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Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier Breed


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Dog Size

Energy Level

Dog Energy Level


Dog Trainability

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Physical Characteristics:
Height – Female: 22-23” | Male: 23-24”
Weight – Female: 40-44 lbs. | Male: 50-64 lbs.
Energy Level: Moderate – High
The American Kennel Club recognizes the Airedale Terrier in the following colors:

  • Black saddle with tan head, ears & legs
  • Black mixed with gray & white

Health & Longevity

Average Life Span: 10-13 years
Airedale Terriers, known for their energetic nature and overall fluffy appearance, boast mostly good health, but there are a few health issues that pet owners should be concerned about.

For instance, one of the most serious health conditions for Airedale Terriers is canine hip dysplasia. Also known as CHD, this condition is a birth defect that occurs when the socket and hip bone are malformed, resulting in dislocation and painful deterioration of joint cartilage. Symptoms are subtle, but there may be a noticeable limp that worsens as time goes on. Surgical intervention is required to correct this condition permanently.

Other health concerns that may affect your Airedale Terrier include:


This condition is a result of the insufficient release of metabolic hormones from the thyroid. Obesity can exacerbate it, but it can be controlled and managed for a lifetime. Symptoms include lethargy, severe weight gain, disinterest in everyday activities, hair loss, itchy skin, and recurring skin, ear, or bladder infections. Treatment includes a lifelong prescription for hormone supplements.


This condition is caused when fluid and gas become trapped in the belly, twisting the stomach. It is life-threatening and very painful, but symptoms are an obvious distended belly, lethargy, weakness, vomiting, loss of appetite, lack of energy, excessive urination, and whimpering or yelping with the slightest movements. Surgery is commonly required to reverse this condition.

Airedale Terriers are also prone to the usual health conditions that can affect any dog of any breed. These serious health issues include heartworms, heart disease, the parvo virus, and some forms of cancer, such as thyroid, bladder, and bone. These pups can also suffer from colonic diseases and skin allergies. The average lifespan for an Airedale Terrier ranges from 10 to 13 years.

Temperament & Train-ability

Clever, agile, and lively, the Airedale Terrier is a mid-sized, rambunctious pup with an alert nature and athletic build. These purebreds love to romp and play, so the ideal exercise would be an hour or two running around at a dog park. Or, let him go unleashed in a fenced-in backyard, where he can dig and explore to his heart’s content. On rainy days, invest in a few indoor toys, and take him for a couple of 30-minute walks to release his pent-up energy.

Airedale Terriers are often great companions for families, but older children are recommended. Younger children may get accidentally knocked down by the sheer mass and boisterous energy of these purebreds. Wary around strangers, these pups would make good watchdogs because of their protective nature and loyalty to their loved ones.

To train an Airedale Terrier, you have to be patient, consistent, and firm in your commands. These pups have a naturally stubborn, independent disposition, as they were bred to be the only canine in a hunting family. You have to establish yourself as the alpha with clear, concise instructions in a positive, strong tone. Reward him with hearty, meaty treats, lots of praise, and plenty of encouragement.


The grooming regimen of an Airedale Terrier is slightly high-maintenance because of a double coat. The undercoat is smooth and sleek to protect the skin from damage, while the overcoat is the rougher, curlier catch-all for germs and debris. Using a firm-bristled brush and a wide-toothed comb, go through your Airedale Terrier’s hair once a day. Use the comb first from head to tail, being very diligent and thorough. Then go back over with the brush. Trim away any sprigs of hair that stick out too far. Or, take him to a professional groomer for a bath, brush, and trim.


Airedale Terriers vary in size from one pup to another, but they usually stay within a predictable range. The same goes for their nutritional needs. While every pup is different, they seem to keep within the same range. Plan a feeding schedule to accommodate the size of your Airedale Terrier, but also ask a vet about his specific nutritional needs. You might find that your purebred needs more or less food than others to stay healthy, happy, and satisfied.

On average, an Airedale Terrier should be fed twice a day, with 1 to 1 ½ cups of dry, heart-healthy kibble per meal. Nutrition matters, so make sure your brand of choice boasts lots of lean meats, whole grains, and vegetables as the first ingredients on the label.

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Adopt An Airedale Terrier


Airedale Terriers are some of the most abundant purebreds around, so there is no shortage of breeders. A reliable breeder, however, might take some considerable searching to find. There are hundreds of thousands of breeders, but you have to be careful about using the services of a puppy mill.

To establish a connection with someone trustworthy, ask to see purebred documentation from the AKC, bloodline history, and health histories of both parents. Ask for testimonials, reviews, and references of other pet owners. And ask to see the parent dogs so you can get an at-first-glance guess of any health problems. Any reliable breeder will happily and honestly disclose all of the aforementioned information and more.

After you find a trustworthy breeder, expect to shell out upwards of $1,000 to $2,000 for a well-bred Airedale Terrier. You should also consider the long-term costs of toys, nutrient-dense kibble, vaccinations and annual updates, semi-annual vet check-ups, and other necessary must-haves that apply to the ownership of any dog of any breed.

Since there have been so many Airedale Terriers bred, there have been hundreds abandoned as well. Check your local animal shelter to give these pups a second chance at a new, happier life in a loving home. Adoption fees usually run between $75 to $250, but that estimate varies based on state and county regulations. Most shelters will also offer in-shelter vaccinations, spay or neuter services, and health check options for an additional fee.

Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking

Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.

Ranking takes into account a few basic factors including cost, skill level needed, high vs low maintenance and how critical regular training is to success. Airedale Terriers are a 2 on the integration scale. One because of their size and awkwardness as puppies, and two because of their stubbornness when it comes to training them. However, determination, patience, and consistency are surefire ways to transform these independent, yet affectionate, pups into well-behaved, well-trained, loyal family purebreds.


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