The Airedale Terrier (often shortened to 'Airedale') is a breed of the terrier type that originated in Airedale, a geographic area in Yorkshire, England. It is traditionally called the 'King of Terriers' because it is the largest of the terrier breeds. Bred from a Welsh Terrier and an Otterhound, the breed has also been called the Waterside Terrier, because it was bred originally to hunt otters in and around the valleys of the River Aire which runs through Airedale. In the United Kingdom this breed has also been used as a police dog.
The Airedale is the largest of the British Terriers. They weigh 25–30 kilograms (55–66 lb) and have a height at the withers of 58–61 centimetres (23–24 in) for dogs, with females slightly smaller. The American Kennel Club standard specifies a smaller dog. Larger Airedales, up to 55 kilograms (121 lb) can be found in North America. They are often called 'Oorangs.' This was the name of a kennel in Ohio in the early 1900s.
The Airedale has a medium-length black and tan coat with a harsh topcoat and a soft undercoat. They are an alert and energetic breed, 'not aggressive but fearless.' It has been claimed that the large 'hunting' type or Oorang Airedales are more game than the smaller 'show' type Airedales. The large type are usually used for big game hunting and as family guardians or as pets, but usually do poorly in AKC conformation shows. This larger type is also significantly more prone to Hip Dysplasia than the standard Airedales
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airedale_Terrier
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