Airedale Terrier dogs are the largest among the Terrier breeds. Their dense and wiry coat is tan with black markings. Long, powerful legs give Airedales a regal stance, and the long head’s beard, mustache, dark eyes, and folded ears communicate intellect. Airedales are bold, determined, and stubborn like their terrier cousins. They are gentle and patient with children, but they are fierce protectors. Airedales flourish in sports and family activities.
Airedale Terriers measure 23 inches in height with the usual weight range being 50 to 70 pounds.
Airedales are generally healthy dogs, with the average life expectancy being 11 to 14 years.
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Airedale Terriers originated in the Aire Valley which lies in the north of England. Airedales were bred to be powerful, brave hunters of rats and ducks. This dog was a “manufactured” breed, which was appropriate for a dog from a manufacturing area because it was made up of several different existing breeds. These include breeds like the Otterhound and the English Black and Tan Terrier, which are now extinct. The Irish Terrier and Bedlington Terrier can also be detected in the Airedale with a trained eye. Setters, retrievers, and herding dogs may have also contributed to the formation of the breed.
During the First World War, Airedales distinguished themselves in the British Armed Forces as courier, sentry, and guard dogs. The breed was referred to be a “three-in-one” hunting dog in North America because it was equally skilled with waterfowl, upland gamebirds, and furred animals. Anyone who has ever owned an Airedale will not be surprised by this, as the breed is renowned for its flexibility.