Airedale Terrier breeders can be found on our Network

Alternative Names

Proper Spelling (Airedale), Waterside Terrier, Bingley Terrier (Dog from the Valley of Aire)

Basic Information

The Airedale, also known as the "King of Terriers," hails from Airedale in Yorkshire, England, UK, and holds the title of the largest terrier breed, weighing between 50 to 70 pounds (23-32 kg). Originally bred for otter hunting, it earned the moniker "Waterside Terrier" due to its close association with this aquatic pursuit.


Beyond its historical role, the Airedale proves to be a versatile working dog, proficient in hunting and retrieving. Displaying herding instincts, these dogs may chase animals, making them adept at working with cattle and livestock. Though independent and strong-minded, Airedales possess a great sense of humor. While training them can be challenging due to their stubborn nature, those who appreciate their wit find them excelling in competitive obedience, dog agility, and Schutzhund. Despite their stubbornness, Airedales are known to be loving and reliable family pets. Their energetic disposition demands ample exercise, and early training is essential, considering their initial lack of common sense.


United Kingdom (England)


The Airedale's roots trace back to the Valley of the Aire in West Riding, Yorkshire. Crafted in the mid-19th century by crossbreeding the old English rough-coated Black and Tan Terrier with the Otterhound, the Airedale emerged as an intelligent, versatile dog with capabilities both in water and on land. Recognizing its excellence, the Kennel Club of England formally acknowledged the Airedale Terrier breed in 1886.

During World War I, Airedales played crucial roles, delivering messages in enemy territory and locating wounded soldiers for the Red Cross. Their bravery and resilience in the face of danger became legendary. Before the era of German Shepherds, Airedales often served in law enforcement and search and rescue. Post-war, their popularity surged, propelled by tales of battlefield heroism and ownership by Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren Harding. In 1949, Airedales ranked 20th out of 110 breeds according to the American Kennel Club, although they have since settled at 50th out of 146 breeds.