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Adopt an Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen



Area of origin:


Original function:

badger and otter hunting

Average size of male:

Ht: 23, Wt: 45

Average size of female:

Ht: <23, Wt: 45

Other names:

Waterside terrier, Bingley terrier

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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

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Airedale Terrier Dog Temperament

Among the most versatile of terriers, the Airedale is bold, playful and adventurous; he is a lively yet protective companion. He is intelligent, but often stubborn and headstrong. Some can be domineering, but most are biddable, reliable and responsive to their family's wishes. He makes a good house dog as long as he gets daily mental and physical exercise. He likes to be the head dog and may not do well when another dog challenges that position, although they usually get along well with other dogs.

Airedale Terrier Dog Care

This is an active breed that needs a chance to get vigorous exercise every day. His needs can be met with a long walk, a strenuous game or a chance to hunt and romp in a safe area. His wire coat needs combing twice weekly, plus scissoring and shaping every one to two months.

Airedale Terrier Dog Health

Major concerns: CHD
Minor concerns: gastric torsion
Occasionally seen: colonic disease
Suggested tests: hip
Life span: 10-13 years

Interested in the history of the Airedale Terrier dog breed?

Known as the "king of terriers," the Airedale is the tallest terrier. Like many terriers, he counts the old English, or black and tan, terrier as one of his primary progenitors. These medium-sized dogs were prized by Yorkshire hunters for hunting a variety of game from water rats to fox. Around the mid-1800s, some of these terriers around the River Aire in South Yorkshire were crossed with otterhounds in order to improve their hunting ability around water, as well as their scenting ability. The result was a dog adept at otter hunting, originally called the Bingley or Waterside terrier but recognized as the Airedale terrier in 1878. As she entered the world of the show dog, crosses to the Irish and bull terriers were made in order to breed away from some of the remnants of the otterhound cross that were now considered less than beautiful. By 1900, the patriarch of the breed, Champion Master Briar, was gaining renown, and his offspring carried on his influence in America. The Airedale's size and gameness continued to win him worldwide fame as a hunter, even proving himself as a big game hunter. His smart looks and manners won him a place as a police dog and family pet, both roles he still enjoys. After World War I, however, his popularity declined, and today his reputation is greater than his numbers.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Airedale Terrier Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Airedale Terriers ready for adoption:

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