The Lively Airedale Terrier
A Good House Pet

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The Airedale Terrier
Weight: 45 — 55 lbs
Height: 22” — 23”
AKC Rank 2008 #56
Lifespan: 10—13 yrs
Group Terrier
Origin: England

  • Breeders And Rescue Groups
  • Dog Health, Dog Illness, Medical Problems

    Dog Breed Info - Airedale Terrier

    Airedale puppy licking his nose
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    Breed Overview

    Origin 1800’s. Original function: Hunt badger, otter, bird flushing, retrieving. Today, Guardian, police dog.

    The Airedale is the tallest of the terriers. Around the mid 1800’s, some of these terriers around the river Aire, in South Yorkshire, were crossed with Otterhounds in order to improve their hunting ability around water, as well as their scenting ability. The result was a dog adept at otter hunting, originally called the Bingley, or water-side terrier, but recognized as the Airedale Terrier in 1878. by 1979 the breed was registered by the AKC. The Airedale is a great house pet.


    Very easy to train. The Airedale is well suited to clicker training with positive reinforcement. Your training will go fast and the dog will love this method. She'll look forward to training sessions.

    Crate Training

    Want to crate train your Airedale Terrier puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

    Potty Training

    Airedale Terrier puppies generally do well and are easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

    If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


    The Airedale Terrier is playful, bold and adventurous. He is a lively, protective family companion dog. He is intelligent but can be stubborn and headstrong and at times, domineering.. Most are reliable and responsive to their owners demands. As long as it gets daily mental and physical exercise, the Airedale makes a really good house dog. He wants to be the “head dog” and prefers to be the only dog in the house, although they can get along with smaller dogs. The Airedale is a terrific house pet.

    If you happen to get an Airedale Terrier with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

    This Airedale Terrier is about to catch a high ball!
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    Friendly Toward Other Dogs

    No. He might find a dog-friend now and them, but not the rule.

    Friendly Toward Other Pets

    No. The Airedale wants to be king of the castle.

    Friendly Toward Strangers

    Sometimes. Airdales are naturally wary and reserved with strangers, as they are guard dogs.


    Yes. Very playful. Give the Airedale a score of 9 bars out of 10.


    Moderate. The Airedale Terrier is a loyal, protective family dog. The Airedale loves to play and romp with his family. The Airedale is a really good family pet.

    Good with children?

    Yes, does well with children and is quite playful and protective.

    Good with Seniors over 65?

    No. Too much energy.

    Living environment

    House and medium sized fenced yard, farm or ranch. NOT good for apartments or condos. Needs room to run and play fetch.

    Energy level

    High energy.

    Exercise needs, daily

    Lots of vigorous exercise. Needs to keep busy. Two good walks and plenty of play time chasing a ball.


    Very good. One of the things they do best.

    Guard dog

    Yes, Very good. The Airedale is used in police work.


    No, very little.


    The wire coat needs brushing 2 or 3 times a week. It needs to be shaped with scissors every two months. Hand stripping may be necessary annually.

    An Airedale and his owner
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    Suggested Reading - The Airedale Terrier
    Click on the cover photos for more book information and reviews.

    • Book at the left is an owners guide for the Airedale Terrier.

    • 2nd book from the left is "101 Dog Tricks" and the title describes the book. These are easy-to-learn things to keep your dog interested and his mind sharp.

    • 3rd from the left is "50 Games To Play With Your Dog." This is a collection of simple things to do with your dog to bond and have fun. This and the book above will keep the dog's mind active.

    • Book at the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog health, emergencies and injuries. It's a valuable;e reference manual for all dog owners. Vol 2, 2008 includes a DVD.

    Airedale Breeders

    In the event you decide to go looking for Airedale puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been VERY well socialized and started in obedience training. It's not often that Airedale puppies turn up in dog pounds and shelters but you might check anyway - you never know.
    Airedale Terrier Breeders with puppies for sale. You may want to surf online for more Airedale breeders.

    Airedale Rescue

    In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Airedale Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
    Petfinder - Airedale Rescue - (Nationwide) As I write this, Petfinder is listing only 186 total Airedales available for the entire country. You might search online for Airedale Rescue groups and also kennels.
    Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but based on what what has been found so far, you might check your local newspaper ads and kennels as well as Airedale Rescue locations. The Airedale is a very popular breed.

    Dog Health Issues For The Airedale Terrier
    Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Airdale Terrier by various vets.

    This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

    The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

    • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back leg acts lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain and difficulty walking. You may notice the Airedale Terrier “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

    • Gastric Torsion—Sometimes called Bloat or “Twisted stomach.” Mainly in larger, deep-cheated dogs. Here's a brief description of the problem.
      Symptoms include excessive drooling, nervous pacing, agitation, weakness, attempt to vomit, bulging stomach area, heavy breathing, retching and gagging, shock or total collapse.

    • Cushing’s disease—(Hyperadrenocorticism) Too much glucocorticoid is produced by the adrenal or pituitary glands at which time symptoms occur such as hair loss, increased drinking and urination, increased appetite and enlarged abdomen. The disease progresses slowly and the Airedale Terrier can be sick 1 to 6 years without anyone noticing any symptoms. Some dogs may have just one symptom, usually hair loss and owners often contribute the dog's condition to “old age.”. This is not a young dog’s illness. There are several treatments available including surgery which might save the dog’s life depending on the existence of cancerous tumors.

    • Dilated cardiomyopathy—(DCM) A serious heart disease. The muscle of the heart loses it’s ability to pump blood properly causing a backup of blood, an enlarged heart, and an improperly functioning heart. Prognosis is generally 4 weeks to 2 years, depending on the dog and how advanced the problem is. The vet may try medications to alter the heart function, but this one is a killer.

    • Pannus—A disorder of the cornea of the eye affecting certain breeds in the 4 to 7 year range with an increase in dogs living at higher elevations. Not painful and treatable. If not treated for the remaining life of the dog, the cornea will slowly darken and scar causing visual impairment.

    • Corneal Dystrophy—An inherited disease of the eye. A fluid buildup causing the outer part of the cornea to appear white and move inward toward the center.. A very painful and difficult to treat ulcer will develop.

    • von Willebrand"s Disease—A deficiency in clotting factor in the blood. The affected dog does not properly utilize the blood-platelets for blood-clotting. Thus, the dog is prone to excessive bleeding if in an accident or surgery.

    • Hypothyroidism—Thyroid problems. An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the Airedale Terrier's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the Airedale Terrier’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

    • Demodicosis—Demodectic mange—A skin disease known as “Red Mange.” Loss of hair, itching, reddening of skin and areas can become crusty. Hair loss is most notable. Sometimes cured with topical creams. May spread. Treatment is in the form of medications.

    • Entropion—Eye irritation caused by the eyelids and lashes rolling inward. The problem is usually inherited and found in young, adult dogs. It can come from an eyelid spasm. Affected eyes will be held partially shut and tear excessively. Both eyes will usually be affected the same. Treatment for the condition requires eye surgery.

    • Lens luxation—Hereditary. Weak fibers holding the lens of the eye allow the lens to dislocate. The eye can not focus. This leads to painful, red eyes that tear a lot and can lead to Uveitis or Glaucoma if not treated right away. If detected early, surgery and medication might solve the problem.

    • Colonic disease—Digestive problem with diarrhea.Inflammation of the large bowel. Diarrhea and possible vomiting. See vet immediately. Diarrhea can be caused by other problems including something as simple as changing the food the dog eats. Any diarrhea should be a trigger to look for the cause immediately and the vet should be involved.

    • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—Serious eye problem. An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the Airedale Terrier and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.

    The average heart rate for an Airedale is anywhere from 60 - 170 depending on how old and large the dog is and what he's doing. At rest (sleeping) it will be closer to 70 - 90 rate for an adult.

    Other health problems could occur with your Airedale Terrier. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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