The Airedale Terrier originated from the Aire Dale in Yorkshire, England. Commonly referred to as 'Airedales' these large dogs were originally bred to hunt otters, but their versatility allows them to meet most challenges. The Airedale's size ranges from 50 to 70 pounds. Airedale's have a "broken coat" that needs to be regularly groomed and maintained to keep its distinctive look. The term Stripping is referred to has the proper way to groom an Airedales coat. This involves using a small serrated edged knife to extract loose and old hair. The Airedale's broken coat is a wiry topcoat with a soft undercoat. Broken coats do not shed nearly as smooth coats. The breed standard coat colors accepted by the AKC are black saddle, with a tan head, ears and legs; or a dark grizzle saddle (black mixed with gray and white).
Usually Airedale Terrier puppies get their tail docked, but this is not an AKC requirement. They have black gums with the largest teeth of any dog in the terrier group. Airedale's teeth are quite sharp. Airedale's are primarily used for working, hunting, and retrieving. They have a stubborn, strong-willed temperament, complemented by a great sense of humor. They are reliable companions and very effective protective dogs. Hip dysplasia is the only inherited disease common to the Airedale and they are not anymore prone to it than most dogs. Being in the Terrier group, Airedales can be prone towards dermatitis. Airedale's usually live to be about 12 years old, however many have lived several years longer; some as long as 17 years old.
The Airedale Terrier was created by the British in the mid 19 century by mixing the White English, Irish, and Black and Tan Terriers together. This resulted in a very intelligent, hard working, versatile dog breed comfortable working on land and in the water. Airedale are truly an all-purpose dog. Airedale's played a crucial role during World War I by carrying messages to British and other allied soldiers located in the trenches often under horrible conditions. The bond created between humans and Airedale's during this period will forever be unbreakable. Airedale Terrier's make great pet dogs.
Airedale Terrier History and Breeder Information
by Lane Jordan