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The Airedale Terrier is considered the largest terrier dog breed, earning the name “King of Terriers.” This large terrier dog was bred as an able sporting and working dog utilised to catch otters and rats. Its known place of origin is in the Aire Valley of Yorkshire. It stands 58 to 61 centimetres and weighs 45 to 66 pounds. The Airedale Terrier has a distinctive two-layered coat: hard and wiry topcoat and soft undercoat. Intelligent, confident and sociable, itenjoys accomplishing tasks as a working dog. Today, the breed competes in agility, obedience and hunt tests.
Are you thinking of getting an Airedale Terrier? Here is a brief background of the “King of Terriers."
Like most Terriers, the Airedale Terrier is of British origin. It is believed to have come from the Aire River Valley in Yorkshire England in the 19th Century. The breed was created as a multipurpose sporting and working dog mainly to hunt rats and otters. It was a cross between an English Bull Terrier and the now extinct Old English Black and Tan Terrier. The offspring was then bred with an Otter Hound. Before taking the name of the British river, it was called the Working Terrier, Waterside Terrier and Bingley Terrier.
Airedales are the largest among British terriers, which is why they are called “King of Terriers.” Contributing to its nickname is its robust body structure. They weigh between 45 and 66 pounds and stands 58 to 61 centimetres at the withers.
The Airedales’ distinctive coat is covered with two layers: hard and wiry top coat, and soft and fluffy undercoat. The standard colours for this breed are black or grizzle on top, and tan on all other parts. Some white hairs between forelegs are acceptable. Its coat is hypoallergenic and shedding is minimal.
Airedales don’t require frequent bathing and only need weekly brushing to ensure their coat is neat. This breed’s coat is generally low maintenance but should be trimmed a few times a year to avoid becoming unruly. However, if you’re planning to have your Airedale compete in dog shows, then you’ll need a great deal of work on that wiry coat. If that is the case, have it groomed by a professional groomer.
The rest is basic grooming routines. Trim the nails every few weeks. Brush the teeth regularly for fresh breath and good oral health. Clean the ears using a cotton ball moistened with a mild pH-balanced cleanser to prevent infections. If you see signs of inflammation such as redness or a bad odour,consult a veterinarian as soon as possible.
The Airedale Terrier is a friendly, energetic, independent, confident, and intelligent pooch. Like most terriers, it is prone to digging and chasing small animals. It is not aggressive towards people and other dogs but with its hunter instincts, it is definitely fearless.
As a working dog, the Airedale enjoys accomplishing tasks. Positive reinforcement works best when training this canine. A fun attitude and a lot of praises will yield great results. It can be a good family pet especially if trained appropriately. However, large ones with high activity level can be too difficult for younger and smaller kids.
Start training Airedales when young or from the time you bring them home. Regardless of its predisposition owing to its breed, each dog is unique. Early training and socialisation are the most prominent factors that will determine how Airedales will turn out growing up.
A typical serving for an adult Airedale Terrier is 1.5 to 2.5 cups of excellent quality dry dog food per day. However, this is only a guide. The amount of food depends on several factors such as age, size, build, activity level, and metabolism. A lot of info about breed nutrition can be found online but remember that your dog’s individuality also matters.
Typical calorie needs of adult Airedale Terrier per day:
Enthusiasts of the breed stress out the importance of feeding high-protein foods. They recommend grain-free dry kibbles containing animal meat such as lamb, chicken, beef, and salmon. As active dogs, they need carbs for energy, which should come from gluten-free sources. Avoid simple carbs considered as fillers like wheat, corn and soy.
The average lifespan of Airedales is between 11 and 14 years. This breed is generally healthy but prone to some illnesses. They can have allergies, cancer, Hip Dysplasia, Umbilica Hernia, Hypothyroidism, Haemorrhagic Gastroenteritis, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), and Von Willebrand's Disease.
As a hunter and working dog, the Airedale has high energy and stamina. It needs at least two walks a day or a single walk combined with free time at a fenced yard. It can be a good jogging companion that never seems to get tired.
Cost of dog ownership depends on the breed and its size. Larger dogs with high-maintenance coats are costlier than small dogs with manageable grooming needs. For Airedales, you might need to spend up £50 a month for the best quality dog food. Other than dog food, include treats, toys and dog supplies or equipment such as beds, leashes, and collars which may cost you around £200. On top of all this, factor in veterinary costs for annual health checks which can quickly add up to £1,000 per year.
If you don’t want to incur unexpected costs due to health issues, then it is best to get a pet insurance. Basic coverage will cost you £23 a month while a lifetime policy will set you back £50 a month. However, pet insurance costs will depend on several factors, so those above are just bare estimates.
In total, you will need around £60 - £100 a month to care for an Airedale Terrier. This number does not include major veterinary bills for treatments or procedures that are not covered by insurance.
Are you sure the Airedale Terrier is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Have you decided to get an Airedale Terrier? If you’re not sure, check out our Pet Finder for more of dog breeds that suit your lifestyle.
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