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Airedale Terrier… Your Guide to Best Care.

Airedale Terrier Dog Breed

Are you considering purchasing an Airedale Terrier puppy or, even better, adopting an adult Airedale Terrier dog? If so, we at IndulgeYourPet believe you will find the following article interesting. In this piece, we will explore the pros and cons associated with owning an Airedale Terrier. Our goal is to assist prospective owners in determining whether an Airedale Terrier would be a suitable pet for them.

Without further delay, we can begin by talking about the origin of the Airedale Terrier breed. Understanding its history will provide valuable insights into its behavior.

Origin of the Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier, or the “king of terriers” as it’s often referred to, first became an actual breed back in the mid-1800s when hunters located in and around the Aire River Valley (River Aire) of England decided to breed the standard black-and-tan terriers of the time with a breed known as Otterhounds (Otter Hound) to create a terrier that would be well suited around water, combined with an improved ability to hunt by scent.

What emerged was…

A fearless terrier with an “uncanny” ability to hunt!  These “Super Terriers” originally went by several names, such as  Waterside Terrier, Bingley Terrier, and Irish Red Terrier, but were eventually recognized as Airedale Terriers in 1878.

Fast Facts of the Airedale Terrier

Country of Origin:  England

Original Purpose:  Hunting

Height:  20 to 23 inches tall

Weight:  50 to 55 pounds

Life Expectancy: 10-13 years

Dog Breed Classification:  Terrier Group

Size of an Airedale Terrier

The average Airedale Terrier weighs between 42-55 pounds for males and 35-50 for females.  The height of the Airedale is about 24 inches at the dogs’ withers, with the females being more minor (and for those who may not be familiar with the term “withers,” it’s just a time used to describe the front shoulder blades of a dog).


The first thing you’ll want to understand about the Airedale Terrier breed is that it isn’t a small breed, which you’ll want to consider before you choose to make one of these “guys” your own.

We should also mention that one kennel specialized in breeding very large Airedale Terriers in the United States and produced quite a few that weighed in at over 12o pounds!  So, keep that little fun fact in the back of your mind.

Now clearly these…

Monster Airedale Terriers aren’t going to “fit” into what the American Kennel Club (AKC) would necessarily say is the “ideal” image for this breed. Still, we just wanted to make sure that you are aware that these big boys are out there, so if you do decide that an Airedale Terrier is suitable for you, just be sure that the Airedale Terrier breeder that you’re working with doesn’t produce these GIANTS.

Unless you want a 120 lb Airedale Terrier, you’ll want to search for an Oorang Airedale (you may find them listed under guard dog or guard dogs!).

Grooming of an Airedale Terrier

An Airedale Terrier has a harsh, wiry black and tan topcoat and a soft undercoat that requires brushing and grooming every few days. Additionally, their coat must be shaped with scissors or a razor every few months. Grooming an Airedale Terrier can be pretty demanding.

On the positive side…

Airedale Terriers are not heavy shedders, making them popular for those seeking hypoallergenic dogs. However, it’s important to note that while some may claim that Airedale Terriers are hypoallergenic, our experience has shown that some individuals may still experience allergic reactions. So, if you are prone to dog allergies, we strongly recommend you visit an Airedale Terrier club to observe firsthand if you have any responses.

After all…

The last thing you want is to bring one of these magnificent animals into your home only to discover a week later that your allergies are making you crazy!

Airedale Terrier Training and Personality

The Airedale Terrier is an intelligent and independent dog breed known for its strong work ethic, athleticism, and high energy levels. Consequently, proper training and early socialization are essential for Airedale Terriers. In other words, your Airedale Terrier’s greatness will largely depend on the effort you invest in them.

Here’s the thing…

Airedale Terriers are highly trainable, but they are also playful and adventurous. If left to their own devices, they can quickly get into trouble, resulting in potential damage to your yard and home.  Ensuring that your Airedale receives plenty of exercise and sufficient playtime is crucial to prevent such mishaps. This breed may not suit you if you cannot commit to daily walks and regular play sessions.

Also, if you have children…

If or plan on having any children in the future, you’ll need to understand that adequately introducing your Airedale Terrier to your kids will go a long way to ensuring a good relationship between your kids and your dog. Because while it is true that Airedale Terriers can be fantastic household pets that are unbelievably loyal, they will need to be trained on how to behave around small children.

Lifetime Loyalty

Getting a dog is usually a decision for life (the dog’s life, that is!). So, while we don’t expect an individual to get a dog unless they’re planning on keeping them for life, we would especially urge anyone thinking of purchasing or adopting an Airedale Terrier to think it through very carefully because in the case of an Airedale Terrier, when then choose to bond with an owner, then tend to click for life.

This is why…

You’ll probably find that your Airedale Terrier will make an excellent guard dog and will likely not take kindly to strangers approaching the household.

Health Issues for Airedale Terrier

Generally, it’s safe to say that just about any “purebred” dog will be prone to specific health concerns due to their genetics. And while some of these potential health concerns will be unavoidable, some can be avoided by getting your Airedale Terrier from the right breeder. Still, even then, getting a healthy purebred Airedale Terrier might not be possible – that doesn’t exist.

The good news is that, in general…

The Airedale Terrier is a hardy breed with few “major” concerns. That said, however, one must be vigilant when observing their Airedale because often, their personality’s stoicism (or stubbornness) may prevent them from exhibiting the usual or noticeable signs of distress, such as whining.

Thus, it is up to the owner to be aware if anything may be ‘off’ with their companion.

The most common…

And sometimes, the most costly problem Airedale Terriers may suffer is Hip Dysplasia. The typical cost for surgery for Hip Dysplasia can run anywhere from $4000-$6000, and then there is the added expense of painkillers.

After surgery, they struggle to limit their weight on freshly operated joints. This can be quite a challenge, and once you have gotten through the first few days, since this dog is so full of energy, it is often a good idea to look into physical therapy to ensure that you’re Airedale Terrier doesn’t complicate the healing process by overexertion or hurting themselves in some other way.

Additionally, Because of the Airedale Terriers’ rough overcoat and soft undercoat, it often goes unnoticed if they have skin problems such as Dermatitis. If the Dermatitis is left untreated, it can lead to painful, oozing wounds. Ouch!

Allergies, possible dietary imbalances, and thyroid problems (over or underproductive) can often be the leading causes of an Airedale’s skin issues. Depending on the severity of Dermatitis, the cost can be upwards of $5000 to relieve the dog.

Another common health problem for Airedale Terriers is high or low thyroid levels.  This will cost around $200 for diagnosis and $10-50 per month for the rest of your Airedale Terriers life.

Now we don’t…

Mention these potential health issues simply because we want to scare or discourage you from purchasing an Airedale Terrier puppy or adopting an adult dog from a rescue center. It’s quite the opposite!  We mention these issues so that you’ll know what to look for when considering which Airedale Terrier you want to invite into your family, as well as let you know what some of the potential costs may be associated with making that decision.


We also want to point out to folks looking to commit to being a great owner that purchasing a pet insurance policy is also a good choice.  Now will buying a pet insurance policy be the right choice for everyone?

Probably not, but knowing which pet insurance companies are the best out there and how much such a policy might cost could make the difference between going into considerable debt to treat your loved one or simply using your insurance to pay for your dog’s care.


If you think a pet insurance policy might make sense, please check out our article, highlighting who we believe are the Best Pet Insurance Companies for 2020.


If you love the look of an Airedale Terrier but need help handling such a large dog, check out our article on the Welsh Terrier, which could be more your style.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Jacqulyn d August 14, 2020, 9:25 pm

    I raised Airedales for years. This is a wonderful breed but as is said of many terrier breeds, “If you don’t make work for them, they will make work for you.” I found my dogs to have no health problems, and endless energy (but not as much as say, a border collie or Malinois.) They were good around farm animals but have an extremely strong prey drive so it was a real job to train them to not eat the chickens. If they are raised with children they are excellent with them. My dogs were very tolerant of any kids that came around but were on guard with unknown adults. They were not prone to biting but can be quite intimidating. I also don’t know where the idea that they are hypo allergenic ever came from. They can have either a curly appearing coat that if it is stripped and cared for constantly does very little shedding; many have a shorter very harsh and wiry coat, which is more desirable, but still needs a lot of grooming. Otherwise it grows out to a curly 4 or 6 inches and then sheds out spring and fall like any other dog. If not brushed or “picked” you have boatloads of dog hair. They are extremely loyal and brave. I love the breed. Be sure you are willing to spend a lot of time with your dog in high energy activities if you decide an Airedale is for you.

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