Breed of the Week - Airedale Terrier

The history of the Airedale is similar to many other Britain based terriers in that its ancestor is believed to be the now extinct Black and Tan terrier. Originating in the area of the Aire valley, the Airedale was known variously as the Working, Waterside and Bingley Terrier, as it began its metamorphosis into the dog we know today. Various types of Airedales were bred to further develop the hunting abilities depending on what quarry the owner was seeking whether it be fox, badger, bird, weasel or water rat. When crossed with the Otter Hound, the Airedale developed an increased swimming ability and the scent detection abilities of a hound. Eventually the well rounded Airedale Terrier became the dog who could “do it all”.

The Airedale is among the largest Terriers but is still a medium sized dog. Don’t let his size fool you though, he is all Terrier. The Airedale is an intelligent, high energy breed which requires consistent, positive training from puppyhood, or he will walk all over his owner. Socialization with people and other animals should begin at an early age. Airedales are known to be “stubborn” when in fact they just like to think for themselves. Treats and plenty of praise should be used when training your Airedale.

If not properly stimulated mentally or physically, an Airedale will create its own “fun”, which will probably be destructive. Besides, like all Terriers, this breed is happiest in the midst of his family, overseeing it all!

The Airedale is a double coated breed with a water resistant, hard, wiry outercoat. In order to keep the proper texture and color of the coat, the dog should be hand stripped. Hand stripping is a time consuming process which is most often performed on dogs who will be shown in conformation. Pet owners are more likely to use clippers or a combination of hand stripping and clippers. Regular brushing of the Airedales non shedding coat will keep your Airedale spiffy and your house hair free. However, just because Airedales do not shed, that’s not to say that they are not messy! They love to dig so expect muddy paws. Their characteristic beard wicks up water which they will happily deposit on you, the couch, the rug or the cat!

Speaking of cats, how will your Airedale get along with other pets? While it depends on the individual dog, most Airedales will get along with other dogs and dominant cats. Fearful cats which run may ignite the prey drive. Airedales generally are good with children as long as they (and the children) are taught how to behave with each other.

While Airedales are watchful over their family and initially reserved with strangers, they are the affectionate, silly clown once they accept a new person.

This energetic breed excels at many activities besides hunting and field trials. In fact, Airedale terriers were some of the first dogs used as police dogs and were also used during WWI to deliver messages behind enemy lines. Airedales can be found working as search and rescue dogs. They compete in agility, Obedience and Rally.

For more information about the Airedale Terrier visit the Airedale Terrier Club of America.

Written by Jamie Pyatt

Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the Airedale Terrier lover in your life? Find gifts, apparel and jewelry that are perfect as Birthday, Mother’s day, Father’s day, or any-day gifts, at Simply select the Shop by Breed tab to see the large selection.

Save 10% on Dog Ink Airedale Terrier Collar and Lead set, available in Red or Yellow, until October 31, 2010 just by CLICKING HERE.