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The Airedale Terrier


The airedale terrier (often shortened to "airedale") is a terrier dog breed originating from Airedale in Yorkshire, in the UK. It is sometimes called the "King of Terriers" because it is the largest of the terrier breeds, weighing in at 23-32 kg. The breed has also been called the "waterside terrier", because it was bred originally to hunt otters.

Like many terriers, the breed has a 'broken' coat: a harsh, wiry topcoat with a soft, fur-like undercoat. Because of this coat, Airedales do not significantly shed. Airedales being shown are generally groomed by stripping: a small serrated edged knife to is used pull out loose hair from the dog's coat. It is quite common to be see airedales with docked tails in the US, but in the UK it is illegal to dock dogs' tails for cosmetic purposes.

The airedale can be used as a working dog and also as a hunter and retriever. They exhibit some herding characteristics as well, and have a propensity to chase animals.

The history

Airedale Terrier

Airedale, a valley (dale) in the West Riding of Yorkshire, was the birthplace of the breed. In the mid-19th Century, working class Britons created the Airedale Terrier by crossing the old English rough-coated Black and Tan Terrier with the Otterhound. In 1886, the Kennel Club of England formally recognized the Airedale Terrier breed.

The airedale was extensively used in World War I to carry messages to soldiers behind enemy lines and transport mail. They were also used by the Red Cross to find wounded soldiers on the battlefield.

Before the adoption of the German shepherd as the dog of choice for law enforcement and search and rescue work, the airedale terrier often filled this role.

After the First World War, the airedales' popularity rapidly increased thanks to stories of their bravery on the battlefield and also because Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren Harding owned airedales.


The Airedale is relatively free of inherited diseases except for hip dysplasia in some lines. Airedales, like most terriers, have a propensity towards dermatitis. Allergies, dietary imbalances, and under/over-productive thyroid glands are main causes for skin conditions. Airedales usually live for around twelve years, but have been known to last until the age of seventeen.

Sources: Wiki