Airedale Terrier Dog Breed Information: Independent, intelligent and stubborn, the Airedale is a real character who will make you laugh. He loves to dig a good hole, collect his own stuff, and go counter surfing. Active and loving with family, he’s not always well behaved around other dogs or animals and has a strong prey drive.
Called “the king of terriers” by his fans, the Airedale may really be the smartest of the terriers — a quality that will make or break him as a family pet, depending on whether or not his owner minds being occasionally outsmarted by a dog. Fortunately he’s a handsome devil as well as a clever one, and charming enough to compensate for a certain degree of stubbornness. Owners who aren’t ready to provide consistent training from a young age, as well as firm but loving guidance as he grows up, are going to discover that the Airedale Terrier is way too much dog to handle.
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Airedale fanciers often point proudly to the words of Theodore Roosevelt, who said the Airedale Terrier could “do anything any other dog can do, and then lick the other dog, if he has to.” Those words probably describe the Airedale of history better than the dog of today, whose main job now is to be a companion.
Of course, in line with his over-achieving past, the Airedale has even topped the charts in the companionship category. It was an Airedale who inspired author Margaret Marshall Saunders to write the novel “Beautiful Joe,” the story of an abused dog, which in turn sparked the creation of the modern humane movement.
The Airedale does everything in a big way. He loves his human family wildly. He plays games with huge enthusiasm. He runs, he plays, he dances, he clowns, and he lives life with reckless exuberance – the exact same dedication and joy he may bring to the task of excavating your garden, tunneling into your sofa and eating the family-room drywall.
Yes, it’s true, the Airedale Terrier, left to his own devices, is a perpetual motion machine dedicated to mayhem. Anyone considering bringing an Airedale into the family needs to be ready and able to provide him with consistent, early training, to respect his native intelligence and social nature and to not deprive him of exercise, companionship and affection. In other words, he can’t be left in the backyard all day, or he’s going to bark non-stop and be extremely unhappy.
But make him a member of the family, give him plenty of activities to exercise his body and stimulate his mind, and you’ll understand why his fans feel so passionately that there is no other breed worth having.
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Other Quick Facts
The Airedale has a long, flat skull, V-shaped ears that fold over, small dark eyes full of terrier keenness and intelligence, a black nose, and a muscular, squarish body. The tail is carried up but not over the back.
The Airedale’s coat is hard, dense and wiry, with a softer undercoat, and comes in both tan and black and tan and grizzle.
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