Airedale Terriers are hard-working, hard-playing dogs with boundless energy. The are vigilant and protective, making them excellent watchdogs, though they are friendly to family and friends. A true family dog, the Airedale loves attention from all people, will enjoy running and playing with children by day, and curling up for a belly rub with parents by night.
Airedale Terriers are a high-energy, thinking breed. They need as much mental activity as they need physical activity, and apartments are not the right living situation for them. Families with large, fenced yards are ideal, as the Airedale needs plenty of room to run during the day. They enjoy chasing and hunting, so fetching and hide-and-seek games are among an Airedale's favorite activities.
Airedales do well with children, though they can exert dominance over small children. If an Airedale is raised alongside small children, however, they can be socialized to know that children are not to be dominated.
The Airedale is a thinking breed – in addition to keeping his physical activity high, he will require mental stimulation as well. Basic obedience should be conducted with confidence and positive reinforcement. This breed likes to be the Alpha Dog, so it is important to establish who is in charge from an early age, and always be consistent, because Airedales will take a mile if given an inch. They excel in advanced obedience, tricks and agility training, thanks to their high intelligence.
Training should be conducted with treats, and a drill-style of repeat tasks works best to keep an Airedale Terrier's attention.
The Airedale is a terrier, so barking is a common complaint of owners. Airedales will bark at strangers, other animals, neighbors, cars, anything that moves. Early training to obey a stop barking command is imperative.
Like barking, chasing is a common behavior of terrier breeds, and the Airedale is no exception. They should be kept in a fenced-in yard or on a leash whenever outdoors. Once and Airedale takes off on a chase, it will be nearly impossible to stop him.
Digging can also be a problem with this breed. If outside, they should be supervised as they can tear up a flowerbed in record time.
Cats, rabbits or other small pets should not be brought in to a home with an Airedale. They were originally bred to hunt, and this instinct is still very strong.