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AKC Meet the Breeds: Airedale Terrier

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

The undisputed "King of Terriers," the Airedale Terrier is the largest and hardiest of the terriers, and an all-around useful dog. The breed's coat is hard, dense, and wiry, with a softer undercoat, and comes in both tan and black and tan and grizzle. This breed was one of the first used for police duty in Germany and Great Britain and has also been popular with Presidents, including Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, and Calvin Coolidge.

A Look Back
The Airedale is thought to have originated in the valley of the Aire in England, descended from the now-extinct black-and-tan-type terrier. The first Airedales looked completely different from how they appear today, and were known as Working, Waterside, and Bingley Terriers. Eventually, the Airedale became known as a dog that could do it all, and was used for wartime guard, messenger duty, rodent control, and hunting birds and game.

Right Breed for You?
The Airedale has a sweet disposition, but when challenged, is not afraid to stand up for himself. Obedience training is important for these quick learners, but make sure to keep it interesting -- they can get bored easily! They also thrive with daily exercise. Although relatively easy to maintain, the Airedale coat needs regular brushing and stripping.

  • Terrier Group; AKC recognized in 1888.
  • Approximately 23 inches tall at the shoulder (less for females).
  • Badger/water rat hunter.



AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.

Comments (2)

  • usf67 3 Nov, 2011

    We have owned four Airedales and have loved all of them. I disagree with the statement on the previous page. Airedales do very well with other dogs. Three of our Airedales have shared their lives with Welsh Terriers, and they have become buddies. They are very sweet dogs and stubborn when they want. One must be aware of what it takes to raise a Terrier. They do have their own minds.

  • Scullybooks 4 Mar, 2009

    We have two Airedales, Kelly who is ten and Treacle who is ten months old and they are lovely dogs as pets. We had another Airedale before this Kelly, also called Kelly and she was great and passed away at thirteen and a half in her sleep. They love children and our two cannot wait until our two sons, Alexander (13) and Andrew (9) come home from school to play. They do like walks but not long ones, they get half way round and sit down and that means home. They are lovely pets. Susie