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Airedale Terrier - Meeting the King of the Terriers

Airedale Terrier - Conociendo al Rey de los Terriers

Lobo Azul |

Better known as the King of the Terriers , the Airedale Terrier has earned his nickname for being the largest dog in his group . Its origin is, to say the least, interesting, and it constantly refers us to the history of man, especially the history of hunting and the industrial revolution.

  • Big size .
  • Weight : Between 18 and 29kg.
  • Hair type : Curly and Short.
  • Character : Intelligent, Extroverted, Friendly, Alert, Confident, Brave
  • Health : Healthy
  • Life expectancy : Between 10 and 12 years.

The Airedale Terrier is one of those dogs that have been modified to perform a useful job for man. It is the product of a cross between species that even today continues to be the subject of conflicting debates among experts. As we will see later, it is still debated whether it is the product of the cross between the Otterhound and the Old English Terrier or between the latter and the Welsh Hound.

Although the origin of Airedale Terriers could remain unclear in the future, one thing we can be sure of is how to identify them. To do this, we could use their physical characteristics and general behavior.

History and origin of the Airedale Terrier

Coming from the United Kingdom , its origins are related to the English hunting tradition and the vicissitudes that hunters experienced at certain times of the industrial revolution.

First of all, we must mention that the English people since approximately the 15th century were already practicing hunting with dogs belonging to the terrier group (group to which the Airedale Terrier belongs) and with other types of dogs that provided other types of advantages.

origin of the Airedale Terrier

Terriers, in general, provided a lot of vigor but tended to be ineffective when chasing their prey when it reached the rivers. For this reason, it is theorized that one of the species with which it was decided to cross the Old English Terrier was the Otterhound, famous for its long legs that allowed it to swim effectively when chasing otters.

At some point during the industrial revolution, otter hunting became more difficult, so the idea of ​​breeding the brave terriers to overcome their difficulties in the water became increasingly convincing.

However, there is no shortage of those who deny these hypotheses and instead of the Otterhound they propose that the puppy was crossed with the Welsh Hound breed, this being more suitable for crossing and generating the same benefits.

Airedale Terrier history

Physical Characteristics of the Airedale Terrier

Identifying an Airedale Terrier is not a difficult task. On the contrary, its appearance is so particular that it is recognizable at a glance . This dog has a standard height between 59 and 61 cm high among males and between 56 and 59 cm high among females.

They have small, dark and oblique eyes that usually reflect a state of alertness and liveliness, an innate quality of the Airedale Terrier. Its coat is double: while the so-called "undercoat" is soft and short and the outer coat is harder and more rustic, generally being black or gray in the area of ​​the back, neck and tail, and colored reddish or brown on the rest of its body.

English Airedale Terrier

It is a dog adapted for hunting , which is why its specimens are muscular, with considerably long legs, although not excessively so, which makes it much easier for it to chase prey while swimming. They also have V-shaped ears, folded forward. They have a prominent and powerful snout, with a scissor-style bite and, on certain but rare occasions, a pincer-style bite.

Airedale Terrier Behavioral Characteristics

Regarding the behavior of this dog, special mention must be made of its great energy. They are very helpful and hardworking dogs . This is probably because they were, and continue to be, helpers when hunting small, medium and large prey.

Airedale Terriers are energetic but not aggressive , even being a little naive. They act aggressively only if there are sufficient reasons to do so, that is, if they are victims of harassment or violent action against them or a close member.

Airedale Terrier characteristics

It is a dog that exudes intelligence and personality. This has led many people to declare themselves fans of Airedale Terriers, even though they have never been a mainstream dog. This fact has been rather positive for their conservation, as it has kept them away from contemporary indiscriminate breeding.

Finally, it is also worth mentioning that the Airedale Terrier is one of the most affectionate and reliable dogs you can have at home . Lively and playful, this is a dog that can spend many active hours having fun with you and your family. However, early socialization with children and small animals is necessary, since they can become very impulsive and do not measure their strength.

Airedale Terrier Care

Airedale Terriers, as with all dog breeds, can benefit greatly if their owner provides them with the necessary care for their particular needs. In that sense, there are specific diets, treatments and precautions for this type of puppies.

Below we detail some tips to keep your Airedale Terrier completely healthy, with an impeccable coat and an enviable immune system. Remember that almost all of your dog's well-being depends on your dog's healthy diet.

Airedale Terrier care

Airedale Terrier Health

Although they are a very healthy breed that presents few problems throughout their life, which is usually long, between 12 and 15 years; It is possible that their specimens have some gastric diseases and colon problems, and in certain cases some heart conditions.

In older specimens, the Airedale Terrier is subject to hip dysplasia and eye diseases. However, all the ailments that the Airedale Terrier can suffer can be reduced with a balanced diet, rich in animal protein and quality fats (not in excess).

Hip dysplasia does not reach a clinical stage precisely because of the great muscular strength that well-fed Airedale Terriers usually present. It is a possible evil due to its longevity, but in general, it does not lead to major complications if the necessary precautions are taken.

It is also recommended to include fatty acids and omega 3 and 6 in the Airedale Terrier's diet to keep their coat and skin completely healthy, and thus avoid flaking.

Brushing the Airedale Terrier

To keep our Airedale Terrier in optimal condition , it will be necessary to apply good brushing and baths according to its coat type. Regarding brushing, it should be considered that its coat is a little hard and tends to get knotted, therefore, whenever you are going to brush an Airedale Terrier it is necessary to use a little water or moisturizing cream to untangle.

Subsequently, it will also be necessary to use a mitten or metal card to comb, and if it is in the shedding season, remove our puppy's dead hair.

Metal brushes also help and on several occasions several tools are usually necessary to separate and comb our dog's undercoat.

Airedale Terrier dog

Bathing the Airedale Terrier

Regarding bathing the Airedale Terrier, it is worth mentioning that it should be done according to the texture of its coat and the shape of its body. Therefore, you should use a shampoo appropriate to its qualities and, when lathering, pay special attention to the areas where the most moisture resides on your body, such as the beard and genital area.

By covering these small but significant details, our Airedale Terrier will be less prone to skin diseases or the action of pests such as ticks and fleas.

It is also important to note that drying must be thorough. To do this, we can let our Airedale Terrier dry by running in the sun, or we can facilitate the process by using some type of dryer, with which we could dry and comb our dog in a few minutes.

It is necessary to be careful with cleaning your eyes, as they tend to accumulate rheum, which can lead to infections.

Physical activity in the Airedale Terrier

It is vital for specimens of this breed to exercise frequently . Going out for a run, playing or taking long walks is necessary so that they can burn energy and develop their muscles healthily. A dog with the energy intensity characteristic of this breed that is not exercised regularly will be a rebellious pet with a tendency to destroy things in the home. They are very energetic animals, so keeping them inactive usually causes discomfort and/or mood changes. Additionally, for Airedale Terriers, constant exercise helps avoid heart conditions.

On the other hand, the muscular strength characteristic of the Airedale Terrier prevents hip dysplasia from progressing to a serious clinical state. To do this, it will be essential to get them used to an exercise routine adapted to their age and strengths.

train Airedale Terrier

Training and education

As for training, the Airedale Terrier is not the easiest breed to train. Although it is an extremely intelligent dog and its learning level is very high, to correctly train specimens of this breed, some considerations must be taken:

Avoid routine and unattractive tasks

Airedale Terriers learn quickly but are too easily distracted . They are dogs that do not tolerate excessive repetitiveness. If they notice that they can do another, more fun task, they won't pay much attention to what you're trying to teach them. Therefore, it is important to find the ideal time to teach them a habit or task.

They are a little proud dogs

These tend to be very competitive with their peers. Since they are vigorous, energetic and strong animals, they are used to confronting each other to determine who dominates and who obeys. In this sense they are very independent and challenging. For that reason, coercive methods should not be used with this breed . The owner must earn the respect of the Airedale Terrier firmly but without violence or harassment.


Very strong hunting instinct

Whether your intention is to train it or not, you should consider this factor to avoid any unpleasant events when taking your Airedale Terrier for a walk. These animals usually go after rats, squirrels and any small animal that they consider prey.

You must take the necessary precautions to prevent your companion from attacking another pet or animal by trying to keep him under surveillance in a park when you take him out for a walk.

They learn almost any type of activity

They are very intelligent animals , they learn quickly and accurately with the right person. They have even been seen in dance competitions. However, it is usual to see them appear in sports obedience, agility and defense competitions. They are very reliable animals and have a great capacity for action.

If you were looking for an ideal companion, strong, intelligent and, above all, reliable, you have probably found one of the dogs that comes closest to that description. The Airedale Terrier is without a doubt an exemplary dog, which has accompanied men since ancient times in tasks that require strength, cunning and companionship.


The Airedale Terrier requires a series of special care as well as precautions regarding its training. However, once these conditions are met, this dog becomes an ideal friend, willing to accompany you through good and bad times.

Remember that the most important thing when purchasing a dog is the commitment to take care of it in all aspects and to ensure its well-being at all times and places. In the case of the Airedale Terrier, this task is even more laborious, but brings enormous rewards.

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