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Airedale Terrier: A Guide for New Owners

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Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier is the biggest of all terriers, and that’s why people call them “The King of Terriers” They came from England and probably have a mix of different terriers in their blood. This makes them a strong and versatile dog that The Airedale Terrier Club of America (ATCA) says can do many things well.

The Airedale has a long history of being good at many things: 

They can hunt, protect, and work with the police. They are about 23 inches tall from the ground to their shoulders and weigh 40–60 pounds. They have a funny beard and a coat of thick, hard hair that is brown and black.

Taking care of an Airedale Terrier: 

The Airedale Terrier is a curious and lively breed that wants love, fun, and praise to be happy. They don’t lose much hair, but their coat of thick, hard hair needs to be brushed and trimmed often.

Airedales are smart, which makes training easy and hard at the same time. They can learn new things fast, but they can also pick up bad habits fast. You need to be kind and patient with them and reward them for good behavior—and teach them what they can and can’t chew on. But overall, an Airedale is a wonderful pet for many families who have the time to give them the love they need.

Airedale Terrier Health Problems: 

Airedale Terriers are usually strong and healthy pets, but they can get sick from things that affect many dogs, the (ATCA) says. The King of Terriers usually lives for 10–13 years.

Hip Dysplasia: 

Airedales can get hip dysplasia, a problem they inherit from their parents where the hip joint is not normal, making it loose and painful. Signs of hip dysplasia are limping, joints that make noise, running like a rabbit, and sitting weirdly. The problem can be fixed with drugs or with an operation, depending on how bad it is. The breed club says you should ask your Airedale Terrier breeder about all the health tests, including hip dysplasia, done for your Airedale puppy and parents.


Airedales are the biggest terriers, and they can get gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), a very bad kind of bloat in dogs. Dogs can bloat when their stomach gets bigger because of food or gas, and GDV happens when the stomach twists on itself and/or the spleen. This can happen if they eat too fast or run right after eating.

GDV is very dangerous and can kill your dog. You need to take your dog to the vet right away if they have GDV or bloat. Airedale Terrier owners need to know the signs of GDV and bloat, which are:

  • Trying to throw up but nothing comes out
  • Making noises like they are sick
  • Walking around nervously
  • Having a big belly
  • Falling down
  • Having pale gums


Hypothyroidism happens when a dog’s thyroid does not make enough hormones, making their body work slower and worse. Signs of the problem are being lazy, getting fat, having skin and ear problems, and losing hair. There is no cure for hypothyroidism, but it can be managed with medicine and regular visits to the vet.

What To Feed an Airedale Terrier: 

Airedales need good, protein-rich dog food. Your vet can help you choose a brand that the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) approves. Airedale Terrier puppies need to eat puppy food until they are 1 year old, then they can switch to adult food.

How To Feed an Airedale Terrier: 

Don’t let an Airedale eat whenever they want, the breed club says. This can make them fat, which can cause other health problems. Airedale puppies should get three meals a day on a regular time, which can be changed to two meals a day when they are 1 year old.

Airedale Terriers can get bloat, so don’t let them exercise right before or after eating, and don’t feed them from a high bowl. Using a slow-feeder bowl can help them eat slower, which can lower the risk of bloat.

How Much Should You Feed an Airedale Terrier? 

The amount of food your Airedale Terrier needs depends on how big, old, and active they are. Look at the label on your dog food package for help, and ask your vet how much you should feed your dog.

Nutritional Tips for Airedale Terriers: 

Dogs get all the nutrients they need from their balanced dog food, but some Airedale Terriers may need supplements, like fish oil, to help with dry and itchy skin. Always talk to your vet before giving your dog supplements or adding something new to their food.

Behavior and Training Tips for Airedale Terriers: 

Airedale Terrier Personality and Temperament Airedale Terriers are smart, happy, and faithful dogs who love to make their owners laugh with their tricks. But they need attention and fun, or they can get into trouble. Airedale dogs—and especially Airedale puppies—need to move and play a lot. They can live in different places, but they do best if they have a yard with a fence to run in.

Airedales are not as outgoing as other terriers, the breed club says, but they are not shy. They are good family dogs and, if trained well, they can get along with kids, dogs, and other pets.

Airedale Terrier Behavior: 

Airedales are very interested in everything and want to check out anything that looks fun. Keep things that might be tempting—like a paper, a box, or a snack—away from an Airedale when you are not watching them.

Airedales are not very nervous or noisy, but they like to dig, so don’t leave them in the yard alone, the breed club warns. Give your Airedale Terrier lots of toys and exercise to keep them from doing things they shouldn’t do because they are bored.

Airedale Terrier Training: 

Airedale Terriers are smart dogs, so they don’t like training that is boring and the same all the time. But they love to learn new things and be good at them. Like all dogs, Airedales like it when you are nice to them. Make your training fun and different, and give them treats when they do what you want. The ATCA says, “Remember, Airedales are thinkers, not robots.”

Fun Activities for Airedale Terriers Agility:

  • Hunting
  • Obedience
  • Tracking
  • Fetch

Airedale Terrier Grooming Guide: 

The Airedale Terrier has a coat of hard, wiry hair on top of a layer of softer, thicker hair. They don’t lose much hair, but they need to be groomed often to look nice.

Skin Care: 

Some Airedales’ skin can get dry and/or itchy, the ATCA says. You can help your Airedale Terrier feel better by adding supplements to their food as your vet tells you. If changing their food doesn’t help, take your dog to the vet to see if they have a health problem.

Coat Care: 

Airedale Terriers should go to a groomer three or four times a year, the breed club says. The groomer will make the outer coat look neat and take out the dead hair from the undercoat.

At home, brush your Airedale’s coat a few times a week to keep it healthy—and make them happy. The Airedale’s coat can get mats, which you should pull apart by hand, then comb gently.

If your Airedale dog needs a bath, you don’t need to use a conditioner. Their coat makes oils that keep it healthy.

Eye Care: 

Clean your Airedale’s eyes of any dirt. You should also cut the long hair around their eyes that might get dirty or block their sight. If you see something wrong with your dog’s eyes, like discharge, talk to your vet.

Ear Care: 

To keep your Airedale’s ears from getting infected or sore, keep them clean and dry. Use a cotton ball or a cleaner made for dogs to clean their ears every week. This should keep their ears healthy and happy.

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