Photo by © Sprigo

Airedale Terrier - Breed Profile:

Origin: United Kingdom
Colors: Tan with black (tan with dark grizzle)
Size: Medium
Type of Owner: Experienced
Exercise: Daily
Grooming: Frequent
Trainability: Easy to train
Combativeness: Tends to be dog-aggressive
Dominance: Moderate
Noise: Average barker

Physical characteristics

The Airedale Terrier, also known as the Waterside Terrier, is a mix of the Welsh Terrier and Otterhound. The Airedale is traditionally called the "King of Terriers" because of its size - the largest among all terriers. Adult males weigh 50 to 60 pounds, adult females weigh 45 to 55 pounds.
The Airedale has a strong muscular body of square proportion: the front legs are perfectly straight, the topline of the back is level. The head is well-balanced, long and flat. It narrows very slightly to the eyes. The small V-shaped ears fold to the side of the head and forward. The nose is black. The eyes are dark. The teeth meet in a level or vice-like bite. The chest is deep: there is very little space between the last rib and the hip joint. The tail is set high but it does not curl over the back. It can be both docked and left natural.


Airedales are courageous, spirited and protective dogs that need proper training and socialization. Due to their hunting nature, they are very intelligent and independent. When challenged, they are not afraid to stand up for themselves. A happy Airedale is a loyal dog with a strong desire to please. Patient and gentle with children. Puppies are very playful, lively, and fun-loving. Sensitive and responsive.
The Airedale tends to be rowdy, wilful and disobedient if it doesn't have enough daily mental and physical exercise. Hence, this breed requires an experienced owner who knows how to be the "alpha dog. Very smart, Airedales quickly grasp what you want them to do, but if you ask to do the same thing over and over again, they may refuse. To meet the dog's keen nature, you'll have to bring a lot of variety in the training process. It must be a challenge so that both you and your dog enjoy it as much as possible.
The Airedale generally gets along well with cats and other animals in the house, but it sometimes tries to dominate other dogs.

Coat and grooming

The wiry dense outer coat of Airedales is lined with a soft shorter undercoat. With regular grooming, the dog sheds very little. The colors can be tan with black and tan with dark grizzle. The legs, chest, undersides, head and ears should be tan. Sometimes tan also extends up to the shoulders. Airedales can also have a red mixture in the black markings or a small white blaze on the chest.


Airedales are basically hardy and robust. However, they can develop hip dysplasia (probably the most common health problem in canines), dermatitis, and gastric torsion. Other health issues include Retinal Dysplasia and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA).
The lifespan is 10 to 12 years.