This is the king of the terriers – the largest of the terrier breed group, with adult dogs measuring 58 to 61cm to the top of shoulder, and bitches 56 to 59cm and weighing in at about 25-28kg for dogs and 21-23kg for bitches, depending on their build. Fairly cobby, his muscular body is covered with a hard, wiry coat that is black/grizzle (on the saddle) and tan.
The Airedale Terrier dog breed is a descendant of the now extinct Black and Tan Terrier. He was developed in the 19th century in the Aire, Wharfe and Calder river valleys of Yorkshire by otter hunters who wanted a terrier to work with otter and vermin, and to double as a guard dog. Large working strains of terrier were crossed with the Otterhound to produce a dog large enough to tackle adult badgers and otters. Later crosses with the Irish Terrier and possibly the Welsh Terrier led to the setting of size and type.
In common with most terrier dog breeds, the Airedale dog is confident, bold and outgoing. A friendly, energetic breed of dog, who is quick to learn, he takes well to training – be it in a canine sport like agility or fun obedience at home or in a class.
The Airedale dog is generally a hardy breed. As with many breeds, they can suffer from hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.
An active dog, the Airedale breed needs a moderate amount of exercise (1 to 2 hours daily), including games and training, to prevent boredom and to keep him fit and healthy.
Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape, and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food. The Airedale dog breed is prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.
The waterproof, double Airedale dog breed coat consists of a hard, wiry top coat and a shorter, softer undercoat. It requires daily brushing, together with stripping when the coat begins to shed (twice a year).