SMART, SMUG, SMOKY
History & Origin
The Airedale Terrier is the biggest of the terriers and is called the “King of the Terriers” for its physical size as well as its playful personality. It is named for the Aire region in Yorkshire, England, where it was bred from various terriers, like the Welsh Terrier and the Otterhound.
Also known as the Bingley Terrier and Waterside Terrier, the Airedale Terrier comes from a line of working terriers used to hunt vermin like rats and badgers, which were considered pests by Yorkshire farmers. Airedale Terriers proved good at hunting bigger game as well and poachers sent them onto landowners’ estates to catch something for the pot.
The Airedale Terrier proved to be a big success at hunting and made a name for itself in bird and fur hunts and also as retrievers.
Surprised by your Airedale Terrier puppy’s keen sense of smell? Don’t be! It was bred to be bold and tough, able to face all weather conditions, to jump into icy waters and scramble over rocks and hills without losing the scent of its prey.
Brave and courageous by nature, Airedale Terriers have worked as police dogs and did active service in World War II as messengers for both the German and Allied forces. They were also sent onto the battlefield to find injured soldiers and to help bring them to safety.
US Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren Harding have all owned Airedale Terriers.
Airedale Terriers have also been used as guard dogs and in the military. The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) on 1888.
PERSONALITY AND CHARACTER
While the Airedale Terrier was bred for tenacity and courageousness, these are not the only qualities the dogs have become known for. Expect your Airedale Terrier puppy to be extremely playful and energetic with a well-developed sense of humor. The Airedale Terrier puppy is outgoing and sociable, loving nothing better than to romp about and have some fun.
Although the Airedale Terrier puppy does mature into a somewhat more serious dog, there will always be a twinkle in the eye of this breed of dog.
It is a strong-willed dog with a stubborn streak and therefore does well with owners who are not afraid to show their puppy who is in charge! But these extremely lovable puppies are fiercely loyal and make great family pets.
Airedale Terriers possess a keen intellect and willingness to learn and obey, characteristics that have seen them do well in obedience and agility training and which have also resulted in them being trained in various aspects of guard work. As they are very alert and bright, Airedale Terriers are also very good watchdogs keen on protecting their families.
Many owners of Airedale Terriers have commented on their puppies showing clownish behavior, with the dogs loving to fool around and make people laugh. Don’t be surprised if your Airedale Terrier puppy would rather fall over than actually learn how to sit and lie down properly!
But like almost all pups, the Airedale puppy enjoys training and needs to know that it cannot boss its owner around. As it was bred to take on the nastiest, small creatures, the Airedale Terrier is tough but it is a sensitive soul that does not like harsh treatment.
Your Airedale Terrier puppy will enjoy going out and about, exploring the world beyond the house and is not well suited to apartment living. They will grow up to want to be in charge and although they get on with other animals, some Airedales can be dominant and you will need to curb its desire to chase after small animals.
NUTRITION AND FEEDING
Your Airedale Terrier puppy does not require much in the line of grooming but there are a few things to remember regarding the care of your puppy.
Airedale Terrier puppies will eat anything, including socks and soft toys and your favorite shoes! It is important to remember, however, that your puppy is growing up fast, building bones and muscle and laying down the foundations of their health as an adult dog.
That is why you should put a lot of thought into what you are feeding your Airedale Terrier puppy. Protein is crucial for the growing brain and body and the correct amount of carbohydrates along with vegetables will ensure that your puppy grows up healthy and happy.
In the beginning, feed your Airedale Terrier puppy three to four times a day. This will consist of small meals in the morning, mid morning, mid afternoon and before bedtime. Gradually decrease meal times until you are only feeding them twice a day after the age of six months.
There are many different schools of thought on what you should feed your Airedale Terrier puppy. Commercially developed foods are perfectly fine but you should steer clear of the cheaper brands as they contain fewer nutrients. You may want to consider feeding your puppy real food, like chicken or red meat along with healthy carbohydrates like brown rice as well as vegetables like sweet potato, pumpkin, and beans.
There are many dog experts who believe that a raw diet is best for dogs. While the thinking around this kind of diet is controversial, it is worth pointing out that many people claim this is how canines would be eating if they were still living in the wild. The diet emphasizes feeding raw meat, bones and even the skin and muscles of animals along with vegetables.
There are some foods that puppies should never eat. These include chocolate, tomatoes, grapes and raisins. These foods are toxic to dogs and can cause your Airedale Terrier puppy to become very ill and need veterinary attention.
Of course, remember! Fresh water should always be available.
COAT AND GROOMING
Size and Coat
You may expect your Airedale Terrier puppy to grow up to a medium-sized dog with an average height of 56 – 61cm and a weight of 20-29kg.
Airedale Terriers have a hardy coat of wiry hair that does not require a lot of grooming but you will have to brush your Airedale Terrier puppy’s coat several times a week. Get your Airedale Terrier puppy used to being brushed and having his hair combed out from an early age.
It is advisable to take your pup to a professional groomer a few times a year, where they will be groomed properly and have their coat stripped. This involves the removal of old and matted hair and ensures that your Airedale Terrier puppy has a soft and shiny coat.
Don’t forget to clip your pup’s nails. These should be kept short and if you are unsure of how to do it, rather ask a professional groomer to keep your dog’s nails in good condition.
Many dog owners forget to look after their pup’s teeth and this results in painful dental conditions and some bad breath later on. Invest in a toothbrush and doggie toothpaste and regularly brush your Airedale Terrier puppy’s teeth. Feeding raw bones regularly will also help to clean the teeth and keep the itching gums at bay when new teeth grow out.
EXERCISE AND TRAINING
Exercise, Energy, and Activities
The Airedale Terrier is an energetic pup that does require a fair amount of exercise every day. It is up to you how you would like to exercise your dog, but bear in mind that you will have to walk your dog on the lead for at least once a day for around 30 minutes.
But this is only once your Airedale Terrier puppy is all grown up, of course! Begin to exercise your puppy slowly. First, get a collar and a lead and allow your puppy to become used to it. Gradually start to take them outside and walk them around the block.
As your Airedale Terrier puppy grows up, it will enjoy outdoor walks and running about. Take them to the park or walk them anywhere near water. Airedale Terriers love playing throw and fetch games and make excellent hunting partners. These dogs are very lively and need an owner willing to put in the time to ensure they are properly exercised.
Training and Sleep/Rest
You will begin training your Airedale Terrier puppy from the moment you bring it home. Show your puppy where they will sleep, eat and find fresh water. Then start to take them where to go to relieve themselves.
Housetraining can be frustrating and many dog owners fall into the trap of wanting their puppy to be housetrained too quickly. Don’t trust any website or dog trainer promising you that your pup can be housetrained within five days. Your Airedale Terrier puppy’s bladder is still small and they will have to relieve themselves frequently.
Take them outside after every feed and praise them for every successful action outside. Don’t scold them for accidents inside the house. Simply clean it up without making too much of a fuss. Most puppies are housetrained by the age of six months but it can take longer. Each dog is different and your Airedale Terrier puppy may take longer. Try to be patient and gentle with your puppy.
When your Airedale Terrier puppy is around ten weeks old, you should begin with their training. Take your doggie for socialization classes where they will meet other pups and learn to get along sociably. This will ensure that your pup does not grow up to be overly aggressive towards other animals.
You may also consider obedience and agility training for your Airedale Terrier. This breed is intelligent and quick to learn, although they may be stubborn. But like most dogs, Airedale Terriers love the interaction with their owners and connecting with your puppy in this way will make the bond between you stronger – and result in a more well-behaved dog in the future.
In the beginning, your Airedale Terrier puppy will sleep for several hours each day. One minute they will be running around and chasing their own tail and the next moment, they will drop down and be fast asleep. As they grow older, they will sleep less – and run around more.
Dog-appropriate toys and activities will keep your puppy occupied and will prevent them from digging in the garden and engaging in destructive behavior like chewing on carpets and shoes!
The Airedale Terrier puppy belongs to a hardy breed of terriers that generally don’t have health issues and can be expected to live up to 12 or even up to 15 years. They have a high tolerance for pain but this means that problems may only become apparent after the condition has worsened.
Some of the health issues you may experience with your Airedale Terrier puppy as it grows older include the various cancers. A study in the UK in 2004 found that almost 40% of Airedale Terriers died from cancer.
Some Airedale Terriers are affected by hip dysplasia. This is a condition that is usually associated with larger dogs and it is a serious problem. It is caused by the ball and socket joint in the hip being malformed and rubbing against each other instead of fitting smoothly.
Some dog breeds are more likely to suffer from hip dysplasia and these are often the larger breed dogs. The key point here, though, is that hip dysplasia often begins to form when the puppy is still small. This is why younger puppies should not be exercised too much, to ensure that bones are not damaged and weakened while they are still growing.
Airedale Terriers may also suffer from skin conditions. Different kinds of dermatitis could result in your puppy licking and scratching themselves excessively. Keep an eye on your Airedale Terrier puppy, especially when they have a bruise or appear to clean a wound obsessively. Grooming your dog properly and feeding a nutritious, balanced diet can help to prevent many of these conditions.
Another health concern is gastric torsion, also known as bloat. Airedale Terrier may also suffer from bloat, which occurs when the stomach turns and builds up gas, causing cardiovascular collapse and even death. Bloat is brought about if a dog exercised too soon after feeding.
To Sum Up
The Airedale Terrier has a reputation as an easy, friendly and lovable pup that brings much happiness into the home. With a little investment of time and effort, your Airedale Terrier puppy will grow up into a fine hound that will protect you and your family and provide companionship equal to no other dog breed.
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