About airedale terrier

about airedale terrier


The Airedale was meant to be a rugged, all-weather hunter of small, furred game. Today’s family pets should maintain the attitude, instinct, and physical ability to return to the field with a minimum of conditioning.

All Airedales are black and tan, with only slight variations of shades allowed. They have a hard, wiry outer coat and a softer wooly undercoat. The Airedale coat grows vigorously. For maximum stylish effect for the show ring, the coat is hand-stripped and shaped. Many pet owners prefer to clipper the coat for neatness or to let it grow naturally, which turns the Airedale into a very shaggy dog. Routinely combing out the undercoat keeps the breed non-shedding and clean in the house.

The Airedale is by nature, interested and inquisitive. He should also have intelligence and steadiness that gives him a dignity and good sense that set him apart from some of his yappier, scrappier cousins.

When standing alert and “on his toes,” with head and tail high, the Airedale gives no doubt about his ability to stand his ground and guard his family without exaggerated threats of aggression.

Male Airedales should be well-boned and masculine looking, without being cloddy or “horsey.” The female is feminine without being fine boned or delicate.

The adult Airedale Terrier is a medium sized, squarely built dog. His height at the withers is about the same length from the front of the shoulder to the buttock.

To maintain a stylish, elegant dog that is also balanced, strong and agile, the Airedale Terrier Club of America (ATCA) has always maintained that there is only one ideal size and type of Airedale. According to the Airedale Terrier’s American Kennel Club standard: “Dogs should measure approximately 23 inches in height at the shoulder; bitches slightly less. An Airedale much over or under the correct size should be severely penalized in the show ring.”

The buyer of a pet Airedale may occasionally see advertisements for “oversized, old fashioned hunting Airedales,” but the ATCA is working hard to encourage the breeding of dogs which meet the standard.

During the first part of the 20th century, the Airedale’s exploits as a war dog and a hunter of game, including wild cats and bears, gave the breed an almost legendary popularity. Breeding dogs bigger and tougher supposedly meant better, but the opposite was true. Oversize Airedales tend to be ungainly and unbalanced, with a larger size having nothing to do with hunting instincts, courage, or stamina.

The temperament of today’s Airedale is also vastly improved over its “old fashioned” predecessors. The rapid rise of popularity during the 1920’s made the Airedale the #1 dog in the country. Consequently, prolific and careless breeding rapidly deteriorated Airedale type, temperament and soundness.

Fortunately, today’s reputable Airedale breeders, though fewer in number, have rescued the breed by steadily improving its sterling qualities.

The modern Airedale is confident, unafraid of people and other dogs, but not a combative breed, as suggested by the adage; “The Airedale doesn’t start fights, he finishes them.” While intelligent Airedale puppies may seem tentative or cautious, the breed should never be timid or spooky.

In addition to being keen hunters and steadfast family guards, the Airedale is a comedian. The breed is playful, fun-loving, and active. They need a certain amount of exercise and attention, and they are most appreciated by an owner with a good sense of humor.

Airedales make excellent companions for children, as long as both the children and the dog have a parental figure to establish firm rules. Given total freedom, the Airedale and his child can get in lots of trouble.

Few breeds manage to be as stylish, noble, athletic, protective, and goofy as an Airedale. Once you’ve owned a good one, the only thing better is two or three more.

Category: Airedale

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