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Airedale Terrier
Powerful, compact and the largest of the AKC recognized Terrier breeds, the Airedale is among the most gentile and goofy of companioins.  Remarkably intelligent and independent, they often outthink the people around them, frequently without their people realizing it.
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General Information
Group(s): Terrier Height: 22-23 inches
Weight: 50-60 pounds Longevity: high teens
Colors: black and tan Coat type: wiry, does best when hand stripped
Recognized Registries: AKC and others
Overall Appearance: Fearless, daunting and well-dressed. The Airedale appears the James Bond of the canine world with a clean, classic compactness combined with a rugged confidence to overcome any obstacle.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: can be high
General Nature: varies with individual and socializing
  with Children: better with older children
  with other pets: requires socializing, Terriers, as hunters of vermin, are not ideal for cats and other small animals
  with dogs: tends toward territorial but if socialized properly can do very well
Socialization requirements: rather high; this is a powerful, confident and decisive dog, suitable experience allows this combination to be exceptional
Ideal home characteristics: dedicated to socializing, exercising and grooming requirements
Temperament Notes: can be an opportunist in a home that doesn't know how to handle them; lover of mirth; devoted and protective of family; intelligent in an independent way
Training requirement: related to required behavior and activities of the household, not a dog that will demand regular and new challenge
Trainer notes: Terriers in general often fail to be considered intelligent and trainable, primarily due to their high level of distraction.  Bred to work independently and to have a high level of "feistiness" their ability to quickly assess and react are qualities that were encouraged, this can work against the typical train-by-repition methods.  Terriers are easy to motivate but only if the trainer keeps it interesting and ever-changing.  Exceptational training partners for the trainer that can keep up with them (and that isn't many).
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: 1800s
Country of Origin: England
Original Function: Large game Terrier
History: It is a fairly recent dog having been bred in the mid 19th Century in South Yorkshire, England. Most likely a cross of the Black and Tan Hardocated Northern Terrier and the Otterhound developed expressly for larger game.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: shyness, light boned, ears incorrect, head/expression not proper
Health Notes: hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, eye problems
Health Testing: OFA, Thyroid Panel, CERF
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!


  • How long have you had Airedales?
  • How did you choose the sire of this litter?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • What health issues are in the breed?
  • What health issues do you screen your breeding stock for?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy?
  • How did you choose the sire for this litter?
  • What titles do you seek for your breeding stock?
  • What advice regarding training and socializing do you have?


Web Sites: - National Airedale Rescue - Airedale Club of America has an article on choosing a breeder; keep in mind there is no reference to contrasting this with rescue

Other Resources
Breed standard: - Page with the Airedale Standard by the Airedale Terrier Club of America

Breeder Ethics: - Airedale Club of America, click on About ATCA to get a link for the code of ethics

Other: The Airedale Terrier Club of America fails miserably in their responsibilities to protect the future of the Airedale Terrier.  Their website (linked to here for purposes of standard and other limited resources) lacks easy access to their code of ethics, their guide for finding an Airedale Terrier completely ignores the option of rescue, and doesn't even offer any contacts for Airedale Terrier rescue anywhere on the site.  Finally, the lack of health information (other than the common reference to hip dysplasia and clearance by OFA) nearly implies a sort of code of silence among the club and breeders (which ultimately are what makes up the club).  Without straight forward information about Airedales looking for homes (via rescue) and health concerns within the breed, how is anyone to be educated and informed enough to make a responsible choice in selecting an Airedale to live with?  It is DigitalDog's hope that the Airedale Terrier Club of America recognizes these shortcomings in their website and addresses them immediately.
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