The King of Terriers – Airedale Terriers

The Airedale terrier was developed to be an independent and courageous hunter in England. These traits carry over in the breed today. The dog breed is intelligent and “reads” human ques easily to identify friends or foes. It is said that the Airedale does not start fights, he finishes them. To demonstrate this point, there is a famous Airedale named Jack that delivered messages between command in World War I. He traveled over half a mile through swamp and artillery fire to deliver a message. He arrived with a broken jaw and shattered leg and promptly died in front of the message recipient. This demonstrates the courage, loyalty and commitment of the dog to the job it is tasked to perform. The breed is very loyal to the owner and the owner’s family, however, it gets along well with children and other pets. The Airedale has been described as a great babysitter. This does require socialization (as do all dogs).

An active breed, the Airedale requires daily activity. Two walks a day, plus play in the back yard is highly recommended. They make great jogging partners and also like to swim. As with many terriers, they have a tendency to dig, chew, chase other animals, and bark, especially if they are not occupied. This breed is not recommended for apartment dwellers, or for first time dog owners. If you like a challenge on four legs, this is the dog for you. They like to collect “human” objects – shoes, clothing, or anything that belongs to the humans. They can appear to be aloof at times, however, they are intelligent enough to be trained easily. This is a good outlet for their energy and is recommended, due to the independent nature of the dog. They are welcoming to people invited into the home, however, they recognize when someone is not invited and make a good watch dog. At 40 to 65 pounds and about 2 feet tall at the shoulder, they are large enough to be intimidating to many people. They also do not show fear and are very strong willed, do they do not intimidate well and will remember if someone is unkind to them.

The Airedale coat is a double coat: a thick wiry outside coat and a soft inner coat. They do not shed excessively, however, the coat does require significant care. It is recommended that the dog visit a professional groomer 3 to 4 times a year to have the coat stripped. This gets rid of the old dead hair and decreases potential for skin diseases. The outercoat can also become thick and matted if not brushed on a weekly basis. Owners should plan on learning to groom the dog or be prepared to pay for grooming their Airedale. As with all breeds, teeth should be brushed a couple times a week, nails clipped on a regular basis, and check those ears. The flop over ears are prone to get infected and to get ear mites. This can be very irritating to the dog and lead to ear infections. The Airedale is a healthy dog and lives for about 10 to 13 years.

Source by Doug Fabick