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What Is an Airedale Terrier?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 12 August 2014
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The Airedale terrier is a dog breed that originated in England during the 1800s. These dogs are part of the terrier family, and they are generally considered the largest type of terrier. The average size of an Airedale terrier is about 60 pounds (27 kg), and the breed’s height is generally around 22 inches (55 cm), with males often being slightly bigger than the females. They have wiry fur and ears that tilt forward on their heads. These dogs were originally created for use in hunting waterfowl, and they are known for their versatility as working dogs.

According to experts, the Airedale terrier is not necessarily a great dog to have with small children, partly because it doesn’t endure mistreatment very well. With older children who have been educated in basic dog manners, they can often be good pets. Many people keep Airedales in cities, and they are also kept in more rural environments. The dogs can potentially thrive in most situations, although some exercise is usually required because they have a fairly high energy level.

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Airedale terriers were created by combining different small terrier breeds with larger hounds. The idea of the original breeders was to bring some of the more useful aspects of the terrier temperament into a dog used for hunting ducks. Over time, Airedales have developed a reputation for being good pets, and they've been used for everything from military to police work. The Airedale terrier is often considered a natural guard dog, and this is one reason why many people own them.

Terriers were originally used primarily to hunt various kinds of rodents. This was a task they were expected to do alone. People would generally get a few terriers, leaving them in a barn or some other place where rats or mice were causing problems, and the terriers would attack any rodents they could find. The temperament required for this behavior was a general aggressiveness, a strong drive to hunt, and an independent nature. All these traits can also be found in the Airedale terrier, even though it was never used to hunt rodents.

This general terrier disposition can make the Airedale terrier somewhat tougher to train than many other dogs. The dogs are considered very intelligent, but they aren’t necessarily all that obedient, and they can become frustrated with repetitive activities. It is not impossible to train an Airedale terrier, but it can require a lot of time, even though they are generally quick learners.

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