Airedale Terriers being judged at a dog show.The Airedale is the largest of the British Terriers. They weigh 25–30 kilograms (55–66 lb) and have a height at the withers of 58–61 centimetres (23–24 in) for dogs, with females slightly smaller. The American Kennel Club standard specifies a smaller dog. Larger ADTs, up to 55 kilograms (120 lb) can be found in the New World. They are often called "Oorangs." This was the name of a kennel in Ohio in the early 1900s.The Airedale has a medium-length black and tan coat with a harsh topcoat and a soft undercoat. They are an alert and energetic breed, "not aggressive but fearless." It has been claimed that the large "hunting" type or Oorang airedales are more game than the smaller "show" type airedales. The large type are usually used for big game hunting and as family guardians or as pets, but usually do poorly in AKC conformation shows.CoatLike many terriers, the breed has a 'broken' coat. The coat is hard, dense and wiry, not so long as to appear ragged, and lies straight and close, covering body and legs. The outer coat is hard, wiry and stiff, while the undercoat shorter and softer. The hardest coats are crinkling or just slightly waved. Curly soft coats are highly undesirable.Airedales being shown are generally groomed by hand stripping where a small serrated edged knife is used to pull out loose hair from the dog's coat. With regular grooming, the Airedale may shed very little.The AKC breed standard states that the correct coat color is either a black saddle, with a tan head, ears and legs; or a dark grizzle saddle (black mixed with gray and white).Tail
This Airedale's tail is natural (undocked).The Airedale's tail is usually docked (surgically shortened) within five days of birth, but this is not a breed standard requirement. To show an Airedale in the United States, the official AKC standard states "The root of the tail should be set well up on the back. It should be carried gaily but not curled over the back. It should be of good strength and substance and of fair length"., while in the UK it is illegal to dock dogs' tails unless it is for the dog's benefit (e.g., if the tail is broken). Traditionally the fluffy tail is left long.Sizeweigh approximately 50 - 70 pounds, being active and agile enough to perform well, while not too small to function as a physical deterrent, retriever or hunter. Some breeders have produced larger Airedale Terriers, such as the 'Oorang Airedale', developed in the 1920s.Ex-Army captain and Airdale breeder Walter Lingo's monthly magazine "Oorang Comments" (#25, page 81), stated that "When full grown your Airedale dog will weigh from forty to fifty-five pounds and if a female will weigh slightly less. This is the standard weight, but when required, we can furnish over-sized Airedales whose weight will be from sixty to one hundred pounds."Because Lingo tried to fill orders for everyone, the Oorang strain size was never standardized. Airedales weighing from 40 to 100 pounds were produced, but for the most part they were approximately 50 pounds and 22 to 24 inches at the shoulder.Temperament
An Airedale's headThe Airedale can be used as a working dog and also as a hunting dog. Airedales exhibit some herding characteristics as well, and have a propensity to chase animals. They have no problem working with cattle and livestock. However, an Airedale that is not well trained will agitate and annoy the animals.The Airedale Terrier, like most Terriers, has been bred to hunt independently. As a result, the dog is very intelligent, independent, strong-minded, stoic, and can sometimes be stubborn. If children and Airedale are both trained correctly, Airedales can be an excellent choice for a family dog.Albert Payson Terhune wrote of the Airedale: "Among the mine-pits of the Aire, the various groups of miners each sought to develop a dog which could outfight and outhunt and outthink the other miner's dogs. Tests of the first-named virtues were made in inter-mine dog fights. Bit by bit, thus, an active, strong, heroic, compactly graceful and clever dog was evolved – the earliest true form of the Airedale.He is swift, formidable, graceful, big of brain, an ideal chum and guard. ....To his master he is an adoring pal. To marauders he is a destructive lightning bolt."Airdale is able to become aggressive, especially if he is systematically being trained for that. But still it is not so easy to install aggressiveness as a rule. Airdales usually relate to the world around them "without a stone in the bosom", they are too honest and dignified. And this is a real beauty of the Airdale Terrier - strong and brave, they are full of curiosity and good attitude.
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