Why the Airedale Terrier Is Considered the ‘King of Terriers’
Airedale terriers, also called Bingley terriers or Waterside terriers, originated in the Airedale Valley of Yorkshire, England. Considered the “King of Terriers,” this is the largest of all the terrier dog breeds, and their temperate is either one you will love or hate.
While Airedale terriers are loyal, affectionate and make excellent family pets, their intelligence also makes them prone to stubbornness, which only owners with a sense of humor will appreciate. In fact, this breed’s even known to pull practical jokes.
Like all dog breeds, though, the Airedale can be your forever dog if you put the right amount of training and devotion into it. Read on to learn more about this versatile dog breed.
Airedale Terrier’s Size and Stature
As the largest of all terriers, the Airedale stands just under 2 feet at the shoulder and weighs in at about 50 to 70 pounds. A “manufactured breed” the Airedale was developed using several other breeds, including the Otterhound, the Irish terrier, the Bedlington terrier and the now-extinct black and tan terrier.
Their hypoallergenic wiry coat is dense and tan in color with black markings. In fact, their coat was designed to protect the dog from the claws of predators. They have long legs and a long face as well as dark eyes. You’ll most likely recognize them by their characteristic beard and mustache.
They Make Good Family Dogs
Airedales are patient with children but won’t back down when they are threatened. Airedales are intelligent and form close bonds with their human family members. These dogs are friendly, calm and eager to please. When an Airedale barks, there is usually a reason.
But as we mentioned earlier, regular socialization and consistency in training are important if you don’t want their stubbornness to drive you crazy.
A Low-Maintenance Breed
While they have longer coat than others here, they are fairly low-maintenance dogs. Weekly brushing will keep them looking good and reduce the incidence of shedding and mats. Professional grooming is recommended three or four times a year.
While Airedales generally have few health problems, there are recommended health tests that Airedales should get, including a hip evaluation, opthalmologist evaluation, cardiac exam and renal disease DNA test. These can be especially important as your Airedale ages if you’re hoping they’ll live out the average 11- to 14-year lifespan for this breed. However, a reputable breeder will have already tested your Airedale for hip dysplasia.
They’re Energetic and Intelligent Terriers
Like all terriers, Airedales need plenty of exercise in the form of several daily walks and play sessions. While they are good around children, their energy and strength could prove too boisterous around toddlers and smaller children.
Obedience training is a must due to the breed’s size and strength. They are highly intelligent dogs, but this sometimes leads to boredom. The AKC recommends varying the training routine and providing plenty of mentally stimulating toys and activities.
Airedales Make Excellent Working Dogs
The Airedales was developed by the working class in the 19th century. It was bred to be a versatile hunting and working dog, and it’s been used as such ever since.
In fact, Airedales served in the British Armed Forced in World War II and have been used as police dogs in Germany and Great Britain.
They Had Some Famous Moments in History
Three Airedales called the White House home: President Wilson’s Davie, President Harding’s Laddie Boy (pictured) and President Coolidge’s Paul Pry.
Two Airedales also perished on the Titanic, one owned by William Carter and one named Kitty, owned by the Astors.