Airedale Terrier


Whereas many of the dog breeds have an unclear origin, the Airedale terrier’s is one of certainty. The first such puppy appeared when a group of famers in the West Riding valley in Yorkshire cross-bred a hound and a terrier. Thus, a century and a half ago, from an Otter hound and a Welsh Terrier, the current-day Airedale terrier dog was created. It was officially documented as a breed in 1886. Having been created mainly as a rat-hunter, this breed was very useful when one needed to catch the pest after it has surfaced. Naturally, due to its being the largest species in the terrier family, the Airedale was not useful when it came to underground hunting. This cross-breed is also very intelligent and has been also used as a messenger and in the police forces. The rather curious name of this breed derives from the very location where it has been first bred. The river Aire gives its name to this large terrier dog. Due to the huge rat infestation at during the 1880s, the locals had decided to seek out a way to counter the pest with a new type of hunting dog.

Airedale Terrier facts

The figure of this dog is large and sturdy with broad chest and very straight front legs. The skull is elongated and has a flat muzzle. Loyal to the British heritage, its small and pointy ears are mostly bent down. Other parts of the appearance of the Airedale terrier also give out its breed. These include its tan-coloured fur with black or red-like marks and very thick. Due to the double-layered coat, the dog can swim excellently as it is waterproof. The fur is also inherited by its forefather – the Otterhound. Also inherited is the excellent smell of this hunter-dog. Having been bred from a hound and a terrier is the reason for it.


When it comes to pinpointing the behaviour of the breed, it is crucial to begin with the fact that it is a loyal and strong-willed, but independent dog. It is a good family animal as it does tend to bond well with humans of various ages. This said, the Airedale terrier is a domestic animal that needs to have company and without its human, it can get bored easily and this leads to a destructive spree around the house. This is because it is one of the most active dog breeds around. Another part of its character is that it is a stubborn animal and because of this it needs to get a proper training at a young age. In later stages of its life, the dog will become more tranquil and calm, but it will still be the same easily-bored animal.


If you are planning on breeding an Airedale terrier, you need to keep some things in mind. Firstly, the dog has been initially bred as a hunting dog and this makes it a loyal pet, however, it does tend to be very easily annoyed during the mating season. The average litter is between seven and ten blind and mainly furless puppies. Their eyes will accustom to the surroundings and climate in a few weeks. For them to develop enough to be able to be fine without a constant human figure around, several weeks will be needed. They have double coated fur and for this reason they do moult a lot even at such a young stage. Regular grooming sessions are needed for prevention of any infections and fur inhalations or ingestions. Although the breed lives an average of 13 years, it is quite prone to genetic diseases and issues related mainly to their legs and eyes.