Airedale terriers tend to be athletic, energetic and courageous. They typically weigh between 40 and 65 pounds, and they have a distinctive wiry, curly coat that lets them work in a variety of climates.
Airedales are known for their versatile working ability, which lets them excel in a variety of sports. They are also friendly, affectionate dogs that bond to their owners, which makes them good pets for active people. Airedales require significant amounts of exercise and play, especially as young dogs. Although they are generally calm and easygoing, they can develop destructive habits if they do not get enough exercise.
Airedales were originally bred to hunt otters, so they tend to have a strong prey drive. They can swim well and work independently, which can sometimes manifest as stubbornness. With proper training, Airedales do well in obedience training and enjoy learning tricks. They are intelligent dogs that perform well in various dog sports, including agility and hunt trials.
Airedales can be protective and territorial, which often means that they do not get along well with strange dogs. Careful socialization can help minimize these tendencies, but many Airedales never grow to enjoy spending time at the dog park. Airedales also may guard against strangers, but are generally friendly with people they have met before. Their prey drive makes them inclined to attack cats and other small animals, although they can usually learn to live with cats.