Airedale Terrier

  • Other Names: King of Terriers, Waterside Terrier
  • Size: Large
  • Life Expectancy: 12 years
  • Average Weight: 55 pounds (25kg)
  • Average Height: 23 inches (58cm)
  • Grooming: Moderate
  • Shedding: Minimal (if coat is stripped)
  • Exercise: Moderate / High
  • Training: Easy
  • Color: Black and Tan or Tan and Grizzle
  • Country of Origin: England
  • Personality: Intelligent, Courageous and Protective


Airedale Terriers were developed about 100 years ago in England. They were originally named the Waterside Terrier and used as vermin hunters. They were then breed with Otterhounds to make them better swimmers. They were also used to hunt larger animals and later used by the police and as army dogs in World War II. Airedale Terriers are naturally good at hunting, tracking, guarding and police/military work.


The Airedale Terrier is the largest of all the terriers. They are hardy dogs with dense, wiry coats. Their tails stand up tall and shouldn’t curl and their ears are folded and hang down. Their backs and sides should be black or dark grizzle, with the rest of the body colored tan. Airedale Terriers have longer hair around their mouths giving them are bearded appearance. These robust dogs are athletic and have a keen, alert expression.


Airedale Terriers are independent, strong willed and very protective of their families. They are wary of strangers and make good watchdogs. They are very intelligent and need both physical and mental exercise to prevent them from becoming bored. Airedale Terriers are natural hunters so its important they are kept on a leash when taken out for walks to stop them from running off. They are naturally active and lively so need a decent amount of living space. Airedale Terriers make lovely, loyal companions when given plenty of exercise and early training and socialization.


Airedale Terriers are fast learners and do well at high level obedience training. They are stubborn and need an owner who can give them proper training so they don’t think they are “top dog”.  They need early training and socialization, especially with small children as they can become too territorial if firm boundaries aren’t set.


This breed needs daily exercise and is very active. Airedale Terriers enjoy retrieving things like a ball, or going for runs alongside a bike. If they aren’t given enough exercise they will become bored and restless, which can lead to destructive behaviors.


Airedale Terriers are quite low maintenence, but their coats do need brushing and stripping. Their undercoats have softer hair, with the outercoat being very coarse and stiff. Their coats should be stripped twice a year, this will stop them from shedding. Without stripping their coats can shed a lot. Airedale Terriers can also get a lot of food residue in their beards which needs to be kept clean.