A is for AIREDALE TERRIER | #AtoZChallenge

113 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2016, Blogfests, Dogs, Writing/Blogging
#AtoZChallenge 2016 G is for Golden Retriever
Welcome everyone, to the #AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Dog Breeds & Anecdotes” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the participants. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading!
#AtoZChallenge 2016, A is for AIREDALE TERRIER
Day 1, April 1

*** See also the related Battle of the Bands post. Click HERE. ***


The Airedale Terrier (often shortened to “Airedale”), also called Bingley Terrier and Waterside Terrier, is a dog breed of the terrier type that originated in the valley (dale) of the River Aire, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. It is traditionally called the “King of Terriers” because it is the largest of the terrier breeds (weight range 50-70 lbs.). The Airedale was bred from a Welsh Terrier and an Otterhound and probably some other Terrier breeds, originally to hunt otters. In Britain, this breed has also been used as a war dog, guide dog and police dog. – WIKIPEDIA

I’ve known a few Airdales over the years and some were a bit eccentric. One of my walking clients had two of them. Kady, the older, larger one was as stubborn and aloof as Elsa was congenial. If there was even a slight drizzle, Kady refused to walk and plopped herself on the sidewalk. Elsa would tackle her and try to convince her to get up. This usually required some prodding from behind and a couple of good tugs on the leash.

#AtoZChallenge 2016 A is for Airedale Terrier


Lacy first came into my life when she was about 3 or 4 years old and was a regular guest in my home for many years. Unlike Kady, she was friendly and easy to get along with. Her left ear was permanently raised, which gave her a unique look.


#AtoZChallenge Day 1: A is for Airedale Terrier


Polly was not quite a year old when we first met. She was a petite girl with a mischievous streak. I soon learned to keep things out of her reach after she devoured a decorative candle (thankfully, there were no ill effects). She also had a strange quirk – howling in her sleep. Good thing her mom warned us about that but it was still alarming in the middle of the night.



Do you know this breed? Have you ever had an Airedale?

Looking forward to your comments!


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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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113 thoughts on “A is for AIREDALE TERRIER | #AtoZChallenge

  1. I didn’t know much about Airedales so thanks for enlightening me. What fun anecdotes about eating the candle (YIKES!) and the dog howling in her sleep. That would be startling.

    On my trip, I noticed that the Germans mostly have small dogs but I did see the occasional German Shepherd or husky. They love their hunds! It was fun to see that many restaurants and pubs allowed dogs to come in, too.

    1. Hi, Cathy. Welcome back! 🙂 Yes, Germany is a dog-friendly country. When we were living there, we went out to lunch every Sunday with my grandparents, dogs included.

  2. Very interesting read. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of them. That’s a fascinating breed of dogs though.

  3. I met one when I was quite young – it was so sweet I wanted to take it home with me 🙂 Beautiful pics. Thanks for sharing.
    One of my Rottweilers regularly howls in his sleep; it’s unnerving but I’m used to it by now.
    Good luck with the rest of the challenge.

    1. Welcome to The Den, Ronel. 🙂 Interesting about your Rottweiler; I thought Polly was unique in that. Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

  4. Looks like my kind of dog!

    Debbie, would you consider putting your blog form on top, so it appears above the comments instead of below? That way those who access it on the phone can comment easier. Just a thought.

    1. Hi, Damyanti; I’m not sure what you mean by the blog form being below the comments. It’s not! The post shows first, then the comments. Mind you, I don’t have a smartphone, but it looks fine on my 7″ tablet. Also, I’m using the WordPress Mobile Touch plug-in, so it should be fine. Nobody else has mentioned anything about it displaying incorrectly. Please elaborate. Thanks.

  5. Awesome dogs, Airedales! No, I’ve never owned one, but I know people who have (and I’ve rescued a couple). They’ve always struck me as very even-tempered dogs, good characters, friendly but not Labrador over-the-top 😀 I didn’t know much about their history, so this was very welcome knowledge. Great post, Debbie! And thanks so much for the visit over at Life In Dogs ; always a treat to find your name in the comments 🙂

    1. Hi, Guilie; Airedales are interesting and you’re right – not too needy in the affection department. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the post, as I also enjoy yours. Thanks for dropping in and have a good weekend.

  6. My sis talked me into taking a rescued Airedale named Boomer. He was the best dog ever…loved that dog.

    Good luck with the A-to-Z!

    1. Hi, Cherdo; I’m glad the rescue worked out well. Boomer is such a cute name, too. 🙂 Many of us have had that one dog who surpassed all the rest. Thanks for dropping in and have a good weekend.

  7. Love this post! I’ll be featuring airedales in my challenge posts later on in the month! I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts!!

  8. Round One is a good surprise, as I have no connection to this breed of dog, so your information was all new, and quite interesting… a dog howling in its sleep… imagine that.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Myke. 🙂 Yes, Polly’s howling was like a plaintive wail. Good thing it didn’t happen every night. Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend.

  9. Airedales aren’t a breed I’ve ever heard too much about, other than dog shows. It’s great to read about their quirks and tendencies; makes me more inclined to pet one should I ever run across one;-) What a terrific idea! Photographs of your canine visitors will help preserve the memory of each and every one. I knew I’d love this theme!

    1. Airedales are interesting and generally friendly. I’m glad you like the theme, Diedre. 🙂 I usually take photos of all my houseguests and give their people vacation photos to take home. The clients love that!

  10. Growing up, our neighbors had an Airedale. He would always give a single loud “woof” right before any of us petted him. Even though I knew that it was coming – and that he was very gentle and loved to be petted – I always jumped. I swear that he did it just to startle people.

    1. It’s nice to meet you, Stuart. Welcome to The Den. 🙂 Airedales and Schnauzers could be great friends; both terrier breeds. Thanks for dropping in and have a good weekend.

    1. They are nice dogs, but not that small. Their weight range is 50-70 lbs. I’ll edit the post to include it. Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend. 🙂

  11. Cute dog. Looks similar to one my grand parents had, but then I think what they had was a scotty. If that’s what it was truly called. Looking forward to the rest of your atoz list.

    1. Hi, Jeffrey; Scotties are much smaller and usually black/grey. There are so many different terrier breeds out there. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

  12. I loved this. While I’ve never actually met an Airedale in person, I’ve seen them in the shows and I love watching their perky quirks. They seem so full of life. You probably could have used the assistance of my Spike (my boxer mix) to help your Kady get a move on. Spike had his own little quirk. If whoever was with him wasn’t moving fast enough Spike would walk up to the person/ dog, grab a sleeve, pants leg or leash and start pulling with all his strength. They walked…
    Thank you, Debbie, for sharing your experiences with these wonderful characters.

    1. Hi, Mary. They are interesting dogs, for sure. 🙂 Your Spike sounds like quite a character. Some dogs are so impatient! Thanks for dropping in and happy A-Z-ing!

  13. We had a huge AIREDALE terrior for a day and a night. My father wanted a large dog. He bought it in the middle of winter about 100 miles from our home. The dog took up our entire back seat, and had the worst breath in history. My poor Dad had to drive with the windows down in the icy winter night. It was either freeze or not breathe. Haha. When he let the dog out in front of our house, it took off like a bullet. It ran the entire way back home. I guess it was a happy end for “Judy”.

    1. That dog was obviously not ready for a new home. I didn’t think Airedales got that large. Many dogs have terrible breath, unfortunately, because their people don’t bother with dental hygiene. Thanks for dropping in, Angelika. 🙂

  14. So sweet, my neighbor has one. She’s lovely. i’m enjoying your theme! Maybe I’ll find my next pet this month. Now to convince hubby. LOL

    Happy A to Z – ing!

    So good to see you participating!

    1. This is an interesting and attractive breed. Looking for a dog, Yolanda? I’d like to get one of my own again too, but hubby is balking. Here’s hoping you have more luck.

    1. Hi, Cathy. Yes, Airedales do have those curly coats. They’re unique dogs. Thanks for visiting and have a good weekend. Happy A to Z-ing! 🙂

  15. They look so adorable! Esp. Lucy! And her quirk is awesome, haha!
    Thanks for sharing the anecdotes! Will come back for more!
    Happy #atoz

  16. I have a friend who loves Airedales 🙂 There was a children’s book I really loved when I was little, about a terrier that chewed on everything. It was by a Czech author, but I don’t remember if the dog was an Airedale or some other kind…
    I do love this theme! 🙂 Happy A to Z!

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary

    1. Welcome back! 🙂 I’m glad you’re enjoying the theme. It was a natural for me. Some dogs do chew everything, Once, a big chocolate lab chewed up one of my ornamental, wooden bookends. Good thing I was able to replace it!

  17. Hi, Debbie, I’m not doing the challenge but glad to see you’re focusing on dogs! The Airedales are adorable. The story of Kady rang a bell with me, because our dog is also aloof and a bit stubborn–she’s half Border terrier. Wonder if there’s something about terriers, that they have strong minds of their own?

    1. Nice to see you, Elaine! 🙂 Yes, terriers are definitely strong-minded dogs. That’s what makes them so interesting. Thanks for dropping in and have a good weekend.

  18. I’m pleased to see a dog theme, one I completed two years ago when I also included an Airedale – the first breed I remember as a boy.

    1. Thanks for visiting me today, Bob. I went over to your site and checked out your Airedale post. Enjoyed the other breed bits as well. 🙂 We obviously have something in common here.

  19. J here, stopping by from the #atozchallenge – where I am part of Arlee Bird’s A to Z Ambassador Team.
    April is here and I’m excited about it. Best of luck to us both on meeting our goals of posting and hopping to other blogs.
    My blog has a giveaway. There’s a bonus a to z challenge each day to encourage people to visit more stops.
    Very pretty dog breed you have there! No, I don’t know any, just seen some on tv/ movies.

  20. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    You threw me a curveball with your first A to Z post, dear friend, because I had a comment prepared in advance for the Afghan Hound. 🙂 I was going to tell you that my cousins owned one when I was a boy that the dog was totally unruly, never sat still long enough for you to pet it, raced through the house, jumped on the furniture and generally made a nuisance of himself. I remember a neighbor of mine owning an Airedale around that same time period and I used to pet his dog when they went for walks around the block. Your story about Polly reminded me of my Toto who used to “run,” bark and howl in her sleep. Your series has already reminded me that nearly all of the breeds of dogs we adopt as pets had practical uses throughout history as working dogs, hunters, guides, defenders, etc.

    Thank you, dear friend Debbie, and enjoy your A to Z marathon run!

    1. Sorry to have messed you up, Shady. 🙂 Afghans are beautiful, but not high up there on the intelligence scale. Sounds like your cousins didn’t train theirs properly or give it enough exercise. It’s generally the human’s fault – not the dog’s. Lots of dogs do run and bark in their sleep, but howling is more rare. Polly’s was a plaintive wail. Thankfully, she didn’t do it all that often. Thanks for coming by and have a good weekend.

  21. Hi Debbie,
    As a dog lover, I am looking forward to following you through the challenge and hope I can find my way back again. Last Monday, we went to the Royal Sydney Easter Show and we were lucky that they were judging Best In Show and so there was a huge cross-section of breeds, instead of just seeing a couple. We were in fur heaven!! I had a Lassie dog as a kid and we’ve never caught them before and since then we’ve had Border Collies and an Old English Sheepdog and they were there too…a real trip down memory lane. Met a few airdales as well. Here’s a link: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/best-in-show-a-right-royal-mutt/
    The Airdale you describe sounds a bit like our Old English Sheepdog. We adopted him when he was about 5 and he was called Loopy. Changed his name to Rufus but Loopy summed him up too well. I wrote about him for a flash fiction challenge recently: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/the-dog-at-the-library-flash-fiction/
    Take care xx Rowena

    1. Welcome to The Den, Rowena. Nice to see another avid dog lover. 🙂 I’ll be sure to check out your links over the weekend. Thanks. One of my clients has a dog named “Rufus” also. That’s a cool name! He’s a border collie/flat-coated retriever cross. You’ll find him later on in the “X” post.

  22. I’ve never known anyone with an Airedale, but they look like a wonderful dog. Howling in her sleep must be an interesting quirk – the loudest any of my parent’s dogs ever got was a little light huffing :).
    Tasha’s Thinkings (72) | Wittegen Press (74) | FB3X (AC) (75)

    1. Yes, the howling was pretty bizarre and I don’t know any other dogs who do that. It was a loud, plaintive wail. Good thing it didn’t happen every night! 🙂

    1. Oh yes, every dog’s personality is unique – just like humans. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Indy. Thanks for visiting.

  23. They look so adorable.. Off late, I’ve build this intense liking for dogs.. and learning more about them, only makes me love them more..


  24. They look adorable. I think my friend’s neighbor had one, although I am not a 100 per cent sure. You had me laughing at Kady’s refusal to go out in a drizzle. Interesting info about them being used as war/police/guide dogs. They look so gentle and cuddly!

    Happy AtoZing Debbie. Of course I’ll be around every day! Hugs!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Vidya. Thanks for visiting! 🙂 Airedales are sturdy dogs, so I can see the connection with policing, etc. ((HUGS)) to you!

    1. Generally speaking, Airedales are neither snappy nor yappy but of course, personalities vary. Just like humans. 🙂 Thanks for visiting!

  25. I’ve not really know the name of their breed but, I’ve seen them around my neighbourhood. I love dogs too . Totally looking forward to your posts throughout the month! 🙂

  26. I’ve only met an Airedale — never knew one personally. But I have never heard a dog called eccentric before! Glad to see you are doing the challenge with dogs, Debbie.

  27. Hi Debbie, I have only seen these on screen! But they are so cute! Good to know more about them! My son is so going to badger me to get him one as soon as I share this with him! Cheers 🙂

    1. Airedales are pretty cute, for sure. 🙂 More breeds to come, which your son will probably also like. Thanks for dropping in!

    1. It seems this breed isn’t so well known in India. Airedales are popular here and of course in England, where they originated. Thanks for visiting! 🙂

  28. No.. I haven’t seen an Airedale here in India. Looks quite friendly and manageable (though I don’t know how my parents would react to one howling in its sleep every night) 😀

    1. Haha! Fortunately, Polly didn’t howl every night, just once in awhile. I can only imagine what she was dreaming about. Cheers!

    1. Some are definitely eccentric, Mary, but yes, they are nice looking. Lacy was the calmest. It’s all about Airedales on both posts! 🙂

  29. Interesting. I understand and empathize with you on the howling at night. My lil son has this screaming at midnight.

    1. Babies screaming at night must be worst than the occasional dog howl. At least, once you wake the dog up, it’s over. 🙂

  30. I love the looks of the Airedales! They’re so attractive. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting one but look forward to the day when I do…
    Sounds like you had your hands full with Kady! And I can’t imagine the howling in the middle of the night! How funny.

    Love your theme Debbie!
    Have fun today…

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele. Airedales are popular here. Yes. Kady was a bit difficult, but her sister was a sweetie. 🙂 When you’re sound asleep, the howling is truly unnerving! Thankfully, Polly didn’t do it too often. I thought you’d enjoy this theme. Thanks for coming by. I’m off to bed soon and will check back in later on. Two posts in one day is totally nuts, isn’t it?

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