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Airedale Terrier Dogs and Puppies: Training, Health Problems & How to Take Care
Nicknamed the 'King of Terriers' due to its loyalty, strength and size, the Airedale Terrier is commonly called Airedale and is the largest of all the terrier breeds. Airedales are excellent hunters and swimmers and are lovely pets and companions.
If you are looking to keep an Airedale Terrier dog at home, navigate through this write-up to get all information about them.
What Are the Characteristics of Airedale Terrier Dogs?
Intelligent, strong-willed and sturdy dogs with excellent characteristics and personalities, Airedale are able to build strong bonds with families and kids. Besides, if you have another pet at home, Airedales are able to form bonds with them too. Although they might seem stubborn initially, with proper training, they soon become friends with you. Here are all the details about these dogs:
1. General Characteristics of Airedale Terrier Dogs:
- Male Airedales stand at a height of nearly 23 inches and weigh about 50 to 65 pounds.
- Female Airedales are, however, shorter in height but weigh between 40 to 55 pounds.
- The males and the female Airedales are sturdy and have strong muscular bodies.
- Airedale terriers are medium-sized dogs with slender but lean bodies. They have intelligent and alert appearances.
- A special appearance they have is that they are of narrow heads sporting a full beard and a moustache.
- Airedales have a narrow and long faces with flat and un-protruded cheeks. The shape of their ears is small and V-shaped.
- The facial features also include round and expressive eyes, tight lips and a black nose. A moderately long neck widens at their shoulders. They have a small but deep chest levelling with their elbows.
- Airedales come with short but solid backs and muscular loins. Their forelegs are straight, and they have long and powerful thighs. Additionally, they have tiny feet that are perfectly padded, making them expert hunters.
- They have a wiry and dense coat of tan with perfect black marks. In addition, Airedales come in black and grizzle hues. However, they have a double skin where the outer one is wiry, and the inner one is soft.
- The average lifespan of these dogs spans approximately 10 to 13 years, depending on their health and breed. However, you need to take utmost care of these dogs if you keep them as a pet at home.
- Now, let us get into the details of the temperament and personality of the Airedale Terrier dogs.
2. Temperament and Personality of Airedale Terrier Dogs:
- These dogs maintain a pleasant personality, which is sweet and playful.
- However, they can also become extremely aggressive with pets if they are unfamiliar with them.
- As excellent protectors of their owners, they come with high energy levels and make exceptional guard dogs and watchdogs.
- These dogs have a wonderful sense of smell and, on persistent training, can be used by police to chase, bark and dig.
- Airedales are curious animals who need to exercise for at least 2 hours each day to remain active.
- Being a loving and playful breed, an Airedale Terrier gets well along with children and kids. However, monitor your little kid while they play around with your pet, as your kid might get accidentally knocked down by your dog during the fun.
- They love visitors as well and tend to bond with them. So, if a kid comes to your house, there is no threat to him/her.
- As Airedales need plenty of daily exercise and activity, they thrive on physical and mental stimulation. Therefore, an Airedale dog finds it difficult to live in apartments. You must take them on regular walks and strolls or engage them in a lot of activities. This will allow them to release their pent-up energy.
- As we are aware of the general and unique characteristics of these dogs, let us find out how you must take care of your pet and train them accordingly.
How to Take Care of Airedale Terrier Dogs?
It is very easy to care for Airedales as they require very minimal maintenance. Here are all details on their grooming, training and exercise:
- Since Airedales have a hard and wiry double coat, you must plan to brush and bathe your favourite pet regularly to remove any dead hair.
- Use an essential metal comb or a round-tipped soft brush to brush their coat. Besides, use hypoallergenic dog shampoo for bathing these dogs.
- Additionally, if you notice any mat on the body, be gentle in pulling the mat apart and then brush out the area evenly. Always use a soft brush or comb while carrying this activity.
- Avoid over-bathing them as it will soften the hard and coarse fur. You must maintain the natural texture and vibrant colour of the dog's body.
- Prevent your dog's nails from growing long and dirty, as this can be harmful. You must clip and trim your dog's nails every 3 to 4 weeks.
- Try brushing your dog's teeth regularly to avoid the building of tartar, bacteria, and plaque.
Exercise and Training
- Hunting is a favourite activity of Airedales. Besides, they also love to indulge in walking and playing.
- Airedales love to swim as it improves their health and keeps their mood happy and elevated.
- Allow moderate playing sessions combined with hiking, long walks or exploring outside. A one-hour physical activity is ideal for these dogs.
- Since Airedales have the strength and the robustness of a terrier dog in a large body, you need to train it regularly and adapt it to the changing environment.
- Consider indulging them in different training sessions, so they do not get bored quickly or lose interest.
- Try to provide challenging tasks to occupy it and teach your dog not to adopt destructive behaviour.
Food and Nutrition
- Try to maintain a balanced diet for these dogs and feed them approximately twice daily.
- You must always keep the environment clean and provide fresh water for the dog to drink.
- Try feeding your Airedale terrier puppies quality meals so that they receive enough protein and calories from it. This will help them in their growth.
- Avoid food and treats that contain wheat, rice and corn. However, include foods that contain oats and barley. It provides calcium in their bodies and helps their bones to grow stronger.
Now, keep a note if your dog is suffering from any health issues so that you can take them for treatment.
What Are the Common Health Problems in Airedale Terrier Dogs?
Just like other pets, the Airedales can also suffer from several health issues. While some might happen later as they grow old, others might inherit during birth. In that case, you must always consult with your vet to treat the dog. Here is a list of common health problems in Airedales:
1. Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Airedales also suffer from dilated cardiomyopathy, a severe heart issue that is genetic. It reduces the ability of the heart to pump blood. Your vet can treat this issue by prescribing medicines and related vaccines. The symptoms of this disease include:
- Congestion and wheezing
- Loss of appetite
- Coughing and panting severely
- Trouble breathing
- Faster heartbeat
One of the most common health issues in Airedales is they suffer from bloating. If you do not treat this health issue, it can lead to severe consequences. So, look for the following symptoms in your dog:
- Extreme restlessness
- Enlarged abdomen
Your vet might recommend surgery to treat this illness, depending on the severity of the problem.
3. Hip Dysplasia
It is a genetic hip deformation where the ball of the pet's thigh bone doesn't correctly fit the hip socket and causes severe pain. Additional factors contributing to this illness include obesity, exercise, and extreme growth rate. In this case, you must opt for surgery. Some of the prominent symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs are as follows:
- Facing difficulty to rise, jump, run or climb stairs.
- Fast loss of muscle mass in thigh
- Lack of movement or decreased activity
- Degradation in movement or speed
- Stiffness in body
Your pet is susceptible to major bacterial and viral infections and allergies. It can range from rabies to parvovirus. However, you can prevent such health issues through proper vaccinations.
Common symptoms of infection in dogs are as follows:
- Itchiness and rashes in the body
- Patches of hair loss in different areas
- Scabs or crusty skins
5. Oral and Dental Issues
Dental and oral issues are common in an Airedale terrier puppy as well as an adult dog. They lose their teeth due to bacteria and tartar build-up. These bacteria are also one of the top causes of why dogs suffer from kidney, liver and heart problems. That is why vets suggest cleaning your dog's teeth regularly. Here are some of the major symptoms of existing oral and dental problems:
- Increase in drooling
- Putting paws in the mouth frequently
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of interest in hard or crunchy treats
- Constantly dropping foods from the mouth while chewing
Airedales can also develop pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas. Some of the symptoms you might notice here is as follows:
- Lack of energy
7. GT Tract Issues
In this disease, your dog can suffer extreme constipation or diarrhoea, and you might notice bloody mucoid faeces too. Take your dog to a vet immediately after your notice such symptoms.
It is related to a thyroid gland problem in your dog, which happens due to a deficiency in thyroxine. You will notice extreme hair loss and obesity when your dog suffers from hypothyroidism.
Major symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs to understand are:
- Sudden weight gain
- Feeling lazy or lethargic and lacking desire to move or exercise
- Falling sick easily due to cold
- Excessive shedding and experiencing dry and dull hair
9. Progressive Retinal Atrophy
It is a common eye problem in dogs where their retina tends to become smaller and hamper their vision. Some of the common symptoms of progressive retinal atrophy are as follows:
- Cloudy look in the eyes
- Loss of night vision
- Affecting prominence in day’s vision
- Unwillingness to go down stairs or jump down
- Formation of cataracts on the retina
- Presence of dilated pupils
What Are Some Tips for New Airedale Terrier Owners?
If you are a new owner of this dog breed, there are a few specific tips that you must abide by. These are as follows:
- Monitor Your Dog’s Intake - Puppies require higher protein and calorie intakes, but you must monitor their consumption and also their weight to prevent them from becoming overweight.
- Regular Grooming is Necessary - Try maintaining your dog's vibrant body colour and texture by grooming it 3 to 4 times a year. You can seek help from a professional groomer in this case.
- Make Treats Accordingly - Obesity is a significant health issue for most Airedales. So, try making treats according to your dog's health.
- Consult a Good Breeder - Find a renowned breeder and get your puppy from there so that they can fully disclose all information regarding their lineage and pedigree.
- Get All Information about Your Dog - Ensure that the breeder has taken utmost care of the puppy and given it the required sanitation as per need. Try to get as much information about your dog as possible.
- Keep Your Dog’s Supplies Ready - Before bringing your Airedale home, ensure you keep ready all the supplies it might need. Try getting toys and items that they will use for playing.
- Make a Cosy Place - Since they are prone to stay indoors, make a cosy and comfortable place for them to stay. Keep cosy blankets and clothes for your dog as well.
- Ensure an Active Lifestyle - Provide an active lifestyle for your dog and train its unwanted behaviours.