Airedale Terrier
Dog Breeds

Airedale Terrier

Other names: Erdel

The Airedale Terrier is a British black-backed hunting dog breed bred to hunt river rats and otters. It is distinguished by increased emotionality and an elegant exterior: a neat, stylishly disheveled beard and coarse hair all over the body.

Characteristics of Airedale Terrier

Country of originEngland
The sizeaverage
Growth55-61 cm
Weight20–28 kg
Age14–16 years old
FCI breed groupterriers
Airedale Terrier – Characteristics

Basic moments

  • The Airedale Terrier is a breed that is contraindicated in loneliness. The dog, left unattended in the apartment, is very bored and entertains itself with various pranks, such as damaging shoes and peeling wallpaper.
  • As befits a true terrier, the Airedale loves to stress small animals and birds, chasing and trying to grab them. At the same time, he is quite loyal to cats, with whom he has shared living space since childhood.
  • Initially, the breed was bred as a hunting breed, but over time it was transformed into a service and decorative one. There are only a few animals that fully work with wild birds and beasts today.
  • To provide the Airedale Terrier with a comfortable life, you need to be, if not a hunter, then at least an adherent of an active lifestyle. Lacking physical activity and walking from time to time, the dog quickly degrades and loses interest in everything that surrounds it.
  • Passion for “archaeological excavations” in Airedale Terriers is innate. Keep this in mind when you let your dog off the leash near your neighbor’s rose garden.
  • Airedales are not ready to love children by default. They are absolutely not averse to looking after the baby and taking part in her games, however, they will react quickly and harshly to the infringement of self-esteem.
  • In the Airedale Terrier, a terrible owner and a lover of someone else’s good coexist peacefully. In particular, dogs love to store a variety of items near their bed and snap at those who are trying to encroach on stocks.
  • Thanks to their extraordinary intelligence and ingenuity, Airedale Terriers are ready for various adventures. For example, it costs nothing for them to open a loosely closed door, and also to get forbidden sweets from kitchen cabinets.
  • The lively temperament of Airedale Terriers does not fade with age, which helps them to maintain youthful enthusiasm throughout their lives.
  • The Airedale’s coat does not shed and practically does not smell (provided that the dog is trimmed in a timely manner), which makes it convenient to keep the breed in a city apartment.

Airedale Terriers are jolly merry fellows, harmoniously combining such character traits as independence, gambling and boundless devotion to the owner. Both authoritarianism and excessive liberalism will not work with these bearded “Yorkshiremen”. They are ready to recognize the authority of a person only if he respects their desires and at the same time does not allow himself to be manipulated. If the stars have aligned and you adhere to just such tactics of behavior in relations with animals, the Airedale is 100% your pet.

History of the Airedale Terrier


The largest of the British terriers was bred around the middle of the 19th century, in the Airedale Valley (western Yorkshire), which later gave its name to the breed. Carried away by such unpretentious entertainment as baiting river otters, English hard workers from time to time indulged in crossing individual varieties of terriers. Likewise, the townsfolk, addicted to the cruel game, planned to breed a strong, grippy dog ​​capable of breaking rodent-catching records. Ultimately, one of the experiments, in which the red and Old English black and tan terriers took part, came to fruition. Thus, the first Airedales were born. At first, these four-legged “Yorkshires” did not have a separate name, so in different parts of the country they were called water, working, wire-haired and coastal terriers. Officially rename the animals Airedales

The gene pool of dogs gradually expanded. Cynologists are sure that at some stage they were infused with the blood of the Irish Wolfhound , Basset Griffon Vendée and Otterhound, and that it was these breeds that gave the Airedales phenotype the necessary completeness and expressiveness. As for working qualities, it almost immediately became clear that Airedale Terriers are able to find animal holes, but not to make their way into them. In this regard, in England, animals were used in classical gun hunting. With a keen sense of smell, these bearded fidgets never lost track, and they were not distracted by the smell of gunpowder. In addition, the Airedales worked professionally on the water.

Since the end of the 19th century, the breed began to gradually expand its habitat. So, for example, in 1880, several individuals emigrated to the United States. A batch of Airedale Terriers arrived in Russia at the beginning of the Russo-Japanese War and solely for practical purposes. The British embassy sent dogs for military service and to help wounded soldiers. Nevertheless, the animals managed to truly become famous during the First World War. At the front, the Airedale Terriers worked as postmen, bringing what they started to the end even with their last legs and despite mortal wounds. Well, the maximum jump in the popularity of dogs came at the end of the 40s of the XX century, after which interest in them slowly declined. By the beginning of the 60s, Airedales had moved from 20th to 50th place in the list of the most popular breeds of our time.

Video: Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier - Top 10 Facts

Famous Airedale Owners

  • James Curwood.
  • Woodrow Wilson.
  • Boris Zakhoder.
  • Mark Zakharov.
  • Ferdinand Porsche (Founder of Porsche)

Airedale Terrier breed standard

Airedale puppy
Airedale puppy

The Airedale Terrier is a harmoniously built, bearded lively dog ​​with a curious, penetrating look and a hard, amusingly shaggy dog ​​on its paws. In fact, the Airedale is not such a giant, although it is considered the largest of the British terriers. Nevertheless, ramming it into a backpack, like some kind of Jack Russell , is unlikely to succeed.


The Airedale Terrier has a small head flowing into a voluminous but neat muzzle. The dog’s skull is flat, elongated, tapering towards the eyes. Stop is weakly expressed.

Teeth and jaws

Massive muzzle of the Airedale Terrier is given by strong, deep jaws. At the same time, overly developed jaw bones, which increase the cheekbones of the muzzle, are not welcomed by the exhibition commissions. The teeth of the representatives of this breed are strong, closed in the correct scissor bite.


Black, medium sized lobe.


Airedale Terriers have small, attentive eyes: not too deep-set, but not protruding either. The darkest color of the iris is welcomed and light is very undesirable.


The ears of dogs are small, have the shape of an isosceles triangle and fit well to the head. The fold of the ear flap should pass above the line of the skull, while high-set or pointedly hanging ears are a serious drawback.


The Airedale Terrier’s neck is of medium length, well muscled and generally dry.

Airedale Terrier
Airedale Terrier


The Airedale Terrier is relatively compact. The dog’s dog’s topline is short but level, with a prominently muscular loin. The chest is deep (reaching to the elbows), with prominent ribs, though not broad.


Airedale paws
Airedale paws

The legs of the Airedale Terriers are straight, moving freely and straight in running. The shoulder blades of the dog are long, strongly laid back, the elbows “walk” freely along the body. The hind legs provide a springy propulsion through massive thighs, good angulations and strong hocks. Paws are compact, rounded, with moderately arched toes and dense pads.


Until recently, the tail of the Airedales was docked. Today, the procedure has been abolished, so the tail of modern individuals is strong, moderately thick and long, raised up.


Let's play?
Let’s play?

Airedale Terriers have a fairly tough “clothes”. The undercoat of representatives of this breed is short, but without pronounced puffiness. The awn has a rough, wire-like structure with a break. In general, the dog fits snugly against the body of the animal, forming something like a protective suit.


The typical color variant of the Airedale Terrier is reddish-brown with black or brownish-brown-black (the so-called grizzly color) saddle. The shade of wool on the outer side of the tail and the upper part of the neck of the dog matches the color of the saddle. Areas with a darker color of the dog are the ears, the bottom of the neck, the sides of the skull. A small amount of white hair on the chest is allowed.

Defects and disqualifying vices

Excellent marks at exhibitions do not shine in the first place for animals with obvious anatomy defects. These are usually bite defects (non-linear arrangement of incisors), incorrect movements (amble), lack of undercoat, presence of an eyesore, and no signs of sexual dimorphism. Individuals with such defects as cryptorchidism, deviant behavior (unreasonable cowardice or aggression), malocclusion, deformed type of constitution and anatomical deformities in general are subject to complete disqualification, blocking access to the ring.

Airedale photo

Airedale Terrier personality

Waiting for the owner
Waiting for the owner

The Airedale Terrier is a positive, energetic varmint who is difficult to push into the box, but with whom it is quite possible to agree on peaceful coexistence. The pronounced independence of animals, which they inherited from the terrier clan, can cause certain inconveniences to the owner, therefore it is better for opponents of any difficulties to prefer some spineless decorative creature to a representative of this breed. But you really don’t get bored with the Airedale, so if you urgently need an active companion with your own views on life in general and on friendship in particular, take a closer look at this bearded “meteor”.

Like his relatives in the group, the Airedale Terrier is distinguished by increased “talkativeness” and mischievousness. The silent and phlegmatic Airedale is a phenomenon so out of the ordinary that it makes you think about the mental health of the dog. In the family, the animal behaves adequately, gets along with all household members, if they show proper respect for him and do not encroach on his property (yes, the Airedale Terrier really does not like to share anything, especially his own toys). This “Yorkshireman” has good fighting inclinations, but he is not at all a bully and not a provocateur. A dog can rush into the attack only to protect the owner, but not for the sake of sporting interest.

Airedale Terriers have a noticeable penchant for watchdog activity, so if you want to direct your pet’s “talkativeness” in the right direction, trust him to guard the house, and you will be the first to know about the arrival of invited and uninvited guests. The increased sociability of the breed prevents her from calmly enduring loneliness, so taking an Airedale Terrier, knowing in advance that he will have to be locked up for most of the day, is a frankly failed undertaking. In addition, a bored dog always trades in petty sabotage, and this is fraught with slashed furniture, torn wallpaper and worn-out shoes.

Education and training of Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier is a very erudite dog
Airedale Terrier is a very erudite dog

The Airedale Terrier is a capable, hardworking, but often completely undisciplined student who cannot be broken by either treats or threats. The problem lies in the fact that during classes the puppy is bored. And if it’s boring, then there is no point in dragging out the “torture”. It is much easier to pretend to be incomprehensible, having finally put the squeeze on the owner with your own stubbornness and having received the coveted freedom. That is why cynologists recommend starting to educate and train Airedale Terriers as early as possible, while they are not yet so cunning and resourceful. If you instill in your little one a love of learning, having matured, he will go out of his way to perform any exercise for the “five”.

Remember that the growing Airedale Terriers are not used to giving up their positions, so if the dog did not react in any way to the command voiced three times, it is better to stop the lesson. Repeated repetition of the demand leads to the fact that the pet begins to like it when he is persuaded. Let the bearded “teenager” defeat you with his stubbornness once or twice and you will very quickly fall in his eyes to the level of the attendants. This does not mean that classes should be abandoned altogether, but it is still better to take into account the excitement of the breed and build the educational process so that the Airedale is truly carried away by it.

Airedale Terrier

Sometimes a dog may refuse to work under the guidance of the owner simply because she has been sitting too long and she wants physical relaxation. In this case, it is better to take a good walk with her. But this should not be monotonous dragging on a leash: in order to run in plenty and poke its nose into every suspicious hole, the Airedale Terrier needs full freedom, without any limiters restraining emotional impulses. When training with the Airedale Terrier, it is also important to understand that this breed is all right with the intellect and chewing each exercise 10 times with its representatives is a waste of time and effort. Firstly, such a technique risks annoying the pet. Secondly, endless repetition will not give anything but marking time and an extra load on the dog’s brain.

The first obedience lessons are given at home, in a familiar, relaxed environment. The puppy must understand that now its leader is you, and independence and self-will are now over. Sometimes owners of teenage dogs complain about the incredulity and cowardice of their wards. Don’t worry, this behavior is normal for a 3-6 month old Airedale Terrier. The so-called passive-defensive reaction is characteristic of many growing dogs, but it never turns into a character trait, disappearing without a trace as the animal grows older.

Well, a little about training programs. The average pet will have more than enough OKD or UGS courses. The training of the Airedale Terrier ZKS also takes place, but more often it is not due to necessity, but to the whim of the owner. Like it or not, the Airedale Terrier is not capable of competing with qualified four-legged guards like Boerboels and Black Russian Terriers.

Airedale Terrier
Beach run

Maintenance and care

The Airedale Terrier is able to live in an apartment, but in his heart he dreams of a private house with a cozy aviary and a personal plot that can be dug up and down with trenches. It is better to build a booth for a dog insulated, based on the autumn dankness. At the same time, leaving the Airedale Terrier to winter in it is a gross violation. This breed is not adapted to frost, and in bad weather its place in the house. Long walks twice a day are a must for Airedale Terriers. But you can take bearded crooks into a forest park or into a wasteland and let them off the leash when they have thoroughly understood the meaning of the commands “Come to me!” and “Fu!”. Otherwise, one day, not at all perfect, your ward will be irretrievably lost in some roadside bushes. Going to the other extreme and dragging your pet on a strap through the streets for hours is also not worth it.

Grooming and hygiene

Fluffy muzzle rolled in the snow
Fluffy muzzle rolled in the snow

Seasonal shedding is not about Airedales. On their own, representatives of this breed shed only a small percentage of the undercoat, so the main work to bring the pet’s “fur coat” into proper shape falls on the owner’s shoulders. The coat of the dog is updated by means of trimming (plucking), which can be of two types: hygienic and exhibition. In the first case, the wool is plucked twice a year and completely. This allows you to refresh the dog and improve its quality. You can master the technique yourself, without consulting a groomer. Pre-washed and dried wool is collected with fingertips in a thin bundle closer to the root and pulled out in the direction of its growth. It is better to start trimming the Airedale from the head, gradually making your way to the back, where the dog is removed easier and faster.

After pinching, the dog’s skin is smeared with a nourishing cream to relieve irritation and the animal is left alone. By the way, after trimming, many owners wrap the Airedale Terrier in overalls before going for a walk so that the pet does not catch a cold. There is no special need for this if the dog is active and runs a lot on the run. But in the case of less energetic individuals who love to sit and stand at the master’s feet, clothes can come in handy. In order to stimulate new dog growth in a trimmed Airedale Terrier, it needs to be combed systematically with a brush. It is useful from time to time to comb out tufts of dead undercoat: this way the growing hair will lie more evenly and denser to the dog’s body.

Haircut of the Airedale Terrier
Haircut of the Airedale Terrier

Exhibition haircut is a more complex and serious procedure. Its purpose is to emphasize breed features and mask small physical flaws. The process takes place in stages, since in the ring the animal must demonstrate an already regrown dog. 2-2.5 months before the show, the Airedale Terrier is completely plucked, bypassing the area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe legs, chest, beard and mustache. Two weeks before the event, the dog’s head, area under the tail, throat and shoulders are trimmed, simultaneously aligning the transitions between areas with different lengths of hair. The most difficult stage is to give the animal a sophisticated look a couple of days before the exhibition. Usually, on the eve of the event, minor flaws are eliminated, for which there was no time before. In particular, the mustache and beard are cultivated to make the profile of the Airedale terrier emphatically rectangular, the hairs on the cheekbones are plucked, the area around the mouth is processed, the hair on the forehead is shortened. In addition, some owners tint their wards on the coat and other parts of the body to give it a richer tone. In general, show trimming is a professional level, which is not necessary to strive for. It is much wiser to find a good groomer and entrust the matter to him.

Important: formally haircut is contraindicated for Airedales, as it changes the structure of the coat and softens it. At the same time, trimming the throat and head of the dog, in order to emphasize the smoothness of the lines and the distinctness of the contour, still takes place.

My dirty
My dirty

Airedale terrier ear care is standard, but with puppies you will have to tinker, since the formation of the correct setting of the ear cloth is a painstaking task. For this reason, in the first months of life, babies’ ears are glued to the head until they take the desired position. In addition, the ear cartilages of young Airedales need a daily massage lasting 3-5 minutes. For adults, the ear funnels are cleaned of sulfur and dirt, but they are no longer massaged.

Make it a habit to look into your Airedale Terrier’s mouth once a week to check the whiteness of his teeth. If the enamel begins to turn yellow, try to clean off the plaque with a silicone nozzle sprinkled with crushed chalk or zoopaste. Eye examinations are done daily, but running after the dog with a tissue every day is not worth it. It is enough to walk with a damp cloth on the mucous membrane of the eyelid once a week. The area of ​​special attention is the beards of the Airedales. While eating, they get wet, crumbs get stuck in them, which adore all kinds of bacteria. To avoid the appearance of fungus and an unpleasant odor, the hair on the chin and muzzle of the dog is wiped after each meal. Watch for the growth of hairs framing the lips of the dog. If they are too long, it is better to shorten them so that they do not stick together in bunches and do not form jams.

Airedale Terrier Feeding

Oh cookie! yum
Oh cookie! yum

Like other breeds, Airedale Terriers are fed either “dry” or “natural”. The choice of the type of feeding is a matter of personal preferences of the owner, his employment and financial capabilities. The Airedale Terrier’s natural menu does not include any special exotic products. Everything, like most dogs: raw lean meat daily; once a week, sea fish with previously removed bones; salads from beets, carrots, cabbage, cucumber and pumpkin – every day, but in moderation. Cereal porridges (buckwheat, rice) help to increase the calorie portion. Airedales will not refuse sour milk and a chicken egg, but in the second case it is better not to overdo it: one or two times a week is enough. Feed the dog twice a day, in a crawl, focusing on the weight of the animal. So, the norm of one serving for a 20-kilogram individual can vary from 400 to 600 g, for a 29-kilogram individual – 600-900 g. If we talk about industrial feeds, then we will have to focus on varieties not lower than the premium class. On the other hand, when feeding the Airedale Terrier with high-quality “drying”, there is a chance to save on the purchase of dietary supplements and vitamins, which are indispensable in the case of a natural diet.

Airedale health and disease

Even breeds as energetic and hardy as the Airedale Terrier are not immune from a genetic predisposition to certain types of diseases. In particular, the most “popular” ailment among the Airedales is hip dysplasia. Slightly less commonly, animals are diagnosed with:

  • umbilical hernia;
  • raw eczema;
  • demodicosis;
  • pannus;
  • thyroid disease (hypothyroidism);
  • von Willebrand-Dian disease;
  • dilated cardiomyopathy;
  • entropion;
  • retinal atrophy;
  • umbilical hernia;
  • hyperadrenocortism;
  • corneal dystrophy;
  • melanoma;
  • lymphoma.

How to choose a puppy

mom with puppy
mom with puppy
  • Assess the general condition of the mother of the babies. If the bitch looks untidy and tired, you can not count on a healthy litter.
  • Find out how many Airedale Terrier puppies were originally in the litter, what births the bitch had, and the age of both parents. Acquiring a four-legged friend from a too young or old couple is undesirable.
  • The choice of a pet that will never enter the ring starts from the first birthdays of the kids. They begin to look closely at exhibition airedales already at a more serious age (5-6 months), when their exterior characteristics are expressed as clearly as possible.
  • Having little experience in training hunting breeds, it is better to opt for “girls”, they learn faster. Airedale Terrier males are more independent, although their temperament is much more restrained.
  • Pay attention to the location of the white spots on the puppy’s coat. If the Airedale Terrier has white fingers, this is not a defect. As they grow older and change their coat, the marks will disappear, leaving only a few light hairs as a reminder of themselves. If the white “blobs” are located above the toes, directly on the paws, they will only become more noticeable with age, like the white “cloud” between the front legs, grabbing the puppy’s chest.
  • Check with the breeder if the parents of the puppies have been tested for genetic diseases such as degenerative myelopathy and hyperuricosuria.
  • Check the weight of an Airedale Terrier puppy before buying: a 2-month-old baby should weigh at least 6 kg, a 3-month-old – 10-11 kg.

Photos of Airedale Terrier puppies

Airedale Terrier price

Airedale puppies are not the most popular “goods” on virtual bulletin boards, although there are enough nurseries in the country where you can buy a healthy baby with a pedigree. The average price for a breed ranges from 400 to 700$, while all puppies with a price tag below 500$ rubles belong to the pet class (pets without the right to breed).

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