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Airedale terrier good guard dog
If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.
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Goodness. My inlaws have had Oorangs and standard airedales forever. Ok, think German Shepard with the goofiness of a working terrier. think 24-30 inches at the shoulder, and 50-100 pounds depending on whether or not you get the show size, which is smaller, or the Oorangs, which are huge.
Airedales need tons of grooming. They have this wiry, curly, business that will attract every twig and burr, but it doesn't mat up too much as long as you comb out the tangles when you find them and keep them well groomed. The hair is not that pleasant to pet, but it's supposed to protect them. Be aware that it can also hide ticks and skin problems. They will need special attention between their feet, as the curly hair atracts moisture, cakes in dirt, and hides burrs between the toes.
They are prone to ear infections. mom in law calls it, "y'now, that airedale ear thing" it's happened so often with their dogs.
Expect the dreaded "toilet Beard" as their favorite activity is to get a huge sloppy drink of water and then come looking for you for a head scritch.
These dogs never grow up. They're bouncy, happy, loving, silly, and totally devoted to their family all the way into old age. They don't start really showing maturity until around age 6. Tehy can also have a very serious side whenever they perceive danger, or they're on task. They do make very good guard dogs. It's also not out of the question for an airedale to nab a kid by the shirt if he's about to run into the street when the dog knows he's not supposed to be there.
They are full of antics, but antics can lead to injuries like strained tendons and bonked heads. They're smart, but they have some of that terrier stubbornness. They make great hunters but a soft bite and a long attention span are foreign to the breed and need to be trained. The inlaws' current airedale can track a single tennis ball on 2 acres. She has figured out on her own how to divide the field into sections, and will run a crisscross pattern looking for the ball's scent while she is flat out running. Nobody taught her, she just figured it out. Expect them to also figure out how to climb or jump, or dig underneath fences if left to their own devices, or even to figure out the latch on a chain link fence.
They're great if you want to go everywhere and do everything outdoors, camping, hiking, hunting, boating, running, agility, flyball, schutzhund, but they're a lot of dog. You will need to start training early to focus the airedale. It needs to absolutely understand that there is a time for goofiness and a time for work, and the owner needs to understand that the dog needs both goofiness and seriousness to make a well rounded dog.
I wouldn't recommend one for a first time owner. they are a working breed and do need a job to do, even if it is just chasing balls in the backyard. they're not good in apartments for the same reasons any big, high energy dog would be bad in a small space.