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Airedale Terrier

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The Airedale terrier is also called the king of terriers because it is the largest of terriers today. It is a calm and friendly dog, which is suitable for the active family. The Airedale terrier can be used for hunting, but seeing as it is an independent and stubborn breed, a lot of meticulous training is required. Getting an Airedale terrier, means getting a friend for life.

Character and behaviour
The Airedale terrier is an intelligent and independent breed, which requires firm but friendly training methods. At the same time the Airedale is a charming dog, which loves fun and trickery. It is rarely aggressive, unless it is brought up to act that way. Furthermore, it is not hot-tempered in the same way as smaller terriers often are. The Airedale is also suitable as a guard dog with its deep voice.

History of the breed
The Airedale terrier originates from an area in Yorkshire, England where it is named after the river Aire. In the middle of the 19th century, a more versatile hunting dog was requested. That resulted in crossing the black-and-tan terrier with the Otterhound and thus the Airedale was born. It was used for hunting foxes, otters, badgers, water voles and other small game. Afterwards, it has been used as a police dog and a work dog as well.

Appearance, grooming and health
The Airedale terrier’s head is long, flat and appear rectangular with small dark eyes and small v-shaped ears. Its legs are long and straight and it has a short horizontal bag. The tail is long with a characteristic bend and set high.

The airedale’s coat is black and tan and consists of two layers; where the undercoat is soft and the outer coat is coarse. Grooming is ordinarily minimal, but approximately twice a year the coat needs trimming using a special stripping knife. If you cut the coat with scissors it turns soft and looses colour, which is undesirable. If you hand strip an Airedale regularly, you will get a dog that almost does not shed.

The Airedale is 22-24 inches and weighs 50-65 pounds.

The Airedale is a healthy and sturdy dog. However, they may suffer from hip dysplasia, eye problems or dry skin.

What you should know about the breed:

  • The Airedale is suitable for obedience training to a high level.
  • Quick at learning new stuff, but does not like too many repetitions.
  • Requires a good portion of exercise.
  • Does not shed very much and mostly in tufts.
  • Not suitable for first time dog owners.
  • The coat needs regular trimming.

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