Airedale Terrier: Discovering “The King of Terriers”

Airedales have earned this title for their size, intelligence, and regal presence

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By Alex

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier is often called the “King of Terriers,” emphasizing its majesty compared to other terriers. The name Airedale comes from the valley of the same name located in the Yorkshire region of northern England, the native land of this breed.

It’s a dog suitable for those seeking a guardian animal, obedient but with a dash of independence, affectionate, and loyal.

Airedale Terrier: History & Origins

The Airedale Terrier originated from the crossbreeding of an extinct breed, the Black and Tan Terrier, and the Otterhound. Some scholars believe that its ancestors can actually be traced back to the Basenji, an African dog that arrived in England during various commercial operations in the 20th century.

This terrier was initially used for its skills as a proficient otter hunter. In the past, there were organized tournaments that gathered various enthusiasts. However, it soon distinguished itself against much larger predators, such as bears or wild boars. It seems that nothing can scare it, regardless of size.

A few decades later, the English army enlisted it, recognizing its particular skills useful for finding bodies or serving as an auxiliary in various rescue operations.

The breed standard was defined by the Kennel Club of London over a century ago, precisely in 1886. Since then, this dog continues to be appreciated, although historical and evolutionary changes have partly modified its nature.

Airedale Terrier: Characteristics & Appearance

The Airedale Terrier is a medium-sized dog, well-proportioned, that is distinguished by its impressive physical attributes.

As the largest among terrier breeds, Airedales boast a robust build, with males typically towering at heights of 58-61 cm and females slightly smaller at 56-59 cm.

Their striking appearance is marked by a long, flat head, accentuated by a muscular neck and small, dark eyes.

Airedales sport a dense, wiry coat that feels coarse to the touch, showcasing a handsome tan coloration, often with a darker saddle marking. Their ears are V-shaped and small, adding to their distinctive charm.

These physical characteristics not only contribute to the Airedale’s regal presence but also reflect their versatility and resilience. Their imposing stature and strong physique make them well-suited for various roles, from loyal companions to vigilant guardians.

With their impressive size and commanding presence, Airedale Terriers undoubtedly stand out as majestic symbols of canine strength and beauty.

Airedale Terrier
The King of Terriers

Airedale Terrier: Character and Instinct

The dog has a very versatile character, and perhaps this has allowed its widespread adoption.

You’ll rarely hear the Airedale Terrier bark unless it has a real reason to. It’s a breed that lends itself to numerous activities: it has a well-developed sense of smell and sight, can swim with tenacity, and is very robust and brave.

It adapts to family life, playing with children and captivating them with its cheerfulness and liveliness. If you notice, the Airedale Terrier’s gaze is quite endearing!

This doesn’t mean it will blindly obey, perhaps repeating the same game endlessly. When bored, it simply stops paying attention and shows all its independence.

Today, it is mostly employed as a guard dog, showing excellent ability to defend its territory. If you take it to the countryside to romp in the fields, it will display its explorer and hunter nature. So, think twice before confining it to an apartment for entire days. This is a breed that needs to move and be in touch with nature.

Airedale Terrier
The Airedale Terrier is a lively and dynamic dog.

Airedale Terrier: Care and Training

Training a dog of this type means making it clear from the start who the true master is. Before 15 months, you’ll hardly achieve anything with it, as it develops slowly. However, early socialization is key to helping it develop good manners and positive interactions with other dogs and people.

The average lifespan is 12 years. It’s a dog that sheds very little but requires good grooming at least twice a year. In this case, the stripping technique is used: the coat is plucked rather than cut. Regular brushing will keep the coat healthy and aesthetically pleasing.

It may rarely have health problems except for a predisposition to eczema.


There are no particular indications regarding this breed: if you choose kibble, the recommendation is to opt for quality products. Your furry friend’s health will benefit from it.

Airedale Terrier Price

In many western countries, Airedale Terrier breeding has become widespread. It is a well-established and recognized breed in the United States, too. Occasionally, events are also organized in its honor, where the dog can show off all its beauty.

Buying a puppy of this breed means considering an expense of around 1000-1200 dollars. The price depends on the pedigree and health conditions.

Before venturing into purchasing, we always suggest visiting shelters: adopting a dog will help give hope to all those animals who haven’t had the fortune to encounter an owner in their life journey.

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