Airedale Terriers are energetic, intelligent, independent, and clownish. Dog sports such as retrieving, flyball, Frisbee, hunt and field trials, herding, sledding, carting, agility, tracking, and both rally and standard obedience as sport can provide this stimulation while increasing family bonds. As well as being good jogging companions, as Airedale Terriers are excellent swimmers, they also enjoy retrieving items such as tennis balls and floating toys. However, as Airedale Terriers can be exuberant, extremely close supervision is needed when they are around children to prevent accidental injury to the child or dog and avoid the dog's subsequently developing fear-based defensive aggression.
Airedale Terriers originated from eighteenth-century Yorkshire, England in the regions of Airedale and Wharfedale. They are believed to be the descendants of the Old English Black-and-Tan Terrier, the Broken-Coated Working Terrier and the Rough-Coated Black-and-Tan Terrier. The breed was originally developed to guard against vermin, such as mice and rats. In 1853, Otterhounds were crossed with the Airedale Terriers, giving the breed an increased ability to swim, a better sense of smell and a larger size, making them suitable for the hunting of larger game. Airedale Terriers haven't always been known by their current name. In the early years of the breed's development they were referred to as Working Terriers and Waterside Terriers. The addition of the Irish Terrier and Welsh Terrier to the bloodlines led to what is known as today's Airedale Terrier. The Airedale Terrier is known for its excellent gundog and retrieving skills and has been used in police and military work. The breed was officially recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1886 and by the American Kennel Club in 1888.