The Airedale Terrier
Information from Purina Pet Care
||The Airedale Terrier is a descendant of
the now extinct Black and Tan Terrier. He was developed in the 19th century in the
Airedale and Wharfedale areas of Yorkshire by local 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. Apart from his uses as a terrier the Airedale has been trained
as a gundog where he is particularly valuable working large ducks because of his agile and
powerful swimming ability. Airedales have also been used to pull carts, as guard dogs,
police dogs and as military assistants.
General Physical Description: The Airedale is a well-built, muscular dog with a dense coat which lies straight and close to the body. The outer coat is hard, wiry and stiff while the undercoat is shorter and softer. There should be no suspicion of legginess or undue length of body. He has a keen, intelligent expression.
Airedale, King of Terriers.
Colour: Airedales are black or grizzle and tan in colour. Some may have a little white between the front legs.
Size Category: Medium
Coat Length: Short/Medium
can be expected to live up to between 12 and 15 years.
Ailments: The Airedale is normally a fit healthy dog who rarely requires to visit the vet other than for annual health checks and vaccinations. There are a few breed-specific problems and choosing a pup from healthy stock will reduce the possibility of these arising. Skin irritations, particularly when the dog is not adequately groomed, can be a problem and older dogs may develop tumours.
Common Ailments: Eye - Entropion, Brain (Congenital) - Cerebellar hypoplasia, Haemolymphatic - Bleeding disorders - Von Williebrands disease, Bones (Developmental) - Hip dysplasia, Endocrine - Pancreatic tumour (insulinoma), Haemolymphatic - Lymphadenopathy - Tumour (Lymphoma/Lymphosarcoma), Mouth - Malocclusion (Overshot or undershot jaw), Nose - Nasal tumours, Ruptures/Hernias - Umbilical hernia, Skin - Dermatitis - Acute moist ("wet eczema" or "hot spot"), Urogenital (Acquired) - Bladder tumour/polyp
Requirements: Airedales are not a particularly greedy or fussy eaters and
are therefore easy to feed. They are however well-built and very active dogs who require
reasonable amounts of good quality food to fuel their energy levels.
& Temperament: The Airedale is a friendly, adaptable and courageous
dog showing all the terrier characteristics. They need firm handling as they are naturally
dominant and can be stubborn, but normally they love to please and are obedient. They are
not very aggressive towards other dogs but will stand their ground if challenged. They are
fun-loving dogs and good with people. They make excellent family dogs, particularly good
with children and always ready to join in their games. They are devoted companions, ready
for a walk or a ride in the car at any time. They are protective towards their families
and homes and make good guard dogs.
Personal Protection: Medium
The Airedale should have a daily brush and comb to keep him looking smart. Regular
grooming will also lessen the occurrence of skin irritations. The coat is shed twice
yearly and professional stripping is advised at this time. As part of the daily routine
his feet should be checked for lumps of mud or matted hair and his ears, eyes and teeth
checked. It may be necessary to occasionally trim hair from in and around the ears and
teeth will benefit from regular cleaning.
Classification: The Airedale is the tallest member of the Terrier group.
Terriers are keen, intelligent and adaptable dogs and the Airedale is valued for these
characteristics. They are suitable as working dogs, when their waterproof double coat
ensures they perform well, both on land and in water, and as companion dogs.