Airedale Terrier Personality

Known as the "King of Terriers,” the Airedale Terrier is a confident and intelligent dog breed that enjoys spending time with his family.

By Bardi McLennan | June 13, 2012

The Airedale Terrier is a good-sized dog with a large personality. Two traits common to this dog breed go hand in hand: self-confidence and the desire to dominate. The Airedale Terrier is also fearless to a fault, stoic, loyal, tenacious, intensely curious, intelligent and has a lively sense of mischief.

Airedale Terriers are social dogs and need to be with the family, not left alone without anyone to follow about or to curl up beside. If left alone and tied up outside, the Airedale Terrier will bark loudly for long periods of time.

The Airedale Terrier is instinctively a protector of his property and his family. This dog breed’s size and strong bark, which exposes large teeth in powerful jaws, make him a formidable foe to the unwary. Only if an Airedale Terrier senses the need to do so will he attack. Wherever the Airedale Terrier is used as a guard dog, he is trained for the job.

The Airedale Terrier is not a go-to-ground terrier for obvious reasons. This dog breed is too big to enter the den of a hedgehog or polecat, but he can and will dispatch any prey immediately if it bolts. As any Airedale Terrier owner is quick to cite, this dog breed’s true terrier fondness for the earth is deep. Sometimes it goes very deep—excavating huge holes in the back yard in pursuit of real or imaginary prey!

Like many dog breeds with such innate versatility and intelligence, the Airedale Terrier is not one to submit easily to rote training. The Airedale Terrier is persistently distracted by sight, sound and scent, whereas most other dog breeds are governed by only one or two of these three drives. The Airedale Terrier owner needs to understand this diverse mental energy before beginning to train.

Dog instructors used to contend that terrier dogs in general did not make good pupils, going so far as to label them "terrible terriers” or "untrainable terriers.” Lately many enlightened dog trainers have come to realize it is not the terrier that’s the problem, but rather the method of training. Positive reinforcement (praise for the right response to a given command) works for the Airedale Terrier, whereas harsh verbal and physical corrections for failure do not.

Terrier dogs are all opportunists, always ready and able to move up in the family hierarchy and the Airedale Terrier probably tops the list in this skill. From the dog viewpoint, weak leaders cannot be trusted with the safety and survival of the dog pack, so when we say the Airedale Terrier is capable of taking on any job, that includes becoming "chairman of the board.” After all, the Airedale Terrier knows he’s the "King of Terriers!”

Excerpt from Airedale Terrier, part of the Comprehensive Owner’s Guide series, with permission from its publisher, Kennel Club Books, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase Airedale Terrier here.


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