Airedales are large terriers with deep chests and long, flat heads. They have dark, thoughtful eyes and alert, pointed and folded ears. Their faces are long and strong. These terriers have a distinctive coat in both texture and pattern, which is coarse to the touch. They are two-toned dogs, most commonly in black and tan. Their legs, bellies, shoulders and heads are tan, contrasted by a black or red saddle. Airedales that will be shown should have docked tails, but family dogs can have full size tails which are long and fluffy.
Size and Weight
Airedales are one of the larger terriers. On average they range in height from 21 to 23 inches at shoulder and their weights ranges from 40 to 65 pounds. Male Airedale Terriers should be slightly larger than females, and should be 23 to 24 inches in height and weigh between 50 and 65 pounds. Female Airedales should be 22 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 40 and 45 pounds.
Coat and Color
Airedale Terriers have a a distinctive coat in color and texture. Most Airedales are tan around the head, ears, legs, and belly; and have a black “saddle” across their back. Sometimes the saddle is red or grizzled, meaning there are specks of gray. A white patch on the dog's chest in the shape of a star is an attractive and common occurrence.
Airedales have a wiry, dense topcoat and a soft, short undercoat which together creates the distinctive texture of the breed. A soft topcoat is not an acceptable feature.
If left untrimmed, the Airedale's coat can become quite unruly. Owners of family Airedales have their dogs trimmed or stripped several times a year in order to keep the coat short and manageable. Show Airedales require regular stripping to keep the coat up to snuff. Weekly brushing is required to keep the coat neat between baths and trims. Airedales do not require frequent bathing, in fact over-bathing this breed can cause the coat to break down and become soft, which is not the proper texture.
Airedale Terrier's nails should be trimmed monthly, and though they are not prone to ear infections, the ears should be cleaned monthly as well.