Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier is the largest and sturdiest of all the terrier breeds and was used as a police dog in Europe. American presidents Wilson, Harding, and Coolidge all owned Airedale Terriers.

Common Characteristics

  • Size: 51 to 100 pounds
  • Lifespan: 6 to 15 years
  • Pet purchase cost: $501 to $1000
  • Allergies: Moderate
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Primarily suited for indoors


Common Reasons for Surrender

Airedale Terriers have huge, outgoing personalities to match their large frames, and the bounciness of their personalities can often prove overwhelming for children and frail adults, one of the top reasons the breed ends up in rescues and shelters. Many people, who do not realize that Airedale Terriers need more room to run around, simply put their dog in the yard for exercise. The bored dog then becomes destructive, a problem that can be avoided with training.


The typical personality of an Airedale Terrier is perhaps as large as the dog itself. Gregarious and happy, the Airedale Terrier has been described as delightful and funny with a joy that is contagious. In addition to a joyful spirit, Airedale Terriers don’t shed.


Airedale Terriers are large dogs, which could prove problematic, or overwhelming, for someone whose physical capabilities are diminishing. Consider what you would do if you had an emergency and you had to pick up your dog: Could you do so?

In addition to their large size, Airedale Terriers have a strong prey drive and will hunt and kill small animals, such as rabbits, andmay react excitedly if a child suddenly runs through the room.

Airedale Terriers require regular grooming, which could prove costly in the long run. Learning how to groom an Airedale Terrier is possible, but it does require patience and plenty of practice.


Deciding on the best diet for your Airedale Terrier is a personal decision. Some people opt for a raw food diet while others choose grain-free diets. Regardless of the diet you choose, avoid foods that contain wheat, corn, soy, sorghum, and by-products, and limit treats to something small but tasty to avoid overfeeding.


How much daily exercise your Airedale Terrier will require really depends on his age. Younger Airedale Terriers have boundless energy and need a minimum of an hour of active exercise daily while older dogs may be happy with an enjoyable 20 minute stroll each day.

Possible Health Issues

Airedale Terriers, like many other larger breeds, are often more prone to hip dysplasia than smaller dogs. Some Airedales also develop hypothyroidism.


The ease of grooming you will have with an Airedale Terrier depends on his coat. Airedale Terriers have variable coats, but the general rule of thumb is: The harder the coat, the easier it will be for you to groom. Softer coats typically tangle easier, which requires continued grooming.

If it’s important to you that your dog looks like a traditional Airedale Terrier, do some research so you are familiar with the breed’s traditional grooming style. Many owners groom their Airedale Terriers to look like Schnauzers rather than Airedales.


To avoid the inevitable destruction that results from boredom, start training your Airedale Terrier early in his life. The key to successful training depends more on you than it does on your dog. Whether you train your Airedale Terrier or hire someone to train him for you, ensure training sessions are fun. An Airedale Terrier doesn’t respond well to dull repetition, so use your creativity and be sure to shower him with praise when he does something right. Airedale Terriers respond to positive reinforcement rather than criticism.


Keeping your Airedale Terrier entertained means keeping him happy. In addition to plenty of love and attention from you, your dog may enjoy having another Airedale as a companion. Invite your Airedale along for your hikes or swims, and get him involved in agility. Airedale Terriers can also become avid runners after their bodies are fully developed.


We want to thank Texas Airedale Rescue Team for help with this profile.

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