Airedale Terrier Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits


An intelligent, tough dog, Airedale terriers will tolerate other pets they grow up with and generally get along well with other dogs and children.


Airedale Terrier At a glance
The Airedale Terrier Dog Breed

The Airedale Terrier is known as the "king of terriers" partly for their size.


Weight Range:

Male: 30-35 kg
Female: 25-30 kg

Height at Withers:

Male: 60 cm

Female: 60 cm.


Energy Level: Very energetic
Life Expectancy: 10-13 years.
Tendency to Drool: Low
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Moderate
Tendency to Dig: High Social/Attention Needs: High

Bred For:

Badger, otter hunting


Length: Medium
Characteristics: Double coat, hard coat, wiry
Colours: Tan with black saddle
Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate

Club Recognition:

AKC Classification: Terrier
UKC Classification: Terrier
Prevalence: Moderate numbers.

The Airedale terrier is known as the "king of terriers" partly for their size. They are about 60cm tall and vary in weight from 25kg for a small female to 35kg for a large male.

The Airedale has a classic terrier head with virtually no stop (forehead), v-shaped ears tipped over and a straight back with an erect tail. The outline is quite square and these dogs are sturdy.

Colouring for the Airedale is black and tan, with a classic terrier coat of dense, harsh hair with a softer undercoat. A grown out coat will look almost curly. The coat and colour stay sharpest with hand stripping of the dead hair. Pet Airedales that are clipped may appear grey and tan.


The blending of hound and terrier has softened the personality of the Airedale. These are still tough dogs but usually get along better with other dogs than many of the other terrier breeds. Airedales are tolerant of other pets they are raised with and generally get along well with children, though they can be a bit rambunctious for small children.

Airedales are somewhat aloof to strangers at first, and need early socialisation and training. Airedales are very intelligent dogs, but have a bit of stubbornness or independence. They require a firm, but gentle hand from early puppyhood. Most Airedales are not big barkers, but true to their terrier heritage they can be serious diggers and chewers. Airedales need human interaction to be happy.

Living With:

Airedale terriers can vary greatly from being quite finicky eaters to being prone to obesity. This breed is active and needs plenty of daily, regular exercise. Combining training with exercise is often a good move as Airedales thrive on mental and physical stimulation. Airedales tend to live about 12 years.

You can count on your Airedale to sound an alarm for danger and will have the courage to back up that alarm. They can be quite protective of their families, especially small children. Early socialisation is important. Airedales can be quite stoic, and owners must be cautioned to be aware of any injuries.

Grooming can vary quite a bit. Keeping an Airedale in show coat requires skillful hand stripping every couple of months. Most pet owners elect to go with clipping the curly coat down once or twice yearly. With the clipped coat, a quick brushing once or twice weekly is adequate.


The Airedale terrier traces its ancestry back with many of the other terriers to the extinct black and tan terrier. These feisty dogs were bred to hunt vermin of any size or shape. They were somewhat lacking in scenting skills and swimming ability though, so in the 1800s near the area of the River Aire these terriers were crossed with otter hounds to create the "king of terriers": the Airedale terrier.

Probably some crosses were made with Irish and bull terriers as well to help create this tough, good-sized hunter. Airedales not only hunt vermin, but have been successfully used on large game and as defence and security dogs. Most American Airedales trace their ancestry back to CH Master Briar, a British dog brought over to the United States near the turn of the century.

Airedales can still be seen today working as hunting dogs for both large and small game, in police work, and as wonderful family companions. Airedales are seen in agility and obedience competitions as well.

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