The Airedale Terrier- King of Terriers

The Airedale Terrier has his beginnings in the Valley of the Aire in West Riding, located in Yorkshire, England. It is commonly thought that development of this relatively modern breed began around the middle of the nineteenth century, although no exact date can be given. Bred to be a hunting dog and companion for the working class, the Airedale is known for his courage and tenacity.

Some speculation suggests that the Airedale Terrier was originally a smaller terrier that was outcrossed with the Otterhound, Bull Terrier, or Border Collie in an effort to enhance the fine qualities that he already possessed including his sense of smell. At any rate, he is linked to the “Old English Black-and-Tan Terrier,” the “Broken-coated Working Terrier,” and the “Rough-coated Black-and-Tan Terrier.”

Originally trained to hunt otter and rats, the Airedale can give quite a good account of himself in regard to big game hunting. Today’s Airedales have proven themselves since their existence in several areas including police force, military forces, and companionship in families. They have served as messengers in the military, ambulance dogs with the Red Cross, and more. Popularity for the Airedale came shortly after World War I as appreciation for his high level of intelligence, steadfast courage, and varied adaptability grew. The American Kennel Club recognized this breed in 1959.

Lovingly referred to as the King of Terriers, the Airedale Terrier is a gentle and affectionate dog that will defend and protect his family if the occasion arises. He is extremely loyal and makes an excellent watchdog, especially since he has a loud bark. Despite his tendency to remain stubborn unless handled properly and consistently, the Airedale remains a popular pick as a family pet.

Early socialization increases the chances of having an Airedale that responds well to children. In fact, the Airedale Terrier gets along well with children unless the children become a bit too rambunctious for him. At that point, he will typically walk away.

The Airedale Terrier is quite intelligent, which leads him to be a thinker with a curious nature. He sometimes displays a tendency to show off and requires a firm hand. However, once mistreated, he portrays a very unforgiving nature. Therefore, firm and consistent training and discipline will win him over, whereas harsh and rough handling will push him away.

The Airedale, the largest of the terrier group, is known for his courage and willingness to take on any adversary. This breed continues to work today in search and rescue teams, particularly in England. The Airedale Terrier retains many of his working instincts. Indeed, the Airedale is a natural athlete, and typically performs well during agility and obedience competitions.

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One comment

  1. Working with Airedales in the veterinary clinic is challenging because they tend to hold grudges for a long time. I found that several tasty dog treats and a good belly rub are the best “cures” for this condition.

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