Airedale terrier hails from the River Aire region which gives the breed its name. The Airedale is also known as Bingley or Waterside terrier and was the breed of choice for law enforcement even before the German Shepherd. Today we will cover some basics about this breed which is one of the largest among all British terriers.
Facts and characteristics
- Airedale or Bingley terriers were UK’s response to Germany during World War I. When reports about Germany training 50,000 dogs for military action surfaced, Britain hastily trained around 2000 dogs of which many were Airedale terriers. These dogs worked on the front with the troops and were responsible for carrying homing pigeons that were used for sending messages to deployed troops.
- William Wilson, an Airedale breeder and poet has written a poem honoring this breed. Many artists have also captured these dogs in their paintings.
- Airedale and Welsh terriers look very similar but the Welsh are actually larger than the Airedale. (When standing next to each other, your Airedale might actually look like a miniature Airedale terrier in front of a Welsh terrier!)
- The ATCA is the official Airedale Terrier club of America. It was formed in 1900 and works tirelessly to promote and protect the breed.
- US President Warren Harding owned an Airedale named Laddie Boy who even had his own hand carved cabinet chair to sit on during conferences.
- Physical characteristics- Ideal weight for males between 40-55 lbs and for bitches between 35-50 lbs.
Where to find an Airedale Terrier
The best place to find an Airedale is the ATCA official websites of the Airedale terrier club of America mentioned above. Here you can find reputed Airedale terrier breeders near you. Good and experienced breeders with established lines and reputations in the field are not into dog breeding for hobby or financial gains. Rather, they are in it for the love of dogs. The American Kennel Club can also guide you to good Airedale terrier breeders near you. Alternatively, visit some dog shows nearby and speak to Airedale handlers when they are not busy. Most will be more than willing to speak to you and answer questions, recommend breeders and give advice. You can also look for Airedale terrier rescue at a shelter near you.
How to choose Airedale Terrier puppies
Visit the litter of puppies and sit right in their midst. Observe which puppy climbs in your lap and which ones shy away. It is easy to fall in love with a puppy that seems to love you back but always keep your future intentions in mind during selection. Speak to the breeder about health checks and vaccinations. If possible, meet the parents of the pup as well. Make sure that the parents are healthy of good temperament and free from genetic diseases the breed is predisposed to. These days, you can have puppies tested to rule out any genetic problems as well. Have a vet examine your pet before you bring one home.
- This is a fearless dog that can be rather dominant.
- They are born hunters and are extremely energetic. Conscientious, swift, eager and receptive are some adjectives used for describing this breed.
- Airedale terriers will bark at a situation or stranger until their owner assures them.
- They have a tendency to get attached to one person in the family. Once they love and bond with one human being, they tend to have trouble bonding with anyone else.
- Airedales are very sensitive to human emotions; so avoiding stressing them out, especially the females, by becoming overly emotional yourself.
- They make very good guard dogs and watch over their owner and property with a fierce loyalty. Their tendency to guard can set them barking if they see something in their environment that does not belong.
- Airedales are curious, alert, intelligent and not overly aggressive. They have a natural curiosity and tendency to explore so be careful about doors left ajar if you do not want your pet to roam.
Some experts believe that the breed’s natural intelligence and autonomous disposition make them harder to train. Never mindlessly boss your pet around-get him/her used to consistent, gentle and positive training from an early age. Start off training correctly, right from the day your pet first comes home, to avoid obedience issues. If needed, get your puppy enrolled in obedience classes. It is important to attend the training sessions yourself so that you can understand how to speak and train your pet at home. Never let your pet get the impression that training is all work and no play. Keep training sessions restricted to an hour per day. Use praise and treats and also include some fun and games in them. This will help you bond with your pet and it will be a time well spent. Housetraining your pet should include teaching your pet where to eliminate. Get your Airedale used to paper training. Airedales are tactility oriented which means that the texture of the surface can help them understand where to void.
To keep your Airedale properly groomed, you must have following tools in your grooming kit: wet-dry shampoo, slicker and pin brushes, metal comb, shears, small scissors, and canine nail clippers, . Anyone who comes in contact with a well groomed terrier will instantly notice the beautiful black and tan wiry coat. Daily combing will remove dead hair, prevent matting of hair and keep your pet’s coat free from ticks and fleas. Additionally, you must pluck your Airedale’s coat twice a year as, if they are not stripped regularly, they tend to shed excessively. Check your pet’s ears weekly and brush its teeth daily. You must also clip the hair on its paws and trim its nails from time to time.
You can ask your vet or breeder about the best food for your dog. Of course, each one would have their own opinion. You can go online and find the right amount to feed your pet based on its weight. Sometimes, the best food for your pet is the one you make yourself. This way you can control the ingredients. Many commercial foods are full of corn or soy which can harm your dog.
Airedales are at a risk of progressive retinal atrophy, retinal dysplasia, polycystic kidney disease and hemangiosarcoma and lymphosarcoma. Unspayed older bitches are at a risk of mammary tumors. Older dogs are also prone to muscular stiffness and arthritis. Many senior dogs remain active despite these issues, so you must take care not to over exert them. As per the veterinary database, most Airedales die from cancers or urogenital causes.