Some of you will have heard of the work of very brave dogs that during the two world wars carried important messages from one trench to another. Here was the Airedale Terrier, the largest of all Terriers! It is an extremely independent, loyal and courageous dog that was used on several occasions by the British army, German and the red cross. These animals tolerate pain very well, they are extremely versatile, they don't let themselves be overcome by difficulties and there are those who say that they have absolutely nothing to fear. Yet this dog was initially not born for this purpose.
It was selected by coupling Black and Tan Terrier with the Otterhound in the province of Airedale. The purpose of this crossing was to produce a hunting dog that was not afraid to dive in the marshes. It was initially used for hunting otters, then later also as a guard dog and for hunting gray bears. Later, it was also used as a support dog for the British army, the German army and the red cross during the First World War. In fact it seems that he was not afraid of explosions and was endowed with a very strong autonomous intelligence. Two dogs were assigned for each company, helping to transport the stretchers with the wounded, carrying medical kits, carrying messages and much more.
Like all terriers, they are distracted and often bored dogs. Any hunting dog would like to run happy. And therefore any education session should never be too boring or long. If you need to train him for a specific task, it is important to start very early, you should not start over five weeks. Very professionals may disagree with me but the Airedale Terrier, although it can be educated by anyone, cannot be trained by people accustomed to looking after dogs without paying attention to peculiarities. So if you want to get good results, you need the intervention of a professional who has extensive experience with the clicker and the breed in particular. He is able to do any kind of activity with diligence if properly trained. He has a tendency to get bored and destroy anything that comes his way and therefore it is not very suitable given the size and physical inclination, the persistent stay in the apartment. It is a very proud and strong animal and in no case will the owner have to show nervousness or rant against him. It is a dog that wants clear, calm and precise instructions. This is the classic dog that does things to please the master and not because he is forced to. Respect it, respect yourself and he will respect you. With the family they are loyal, versatile and extremely intelligent. With strangers, they are very suspicious and could be aggressive in certain threatening situations. It is necessary to make it socialize with other animals but it is perfectly able to coexist even with cats.
Although, we reiterate the fact that intelligence is a very subjective thing as it also happens to human beings, it cannot be denied that this breed is predisposed to a truly impressive intellectual capacity. Although it is still a dog, all the owners I have met so far have always praised the extraordinary abilities of this dog to get by in every possible situation. The independent character combined with a very strong analytical ability make it the ideal dog for those who have concrete needs and enough resources and patience to devote to their training. As previously stated, however, he needs a quiet, confident, firm and expert hand to be able to express his potential. It is in fact a very sensitive dog that tends to get stuck if the owner is nervous or angry.
A terrier should always be kept an eye on, but this is still true for any activity that takes place. The Airedale Terrier proves to be very protective and affectionate with the children of its pack and has a tendency to be rather wary of those it does not know. Since this dog is very predisposed to the defense of family members and some games between children can be particularly physical, adult supervision is always recommended. It is very rare for a dog of this breed to attack a child, but to be on the safe side it is always better to keep watch as it should always be with children of a certain age and regardless of the presence or absence of an animal in the surroundings.
This breed was born primarily as a hunting dog but was subsequently successfully used in several different areas. He therefore proved to be an eclectic dog and perfectly capable of performing important tasks. He is not a lazy dog and therefore suffers a lot from staying in one place for a long time. Whatever kind of task you want to entrust to him, with the proper training he will complete it as he demonstrated in previous centuries and how he continues to do today. Currently some prefer to this breed more docile dogs such as the labrador retriever or German shepherds because they are more likely to accept and forgive the mistakes of the trainer or owner. Retrievers have a less diffident character towards strangers and it is therefore easier to train them in case of social need.
The care of the hair with regards to this breed is quite demanding because it is still necessary to take it to special centers for streaping and cutting. This operation should be done at least twice a year and therefore these expenses should also be taken into account. Please note that a streaping session with bath and grooming can last up to three hours if necessary, with consequent economic expenditure.
Like all terriers, this breed also has a lot of appetite. This is a good thing in the training phase but you have to be very careful to provide the right balance of calories that will necessarily burn with the movement. Those high quality feeds available on the market for medium and large dogs are excellent. As a puppy he should eat at least three times a day, as an adult twice a day, possibly always at the same time. We recommend a reduced amount of water during meals to try to prevent stomach twisting. After an hour from the meal, you can make sure that the water bowl is always full so that you can quench your thirst at will. He should not be used to begging for food and therefore we advise against giving any kind of food to human beings and during your meals. Prizes are granted outside of course during training but you need to calculate the calories well and if necessary reduce the amount of daily feed compatible with what was agreed with the veterinarian.
The thick hair protects this dog very efficiently from the weather including snow. Like any other dog it needs the necessary vaccinations and a genetic control upstream that every serious and responsible breeder should do. Because of its size, it could be predisposed to some degree of hip dysplasia. Cases of eye disorders and seasonal alopecias, cardiomyopathies, hyperthyroidism, anemia and torsion of the stomach have been observed. It is useful to agree the diet with the veterinarian because this breed grows physically very quickly and it is therefore useful to consult an expert on the diet to be followed during childhood. Don't worry, this is not a dog that tends to have the need for a dietician, you will probably receive all the appropriate advice from the veterinarian during the periodic inspection and mandatory vaccinations.