Unlike many other domestic dog species, the origins of the Airedale Terrier are well known. This breed was created 150 years ago by working-class farmers in a valley in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Crossed by a Welsh Terrier and Otter Hound, the Airedale Terrier quickly became the Terrier of choice and was officially recognized in 1886.
The Airedale Terrier is the largest of all Terrier breeds and was originally bred as a wild game hunter. small sizes, especially rats. Although the Airedale Terrier’s size meant it couldn’t actually go underground, they were very efficient at trapping rats once they emerged. The Airedale Terrier has many desirable traits, including being highly intelligent which means they have also been used as messengers and police dogs.
Airedale Terrier Physical Characteristics
The Airedale Terrier has a large square body which is only emphasized by its incredibly straight front legs and a broad, deep chest. Its long head and snout are broad and flat, and it has small pointed ears that are almost always pointing downwards.
The rigid and slightly curved tail of the Airedale Terrier is generally docked and tends to be black in color. Most of this breed’s stocky body is light brown in color (including ears), with black and sometimes reddish markings.
Their double coat is waterproof with a coarse, dry coat, which is lined with a softer, warmer coat (a characteristic of the otterhound). The Airedale Terrier also has a very keen sense of smell thanks to its combination of Hound and Terrier.
Airedale Terrier Behaviour
The Airedale Terrier is known to be a loyal and highly intelligent breed of domestic dog. They are known to be independent and strong-willed and often form a close bond with their master and family. The Airedale Terrier is an incredibly sociable dog and does not appreciate being without human company for long periods of time.
They are known to be quite destructive when bored. Airedale Terriers are incredibly active and should be able to get plenty of exercise, although this is something that seems to decline slightly with age. Like other Terriers, the Airedale Terrier needs to be trained from a young age as they can be quite stubborn at times, but they are known to coexist peacefully in homes with other animals and children when properly trained.
Airedale Terrier Breeding
The Airedale Terrier was first bred in the 1800s from a Welsh Terrier and Otter Hound to produce a breed that had the desirable qualities found in both breeds. Because they were bred as hunting dogs from the very beginning, the Airedale Terrier is naturally a very intelligent and loyal breed.
Females give birth to an average litter size of 7-10 puppies which, like many other dogs, are born blind and relatively hairless and it takes at least a couple of weeks before they can see the world for the first time. Airedale Terriers should be groomed regularly to reduce the risk of heavy shedding and prevent skin infections.
Airedale Terrier Interesting Facts
The Airedale Terrier is named after the River Aire, which flows through the surrounding valleys from which this breed originated in Yorkshire.
The area was said to have a bigger than usual problem with rats, so these larger rats are starting to become the locals’ favorite Terrier. The Airedale Terrier typically lives for up to 13 years but is known to suffer from genetic defects, including hip and eye problems.