Meet the Airedale Terrier

Breed Profile:

With males measuring 58-61 cm (23-24 in.) in height at the withers and females slightly smaller, the Airedale is the largest of the Terriers — known as the “King of the Terriers.” He is a medium-sized, muscular and squarely-built dog. A true Terrier in appearance and attitude, he stands alert with his head and tail held high. This is an active breed that needs regular daily exercise. He is outgoing and confident, friendly, courageous and intelligent.

Not only is the Airedale a good hunter and family protector, he is playful, fun-loving and a wonderful companion. The Airedale is eager to learn and has a very good memory, often learning a task on the first or second try. They do, however, get bored from repetition and may refuse to repeat a task. Positive reinforcement training is the ideal method for this versatile breed — whether training for companionship, conformation, hunting, obedience, agility, search and rescue, tracking, agility, flyball or other. Like most of the Terrier breeds, the Airedale has a stubborn streek and a certain sense of independence.

All Airedales are black and tan, with slight variations of shades. They have a hard, wiry outer coat and a softer wooly undercoat.

Airedale Terrier - Oscar

— Photo by: Christina Conway –

A Bit of Breed History:

It is believed that the Airedale Terrier originated in the Valley of Aire in England by crossing the now extinct English Terrier with the Otteround and various other Terriers. This produced a all-purpose dog originally known as the Waterside Terrier and then as the Bingley Terrier.

During the first part of the 20th century, the Airedale Terrier was a very popular breed and, after being brought to North America from England in the early 1880’s, the breed’s popularity grew to the point where, by the early 1920’s, the Airedale Terrier was considered to be the most popular breed of dog in North America.

Did you know?

· The Airedale Terrier was one of the first breeds used as police dogs in Germany and Great Britain as well as being used as dispatch dogs in several wars.

· In 1912, 1919, 1922, and 1933, The Best of Show title at the Westminster was won by an Airedale Terrier.

For more information about the Airedale Terrier breed, see For a list of breeders, see the Breeders page as well as the Breed Clubs page, and be sure to check out the Breed Rescues page where Airedales are occasionally available for adoption.

Photo Gallery

(Click to enlarge and read more about the dogs shown)