Friday, September 3, 2010

Breed of the Week - Airedale Terrier - Kansas City Dog Photography

*Below information from dogbreedinfo.com*

About
The Airedale Terrier is the largest of the terriers and stands square in appearance. The skull is about the same length as the muzzle, with a very slight stop that is hard to see. The head is long and flat. The nose is black. The teeth should meet in a level, vice-like or scissors bite. The small eyes are dark in color. The v-shaped ears fold slightly to the side of the head and forward. The chest is deep. The topline of the back is level. The front legs are perfectly straight. The tail is set high on on the back. The double coat has a hard, dense and wiry outer coat with a soft undercoat. Coat colors include tan and black and tan and grizzle. The head and ears should be tan, with the ears being a slightly darker shade of tan. The legs, thighs, elbows and the under part of the body and chest are also tan, sometimes running into the shoulder. In some lines there is a small white blaze on the chest. The back of the dog, sides and upper parts of the body should be black or dark grizzle in color.

Temperament
The Airedale Terrier will usually do okay with children if they have early exposure and socialization, however they may play too rough for very small ones. Courageous and protective. Fairly friendly with strangers. Intelligent, pleasant and loyal. Sensitive and responsive, he can be obedience trained at a high level. Airedale Terriers are fun-loving and playful when they are puppies. Airedales will be happy to please you, if there is nothing more pressing in the environment (chipmunk, other dog, food). An Airedale is extremely loyal, but as an avid hunter you would have to be an ace trainer to get him to come away from a chipmunk even for raw steak! The Airedale Terrier is intelligent enough to perceive quickly what is required of it, but if you ask it to do the same thing over and over again it may refuse. Try to give it some variety to its training, making the exercise a challenge. They need a calm, but firm, confident and consistent handler.

Height, Weight Height
Height: Dogs 22-24 inches, Bitches 22-23 inches
Weight: Dogs 50-65 pounds, Bitches 40-45 pounds

Health Problems
A very hardy breed, although some may suffer from eye problems, hip dysplasia and skin infections. If your Airedale Terrier has dry skin, he should be fed an adjusted omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ratio in the diet.

Exercise
Airedales were bred for active work, and therefore need plenty of exercise. They need to be taken for long daily walks. Most of them love to play with a ball, swim, or retrieve objects and once fully grown will happily run alongside a bicycle. Without enough attention and exercise the Airedale Terrier will become restless and bored and will usually get itself into trouble. The exercise requirement can go down somewhat after the first two years (as with many dogs) but the first two years with an Airedale are very strenuous on the human. Then they start to get much more mellow.

Life Expectancy
About 10-12 years.

Grooming
Airedales have a hard, short-haired, double coat. The hair should be plucked about twice a year, but for dogs that are to be shown, much more intensive grooming is needed. Trim excessive hair between the pads of the feet when necessary. If you keep the coat stripped it will shed little to no hair, however if you do not strip the coat, you will most likely find fur piles around your baseboards, even with trimming, and brushing almost every day. They actually require a good bit of grooming. Burrs stick in the coat and beard. The beard should be washed daily because of food residue. Airedale Terriers can be good for some allergy sufferers.

Origin
The first Airedales looked completely different from the Airedales of today. They were originally known as the Waterside and Bingley Terriers, descended from the now extinct black-and-tan type terrier. The breed was later crossed with the Otterhound to make him a better swimmer. They were developed about a hundred years ago in the country of York from the ancient Working Terrier. The Airedale is often called "The King of Terriers,". The breed was used as a vermin hunter and was named for the Valley of the Aire in England, which was heavily populated with small game. In addition to his role as a small game hunter, the Airedale has been used to hunt big game in India, Africa, and Canada. The breed was also used as a police dog and a wartime guard in World War II. Today the Airedale is primarily a companion dog, but there are still working lines out there. Some of the Airedale's talents are guarding, watchdog, hunting, rodent control, tracking, military work, police work, and competitive obedience

Here is Kyra, an Airedale Terrier I photographed last Winter.

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