Consider These 7 Factors Before Adopting an Airedale Terrier
The Airedale Terrier is a medium-sized breed that happens to be the largest of the terriers. In fact, it is often referred to as the “King of Terriers” due to its size, strength, and personality. This breed is square in appearance, with a long and flat head, long muzzle, deep chest, flat back, and high-set tail. It comes in two main colors—black & tan and grizzle & tan. Male Airedale Terriers stand at 23 inches tall on average and can weigh between 50 and 70 lbs, with females being slightly smaller in stature.
This breed’s bold personality and medium size make it a popular pet. Although Airedale Terriers are good athletes and hunters, they can also make a fantastic companion in a suitable household. Airedale puppies typically cost $800 to $1,500 on average, however, they can be as much as $2,500 for top-quality pups. The pricing depends on the age, sex, quality, and pedigree of the puppy, as well as the location of the breeder.
Have you been thinking about adding an Airedale Terrier to your family? Keep scrolling to find out 7 things you should consider before getting one of these dogs!
1. Airedale Terriers have a life expectancy of 11 to 14 years.
Like most medium-sized dog breeds, Airedales tend to live up to 13 or 14 years. Their lifespan can be affected by their diet and lifestyle, as well as the diseases they are predisposed to, which will be discussed in more detail later.
Owners must be prepared to commit both time and money to care for their Airedale Terrier for the entirety of its life. This includes being able to spend at least a couple hours per day exercising and interacting with their dog, as well as being able to afford dog food and vet bills. Like all dogs, Airedale Terriers should receive annual vaccinations, regular internal and external parasite preventatives, and yearly physical examinations by their veterinarian.
2. Airedale Terriers can be good family pets in families with older children.
Airedale Terriers can be excellent companions as long as their needs are met, and they are often quite protective over their owners. The breed came about in the 1800s when Black and Tan Terriers (now extinct) were bred with Otterhounds, and due to their hound heritage, they tend to get along with other dogs better than many other terrier breeds. Airedales generally tolerate other pets in the household that they are raised with. Once they are fully grown, however, it may be more difficult to introduce new pets such as cats since they may be tempted to chase them.
Airedale Terriers can make a good family pet in homes with older children. Due to their strength and boisterous personality, however, they require close supervision when in the presence of small children to ensure that they do not accidentally harm them while playing. This of course is dependent on the individual dog, and some Airedales may be fine with younger children if exposed from a young age and properly socialized.
3. Airedale Terriers are an intelligent and high-energy breed.
Because they were bred to be working dogs, Airedale Terriers require a significant amount of mental stimulation and exercise. For this reason, they do not do well living in apartments, and they thrive when they have a large yard to run around in. Airedales should be taken for long walks or let into the backyard several times per day, and their owners should have a moderate-length play session with them daily. Like all dogs, they tend to mellow a bit after the first 2 years of life, however, you can expect an Airedale to still have more energy than most dogs, even as an adult!
If an Airedale Terrier’s needs for exercise and mental stimulation are not met, they can become bored and restless, resulting in unwanted and destructive behaviors. This can include chewing on personal belongings, destroying furniture, and digging holes in the yard. If Airedales are left unattended, providing them with challenging, interactive toys can help keep them occupied to try to prevent these behaviors.
Since Airedale Terriers were bred from terriers to hunt game and from hounds to track and swim, they can excel in a wide range of dog work and sports. They have been used for guarding, hunting both large and small game, pest control, tracking, and military and police work. They can also be very successful in agility and obedience competitions.
4. Airedale Terriers benefit from training and socialization early in life.
Due to their high intelligence and medium size, Airedale Terriers should undergo obedience training from an early age to ensure that their owner can keep them under control. They do best with handlers who are calm, firm, and consistent, and they may refuse to respond to family members who are overly dominant or too submissive. Since this breed is easily bored, varied training sessions are typically more successful than repetitive ones where an Airedale is less likely to pay attention and may become easily distracted.
The Airedale’s stubborn and independent character means that they can be quite aloof with strangers, and they can potentially become overly protective of their owners and belongings. For this reason, it is also important to socialize Airedale Terriers in puppyhood with a variety of people, dogs, and other pets in the household.
It is important to note that even with sufficient training and socialization, Airedale Terriers may still be overcome by their instincts. Although they often want to please their owners, they can become easily distracted by other dogs, wildlife, and food. They may also be tempted to dig and chew, and they often feel the urge to assert their dominance over other dogs in the household.
5. Airedale Terriers do not require a great amount of grooming.
Airedale Terriers have a dense, wiry outer coat overlying a softer undercoat. Although they are not technically a “hypoallergenic” breed, they do not tend to shed a great amount, so some people with mild allergies can tolerate living with them.
The Airedale Terrier should be brushed once or twice a week to remove dead fur from the coat, and they should be fully groomed, including clipping or stripping of the undercoat, 3 to 4 times per year by their owner or a professional groomer. They should not be bathed otherwise, unless they are dirty, because their skin can become dry due to bathing stripping natural oils from the skin.
6. Airedale Terriers do best on a high-quality, nutritionally balanced diet.
Airedale Terriers should be fed a diet that contains all of the essential nutrients required to keep them healthy. This can be in the form of an age-appropriate commercial diet, which are specifically formulated to meet a dog’s nutritional requirements, or a home-cooked diet. Home-prepared diets must be formulated under the supervision of a veterinary nutritional specialist to ensure that they are nutritionally balanced and appropriate for your individual dog.
The Airedale Terrier’s appetite can range from picky to voracious, so care must be taken to ensure that they do not become obese. Treats can be very useful for training, however, these calories can add up very quickly! Obesity can put any dog at risk of developing diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, and cancer, regardless of breed, so keeping your dog at a normal weight can literally keep them healthy.
7. Airedale Terriers tend to be healthy dogs, but they are predisposed to a few health problems.
Although most Airedale Terriers experience few health problems, like all purebred dogs, they are predisposed to certain health problems. They are at risk of developing diseases such as hip dysplasia (where the femur does not fit into the hip joint properly), hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland), skin allergies (due to food or environmental allergens), dilated cardiomyopathy (a heart disease that prevents the heart from effectively pumping blood), bleeding disorders, and eye problems like glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy. They are also predisposed to certain cancers, including tumors of the urinary tract and nasal cavity and lymphoma.
As many of these conditions are hereditary, Airedale Terrier puppies should always be obtained from a reputable breeder who only breeds dogs without any known genetic conditions that could be passed down to their pups. It is also important to keep in mind that Airedales can be very stoic, so it may not be obvious when they become sick or injured. A close eye should be kept on them to look for any changes in demeanor, energy levels, appetite, thirst, urinations, defecations, or gait.
These were 7 things to consider before getting an Airedale Terrier! This breed can be a wonderful companion in households with an active lifestyle and enough time to dedicate to training and spending time with them.