Airedale grooming chart

Airedales are fun!

What Airedales can do

Airedales as Family Dogs

Airedales make wonderful pets and family dogs provided they are well socialised and had had training. They are never bad tempered or temperamental - if you want an upbeat dog with a positive attitude and lots of energy and drive then choose an Airedale.

In addition Airedales don't moult and have minimal doggy odours - very important for allergy sufferers.

Airedales - their Genetic Background and Character

Airedales are large terriers and with that comes tenacity (some would call it stubborness), excitability and fearlessness.

Their genetic pool is derived from various terriers and otterhounds which makes them more laid back (if that can be said about any terrier) and less snappy and vocal. They were originally bred for otter and badger hunting and often had to work alone away from the handler. That explains their relative fearlessness and their delight in exploring - especially on nature walks - by themselves. Unfortunately they also have a strong prey drive, so be aware of livestock and game on off-lead walks. Also small pets need careful introduction, rabbits etc might never get on with this breed. We keep our Airedale and a cat together and they get on amicably - but again early socialisation is the key to success.

Airedales are always "up for it", full of energy and easily excitable. In training you want to pay attention to directing your dog's enthusiasm to positive outlets (see next chapter) and teach them early good house manners to stop jumping up, stealing food, giving up items in their mouths etc

These dogs playfully achieve what others have to learn the hard way, they are natural athletes (agility, flyball, jogging, canine-cross) and have good endurance. They will only very reluctantly give up and will try to get it right for you. They are hopeless optimists and very forgiving, especially in play and/or when confronted with a less friendly dog or person.

They are however very willful and you have to be very consistent and varied in their training - we have achieved the Kennel Club Good Canine Citizen Gold Level with Rupert and Nixe. Given patience and persistence it is quite possible for any Airedale owner to achieve these awards. Please contact the Kennel Club and find out about courses in your area. Airedales will purposefully ignore you if something interesting comes along and you did not bring an exciting toy/treat etc. They also will switch off mentally if you always use the same routine/same treats/same exercise.

Having said that thery are the most wonderful, "fun" energetic dogs - always in good humour, always the joker in the pack. They also have a certain almost magnetic presence - in the show ring as much as in the park. We would certianly never want to swap them for another breed.


We started a few hundred yards of gentle jogging off-road with our first

bitch Frieda from about 11 months onwards. She competed in 1/2 marathons, accompanied me at the Beachy Head Marathon and at Crufts (Can-X sprint in 2009).

For dog friendly races please check the organiser of local "fun" especially designed for running/racing with your dog. To make your running buddy as comfortable and safe as possible please do invest in a harness to distribute the weight and pull more evenly. "Lupi" harness are widely available; from the "Trixie"


Any one year old, healthy dog can start agility. The mental stimulation plus the physical exertion suits the Airedale. She/he may not be as racy and nimble as a Border Collie (they dominate the sport) but instead your Airedale offers focus, concentration (mostly) and the drive to finish. She/he also will not get easily disturbed by cheering crowds - timidity, anxiety and hyperactivity is not an Airedale trait.

We have been attending Redgates Agility Club training for a few years - this has been very challenging and rewarding to stimulate Rupert and Nixe's physical and mental abilities and to create an even better bond between dog and handler. We are competing with Rupert at level I and hoping to compete with Nixe at our first agility contest this summer.

Some training photos are in our photo section and for more excellent canine action shots please visit


This may not be suitable for the family dog or for your situation. Airedale possess a certain presence and stance that sets them apart from other dogs and a well groomed, well presented dog in the show ring is truely impressive. Their unshakeable optimism and self-confidence can turn them into excellent show dogs.

It is good fun all the same to enter your dog at a local fun show and you never know - you might "catch the bug".

Grooming and Coat Care

Airedales have a hard, wiry coat (well, most of them anyway) which does not shed. While this is wonderful for the allergy sufferer or the house proud it is not wonderful for your dog. Your Airedale will either have to be clipped (shorn, in effect) or hand-stripped to keep him/her comfortable and looking smart. to speak to Rodney as he is a wonderful professional groomer and dog breeder specialising in Airedales and who is very approachable and friendly. We are also always giving grooming advice and are happy to hand-strip our puppies and they come back again and again for their annual or bi-annual strip.

Please take the considerable grooming requirements very much into consideration before deciding on an Airedale. They are wonderful dogs and worth every effort as they will return your affection doublefold. However, please set some time and resources aside to allow for your fuzzy friend's coat care as a tangled "overgrown" Airedale is not a happy or healthy sight.

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