Airedale Terrier History and Domestication
Unlike a number of species of other domestic Dog, the origins of the Airedale Terrier are well known. This breed was created 150 years ago by working class farmers in a valley in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Cross-bred from a Welsh Terrier and an Otter Hound, the Airedale Terrier quickly became the Terrier of choice and was officially recognised in 1886. The Airedale Terrier is the largest of all Terrier breeds and was originally bred as a hunter of small animals, particularly rats. Although the large size of the Airedale Terrier meant that it cannot actually go underground, they were very efficient at catching the rats once they had surfaced. The Airedale Terrier has many desirable traits, including being very intelligent meaning that they have also been used as messengers and police Dogs.
Airedale Terrier Physical Characteristics
The Airedale Terrier has a large square body which is only emphasised by its incredibly straight front legs and a deep, wide chest. Its long head and muzzle are both broad and flat, and it has small pointed ears which are almost always folded down. The stiff, slightly curved tail of the Airedale Terrier is usually docked and tends to most commonly be black in colour. The majority of this breed’s stocky body is tan in colour (including its ears), with black and sometimes reddish coloured markings. Their double coat of fur is waterproof with a coarse and wiry layer, that is lined by softer warmer fur (a characteristic of the Otter Hound). The Airedale Terrier also has a very keen sense of smell due to its combination of Hound and Terrier.
Airedale Terrier Behaviour and Temperament
The Airedale Terrier is known to be a loyal and very intelligent breed of domestic Dog. They are known to be independent and strong-willed, and will often form a close bond with their master and family. The Airedale Terrier is an incredibly sociable Dog and does not appreciate being left without Human companionship for long periods of time. They are known to be quite destructive if they become bored. Airedale Terriers are incredibly active and should be able to get a lot of exercise, although this is something that does appear to subside slightly with age. Like other Terriers, the Airedale Terrier should be trained from an early age as they can be fairly stubborn at times, but are known to be able to co-inhabit households peacefully with other animals and children if properly trained.
Airedale Terrier Breeding
The Airedale Terrier was first bred in the 1800s from a Welsh Terrier and an Otter Hound in order to produce a breed that had desirable qualities found in both breeds. Due to the fact that they have been bred as hunting Dogs from the start, the Airedale Terrier is naturally a very intelligent and loyal breed. Females gives birth to average litter sizes of between 7 and 10 puppies that, like many other canines, are born both blind and relatively hairless and it takes at least a couple of weeks before they are able to first see the world. Airedale Terriers should be groomed regularly to reduce the risk of heavy moulting and to prevent skin infections.
Airedale Terrier Interesting Facts and Features
The Airedale Terrier is named after the river Aire, which runs through the surrounding valleys that this breed first originated from in Yorkshire. The area was said to have a bigger problem with rats than usual so these larger ratters begin to become the Terrier of choice with the locals. The Airedale Terrier usually lives to be around 13 years old but they are known to suffer from genetic defects including problems with their hips and eyes.