Airedale Terrier Breed Information
The Airedale terrier originates from a place in Yorkshire called the “Valley of the Aire”. Although specific dates remain controversial, most dog historians believe the breed was first developed around the mid part of the 19th century. Interestingly, the Airedale Terrier was bred to help hunt otter. Initially, an Otterhound coupled with terriers was needed for the job but with crossbreeding of various breeds, some believed to be the Broken-coated Working Terrier, Old English Black and Tan Terrier, and the Rough-coated Black and Tan Terrier, the Airedale was born.
Today, the Airedale Terrier is still an exceptional hunter, as well as a great family pet and protector. In fact, most Airedale owners agree that this breed is laid back at home but should he feel his family threatened, he would literally protect them to the death. This combination of affection and gentleness coupled with protection is what makes the Airedale a popular and rewarding choice. Even so, because of his physical and mental strength, the Airedale is not right for everyone.
Airedale Terrier Temperament
Because the Airedale is a “terrier”, early socialization and training are highly recommended. In many cases, a terrier will show streaks of independence and even dominance. With the Airedale Terrier being in the medium to large dog category, teaching his place in the home is important. The good news is that with proper handling, this breed has a controllable demeanor without losing its adventurous spirit.
The Airedale Terrier is also a highly intelligent dog. While sometimes headstrong, training can be used to put the strong will to good use. You will find this breed to be very responsive and reliable, as well. Yes, the Airedale Terrier is deemed an “alpha” breed but once trained he makes an exceptional addition to just about any home. In addition, this breed does quite well with children and smaller, submissive dogs.
Although you could socialize the Airedale to live with a larger breed dog, challenges associated with position could arise. This breed truly has an amazing personality. In addition to being loyal, the breed is comical and inquisitive. In most cases, people will keep the Airedale indoors in that it does not usually do well sleeping in an outdoor environment.
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Airedale Terrier Size and Color
As stated, the Airedale Terrier is a medium to large size breed. Typically, a full-grown male will measure about 23 inches at the withers and weigh between 50 and 65 pounds. For the female, average height is around 21 inches and weight around 45 to 55 pounds.
An Airedale Terrier is distinct in appearance. With long legs and a hard, dense, and wiry coat that tends to wave, the breed is considered unique. The color of this breed’s coat is tan although there are black markings on either side, as well as the upper portion of the body. Due to the strong bone structure, the Airedale presents himself as a proud, strong, and agile dog.
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Airedale Terrier Feeding and Grooming Requirements
Due to so much energy, an Airedale Terrier needs to be maintained on a quality diet. In addition, the skin of the Airedale will often be dry so many veterinarians will recommend the diet be supplemented with certain types of oil. This terrier breed needs to be fed a high protein diet for puppy growth but then switched in early adulthood, usually between eight and ten months, to mature food to reduce risk of hip dysplasia.
With the extremely dense and wiry hair, the Airedale Terrier needs to be groomed on a regular basis. This means brushing the dog on a daily basis, along with having it clipped or shaped with scissors at least once a week. Then to maintain the overall cut, he would need to be completely groomed every four to six weeks, depending on how fast the hair grows. In addition, the Airedale will often have its ears positioned in a process known as “gluing” while puppies, which simply trains the ears for adult form.
Airedale Terrier Exercise Needs
Keep in mind that this particular terrier does need daily exercise otherwise, you might find him becoming bored and perhaps even destructive to get your attention. Typically, vigorous and daily exercise will go a long way with the Airedale, specifically walks, jogs, or hunting and fetching games. Even a friendly Airedale should be properly leash trained and maintained in public while under your control.
Remember, this breed is strong-headed so it usually takes an adult hand to manage him. The only real downfall to the Airedale is that they are exceptional diggers. Therefore, when you take him outside to play or train, pay attention to the area and stop any digging as soon as it begins.
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