Airedale Terriers


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Airedales are among the most versatile of terriers, and have worked as retrievers and as service dogs. They are very sociable dogs, and are generally very good with children, because they are so affectionate. Children often have a great deal of fun with Airedales. They are the biggest of the terriers, and are quite bouncy, though, and they can knock small children over. They also tend to be strong willed and confident, and they aren't the easiest breed for children to take on walks, because they are so physically strong that it's not easy for a child to control them.

Airedales do like to do their own thing. They will tend to go and check out what they want to see before remembering that you had called them, and coming back to you. Jumping up can also be a problem with Airedales, especially if owners are not strict about this when they are pups. They can also be quite barky dogs, which is good if you want a watchdog, since they have deep barks, but not so good if you have thin walls and sensitive neighbours. They can be trained to quite a high level of obedience if you are patient and persistent, and it helps that they are affectionate, since their desire for attention can be very useful in training them.

Airedales need a fair amount of grooming, but less if they are trimmed regualrly. They do, however, tend to get very muddy on walks, and sometimes they can get stinky from jumping into ponds, because they like water.

Common health problems include hip dysplasia, eye trouble, von Willebrands, and allergies, including skin complaints. Dorothy Miner has written a very good introduction to this engaging breed. It is well illustrated, and written in a way that is accessible to both younger readers and adults. Particular attention is paid to the training needs of Airedales, which are important with such a large and robust breed, that can sometimes be a bit of a hooligan when young, but which offers so much potential.