Is an Airedale right for you

Airedales are very smart and curious.  If you mind being out-witted every now and then, you might not be enchanted with them. Because they are smart, they can also be stubborn.  So if you like a dog that you can control completely, you won’t like an Airedale.  If you want a dog who lies quietly by your side and never questions your judgement, you should consider another breed.  Airedales are very devoted companions, but they fully expect to be an equal partner in your life-and they will have opinions on how you’re running things.  Airedales seem to have a sense of humor about themselves, and you had better have one, too!  Airedales do not respond well to being excluded from family life, and you will be asking for trouble if you expect an Airedale to be happy being restricted to the backyard or to a room or two in the house.
While Airedales are very smart, they are not always obedient.  They won’t always come when you call them, especially if there is something more interesting than you going on.  Airedales usually feel that when they have done something once, they’ve shown you how smart they are and drills on any exercise are met with less than an enthusiastic response.  Airedales do not respond well at all to a heavy hand in training, and training efforts are most successful if they are based on praise rather than punishment.  Airedales want to work with you, not for you, and your training efforts will need to take that into account. 

If you’re a neat-nik, you may object to their drippy beards after a dunk in the water dish.  Also, some of them are diggers, as you might expect from a terrier. 

Some people are impressed with the Airedale reputation for courage and bravery.  Much of this is myth and lore, and some does reflect the spirit of Airedales.  Airedales are territorial and while this makes them "watch" dogs in a sense, dog owners today should realize that they are more likely to be sued by someone’s attorney than to be robbed by a burglar.   Aggression in companion dogs should never be encouraged.  And anyway, an Airedale would much rather be a couch potato and your best pal. 
 
You should be aware that some Airedales can be aggressive toward other dogs, while some live very happily in multi-dog families.  We make every effort to evaluate each dog’s best arrangement.  Also, ome dogs can live perfectly happily with a cat and others are best not in the same household. 
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Some people decide they want an Airedale because they have heard that Airedales are a breed for dog-allergic people.  While this can be true for some people, there are others who are allergic to the dander of some Airedales.   If someone in your family is allergic to dogs and you are considering an Airedale for this reason, please let us know.
Many people are drawn to Airedales because of their appearance.  Well groomed, they truly are a stunning breed.  But you should know that Airedales require grooming.  Show dogs’ coats are hand stripped, but most pet Airedales’ coats are clipped.   A totally ungroomed Airedale gets quite hairy and unkempt.  Airedales should be clipped 4-6 times a year.  The cost for each clipping may be $40-$60.  Of course, you can learn to do this if you wish to invest in the equipment.  Most dogs learn to enjoy the attention once they get used to the process. 
 
Other people are attracted to Airedales because they "don’t shed." While this is true in a sense, it may be misleading. The Airedale’s coat grows to one length and dies (unlike dogs who are constantly shedding and renewing their coats). Once an Airedale’s coat is "blown" (fully grown out", it tends to come out in clumps. So while you don'’ have constant shedding, you still have hair that eventually has to go somewhere. Fortunately, keeping you Airedale groomed solves this problem.
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