Airedale Terrier

airedale terrier

This is the king of the terriers – the largest of the terrier breed group, with adult dogs measuring 58 to 61cm to the top of shoulder, and bitches 56 to 59cm and weighing in at about 25-28kg for dogs and 21-23kg for bitches, depending on their build. Fairly cobby, his muscular body is covered with a hard, wiry coat that is black/grizzle (on the saddle) and tan.

airedale terrier
  • Category size: Medium
  • Grooming requirements: Daily
airedale terrier
  • Shedding: Little
  • Allergies: No
  • Noise: Not too noisy
  • Dog Group Kennel Club: Terrier
airedale terrier
  • Alone: More than 3 hours
  • Other pets: Medium
  • Stability as a guard: Medium


The Airedale Terrier dog breed is a descendant of the now extinct Black and Tan Terrier. He was developed in the 19th century in the Aire, Wharfe and Calder river valleys of Yorkshire by otter hunters who wanted a terrier to work with otter and vermin and to double as a guard dog. Large working strains of terrier were crossed with the Otterhound to produce a dog large enough to tackle adult badgers and otters. Later crosses with the Irish Terrier and possibly the Welsh Terrier led to the setting of size and type.


In common with most terrier dog breeds, the Airedale dog is confident, bold and outgoing. A friendly, energetic breed of dog, who is quick to learn, he takes well to training – be it in a canine sport like agility or fun obedience at home or in a class.


The Airedale dog is generally a hardy breed. As with many breeds, they can suffer from hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.


An active dog, the Airedale breed needs a moderate amount of exercise (1 to 2 hours daily), including games and training, to prevent boredom and to keep him fit and healthy.


Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food. The Airedale dog breed is prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.


The waterproof, double Airedale dog breed coat consists of a hard, wiry top coat and a shorter, softer undercoat. It requires daily brushing, together with stripping when the coat begins to shed (twice a year).

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Is this the right dog breed for you?

All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.


What to Consider next


It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information