Overview of the Airedale Terrier
Under a sky strewed with enemy fire, an Airedale Terrier ran. This was during the First World War, and the dog’s name was Jack. He was carrying a message on his collar for the British headquarters.
While Jack’s heroism saved the life of his battalion, it cost him a broken jaw and a splintered leg, an injury that led to his unfortunate death. Jack managed to prove something, though. He proved the association that Airedale Terriers have with courage and bravery is one hundred percent true.
There’s a historical explanation for this association. You see, back in the mid-nineteenth century, the working class people of Airedale, England were on the lookout for a dog who was versatile and brave enough to swim and hunt, sometimes simultaneously. So, they began crossbreeding various dogs, primarily the Otterhound with the Black and Tan Terrier.
The result was a Terrier that carried the signature tan and black coat combination of its founders. It was big enough to tackle prey while being lithe enough to easily maneuver. Speaking of big Terriers, the Airedale usually stands at 23 inches in terms of height. This makes it the largest Terrier breed, which is why it’s commonly known as the King of Terriers.
Hunters began using this new breed to kill rats on land and otters in lakes. Other than rats, Airedale Terriers were also used to hunt other land quarries, like deer and rabbits. The strategy was to drive the prey into its burrow using hounds and then use an Airedale to deliver the killing blow. This killing blow naturally required quite a lot of bravery.
As the world became more civilized, Airedale Terriers primarily found themselves in conformation shows, domestic houses and law-enforcement institutions. In the case of the Airedale, Laddie Boy, this doggo also found itself helming important Cabinet meetings — what with the puppy being the first Celebrity Dog of the White House. By 1949, Airedale Terriers were the twentieth most popular dog breed in the US.
As German Shepherds started gaining marketability as watchdogs and police dogs, the Airedale’s popularity went down. Nevertheless, they’re still highly sought after as domestic woofers and guard dogs.
Equal parts beautiful and sweet, people love Airedale Terriers for their endearing personalities and loyal dispositions. Although, their high-exercise requirements and particularly independent nature mean this dog isn’t suitable for everyone.
They won’t listen to any command unless it checks out as per their rationale. But if you’re willing to go the extra mile when it comes to training them and bearing their mischievous antics, you’ll end up with a doggo who’ll stick with you till the end.
Airedale Terrier Food and Health
Clocking in at an average weight of 110 to 155 pounds, the Airedale Terrier is a heavy dog breed. Most of the doggo’s mass comes from all that muscle it packs in its long legs and a broad torso.
To maintain all this muscle and the active lifestyle of the pooch, you’ll have to opt for a protein-rich diet. This diet should also contain sufficient amounts of fat, vitamins, and minerals. You can either opt for commercially-manufactured dog food or cook up some homemade recipes.
If you opt for the former, the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is worth considering. It packs a supreme blend of proteins, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that have been sourced from natural ingredients, like chicken meat and fruits.
Regardless of the option you go for, make sure you bring your vet into the loop. This will ensure you can curate a custom diet for your Airedale, according to their age, sex, and lifestyle. Taking guidance from your vet will also ensure you don’t choose anything with potential allergens.
Speaking of allergens, Airedales are prone to develop allergies. These can be in the form of food allergies, contact allergies and inhalant allergies. Food allergies are triggered by something your dog consumes. You can easily take control of these allergies by switching up your puppy’s diet upon noticing symptoms.
Allergy symptoms in Airedale Terriers are usually in the form of runny nose, itchy eyes, post nasal drip and rashes. These symptoms can worsen so book an appointment with the vet if you feel like they’re persisting.
Similar symptoms are found in contact allergies which are triggered when your dog comes into contact with a particular material or chemical. Dog shampoos or certain fabrics are usually the culprits here. Inhalant allergies deal with airborne allergens, like dust, pollen, and mildew.
Airedale Terriers are infamous for overeating. So, make sure you never leave any extra food out and properly measure their meals. The high intelligence levels of this breed also mean they can easily open the door to the pantry and raid it for treats and biscuits. So, consider getting a child lock for them.
Speaking of treats, you’ll need to stock up on them when you get an Airedale Terrier. This is because positive reinforcement works like a charm when training these fur balls. Positive reinforcement is when you reward the desired behavior to reinforce it in your pup’s brain.
In fact, anything else, particularly harsh treatment, might yield negative results. You see, the King of Terriers boasts an amazing memory and knows how to hold a grudge. Just make sure you don’t go too overboard when using treats during training sessions since the last thing you want is to end up with a couch potato situation on your hand.
As far as medical conditions go, the Airedale Terrier is generally considered to be a healthy breed. Other than allergies, there are only a few other conditions this breed suffers from. Chief among them is hip dysplasia. This bone disorder sees the doggo’s thighbone grinding against its hip joint when it walks. Other than being painful, this disorder can develop into arthritis as the canine ages. Hip dysplasia is an inherent disorder and is usually found in the larger “Oorang” type of Airedales.
So, if you’re getting your doggo from a breeder, make sure they have the proper health clearance for hip dysplasia. These clearances should be for both the dog and its parents. Other health clearances to keep an eye out for include ones for elbow dysplasia, von Willebrand’s disease, and hypothyroidism.
Leashes and Collars for Your Airedale Terrier
Getting a leash is essential when you bring an Airedale Terrier home. These guiding leads will help you walk your dog and contain its activity when you take it out for a walk. The exact leash length you should opt for will depend on your dog’s age and temperament levels.
When training a young Airedale, consider getting a short leash as this will give you more control over its movements. A shorter leash will also ensure you’re always near your doggo. This means adding a treat to the training sessions will be easier.
A shorter leash should also be your go-to if your Airedale is more towards the aggressive side of things. On the other hand, you may opt for a medium-sized leash if your dog has gone through obedience training and is not a threat to passing humans and animals on the road.
This friendly attitude will need to be instilled in your Airedale who is innately a prey-driven canine. Consider enrolling your furry friend in a dog kindergarten to ensure they’re exposed to a myriad of human and animal stimuli from an early age.
If you’re in the market for a new leash for your Airedale Terrier, check out this option from Joytale. It comes in both small and medium variations. Let’s also not forget all the colors and shades on offer here!
This dog leash should be attached to your puppy’s harness. This will ensure an equal distribution of force and won’t hurt your dog in case they decide to go all tug of war on you. Make sure the harness you choose is breathable, comfortable and adequately sized. The Copatchy dog harness is worth checking out. It comes in a multitude of color sizes which means you won’t be at a shortage of options. It is also super easy to use.
Finally, a dog collar should also be a must for your Airedale Terrier for identification purposes. We recommend attaching a GPS tracker to it since this breed loves exploring around. A tracker, like the one from Whistle GO Explore, will help you keep track of their location. Also, it’ll display all the essential vitals of your dog when it’s out and about so you can enjoy some peace of mind.
Best Crates, Beds and Dog Houses for Airedale Terriers
Airedale Terriers may love to play, swim, and dig around but at their core, these dogs crave the company of humans. So, don’t leave your Airedale alone for long periods as this can lead to destructive behaviors. If you do have to leave your dog unsupervised at home, make sure you leave them in a crate. Don’t forget to throw in a couple of treats and toys inside so they can stay busy and happy.
These crates can also be utilized as a safe haven for your dog to relax and wind down. Just make sure you don’t use these cages as a punishment, in which case your Airedale may start to resent them.
If you’re in the market for a new crate for your Airedale Terrier, getting the iCrate from MidWest should be a no-brainer. While the exact size of the crate will vary according to your pup’s size, a 30-inch one will be ideal for most adult Airedales.
If you’re looking for an outdoor structure for your ball of fur to retire in, consider building them a dog house. This structure would be a bit larger than a crate. The ideal dog house will be big enough for your pooch to completely turn around in. Make sure you get something in wood for its durability and insulation properties.
While a dog house should be fine for power naps, you should bring your Airedale indoors when it’s sleepy time. To ensure a good night’s snooze, consider getting them a high-quality dog bed.
The MIXJOY Dog Bed should be your first choice. Breathable and comfy, this sofa bed’s orthopedic foam will ensure your dog gets an adequate amount of support during its sleep. This in turn will prevent bone issues as your canine friend ages.
Airedale Terrier Toys
You’ll need to consider two things when getting toys for your Airedale Terrier. Firstly, this is a highly energetic breed. So, you should prioritize toys that can help burn all that extra energy. Say, a throwball or frisbee, would be ideal. Speaking of throw balls, you can also invest in an automatic dog ball launcher to automate the entire process.
Secondly, since this breed is extremely intelligent, you’ll be better off getting interactive toys that can keep them occupied and far away from destructive antics. This interactive toy from ZippyPaws is worth checking out in this regard.
Grooming Insights for Airedale Terrier Owners
The grooming and maintenance routine of your Airedale can be broken down into two regimes. Firstly there’s the regular grooming that you’d expect from any dog. This includes brushing their teeth, clipping their nails, bathing them, checking their ears for wax buildup and foreign materials, and brushing their coats.
Brushing is relatively easy, thanks to the dog’s short coat. Their coat is a little wiry though, so ensure you break up any mats with your fingers and then extract them with the help of the comb.
Aside from regular grooming, you’ll also have to give your Airedale a complete makeover every three to four months. This includes stripping and clipping their fur for neatness and hygienic purposes. We highly recommend going to a professional dog groomer for this since fully grooming an Airedale is a highly technical job.
Airedale Terrier Accessories
Since Airedales love to swim, you should definitely take them to the beach. Some essential dog beach accessories include high-quality dog sunglasses and a dog beach towel. Since both these accessories will come into contact with your puppy’s skin, keep an eye out for any allergy symptoms. Ditch the product if you notice any redness of the skin or swelling.
Although these doggos are great swimmers, you should still be extra precautious and get a dog life vest. Make sure this jacket fits your pooch perfectly and features plenty of handles so you can easily lift your woofer out of the water.