Dogs, cats and their owners » Dog Breeds » Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier

Erdel Terrier
Other names: Airedale

Airedale Terrier is a British breed of hunting dogs of a black color, bred for baiting river rats and otters. It is characterized by increased emotionality and an elegant exterior: a neat, stylishly disheveled beard and stiff hair all over the body.

Brief information

  • Breed name: Airedale Terrier
  • Country of Origin: UK
  • The time of the birth of the breed: middle of the XIX century
  • Weight: ~20 kg
  • Height (height at the withers): males 58-61 cm, females 56-59 cm
  • Life expectancy: 11-13 years


  • Airedale Terrier is a breed that is contraindicated in loneliness. The dog left unattended in the apartment is very bored and entertains himself with various pranks like spoiling shoes and peeling wallpaper.
  • As befits a true terrier, airedale loves to stress small animals and birds by chasing and trying to grab them. At the same time, he is quite loyal to the Kotofei, with whom he has shared living space since childhood.
  • Initially, the breed was bred as a hunting breed, but over time it transformed into a service and decorative one. There are only a few animals that fully work with wild birds and animals today.
  • To provide an airedale terrier with a comfortable life, you need to be, if not a hunter, then at least an adept of an active lifestyle. A dog that does not receive enough physical activity and walks from time to time quickly degrades and loses interest in everything that surrounds it.
  • Airedale terriers have an innate passion for "archaeological excavations". Remember this when you let the dog off the leash near the neighbor's rose garden.
  • Airedale terriers are not ready to love children by default. They are absolutely not averse to looking after the little ones and taking part in her games, but they will react quickly and harshly to the infringement of self-esteem.
  • In the airedale terrier, a terrible owner and a lover of someone else's good get along peacefully. In particular, dogs love to store various items near their beds and snap at those who try to encroach on stocks.
  • Due to their extraordinary intelligence and ingenuity, airedale terriers are capable of various adventures. For example, it costs them nothing to open a door that is not tightly closed, and also to get forbidden sweets from kitchen cabinets.
  • The lively temperament of airedales does not fade with age, which helps them to maintain youthful enthusiasm throughout their lives.
  • Airedale wool does not shed and practically does not smell (provided that the dog is trimmed in a timely manner), which makes it convenient to keep the breed in a city apartment.

Airedale Terriers - otvyaznye merry men, harmoniously combining such character traits as independence, gambling and boundless devotion to the owner. With these bearded "Yorkshiremen", both authoritarianism and excessive liberality will not work. They are ready to recognize the authority of a person only if he respects their wishes and at the same time does not allow himself to be manipulated. If the stars have come together and in your relationship with animals you adhere to exactly this tactic of behavior, the airedale is 100% your pet.

Breed characteristics

Aggressiveness ?
Moderate ( Rating 3/5)
Activity ?
Very high ( Rating 5/5)
Training ?
Easy ( Rating 4/5)
Molt ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Need for care ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Friendliness ?
Friendly ( Rating 4/5)
Health ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Cost of maintenance ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Attitude to Loneliness ?
Moderate time ( Rating 3/5)
Intelligence ?
Smart ( Rating 4/5)
Noise ?
Above Average ( Rating 4/5)
Security qualities ?
Excellent ( Rating 5/5)
*Characteristics of the Airedale Terrier breed are based on expert assessment and reviews of dog owners.

History of the Airedale Terrier breed

Airedale Terrier

The largest of the British terriers was bred around the middle of the XIX century, in the Airedale Valley (the western part of the county of Yorkshire), which later gave the breed its name. Carried away by such simple entertainment as baiting river otters, English hard workers from time to time indulged in crossing individual varieties of terriers. Similarly, the townsfolk, hooked on a cruel game, planned to bring out a strong, grasping dog capable of breaking records for catching rodents. In the end, one of the experiments, in which red and Old English black-and-tan terriers took part, bore fruit. So the first airedales were born. At first, these four-legged "Yorkshiremen" did not have a separate name, so in different parts of the country they were called water, workers, wire-haired and coastal terriers. It was only in 1886 that it was possible to officially rename the animals into airedales, approving them as an independent breed.

The gene pool of dogs gradually expanded. The dog handlers are sure that at some stage they were injected with blood irish wolfhound , the Vendean Basset Griffon and Otterhound, and that it was these breeds that gave the airedale phenotype the necessary completeness and expressiveness. As for the working qualities, it turned out almost immediately: airedales are able to find animal holes, but not to get into them. In this regard, in England, animals were used in the classic hunting of friends. Possessing a keen nose, these bearded fidgets never lost track, and they were also not distracted by the smell of gunpowder. In addition, the airedales worked professionally on the water.

Since the end of the XIX century, the breed began to gradually expand its habitat. For example, in 1880, several individuals emigrated to the United States. The Airedale terrier party arrived in Russia at the beginning of the Russian-Japanese War and exclusively for practical purposes. The British Embassy sent dogs to perform military service and help wounded soldiers. Nevertheless, the animals managed to become truly famous during the First World War. At the front, airedale terriers worked as postmen, bringing what they started to the end even on their last breath and despite fatal wounds. Well, the maximum jump in the popularity of dogs came at the end of the 40s of the XX century, after which interest in them slowly declined. By the early 60s, airedales had moved from 20th to 50th place in the list of the most popular breeds of our time.

Video: Airedale Terrier

Famous Airedale Terrier Owners

  • James Curwood.
  • Woodrow Wilson.
  • Boris Zahoder.
  • Mark Zakharov.
  • Ferdinand Porsche (founder of the Porsche company).

Airedale breed standard

Airedale Puppy

Airedale Terrier is a harmoniously built, bearded vivacious with a curious, penetrating look and a tough, funny shaggy dog's paws. In fact, the Airedale is not such a giant, although it is considered the largest of the British terriers. Nevertheless, tamp it into a backpack, like some kind of jack Russell , it's unlikely to work.


The airedale terrier has a small head, flowing into a voluminous but neat muzzle. The dog's skull is flat, elongated, tapering towards the eyes. The stop is weakly expressed.

Teeth and Jaws

The massiveness of the airedale terrier's muzzle is given by strong, deep jaws. At the same time, overly developed jaw bones that enhance the cheekbones of the muzzle are not welcome by exhibition commissions. The teeth of representatives of this breed are strong, closed in a regular scissor bite.


Black, medium-sized lobe.


Airedale terriers have small, attentive eyes: not too deep-set, but not convex either. The maximum dark color of the iris is welcome and a light one is very undesirable.


The ears of dogs are small, have the shape of an isosceles triangle and fit well to the head. The fold of the ear cloth should pass above the skull line, while high–set or emphatically hanging ears are a serious drawback.


The neck of the airedale terrier is distinguished by its average length, good muscularity and general dryness.

The muzzle of the airedale terrier


Airedale Terrier is relatively compact. The dog's topline is short, but even, with an emphatically muscular lower back. The chest is deep (reaches the elbows), with convex ribs, although not wide.


Airedale Terrier paws

Airedale terriers' legs are straight, moving freely and rectilinearly when running. The dog's shoulder blades are long, strongly retracted, the elbows freely "walk" along the body. The hind legs provide a springy push due to massive hips, good articulation angles and strong hocks. Paws are compact, rounded, with moderately arched toes and dense pads.


Until recently, the tail of airedale terriers was docked. Today, the procedure has been abolished, so the tail of modern individuals is strong, moderately thick and long, raised up.


Shall we play?

Airedale terriers have quite tough "clothes". The undercoat of the representatives of this breed is short, but without pronounced plumpness. The awn has a rough, wire-like structure with a fracture. In general, the dogskin fits snugly to the animal's body, forming something like a protective suit.


A typical variant of the airedale terrier color is reddish–brown with black or brownish-brown-black (the so-called "grizzly" color) cheprak. The shade of the coat on the outside of the tail and the upper part of the dog's neck coincides with the color of the cheprak. Areas with a darker color of the dog – ears, the bottom of the neck, the sides of the skull. A small amount of white hair on the chest is allowed.

Defects and disqualifying vices

Excellent marks at exhibitions do not shine primarily on animals with obvious anatomical defects. These are usually the disadvantages of the bite (non-linear location of the incisors), incorrect movements (ambling), lack of undercoat, the presence of an eyesore, the absence of signs of sexual dimorphism. Individuals with such vices as cryptorchidism, deviant behavior (causeless cowardice or aggression), malocclusion, deformed type of constitution and anatomical deformities in general are subject to complete disqualification, blocking access to the ring.

Photo of airedale terrier

Character of the Airedale terrier

Waiting for the host

Airedale Terrier is a positive, energetic scamp, which is difficult to push into the framework, but with whom it is quite realistic to agree on peaceful coexistence. The pronounced independence of animals, inherited by them from the terrier clan, can cause certain inconveniences to the owner, so it is better for opponents of any difficulties to prefer some characterless decorative creature to a representative of this breed. But you really won't get bored with airedale, so if you urgently need an active companion with your own views on life in general and on friendship in particular, take a closer look at this bearded "meteor".

Like his relatives in the group, the Airedale terrier is characterized by increased "talkativeness" and mischief. The silent and phlegmatic airedale is a phenomenon so out of the ordinary that it makes you think about the mental health of the dog. In the family, the animal behaves adequately, gets along with all the household members, if they show him due respect and do not encroach on his property (yes, the airedale terrier does not like to share anything, especially his own toys). This "Yorkshireman" has good fighting qualities, but he is absolutely not a bully and not a provocateur. The dog can rush into the attack only to protect the owner, but not for the sake of sporting interest.

Airedale terriers have a noticeable tendency to watchdog activity, so if you want to direct the "talkativeness" of the pet in the right direction, trust him to guard the house, and you will be the first to know about the arrival of invited and uninvited guests. The increased sociability of the breed prevents it from calmly enduring loneliness, so taking an airedale terrier, knowing in advance that he will have to stay locked up most of the day is frankly a failed idea. In addition, a bored dog always trades in small-scale wrecking, and this is fraught with stripped furniture, torn wallpaper and worn shoes.

Education and training

Airedale Terrier is a very erudite dog

Airedale Terrier is an able, hardworking, but often absolutely undisciplined student, who cannot be broken either by treats or threats. The problem lies in the fact that during classes the puppy is bored. And if it's boring, then there's no point in stretching the "torture". It is much easier to pretend to be a misunderstanding, finally putting the squeeze on the owner with his own stubbornness and getting the desired freedom. That is why dog handlers recommend starting to educate and train airedales as early as possible, while they are not so cunning and resourceful. If you instill a love of learning in a crumb, growing up, he will go out of his way to perform any exercise for the "five".

Remember that the younger airedale terriers are not used to losing their own positions, so if the dog did not react to the command voiced three times, it is better to stop the lesson. Repeated repetition of the requirement leads to the fact that the pet begins to like being persuaded. Let the bearded "teenager" defeat you with his stubbornness once or twice and you will very quickly fall in his eyes to the level of service personnel. This does not mean that classes should be abandoned altogether, but it is better to take into account the gambling nature of the breed and build the learning process so that the airedale really gets carried away with it.

Sometimes a dog may refuse to work under the guidance of the owner simply because she has stayed too long and she wants physical relaxation. In this case, it's better to take a good walk with her. But this should not be monotonous dragging on a leash: in order to run around and stick his nose into every suspicious hole, the airedale terrier needs full freedom, without any restraining emotional impulses restraints. When practicing with an airedale terrier, it is also important to understand that everything is fine with the intelligence of this breed and chewing each exercise 10 times with its representatives is a waste of time and effort. Firstly, such a technique risks boring the pet. Secondly, nothing but trampling on the spot and an extra load on the dog's brain, endless repetition will not give.

The first obedience lessons are conducted at home, in a familiar, relaxed atmosphere. The puppy must understand that now you are his leader, and independence and self–will are over from now on. Sometimes owners of teenage dogs complain about the distrust and cowardice of their wards. Don't worry, for a 3-6-month-old airedale terrier, this behavior is normal. The so-called passive-defensive reaction is characteristic of many growing dogs, but it never becomes a trait of character, disappearing without a trace as the animal grows up.

Well, a little bit about training programs. The average pet will have more than enough OKD or UGC courses. The training of the airedale terrier ZKS also takes place, but more often it is not due to necessity, but to the whim of the owner. Anyway, but to compete with qualified four-legged guards like burbuley and russian black terriers the airedale terrier can't do it.

Jogging on the beach

Maintenance and care

Airedale terrier is able to live in an apartment, but in his heart he dreams of a private house with a cozy aviary and a plot of land that can be dug with trenches along and across. It is better to build a doghouse insulated, counting on the autumn dankness. At the same time, leaving an airedale terrier to winter in it is a gross violation. This breed is not adapted to frosts, and in bad weather its place is in the house. Long walks twice a day are a mandatory item in the maintenance of airedales. But you can take bearded cheats to a forest park strip or to a vacant lot and let them off the leash when they have thoroughly understood the meaning of the commands "To me!" and "Fu!". Otherwise, one day your ward will be irretrievably lost in some roadside bushes. To go to the other extreme and drag a pet on a strap for hours on the streets is also not worth it. For a full-fledged discharge, an airedale terrier needs personal space and, if not complete independence in decision-making, then at least the illusion that his actions are not controlled by anyone.

Grooming and hygiene

Fluffy muzzle rolled in the snow

Seasonal molting is not about airedales. Independently, representatives of this breed shed only a small percentage of the undercoat, so that the main work of bringing the pet's "fur coat" into proper shape falls on the shoulders of the owner. The dog's coat is renewed by means of trimming (pinching), which can be of two types: hygienic and exhibition. In the first case, the wool is plucked twice a year and completely. This allows you to refresh the dog meat and improve its quality. You can master the technique yourself, without consulting a groomer. The pre-washed and dried wool is collected with the fingertips into a thin bundle closer to the root and pulled out in the direction of its growth. It is better to start trimming the airedale from the head, gradually making your way to the back, where the dog is removed easier and faster.

After pinching, the dog's skin is lubricated with a nourishing cream to relieve irritation and leave the animal alone. By the way, many owners after trimming wrap the airedale in overalls before going out for a walk so that the pet does not catch a cold. There is no special need for this if the dog is active and runs a lot on the walk. But in the case of less energetic individuals who like to sit and stand at the master's feet, clothes can come in handy. To stimulate the growth of a new dog in a trimmed airedale terrier, it must be systematically combed with a brush. It is useful from time to time to comb out bundles of dead undercoat: so the growing hair will lie flatter and denser to the dog's body.

Airedale Terrier head haircut

Exhibition haircut is a more complex and serious procedure. Its purpose is to emphasize breed characteristics and disguise small physical flaws. The process takes place in stages, because in the ring the animal must demonstrate an already grown-up dog. 2-2.5 months before the exhibition, the airedale terrier is completely plucked, bypassing the area of the legs, chest, beard and mustache. Two weeks before the event, the dog's head, the area under the tail, throat and shoulders are trimmed, simultaneously leveling the transitions between areas with different hair lengths. The most difficult stage is giving the animal a refined look a couple of days before the exhibition. Usually, on the eve of the event, minor flaws are eliminated, for which there was no time before. In particular, the moustache and beard are cultivated to make the airedale's profile emphatically rectangular, the hairs on the cheekbones are plucked, the area around the mouth is processed, the hair on the forehead is shortened. In addition, individual owners tint their wards with wool on the cap and other parts of the body to give it a richer tone. In general, exhibition trimming is a pro level, which is not necessary to strive for. It is much more reasonable to find a good groomer and entrust the matter to him.

Important: formally, the haircut of airedale terriers is contraindicated, as it changes the structure of the wool and softens it. At the same time, the trimming of the throat and head of the dog, in order to emphasize the smoothness of the lines and the distinctness of the contour, still takes place.

My dirty

The care of airedale terriers' ears is standard, but you will have to tinker with puppies, since the formation of the correct delivery of the ear cloth is a painstaking matter. For this reason, in the first months of life, the ears of babies are glued to the head until they take the right position. In addition, the ear cartilages of young airedales need a daily massage lasting 3-5 minutes. For adults, the ear funnels are cleaned of sulfur and dirt, but they are no longer massaged.

Make it a rule to look into the airedale terrier's mouth once a week, checking the whiteness of his teeth. If the enamel has started to turn yellow, try to clean off the plaque with a silicone nozzle sprinkled with crushed chalk or zoopas. Eye examination is carried out daily, but it's not worth running after a dog with a napkin every day. It is enough to walk with a damp cloth over the mucous membrane of the eyelid once a week. The area of special attention is the beards of airedale terriers. While eating, they get wet, crumbs get stuck in them, which love all kinds of bacteria. In order to avoid the appearance of fungus and unpleasant odor, the hair on the chin and muzzle of the dog is wiped after each meal. Watch out for the growth of hairs framing the dog's lips. If they are too long, it is better to shorten them so that they do not stick together in bundles and do not form jams.


Oh, cookie! Yum

Like other breeds, airedales are fed either "drying" or "straight". The choice of the type of feeding is a matter of the owner's personal preferences, his employment and financial capabilities. The Airedale terrier's natural menu does not include any special exotic products. Everything is like most dogs: raw lean meat daily; once a week sea fish with pre–removed bones; salads from beets, carrots, cabbage, cucumber and pumpkin - every day, but in moderation. Cereal porridge (buckwheat, rice) helps to increase the calorie intake of the portion. Airedale terriers will not refuse sour milk and chicken eggs, but in the second case it is better not to overdo it: one or two times a week is quite enough. Feed the dog twice a day, in a lick, focusing on the weight of the animal. So, the norm of one serving for a 20-kilogram individual can vary from 400 to 600 g, for a 29-kilogram one – 600-900 g. If we are talking about industrial feed, then we will have to focus on varieties not lower than premium class. On the other hand, when feeding an airedale terrier with high-quality "drying", there is a chance to save on the purchase of dietary supplements and vitamins, without which in the case of a natural diet it is impossible to do.

Health and diseases of airedale terriers

Even such energetic and hardy breeds as the Airedale terrier are not immune from genetic predisposition to certain types of diseases. In particular, the most "popular" ailment among airedales is hip dysplasia. A little less often, animals are diagnosed with:

  • umbilical hernia;
  • raw eczema;
  • demodecosis;
  • pannus;
  • thyroid diseases (hypothyroidism);
  • Willebrand's disease-Diana;
  • dilated cardiomyopathy;
  • entropion;
  • retinal atrophy;
  • umbilical hernia;
  • hyperadrenocorticism;
  • corneal dystrophy;
  • melanoma;
  • lymphoma.

How to choose a puppy

Mom with a puppy
  • Evaluate the general condition of the babies' mother. If the bitch looks untidy and tired, it is not necessary to count on a healthy litter.
  • Find out how many airedale terrier puppies were originally in the litter, what kind of births a bitch has, as well as the age of both parents. It is undesirable to acquire a four-legged friend from a too young or elderly couple.
  • The choice of a pet that will never enter the ring begins with the first birthdays of babies. The exhibition airedales begin to be looked at already at a more serious age (5-6 months), when their exterior characteristics are expressed as clearly as possible.
  • Having a little experience in training hunting breeds, it is better to opt for "girls", they learn faster. Airedale terrier males are more independent, although their temperament is much more restrained.
  • Pay attention to the location of white spots on the puppy's coat. If an airedale terrier has white fingers, this is not a defect. As they grow up and change the coat, the markings will disappear, leaving only a few light hairs as a reminder of themselves. If the white "blots" are located above the fingers, directly on the paws, with age they will only become more noticeable, as will the white "cloud" between the front legs, grabbing the puppy's chest.
  • Check with the breeder whether the parents of the puppies have been tested for genetic diseases – degenerative myelopathy and hyperuricosuria.
  • Check the weight of the airedale puppy before buying: a 2-month-old baby should weigh at least 6 kg, a 3–month-old - 10-11 kg.

Photos of airedale puppies

Airedale price

Airedale puppies are not the most popular "product" on virtual bulletin boards, although there are enough kennels in the country where you can buy a healthy baby with a pedigree. The average price for a breed varies within $250 - $400 at the same time, all puppies with a price tag below $300 belong to the pet class (pets without the right of breeding).

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