Airedale Terrier Dog: Characteristics, Origin & Lifespan

The Airedale Terrier dog is a very beautiful terrier type dog. It is traditionally called as the ‘King of Terriers’, because it is the largest of the terrier breeds. It is also known by some other names such as Bingley Terrier and Waterside Terrier.

The Airedale Terrier dog originated in the valley of the River Aire, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. It was bred from the Old English Black and Tan Terrier (now known as the Welsh Terrier), the Otterhound and probably some other Terrier breeds, and has contributed to other dog breeds, such as the Yorkshire Terrier.

Airedale, a valley (dale) in the West Riding of Yorkshire, named for the River Aire that runs through it, was the birthplace of the breed. Working-class people created the Airedale Terrier dog by crossing the old English rough-coated Black and Tan Terrier with the Otterhound and an assortment of other breeds. The Kennel Club of England formally recognized the Airedale Terrier breed in the year of 1886.

The Airedale Terrier puppy was originally bred to serve as a versatile hunting and all around working farm dog. The breed has also been used as a war dog, police dog and guide dog in Britain. And it has been used to hunt big game, upland birds and water fowl in the United States, and serve in many other working capacities.[1]

Airedale Terrier Dog Characteristics

The Airedale Terrier dog is very beautiful, and it is the largest of the British Terriers. These dogs have a medium-length black and tan colored coat with a harsh topcoat and a soft undercoat. They are an alert and energetic breed, not aggressive but fearless.

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The Airedale Terrier puppies have log and erect fluffy tail. Average height of these dogs is about 23-24 inches at the withers. And average live body weight of the mature dogs is between 19 and 25 kg.

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Temperament

The Airedale Terrier dogs can be used as a working dog and also as a hunting dog. They exhibit some herding characteristics as well, and have a propensity to chase animals. And they have no problems to work with cattle and livestock.

A well trained Airedale Terrier dog will agitate and annoy the animals. They generally have long puppyhoods and tend to be more difficult to train in their youth.

Like most other terriers, the Airedale Terrier has been bred to hunt independently. As a result, the dog is very intelligent, independent, strong-minded, stoic and can sometimes be stubborn.

The Airedale Terrier can be an excellent choice for a family dog, if children and Airedales are both trained correctly. They can do very well with cats and other smaller sized animals (when they are raised with them). They are also very loyal to their owners.

Lifespan

Airedale Terriers in UK, USA, and Canadian surveys had a median lifespan of about 11.5 years, which is similar to other dog breeds of their size. You can expect average lifespan of about 10 to 13 years, if you take good care.

Feeding

How much a mature dog eats depends on it’s size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food. 2 to 2.5 cups of high quality dry food a day is recommended for a mature dog, divided into two meals. Although, sometimes they will eat up to 4-6 cups of food at a time.

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Caring

Taking good care is very important for raising Airedale Terrier dog. They are actually a working dog, and have the energy and stamina that goes with it. They need regular exercise, at least one walk a day (although, two walk a day is preferable, coupled with a good romp in the backyard).

The Airedale Terrier puppies love to retrieve, play, swim and goof around. They are a great jogging companion, and in many cases will tire out their owner.

Training and socialization are essential for the Airedale Terrier dog, beginning with puppy classes. Incorporate socialization with training by taking your dog with you to many different places (this includes but not limited to the pet supply store, outdoor events, long walks in busy parks etc.) Actually, anywhere there are a lot of people to meet and sight to see is a good place to take an Airedale.

Crate training is also strongly recommended with the Airedale Terrier dog. Not only does it aid in house training, it also provides the dog a safe den in with to settle down and relax. Generally, these dogs do very well with most training as long as you remember that they have a mind of their own.

Health

The Airedale Terrier dogs are generally strong and healthy animals. But like all other breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions. Not all the dogs will get any or all of these diseases, but it’s important to be aware of them if you are considering this breed to raise.

Find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your puppy’s parents, while buying a Airedale Terrier puppy. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.

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In Airedales, you should expect to see health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand’s disease; from Auburn University for thrombopathia; and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certifying that eyes are normal.[2]

Breed NameAiredale Terrier
Other NamesBingley Terrier and Waterside Terrier
Breed SizeMedium to large
Height23 to 24 inches tall at the withers
Weight19 to 25 kg
Good as petsYes
Climate ToleranceAll climates
ColorBlack and tan
Lifespan10 to 13 years
Good for childrenYes
RarityCommon
Country of OriginUnited Kingdom