Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier

The Terrier family of dogs has a “King terrier” known by the name Airedale terrier. Being the largest of the terrier breed makes Airedale Terrier “The King of Terriers”. The name is also shortened to “Airedale”.

Airedale terrier gets its name because of its origin from the valley (which is what “Dale” means) of the “Aire” River.

Airedale was bred from the Welsh terrier, the Otterhound and many other breeds of the terrier type groups. The Airedale stands tall at a height of 60-61 centimeters (24 inches) and weighs about 25-35 Kgs.  

They were initially bred to hunt. Also, the Airedale terrier has served as a guide dog, war dog and a police dog.

Airedale Terrier Pictures

Quick Facts

Average Weight: 42-55 pounds (male), 45 pounds (female)

Average Height: 22-24inches (male), 22-23 inches (female).

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years.

Dog Group: Terrier

Colors: Black & Tan

AKC Rank: 55

At a Glance

Size (3/5)

Airedale Terrier size is the largest of the terrier breeds. Dogs in the terrier family vary a lot in size. The Airedale terrier manages to be the tallest of the terrier family.

Its height is 23-24 inches and can weigh as much as 50-80 pounds.

Affection Level (4/5)

Airedales are terrier giants but are pretty affectionate. They are wonderful when living with a family, with the kids and also make good friends with other dogs.

However, they may take some time to adjust with strangers but are still well behaved and can be handled.

Apartment Friendly (2/5)

Apartments cannot be suitable for Airedales as they need more space to run around and play. They need regular exercise and indoor activities as they are not the ones to just sit around and wait for you to play with them.

A house with a back yard is best suitable for Airedales.

Cold Weather Tolerability (3/5)

Airedales enjoy being outdoors. They can deal with cold weather quite good as the weather is not a problem for the Airedale terrier as long as it is too much to bear.

Hot Weather Tolerability (3/5)

Airedales can cope well with the rising temperatures. The giant terrier has a coat fuzzy coat with its hair being short and wiry.

If the fuzzy coat is stripped in the hot weather it becomes easier for the Airedale to tolerate the heat.

Barking Tendencies (4/5)

If you own an Airedale you will see them constantly moving and chasing anything that moves.

They are likely to bark every now and then, yet they are not the constant barkers, they may howl sometimes.

Cat-Friendly (2/5)

If you happen to own a cat and you are thinking to get an Airedale terrier you should make the two meet and bond as soon as possible.

Dog-Friendly (4/5):

If not so much with cats, the Airedales can definitely be great with other dogs. They are very playful, energetic and athletic. Airedales are tough creatures but they can still be great with other dogs.

Exercise Needs (5/5)

Airedale terrier is a strong and independent dog. To pet one, you should be ready to make them exercise everyday as just throw and fetch is not enough for this tough terrier.

Grooming Needs (5/5)

The Airedale terrier requires a lot of grooming considering its wiry hair and fuzzy coat. Grooming is mainly required to keep the fur shiny and clear of dirt.

Playfulness (5/5):

Having a history of serving as a hunting as well as a guide dog, Airedales are born athletes. They are very playful and cannot just sit around and doze off.

Trainability (5/5)

When it comes to training an Airedale terrier you will be surprised at how smart and quickly this dog adapts to things when being trained.

Intelligence (5/5)

Airedale terrier are intelligent and smart dogs. They were bred in the first place to hunt. They naturally have great hunting skills and are intelligent enough to quickly grasp new things.

Mouthiness (5/5)

Airedales are mouthy dogs. Despite being tough and strong the Airedale terrier is great companion who loves nibbling and play-bites.

Price Group (5/5)

Airedale terrier price range starts from $500 up to $2000.

About Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier is a lovely breed, the name is shortened to “Airedale” and it is also known as the Waterside Terrier or the Bingley Terrier.

The terrier breed is usually a small or normal sized breed but the Airedale Terrier is the largest in the terrier group. Owing to its size Airedale is called the “King of Terriers”.

Its height is almost 1 Feet 9 inches or 11 inches. The male Airedales are slightly taller and heavier than the female.

Airedale terrier is an adorable breed yet strong and protective. They can be great as watchdogs considering their smartness and independent nature.

Though, they are adorable they are not suitable to average families. Airedales can have dominance issues and require appropriate training started at an early age. They are physically very active and always ready for a new adventure.

Where Did Airedale Terriers Come From?

The Airedale Terrier history goes back to the mid-19th Century. A “Dale” means a valley. The name Airedale refers to the River Aire running in the valley of Yorkshire. This can be considered as the birthplace of the Airedale Terrier.

People from this century cross bred a Black and tan terrier with the Otterhound and more of the terrier type group. As a result of which, the Airedale terrier was born.

The Airedale was born with a black and tan coat with rough hair and a soft undercoat. They were then used for hunting vermin, as a guide dog and also served as a police dog.

Airedales are great companions if you love to go hiking. They are energetic, athletic and never sit idle because they themselves seek adventure continously.

Walter Lingo, Ex- Army captain and also an Airedale breeder developed an even lager Airedale Terrier the ‘Oorang Airedale’ in 1920’s. Which is why Airedales were also known as “Oorang”.


Airedale Terrier size earns it the title “King of terriers”. Originally bred to hunt vermin the terriers are small and fearless, until the Airedale Terrier was bred and was born as the largest terrier.

The size of Airedale Terrier is about 24 Inches and weighs 50-80 pounds. This is the case for the male Airedale, the female is slightly shorter and weighs a little less than the male Airedale.

Their size plus the active nature makes them not suitable for families who are new to pet a dog. They need regular exercising and indoor activities as they are not the ones to just sit around and wait for you to play with them.

They are not apartment dogs thus, a house with a back yard is best suitable for Airedales. Its structure and size can make Airedales unsuitable to pet, for many people.

The Oorang Airedale was bred to weigh more than the regular Airedale. However, the standard weight of Airedales remained up to 45-50 pounds.


Airedales sure make as wonderful house dogs but if you decide to bring home an Airedale terrier you need to start training him early. For new dog parents training them can be very difficult.

Airedales are naturally independent and intelligent dogs. This also makes them dominant and they might think they can be dominant with their owner as well. To prevent this training an Airedale is a must.

With good behavior and lots of treats your terrier will learn the training very quickly. Punishing him/her will only toughen the training and learning progress.

The training process for an Airedale should start when it reaches the age of 6 months. At this age Airedale terrier puppies are able to understand the commands and are responsive to their training.

Airedales are strong headed dogs and starting their training when they are puppies helps them teach obedience. They are extremely amazing as family dogs, and also adapt to their training quickly.

Colors and Grooming

Airedale terriers mostly have only the black and tan color coat, often with little white on the chest.

Grooming an Airedale Terrier is a must and an unavoidable aspect. Airedales are low maintenance in terms of grooming their fur consists of short and wiry hair, a rough upper coat and a soft undercoat.

Airedale Terrier shedding is not that much of an issue as they tend to shed less. Also, to continue the less shedding, brushing their coat on a regular basis is a must. This keeps their hair shiny and avoids frizzing.   

When giving your Airedale a bath, make sure to use a shampoo that isn’t harsh on their skin and hair. Also, make sure to remove all the excess or residue shampoo on their skin as Airedales are likely to attract skin problems due to any residue of shampoo left on their skin.

Common Diseases

Before getting yourself a dog, it is important to know about their medical history as a breed altogether. This is necessary because in the future your Airedale can face health issues possibly due to genetically inherited diseases.

Usually, the Airedale terrier lifespan is of 11-12 years. During this course of time an Airedale can face many common diseases.

These common diseases and health issues can be hip dysplasia, dermatitis, gastric torsion or bloating, cataract eye, cerebellar ataxia, autoimmune haemolytic anaemia and heart diseases.

Targeting the Bones

Hip Dysplasia

A very common osteopathic condition found in nearly all dogs and also Airedales, is Hip Dysplasia. An Airedale getting affected by Hip Dysplasia is not very likely yet possible.

Hip Dysplasia can be a genetical health problem. It is the ill formation of the hip joint during the early development ages of dogs.

Targeting the Skin


Terrier breeds are prone to skin problems and so are Airedales. Dermatitis specifically is common in b.

Airedales have a thick coat due to which they need to be checked regularly, as it is possible to not notice any problem considering the thickness of their coat.

Obsessively licking sore spots and itchy parts can also lead to Acral lick granulomas. The licking can further lead to acute moist dermatitis.

Improper nutrition and also specific food allergies can produce serious dermatological conditions in Airedales.

Targeting the Stomach

Gastric torsion or Bloat

Bloat is a medical condition that often affects deep chested and tall dogs. It leads to a severe gas build-up in the dog’s stomach resulting in twisting in the stomach or total blockage.

Bloat, if not treated in time or without a surgery can be fatal.

Proper techniques of feeding your Airedale which assures that they don’t gulp their food can prevent bloat.

Targeting the Eye


As the Airedales reach their old age, chances are that they will be affected by cataracts. Almost 8% of Airedale terriers face this heath issue towards their old age.

Not just the old ones but the younger clan too can be affected by cataract.

Airedales may also face nuclear sclerosis but apart from these eye problems they do not face any serious eye problems.

Targeting the Nervous System

Cerebellar ataxia

A hereditary brain condition, Cerebellar ataxia is caused due to damage to cerebellum or can be a result of a recessive gene. Cerebellum is responsible for movement.

It can develop when the Airedale is a puppy aging between 6-12 weeks. It causes many problems such as the dog may have poor balance, rapid eye movement and can also have trouble with focusing or concentration.

Targeting the Body

Autoimmune Haemolytic Anaemia

This condition is responsible for destroying a dog’s autoimmune responses to malfunction, further destroying its own red blood cells.

The cause of this disease is not well known as it can happen for no reason at all. However, genetic relation is linked with the occurrence of this disease.

Though preventive, sometimes autoimmune haemolytic anaemia can be fatal.

Heart Diseases

Heart diseases and issues are the commonest cause of death in older Airedales.

Age factor can be responsible for lower heart murmurs in dogs. Anything lower than the standard 1-4 is considered safe.

Any dog with a heart murmur issue should not be ignored and should be monitored regularly.


The standard routine and basic care that needs to be taken to feed Airedale Terriers:

  • 8-12 weeks of Airedale Terrier puppies should be fed 4 bowls of food in a day.
  • 3 meals a day for puppies aged 3-6 months.
  • 2 meals a day for 6 months or more old puppies.
  • By the time your Airedale is one, only one bowl of food a day is enough.

Feed the Airedale dry food which provides them with a balanced diet. The dry food can be mixed with water or broth or some canned food.

Airedales also enjoy eating vegetables and fruits, boiled eggs and cottage cheese. Although, do not overfeed them these foods.

Provide them fresh and clean water and avoid food that has gone bad or has dirt in it.

Suggested: Senior Dog Food

Vaccination and Care

As a dog owner your first responsibility is to vaccinate your dog. Airedales require all the regular vaccination all other dogs need.

These vaccinations are usually core vaccinations against the canine distemper virus, parvovirus, adenovirus, canine parainfluenza and rabies.

The vaccination for the distemper virus, parvovirus, adenovirus, canine parainfluenza are usually combination vaccines.

Despite these vaccinations dogs still get infected. The vaccination can be started when your Airedale puppy reaches 10-12 weeks.

Suggested: Guide To Dog Vaccination

Monthly Expense Estimation

The cost of buying an Airedale can start from $500 to $2000. After buying the dog its monthly expense can cost about $200 for his vaccination or diagnosis and $10-50 a month for rest of the stuff.

The annual cost can however vary between $500 to $800 which includes foods and treats, toys, the vet bills and more.

Though it seems expensive it is a pretty fare deal compared to million dollars of worth of energy and love an Airedale will bring with itself.



Airedale terriers are hunters by birth their hunting instinct makes them a very active and chasing dog. Airedales need special training with kids around.

If trained well and the bond between children and the terrier is created early enough, they can be super protective of the children.

Airedales are lovely and adorable and with kids around they are even more loving.


Airedales were famous for hunting otters and they have very strong hunting instincts which makes them unsafe for cats. Though they can be cat friendly, Airedales around an unknown cat is a danger.

If you happen to own a cat and you are thinking to get an Airedale terrier you should make the two meet and bond as soon as possible.


Airedales are fairly good with other dogs. They are playful and will love another dogs company.

But they need proper socializing and good training so that they don’t be tough with other dogs.

Airedale terriers are constantly moving, running and chasing every thing that moves. This particularly defines their personality of being playful. So, making them socialize with other dogs won’t be a bad decision.


Overall, the decision to buy an Airedale Terrier is a good one. The terrier is the “King of Terriers” and will certainly rule your heart.

They are lovely, affectionate, energetic and courageous. Airedales have all of these qualities and are additionally low maintenance.

Airedale terriers are larger than the other terriers and are very much active. They are very playful and cannot just sit around and doze off.

They need just the basic grooming like brushing and stripping their coat and bathing them when necessary.

They certainly are not apartment dogs and need a house with a backyard.

Although, they may make you all worked up and tired with all playing and exercising.

Fun Facts about the Airedale Terrier

In the past Airedale Terriers were a favorite of the rich.

Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the US-owned an Airedale. His name was ‘Laddie Boy’. Laddie Boy was the first celebrity dog who visited The White House.

Another Airedale in New Zealand named Paddy was famous as a wanderer as he used to wander all around Wellington, New Zealand. When he died the whole city was brought to a standstill.

In the 1900’s, an Airedale named Rolf was believed to be such a genius that he could solve arithmetic problems and communicated codes for letter by tapping his legs.

In 1912, Airedales were aboard the Titanic, when it sank both the Airedales sank with it.

Such is the Airedale Terrier a genius, a lovely friend, owned by famous people and known for many historic facts.

Hey, Readers!

That’s all from our side on Airedale Terrier. Did you like this breed or dog? Or the thought of buying it is intimidating?

Happy Petting To You Guys!


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