Airedale Terrier Breeders, Breed Clubs and Rescue

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale  is the largest member of the Terrier Group. He is known as the King of the Terriers and certainly a smartly prepared dog makes quite a picture. The Airedale was developed in Yorkshire during the middle of the 19th century to hunt otter, polecats and water voles and the mix of types that evolved were known as Waterside or Bingley Terriers. It was in 1882 that they were first known as Airedale Terriers. They were created from crosses of the Otterhound and the now extinct English Black and Tan Terrier, the purpose being to breed a dog that had the Otterhound’s hunting and swimming skills plus the tenacity of the terrier to stick with his quarry. The Airedale breed type was refined through the introduction of other terrier breeds to eliminate the undesirable hound qualities, such as large ears and heavy coat until the dog we recognise today was achieved.

In addition to his hunting skills,the Airedale was used as a guard dog, in France and Russia, as well as the UK, and during the First World War was used by both British and German forces as despatch carriers and Red Cross dogs. His exceptional scenting abilities led to him being used for tracking in Africa, India and Canada, and some

were used as Guide Dogs for the blind.

The Airedale has the same sort of temperament characteristics as terriers in general; sense of humour, always alert and quite fearless. He won’t back away from a fight if challenged, but his motivation isn’t aggression so much as love of a good argument. He makes a wonderful family dog, great with children and always keen to join in with the rest of the family, whatever the activity. A good guard dog, he isn’t an excessive barker.

The Airedale is between 22 – 24″ tall, proportionate in weight at 20 – 23kg. The coat is always black and tan and does need some looking after. The dogs you see in the showring have an immense amount of time spent on their coats to keep them looking really smart and a pet owner cannot hope to achieve that level of finish. There is no doubt that handstripping produces the best results; a clipped coat loses the crispness and texture and tends to look faded. However, it is a big job and needs to be done twice a year. Most owners settle for clipping on a fairly regular basis.

Every inch a real dog, the Airedale is at home in the town as well as country as long as he has his family around him.

Category: Airedale

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