Airedale Terrier

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The Airedale Terrier (also known as the Waterside Terrier) gets its name because it originated int Airedale ( an area in Yorkshire in North England). Often times it is referred to as the King Of Terriers, this is primarily because it is the largest terrier dog out there. Its ancestry can be traced back throw welsh terriers and the Otter Hound. The waterside terrier name comes from the historical point that it was bred to hunt otters. In England this breed is also known as a police dog. The author Albert Payson Terhune wrote of the breeding which occurred which ended up producing this dog saying that in the mine pits of Aire groups of miners were each trying to outdo each other with the dog which would outperform all the other dogs. Often times dog fights would occur to test which dog was the best.


In comparison to other Terriers that hale from Britain this is the largest one, in the Terrier group as a whole it is the second largest with the Black Russian taking that crown. It weighs an impressive 25 or 30 kilos and has a height of between 58 to 61 cm. Dogs have been bred which are larger than this but then they are classified as Oorangs Terriers. This is named after the kennel in Ohio where they were bred,. The coat of the Airedale consist of two layers as would be expected of a dog which has to brave the harsh winters in the North of England. Its top coat is thick and normally medium length, while the undercoat is very soft. The coat is designed so that predators have a hard time getting their claws into this dog, and instead they just get back fur. The coat generally comes in black, tan, or black mixed in with white and grey. This breed does come in other colours but those are the recognised colours for breed conformation. The Airedale Terrier has a scissor bite, so that the top teeth go over the bottom.This was developed to allow the dog to defend itself against its prey.


These dogs can be characterised as energetic and fearless. It is a working dog which can also hunt. This means that they have a tendency to want to chase animals, so in the park it may be advisable to put them on a leash. This breed may sometimes be called stubborn, but it is a very intelligent breed which even ranks 29th in the Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of dogs ranking. This dog has also been seen to have a good sense of humour. For training of this dog it is required that the trainer have skill and determination as well as the ability to vary the training to keep this dog interested, as otherwise the dog will run rings around the owner. For example is much better to take a play break while training rather than continue to drive this dog. These dogs love to be part of the family.

Grooming and care

The best way to groom an Airedale Terrier is by using hand stripping. This is where a small serrated knife is utilized to remove any loose hair from the coat of the dog. As long as the Airedale is groomed regularly then shedding is not an issue. They are prone to getting dermatitis which can get masked by their hair, so it should be looked out for if the dog is scratching excessively.


The Airedale Terrier has a median life expectancy of 11.5 years, this is about average for a breed of this size. This is a very hardy and noble breed, it does not give into pain easily. It has even been noted that this breed will ignore injury and pain, such that this can go unnoticed by the owner until they get severe. The breed tends to die mostly of cancer (40%) and old age (14%). It can suffer from eye issues as well as hip dysplasia and skin problems.