Friday, April 1, 2011
Breed of the Day: Airedale Terrier
Country of Origin: Great Britain
Group:Terrier group; recognized by the AKC in 1888
Purpose: Badger/water rat hunter
Average Life-Span: 10 to 14 years
Color: Tan head, ears, legs, chest and belly, sides and upper body are black, dark gray or black with a red mixture
Grooming: Brush Daily. Should be clipped every two months and hand-striped three times a year.
Size: Approximately 23 inches tall at the shoulder
The undisputed "King of the Terriers", the Airedale terrier is the largest and hardiest of all the terriers, and an all-around useful dog. The breed's coat is hard, dense and wiry with a softer undercoat, and comes in both black and tan and grizzle and tan. This breed was actually one of the first used for police work in Germany and Great Britain and has also been popular with a few U.S. presidents, including Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge.
The Airedale terrier is thought to have originated in the Valley of Aire in England, descended from the now extinct black and tan terrier. The first Airedales looked completely different from how they appear today, and were known as working, waterside and Bingley terriers. Eventually, the Airedale became known as the dog that could do it all, and was used for war-time guard and messenger duty, rodent control and hunting birds and other game.
The Airedale has a sweet disposition, but when challenged, is not afraid to stand up for himself. Obedience training is important for these fast-learning, intelligent dogs. That being said, be sure to keep training interesting- they can get bored easily. They are also very active dogs and a good run and ball-chase for at least an hour a day is recommended. Although relatively easy to maintain, their coats need regular brushing and hand-stripping of the outer coat, which, unless you have the know-how yourself, will need to be done by a professional groomer.