in order to teach them the proper canine manners. If Airedales aren’t used to other dogs and animals or is brought up in the same home as other dogs and animals, they will become aggressive and quarrelsome towards them.

These dogs have a high energy level and may not be ideal for novice pet owners as they may be too intense for novice owners to handle. Due to their high energy, they require lots of exercise.

Fortunately, providing Airedales with space to run in the form of a big yard with a tall and secure fence is enough to meet up with those physical needs. Being both working and sporting dogs, they can compete in obedience, agility and hunt tests.

Daily walks are a part of Airedale’s favorite activities. Chewing is one of the many habits Airedales have, he will chew whatever he can find, whenever you’re going to be away from home, it’s a good idea to leave them in crates or secure kennels with sturdy toys to prevent them from chewing your furniture or valuables.

Airedales can be aggressive and even though they may not start fights, they are sure to finish fights, consistent obedience training is an effective tool in combating this so is a securely fenced yard.

Like all dogs, the Airedale Terrier needs to learn socialization from an early age, they need to be exposed to different people,  dogs, animals, sounds, sights and experiences. Early socialization is key in ensuring that your Airedale Terrier matures into a well-rounded dog. 

You should also introduce your pup to grooming at a tender age so they get used to it.

Why you should get an Airedale Terrier

Airedales are a delightful breed, they playful delight their owners with their antics and personality.

They have high energy levels which make them the perfect partners for hiking, jogging, and running. In Airedales, you are guaranteed to find a playful and loving companion.

Where to get an Airedale Terrier and price

Airedale Terriers are purebred dogs, they may be found in the card of shelters or rescue groups. To ensure you get a healthy dog, do not buy a puppy from an unreliable or irresponsible pet store, puppy mill or breeder.

Buy your puppy from a reputable breed who tests her dog to be sure they are free from health conditions and genetic diseases and make sure that the dogs have a sound temperament which they may pass to the puppies, your breeder should also be able to show you health clearances for both of your puppy’s parents to prove that the parents have been tested and cleared for a particular medication condition. You can confirm health clearances given to you by the breeder by checking the OFA website (


The Airedale Terrier is a fun pet to have, they are playful and very active so you should bear that in mind if going for this breed, they are also easy to groom and train. All in all, this is a wonderful dog breed to get if you’re in the market for a new dog.

Related Articles; Alaskan Husky Dog Breed Guide, Can Dogs Eat Doritos

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top