Short History of the Airedale Terrier
The Airedale Terrier is often called the “King of Terriers.” One of its primary progenitors is the Black and Tan and the old English Terriers. Airedales are the tallest members of the terrier’s entire breed family. They were medium-sized dogs highly admired by Yorkshire hunters who would go after all sorts of prey, ranging from small rabbits to foxes.
They were reliable hunters of land animals, and their owners prized these Terriers as excellent bird retrievers. Sometime during the mid-1800s, many of these Terriers were bred with Otterhounds. The goal was to create a dog with increased water hunting skills and a stronger tracking sense. The result was a sharp-looking dog that became an excellent otter hunter.
These otter hunting dogs became the breed we know of today called the Airedale Terrier. Their name was originally “Waterside Terriers” but became Airedale in 1878.
Terrier enthusiasts began to show these dogs in competitions. To further the beauty of the Airedale Terrier, owners mixed them with Irish and Bull Terriers. By the early 1900s, the well-known Airedale Terrier and champion “Master Briar” became the founding father of today’s Airedale Terriers.
Master Briar produced dogs that highly influenced the breed in the United States. They picked up popularity as strong hunters, proving themselves worthy of hunting big game. However, after World War I, their numbers declined, and today they are a rare breed to come across, yet their excellent reputation remains the same.
The Personality of the Airedale Terrier
Airedales are one of the most versatile of the Terrier dog breed. They are adventurous, bold, and love to play. Highly intelligent and a bit stubborn, training may take some time. However, these dogs are obedient, loyal, and make excellent watchdogs with the right training time. And so long as the Airedale Terrier gets plenty of mental and physical stimulation, they can make obedient house pets.
Airedales in Dog Competition
The Crufts Dog Show in England in 1978 marked the debut of the sport of dog agility. Following the conclusion of the obedience competition and before the start of the group judging, John Varley, a member of the Crufts Dog Show, organized entertainment for the general public.
At Crufts in February 1978, the public observed a dog agility competition between two teams. It was a huge success, and dog agility seemed set for a bright future. The fastest-growing canine sport in the world over the years was dog agility.
In agility, the adaptable Airedale has discovered a new side. Agility suits the fun and variety-loving nature of Airedales quite fine. Our lovely breed still doesn’t have enough competitors, but those that do have great results.
Taking Care Of Your Airedale Terrier
Airedales require a lot of exercise. They get bored quickly without enough physical exertion and can be quite destructive if left alone inside the house. Long walks or active games should provide plenty of stimulation to care for these needs.
Airedale Terriers can live outside during cold climates, but it’s always best to have them sleep inside with the family-like, all-house dogs. Grooming takes more work than most breeds due to its long wiry coat. A thorough combing 2 – 3 times per week is ideal. Clipping and scissoring are also recommended about every eight weeks or so.
Airedale Health Information
The average lifespan for a healthy Airedale Terrier dog is between 10 and 14 years. They are a very healthy breed in which CHD is the only major health issue that may come up. Minor concerns include gastric torsion and hypothyroidism.
For more information about this dog breed, visit the Airdale Terrier Club of America.