The Airedale Terrier is the biggest of the terriers, and was originally bred to be an otter hunter. It has also been called a Waterside Terrier. Its name comes from the fact that it comes from Airedale, Yorkshire, England. Due to their unique coat, they are great for people who typically suffer from dog allergies.
Like most terriers the Airedale has a dual broken coat, with a wiry outer layer and a soft under layer. The coat should be black at the saddle, with light tan on the head, ears, and legs. A dark grizzle saddle, black mixed with gray and white, is also acceptable. The mouth is unique, with black gums and large teeth. The tail is typically docked when the puppy is very young, but this is not a breed necessity unless you will show your dog in the United States.
The Airedale Terrier was historically used as a working dog, a hunter or a retriever. However, they make wonderful show dogs today, and a great pet. These dogs can be very stubborn, so training at a young age is important, as is having patience during training and beyond. These dogs also have a fabulous sense of humour, making them awesome family pets.
In order to keep the coat looking healthy and beautiful, stripping of the coat is required. You do this by using a serrated knife to remove loose hair from the coat. If you are not using your Airedale as a show animal, you can opt to have it clipped instead. However, keep in mind that clipping makes the coat softer and makes the colour fade. It can also sometimes cause skin allergies to develop in the animal. These animals are generally in good health, but some may suffer from hip dysplasia. Airedales may also suffer from dermatitis like other terriers. It is important to make regular trips to the vet to make sure that you do not have any problems with your pet that go unchecked. If you take care of your pet, your Airedale will live to be about fifteen years old.
The Airedale Terrier was originally bred in the nineteenth century by crossing the black and tan terriers with otterhounds. This breeding resulted in a good natured, hardy, intelligent working dog and family pet. The Airedale was utilised for its intelligence during World War I to carry messages to soldiers behind enemy lines. Red Cross also used these working dogs to find injured soldiers on the battlefield. Airedales became the stuff of legends, with some dogs carrying out their duties even after receiving injuries.
After World War I, the Airedale was often used in law enforcement. The popularity of the dog increased because of its constant courage during the war. Many famous people owned an Airedale Terrier. However, in recent years their popularity has drifted to the wayside in favor of other breeds, but not due to any problem with the breed itself.