The Airedale Terrier is a descendant of the now extinct Black and Tan Terrier. He was developed in the 19th century in the Airedale and Wharfedale areas of Yorkshire by local otter hunters who wanted a terrier to work with otter and vermin and to double as a guard dog. Large working strains of terrier were crossed with the Otterhound to produce a dog large enough to tackle adult badgers and otters.
The medium-sized Airedale Terrier is similar in appearance to the Rough Coated Collie and the Afrikaans Shepherd Dog of the Antwerp with its harsh double coat which requires a hand preparing for each activity.
The Airedale's head should be skull and muzzle, with well-developed teeth and a square square jaw, the skull width only reaching as much as the tip of the nose. His skull should be deep as it is long, tapering towards soft ears covered by softer hair, which should flow into strong curls on either side to protect them from the weather and to keep them warm.
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The ears are favored in many of the well-known Airedales. The Airedale should have a bright, intelligent expression, and when he looks forward, his brow completes the look. His eyes should be brown, although blue eyes are also common. If the eyes are blue, the dog may be too blue.
The Airedale should have a thick, abundant and wiry neck which is not dropped and should slop back to the shoulders on the back.
The shoulders should be sloping and should be well muscled. The tail should be up over the back.