Airedale Terriers: Fun, fiesty, fine companions

Airedale Terriers are on my mind today.
I recently observed my Aunt attending her first dog show as a participant – showing her lovely Airedale, Bess, in their first show. Bess is just over a year old and a great example of her breed.
Bess completed her first two points towards her championship, won many ribbons, and won Best Terrier. What makes Bess a special girl though, is that the rest of the year she is a much loved companion, who just put on the show-dog role for one weekend of her life. My Aunt recently retired from teaching and showing a dog was on her bucket list :-)

One of my good friends grew up with a pair of Airedales and this was the same thing his family loved about the breed – they are just great companions. Cheerful, good with children, energetic, a nice size if you want a dog with a bit of substance but not one that takes up the whole floor.

Airedales are a ‘forward’ dog, inquisitive and intelligent yet a bit aloof with strangers, they make natural watch dogs who will bark to warn their people of changes in their territory.

They’re also diggers.
If a well manicured lawn, minus holes, is vitally important to you, then this would not be a good breed to live with – unless you’re willing to give over a fenced in area of the yard just for digging. In fact, some people do install sand pits or digging areas for their Airedales in the yard, just so the dog has a doggy-digging designated area.

 Personality wise, though, this is a great breed. As far as terriers go, the Airedale tends to be a bit easier going then for example, their cousins the Wire-Haired Fox Terrier. This is not however, a laid back breed – they have a lot of go and like an energetic walk or play time every day. Bess is making sure that my Aunt’s retirement still includes early morning walks at a brisk pace.

Jack and Bess as a pup

Of course, as often happens at such times, everyone in the family forgot to bring a camera with them to the dog show…so the one picture I have of Bess is of when she was a pup. At the time this picture was taken, her adopted big-brother Jack the Giant Schnauzer, was showing her how to fit into the family. Sadly, Jack developed cancer and died this past year. Bess has been a comfort during this time of loss, another role she adapted to with grace and ease.

 For those interested in a somewhat active dog that requires grooming but sheds little, is medium sized, and fairly adaptable to moving between activities with their person – this is a breed worth considering. They do best when raised with other animals; terriers in general tend to chase smaller animals that move suddenly if they do not learn otherwise when growing up. At the same time, this is a breed that is fairly adaptable to sharing life and home with a range of other animals and they tend to do well with other dogs.

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