The Airedale Terrier is clever, friendly, and gentle. Initially bred for one purpose and now a loving family dog, there’s a lot to love about this breed. If you want to learn more about Airedale Terriers and their history, keep reading. 

Pet Simplified uses affiliate links within our articles and pages. Purchases from these links earn us a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps support the website. You can learn more about it on our Privacy Policy Page.

Airedale Terrier Dog Breed Overview
NicknamesAiredale, Bingley Terrier, Waterside Terrier, King of Terriers
Height22 - 23 inches
Weight50 - 70 pounds
Lifespan12 - 15 years
TemperamentFriendly, courageous, outgoing
Suitable ForFamilies with children, active families, good with other dogs

History Of The Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier is part of the terrier group. This large dog breed has a few different nicknames, one being the King of Terriers.

They also go by the Waterside Terrier, Bingley Terrier, or Airedale.

This doggo has been around since at least 1853. A black and tan rough-coated dog breed was crossbred with an Otterhound. Thus, the Airedale Terrier was born.

The breed was first created in the Aire Valley of Yorkshire, though Airedale Terrier didn’t become its official name until the Kennel Club in England declared it so in 1886. 

On the other hand, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized this breed in 1888.

Airedale dogs were initially bred as sporting dogs, hunting otters in rivers and rats on land. However, they were used for other purposes during World War I.

For instance, this breed was used as messengers, sentries, food carriers, ammunition carriers, scouts, ambulance dogs, ratters, sled dogs, guard dogs, and Red Cross casualty dogs.

Due to their work during the war, Airedale Terriers grew in popularity. Some US presidents, such as Theodore Roosevelt, Warren Harding, and Calvin Coolidge, owned the King of Terriers.

What Does The Airedale Terrier Dog Breed Look Like?

Did you know that the Airedale dog is the largest of all the terrier dog breeds? So, how big do terriers get?

Both males and females of this doggo should grow to be about 23 inches tall. However, females can be slightly shorter at 22 inches. In addition, a fully grown Airedale Terrier should weigh between 50 and 70 pounds.

According to the AKC’s breed standard, their head should be well-balanced with a long and flat skull. In addition, the ears should be V-shaped, not pointing to the eyes, and not out of proportion.

This dog’s eyes should be dark, small, and full of terrier expressions. In addition, they should have a black nose that’s not too small on their face. 

Airedale Terriers should also have broad shoulders that slope well into the back. Their back should typically be short and level with a deep chest, but not comprehensive.

The hindquarters should be strong and muscular, while their forelegs should be straight and muscular. Finally, their tail should sit nicely on the back at the root, and the tip held well without curling at the top.

The Airedale Terrier’s coat is dense and wiry. The hairs are often hard that look wrinkled or slightly wavy. Their coat is typically short to medium length.

Airedale Terrier: Learn More About The Largest Terrier Breed |

What Coat Colors Do Airedale Terrier Dogs Have?

You won’t find too much variety in this dog breed. Airedale Terriers come in two different coat colors.

For example, you’ll find this pup with a black & tan coat or a grizzle & tan coat.

This doggo doesn’t typically have markings or coat patterns.

Caring For The Airedale Terrier

Owning a dog is a big responsibility. All dog breeds are different, as well. So, let’s look at the pet care Airedale Terriers need to thrive.


There isn’t much grooming maintenance when keeping this pup’s coat clean. However, you’ll want to brush their coat at least once weekly to keep them looking nice.

Most Airedales have a shorter coat, but dead hair can cause shedding. Even though this doggo sheds little, regular brushing will help keep it under control.

Luckily, this breed is considered to be hypoallergenic. They don’t shed much, and they rarely drool. However, this will only lessen allergies, not eliminate them.

They could use a good bath once every three to four months. You can bathe them yourself at home for bonding time or bring them to a professional grooming salon.

Airedale Terriers enjoy digging in the yard, so if they’re visibly dirty, you’ll need to give them a sponge bath at home more often.

In addition, remember to keep up with trimming their claws, cleaning their ears, and brushing their teeth regularly. 

Airedale Terrier: Learn More About The Largest Terrier Breed |


What your dog eats should depend on a few factors. For example, keep their size, age, metabolism, and energy levels.

The average adult Airedale Terrier should do well on about 1.5 to 2.5 cups of high-quality dog food per day, split into two meals.

However, you should always check with your veterinarian before deciding what to feed your doggo and how much.

We recommend this high-protein kibble for adult Airedale Terriers if you’re shopping around.

On the other hand, if you have an Airedale puppy at home, you can try this canned wet food that’s high in protein for growing pups.

Finally, try this canned food for large seniors if you have an older doggo.


Airedale Terriers have moderate to high energy levels. They’ll need at least 60 minutes of exercise daily, but more would be ideal.

These pups are outgoing, social, and playful. So, they’ll enjoy exercising with you, the family, and the children.

They’ll do well-playing games of fetch and tug-of-war in the backyard or taking a couple of long walks during the day.

Sometimes, your doggo will need to let out their zoomies, so letting them outside to run around can be enough to release extra energy. However, be sure to have a fenced-in yard.

You should always supervise your Airedale Terrier outside, even if you have a fence. They enjoy digging and have a high prey drive, and will chase small critters.

Alternatively, if you’re going to be out all day, it’ll be a good idea to hire a professional dog walker to check in on them throughout the day. This will help give your doggo exercise during the day.

On the other hand, you can drop them off at doggy daycare for the day. They’ll get exercise and be able to socialize with other humans and dogs.

Airedale Terrier: Learn More About The Largest Terrier Breed |


Airedale Terriers are intelligent dogs. They also bond well with their humans. So, training should be relatively easy.

However, they can become bored quickly. So you’ll want to ensure that training is fun and not too repetitive. Otherwise, your pup may be inclined not to listen.

Due to their size, Airedales should at least learn basic obedience commands. 


Luckily, Airedale Terriers are relatively healthy dogs. Unfortunately, however, they are prone to some health issues, such as the following:

  • Allergies (Food, Skin, etc.)
  • Cancer
  • Cerebellar Abiotrophy
  • Corneal Opacities 
  • Entropion
  • Heart Problems
  • Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Umbilical Hernia
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease

Your doggo should visit the vet yearly for their annual checkup. As an Airedale Terrier puppy, you can bring them more often to ensure they grow and develop well.

With proper care and regular vet visits, Airedale Terriers have an average lifespan of about 12 to 15 years. 

Airedale Terrier: Learn More About The Largest Terrier Breed |

Airedale Terrier Temperament

This dog breed has a lot to love, and they have great personality traits. For instance, Airedale Terriers are affectionate and loyal to their family members. They often bond with a few family members, getting along well with everyone. 

In addition, they’re good around children. However, if you have young kids, such as toddlers, in the house, they should always be supervised by the dog. Airedales have a lot of energy and might play too rough with younger kids without realizing it.

The dog and children should be taught to respect one another’s space and boundaries. 

Also, this doggo gets along well with other dogs. So naturally, they wouldn’t mind having a furry friend at home to play with.

But remember that this breed was initially bred for hunting rodents. They have a high prey drive, so if you have cats or other small animals at home (such as guinea pigs or hamsters), you’ll need to train your dog to leave them alone. Or keep the animals separated from each other.

When meeting strangers, your Airedale Terrier might be wary at first. But these doggos are excellent watchdogs and used to be guard dogs back in the day. So, they’ll keep an eye on their territory and watch out for their family members.

However, these pups are also fairly outgoing and get along well with other humans. As long as they have proper training and early socialization, they should meet new people well.

The King of Terriers is prone to digging, barking, and destructive behaviors if home alone for too long. They get separation anxiety, so it’d be good to have another dog at home as a companion. Or, hire a professional dog walker to check in on them if you’ll be out all day.

Since they love to dig, you can be sure your garden will be in trouble. You can train this doggo to stay away from the garden or give them a designated digging spot in the yard.

Airedale Terrier: Learn More About The Largest Terrier Breed |

Are There Any Differences Between Males And Females?

There aren’t too many differences between the genders of this breed. However, physically, females can be slightly smaller than males.

When it comes to their temperament, females tend to mature a little bit faster than males. But, other than that, both males and females are excellent family dogs.

Who Should Own Airedale Terriers?

Airedale Terriers can live comfortably with families with or without children.

They’ll do best with an active family. For instance, they’ll love going on jogs or hikes with you.

In addition, this pup will need a bigger house with a fenced-in yard where they can run around. Apartment living isn’t suited for them due to their large size, energy levels, and tendency to bark a lot.

Where Can You Get An Airedale Terrier?

If you want to add an Airedale Terrier to your family, you should be able to find them where ever you can adopt dogs.

First, you should look at your local animal shelter or breed rescue organization. You may not be able to find a purebred Airedale Terrier, or you might find an adult or senior rather than a puppy.

These dogs are often abandoned or surrendered by their previous families. So, it’s best to adopt and not shop so you can save a dog’s life.

You can begin your search at the Airedale Club of American Rescue and Adoption Committee or the Airedale Terrier Rescue and Adoption.

On the other hand, if you can’t find this specific breed or have your heart set on getting a puppy, you can go through a reputable breeder.

Remember, a good breeder will do the following:

  • Get the parents tested for health to ensure it’s safe to breed them
  • They’ll health test the puppies as soon as possible to ensure they’re healthy
  • Socialize and train the puppies as early as possible
  • Get the puppies up to date on their vaccinations
  • Won’t allow the puppies to leave their mother until at least eight weeks old

In addition, Airedale Terrier breeders will want to meet you in person to get to know you. They’ll also allow you to meet the Airedale puppies and parents while answering your questions.

The AKC Marketplace is a great place to start looking for ethical breeders.

Airedale Terrier: Learn More About The Largest Terrier Breed |

Question Corner: FAQs About The Airedale Terrier Dog Breed

Isn’t the Airedale Terrier a great pup? If you want to learn more about this breed, then read through the frequently asked questions answered below.

What’s The Average Cost Of The Airedale Terrier?

The average Airedale Terrier price can cost anywhere between $800 and $2,000 if you go through a breeder. This cost factors in the dog’s age, pedigree, number of puppies in the litter, coat color, and more. The price will be less if you go through a shelter or Airedale rescue.

What’s The Average Litter Size Of Airedale Terrier Dogs?

Since Airedales are large dogs, they can have eight to 12 puppies in one litter. However, the average size is about nine puppies.

Are Airedale Terriers Good Family Dogs?

Yes, Airedale Terriers are good family dogs. They tend to bond well with their humans and will get along well with others, including children and other dogs in the home.

Are Airedale Terriers Good Guard Dogs?

Airedales used to be guard dogs back in the day during World War I. They make better watchdogs than guard dogs today. Also, they’re not an aggressive dog breed, which is good.

Are Airedale Terriers Hypoallergenic?

The short answer is yes. This dog breed is hypoallergenic. However, this will lessen allergic reactions but not completely cure the allergy.

Airedale Terrier: Learn More About The Largest Terrier Breed |

Do Airedale Terriers Shed?

They do shed, but not much. To keep the Airedale Terrier’s shedding more under control, you can brush your Airedale’s coat regularly, at least once a week.

Do Airedale Terriers Bark A Lot?

Yes, this dog breed does love to bark. They enjoy barking to get attention, to alert you of something, or because they’re bored or lonely. So be prepared for this pup to be vocal during the day and sometimes at night.

Do Airedale Terriers Like To Swim?

Airedale Terriers do enjoy swimming. They were initially bred to hunt otters in the rivers, so they have the stamina and coat for swimming. However, monitor your doggo in the water and have a life jacket on hand, just in case.

Can Airedale Terriers Be Left Alone?

Unfortunately, this breed is prone to separation anxiety. They can be alone for a couple of hours, but that’s it. You can bring them to doggy daycare or have a family member or friend check in on them when you need to be out most of the day. Otherwise, they may show destructive behaviors such as scratching furniture.

Is This A Banned Breed?

Unfortunately, Airedale Terriers are banned in certain parts of the United States and Canada. This is because they used to work as police and guard dogs during the war, which is most likely why this pup is banned in some places.

Is The Airedale Terrier Dog Breed Right For You?

If you can be home for your Airedale Terrier and are active during the day, this breed might be a good option. They’re loyal and affectionate and will bond with most of the family, fitting right in. 

Airedale Terrier: Learn More About The Largest Terrier Breed |
Spread the love
error: This content is copyrighted by Rachel Poli, founder of Pet Simplified. You may not select, copy, or use this content.