Breed Group: Terrier
Temperament and Behavior
Although still possessing plenty of terrier feistiness, an Airedale Terrier is calmer than many of his smaller Terrier cousins. But still active both inside and out, they need vigorous daily exercise and mental stimulation. If left alone for long periods of time, an Airedale will become bored. Once bored, they will then become destructive. To consider letting an Airedale off-leash outside of a confined area is folly. A fenced yard to romp in is almost a must. But, like most terriers, they are expert diggers. Fences must be secured at their base and if your landscaping is a valued possession, this is not the breed for you. Good with older children when raised with them, they may play too roughly for smaller kids. Naturally alert, Airedale Terriers are above average watchdogs that offer above average protective abilities. Some have a clownish streak that can be both amusing and a challenge for their owner. Puppies are noted for exploring everything with their mouth. Protect them and what you own by leaving only their toys within reach. Airedales are usually aggressive with other animals, especially dogs of the same sex. Their hunting instincts lead them to pursue any small animal as prey; it makes no difference if it is wild or a small household pet. Cats are safe only if the dog is raised with one as a puppy.
Physical CharacteristicsThe Airedale Terrier is a large, sturdy, athletic dog. The largest of the Terrier group, they have a height of 22-24 inches at the shoulders and weigh 50-70 pounds. The Airedale’s coat sheds very little but they still need to be brushed twice weekly. To avoid matting, clipping, trimming or stripping is also needed. Their tails are docked or natural. They do best in moderate temperatures.
Trainer's NotesEarly socialization and obedience training are especially important for this lively, “dog-aggressive” breed. Airedales are smart, and can learn almost anything (including opening doors so they can go where they please) but are also independent and strong-willed. Trainers must earn their respect and should not be surprised to suddenly realize his canine training partner is out-thinking him. Happy to please unless they find something more interesting than training, Airedales respond best to firm, positive training methods. Originally bred to pull snarling badgers from their den, it is much better to convince rather than try to coerce an Airedale to cooperate. One owner put it this way “He will not be bullied and does not suffer fools gladly. He will neither fawn nor grovel. But if you allow him his dignity… there is nothing he won’t do for you.