Airedale Terrier

Lifestyle Needs

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier is a medium size dog and the largest of all the Terriers.  He is usually a good tracking dog and will love any activity where he can use this skill.  He is suitable as a family dog, and can be protective of his family.  He is best suited to live in a  house with a garden and be given plenty of oppportunity to run free.  His double, wiry coat is waterproof and will need to be groomed every day.  He sheds his coat twice a year and at those times should be professionally clipped.

Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 17.3% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Effective Population Size - EPS


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

  • Alopecia (hair loss) associated with a tight, curly outer coat and soft undercoat)
  • Gastric dilatation volvulus (Bloat/Torsion) (stomach fills with air and may twist, requiring ugent vet treatment) associated with deep-chested dog breeds.

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

Hip dysplasia (abnormality of the hip joints causing pain and lameness):  breed mean score 13.2 (parents should be lower)

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:

DNA Tests Available

  • Factor V11 deficiency
  • Degenerative myleopathy (DM)
  • Haemophilia B (Factor 1X deficiency)

Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes

  • Bitches under 2 years not to be mated
  • Bitches over 6 years not to produce a litter

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)

  • Cancer: skin; lymphoma; pancreas; bladder and urethral tumours; nasal carcinoma
  • Heart disease: Dilated cardiomyopathy (heart chambers enlarge, heart muscle weakens and gradually fails – more common in males)
  • Seasonal flank alopecia (hair loss)
  • Hypothyroidism (under activity of thyroid gland)
  • Corneal dystrophy (progressive eye disease, leading to gradual sight loss)
  • Entropion (inward turning eye lashes)
  • Immune mediated haemolytic anaemia

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents.  Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding:

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

List of Dog Breeds