Known to be the "King of Terriers", the Airedale boasts being the largest of the terrier breeds. Native to the UK and originally bred in Yorkshire, this elegant dog is thought to have been given their name when they attended the Airedale Show, an event where many "waterside dogs" were exhibited back in the day.
The Airedale Terrier is a very distinguished and unique looking dog that boasts tremendous scenting abilities. Over time they have been used in many countries of the world for this very reason helping the armed forces and police in their line of work. As a family pet, these dogs are renowned for being especially good with children of all ages and in general, they very rarely show any aggressive behaviour towards other dogs and family pets, quickly becoming a valued, loyal and devoted member of the family.
The Airedale was first bred in the Aire River Valley, Yorkshire in the 19th Century when mill workers of the day crossed Black and Tan Terriers with the English Bull Terriers and Otterhounds. They wanted to breed a dog that boasted enough stamina to handle a full days' hunting with horses when the occasion called for it, and a dog with a tough terrier nature needed to kill vermin, foxes and ferrets. These terriers also needed to be the right size to cope with going to ground while at the same time have an ability to cope with water should they need to chase their quarry through it. The result of their endeavours produced the Airedale Terrier.
During the First World War the popularity of the Airedale Terrier increased rapidly due to their excellent scenting abilities, their brave natures and their larger size. As previously mentioned they were often used as Military Police dogs and messengers carrying important messages to soldiers who were fighting on the front lines.
As a larger size terrier, it took many years for people to accept their Terrier status, and to this day, there are strict breed standards in place with regards to an Airedale Terrier's size. The breed was first officially recognised by the Kennel Club in 1886 and has continued to be a popular choice of family pet and companion dog not only here in the UK but elsewhere in the world too.