This athletic dog romps and plays hard. Without vigorous exercise and lots of personal interaction, he is easily bored and may become destructive as he seeks to entertain himself.
Airedale Terriers require clipping and trimming every few months. Breed purists may say that terrier coats should never be clipped because it makes the coat softer and more prone to matting. Instead they advocate hand-stripping (each dead hair pulled out so a new one can grow in its place). But in my opinion, stripping is too time-consuming and uncomfortable for the dog. Many groomers won't do it anymore. For pet dogs, I think clipping is just fine.
Airedale Terriers were developed to hunt other animals. Many Airedales are dominant or aggressive toward other dogs of the same sex. Many have strong "prey instincts" to chase and seize cats and other fleeing creatures. You need to control this breed around other animals until you find out whether you have an individual with a strong prey instinct.
Airedale Terriers are very active and need plenty of room to run around and play. They love to fetch, swim, and run. Airedale Terriers are downright hyper during their first couple years of life, and it can be very difficult to manage them. But after two years, Airedale Terriers calm down substantially and don’t need quite as much exercise.
The Airedale Terrier is free from inherited diseases, medium to large sized, fast-growing dog. In case of the similar, large and fast-growing, movement-demanding breed, it’s a priority to prevent joints from overloading.
Therefore, their weight must be kept at an optimal level. Plus you should ensure the motion quantities suitable to their age and physique. This means that before their one-year age, it should get that move quantity as it requires on their own only.
My mum has an Airedale, she got him as a pup and he is now 2, he is the most gorgeous cutest dog but it has been a long 2 years getting him to a calm, well behaved dog, but my mum had no expereince of dogs before she got him.
He is a good affectionate dog and is now great with the kids, they are quite a rare breed, whenever we have him out for walks someone always asks what he is or says they havent seen an airedale for years!
Our Airedale is nearly 3 years and has calmed down a lot in the past 3 or 4 months, and is a now brilliant dog. He was always adorable, but recall was selective and stopping him jumping up was an ongoing battle. Again though this was probably partly due to him being mine and DHs first dog, my parents always had dogs but I wasn't responsible for training any of them. He is very intelligent and would run rings round you if you let him. He catches rabbits, pheasants and pigeons on a regular basis in our garden, but he's not a killer, plays with them, throws them about and if they die then it is down to shock rather than his aggression. He is a great guard dog which is very important to me as we live in a rural area. I walk him at least 5 miles each morning then DH walks him for half an hour in the evening and all day he has the run of a large garden. I would definitely have another...just got to persuade DH that we should have !
We have a Welsh Terrier, they look just like Airedales but in a smaller package smile. Ours is still a pup and very bouncy, fun, affectionate and although he's quite easy to teach tricks etc he has a one track mind when he's out and catches a scent (he'd love a go at your rats grin). I adore the look of Welshes and Airedales, we get loads of compliments when we are out because they are so handsome and quite unusual.
I got an Airedale as a young teenager, she was fabulous. Lived until she was 12. Very calm and great with kids, a lovely companion. She barked at strangers a lot but never went for anyone. She was completely non-aggressive with other dogs also but could hold her own if attacked by another dog. I can't speak for how they would be with chickens or rats exactly, all I know is that when we were out on a forest walk with her she caught up with a duck once which had wandered away from the duck pond and she didn't harm it, but when I had a pet rat she used to drool all over the carpet if she caught the smell of it so I certainly wouldn't have trusted her with it!
My dad had two Airdales when I was growing up. Great dogs but not typical terriers really. I've always had terriers since, Cairns mostly (had 17) now got Skyes, who are the bolshiest of terriers & Yorkies who aren't cos they're toys.
They're smart and curious and energetic. All great characteristics... until they aren't great anymore.
Keep your Airedale entertained and exercised and they're amazing; let them get bored and you'll end up with holes in the yard, shoes destroyed, and furniture chewed through.
They're strong-willed and full of energy, which can be a lot of fun, but also takes a lot of attention.
Airedales are smart, funny, curious, energetic dogs. If you're getting one, be prepared to keep that pup exercised and entertained; a bored Airedale WILL find something to do, and you may not be pleased about their choices. If someone is parting ways with a 7 month old pup, chances are that they just thought he was cute as heck (they are!) and haven't been spending enough time helping him get his ya-ya's out, so he's 'misbehaving', and they probably haven't been training him properly either - which means you'll have some catch up work to do.
And that's fine, if you've got the time and ability to invest in the dog. If you don't, don't get it; you won't be happy. An Airedale isn't a Lab or Retriever. They have their own minds and opinions and don't necessarily act to please anyone but themselves. That said, they are very trainable, they will acknowledge being given a command, but may take their time about responding to it!
They dig. Terrier! Your yard will have holes in it. There is no getting around it.
I've had 3 Airedales, 2 were rescue. One of the three didn't particularly like kids and would grumble a bit and walk off if bothered; the other two I'd trust around anyone. None were aggressive towards kids or adults. They all were ambivalent about other dogs; they'd give 'em a sniff and move on, didn't engage or play with them. My two boys would tease each other some, but outsiders were outsiders.
Airedales generally do not start fights with other dogs, but they finish them if engaged. My current girl is a quiet sweetie until some dog snaps at her, then she's got that critter by the neck in a flash. My boys were charged by a Rhodesian Ridgeback, and one tore a hole in his side in a half-second. These dogs are lions at heart; you don't bug them, and they won't bother you.
Do look up the Monks of New Skete for training books. Their style is very suited to incorporating the dog fully into your life, which is a good outcome for the dog, and very enriching for you. Best of luck to you!
So far my experience with an Airedale has been very similar to my previous experiences with my other terriers. They’re going to test every single person they come across daily, any change or slip up can bring a lot of laughs or frustration. As I haven’t had kids around this probably isn’t a big deal but if you have issues with kids behaving a terrier is probably going to be a nightmare.
Airedales are so gorgeous - terrific guard dogs. They get a bit territorial about their owner though, IME - sort of "one man dogs".
We had Airedales when I was a kid, so they're good with children. And they were good guard dogs too. Oddly, ours never liked water though. And they did fight with next door's corgie, to the point that they ripped it's neck open once. So they can be aggressive with other dogs.
I had hamsters, and if they got out of their cages the dogs didn't kill them, just picked them up and carried them about!!
I love my airedale. She never (and I mean never) barks on top of being smart and trainable, she knows what she should and shouldn't be doing. I've lived with her in a college apartment for 2 years and she's super chill until I'm able to play with her, then she's ready to go crazy. :) She chewed a couple things of mine the first week I got her, but once I established what wouldn't be allowed there haven't been problems like that ever since.
That being said, she has an allergy/skin condition and sheds a bunch on top of some anxiety where she'll lick up several sores around once a month, so just realize that it can happen.
Overall though, love her. Super cute and sweet, and when people meet her they're always interested and impressed! My somewhat biased vote is for getting one. :)