Breed Post: Airedale Terrier

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Jack Russell

For this month’s breed post we have the Airedale Terrier. Often referred to as the ‘King Of Terriers’, the Airedale is the largest of the terrier breeds. Originating from the valley of the river Aire in Yorkshire, the Airedale was bred from a Welsh terrier and an Otterhound. The idea was to create a dog with enough stamina to be able to enjoy a whole day of hunting, combined with the terrier’s nature to track and attack vermin, foxes and ferrets.

Incredibly smart and curious, they can also be very stubborn and do not appreciate ‘tough’ training regimes. Once they have mastered the art of fetch, there is a good chance that they will become bored of the repetitious nature of the game and lose interest. Try to keep their games and interactions refreshing and challenging to keep them stimulated and on their toes.

In general, an Airedale will always be happy to please you unless there is a more important distraction that requires their attention, like a squirrel or another dog to go and play with.

With the right training, the Airedale can do well in various dog sports including defense dog trials. Before the adoption of the German Shepherd as the dog of choice for law enforcement and search and rescue work, the Airedale terrier often filled this role.

This breed generally will get along well with most other household pets like cats or smaller animals, but can become dominant with other dogs. As with all breeds, it’s very important to socialise the Airedale as much as possible with other dogs in the early stages of their life.

Although their coat is short and wirey, don’t be fooled into thinking that their coat doesn’t need any attention. Airedales need quite frequent visits to the groomers for clipping and trimming every 2-3 months to keep their coats free from matting.

As with all dogs, if the Airedale doesn’t receive an adequate amount of daily exercise and stimulation, they’re likely to get bored and frustrated, which could lead to getting themselves into mischief.

If you like your house clean and tidy, another thing to consider is the Airedale’s long beard. Although a very handsome feature, this beard will dangle down into their water bowl, as well as into muddy puddles on walks, and you may find yourself needing to wipe his chops – and whatever he chooses to dribble his chops across – quite frequently.

If you’re looking for an active, versatile and independent dog, the Airedale terrier may well be the perfect match for you. Just be prepared to put the work in – they’re smart cookies and if you give them an inch they may take more than a mile!

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