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Airedale Shepherd (Airedale Terrier & German Shepherd Mix): Info, Pictures

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By Nicole Cosgrove


Height: 24 – 26 inches
Weight: 48 – 88 pounds
Lifespan: 10 – 13 years
Colors: Black and tan
Suitable for: Active families, those looking for a loyal, working dog
Temperament: Extremely intelligent, easy to train, friendly, protective, energetic

If you are a fan of Airedale Terriers and German Shepherds, you might be interested in learning more about their hybrid, the Airedale Shepherd.

The Airedale Shepherd is a large dog with a long and rough coat. Its ears and muzzle resemble those of an Airedale Terrier while having the general body structure of a German Shepherd.

The German Shepherd, as the name implies, was bred to herd sheep. They would keep sheep bunched together to prevent them from wandering off. For a German Shepherd to be good at their job, they had to be assertive without harming the sheep. This meant that this breed had to be extremely intelligent. Since herding sheep is an incredibly tasking job, the German Shepherd also had to have extreme endurance. Consequently, they are one of the most intelligent, confident, and energetic canines on the planet.

The German Shepherd is now utilized as a general working dog, as a guide, and in police and military operations.

Airedale Terriers, on the other hand, originate from Great Britain. These dogs were bred in Airedale, Yorkshire to hunt ducks, water rats, and even otters. Airedale Terriers can pursue and capture prey in water, which means that they also have a great deal of intelligence and endurance.

As you can imagine, Airedale Shepherds mimic their parents’ traits to the fullest. While they are an energetic and curious dog, the Airedale Shepherd is also quite social and blends well with family members and other pets.

Owing to their superior intelligence, the Airedale Shepherd is highly receptive to training. Nonetheless, since this canine loves to be independent, it is best to start training them while they are still young so they can be obedient.

Here is everything else you need to know about Airedale Shepherds.Divider 1

Airedale Shepherds Pups


Airedale Shepherds are bred from intelligent, high-energy canines, and they display these traits to the fullest. These dogs, therefore, need a great deal of mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy.

The good news is that their intelligent nature makes them highly receptive to training. Additionally, even though they tend to be independent spirits, early socialization ensures that they work and live well with others.

These big dogs average a height of between 24 and 26 inches at the shoulder, with males weighing between 66 and 88 pounds. Females weigh between 48 and 70 pounds. This breed has a life expectancy of between 10 and 13 years, which is average for large breeds. Airedale Shepherds are generally in good health because they are bred from hardy parents.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Airedale Shepherd

1. Airedale Shepherds can be extremely affectionate.

Even though this breed has a predisposition for being independent and aloof, they love attention. As such, they are at their happiest when you give them your time.

2. This breed enjoys training.

Due to being highly intelligent canines, these dogs get a great deal of satisfaction from training.

3. Airedale Shepherds are persistent.

When these dogs are after something, nothing can stop them from getting it. This is why obedience training is especially important for these animals.

Parent Breeds of Airedale Shepherd
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Temperament and Intelligence of the Airedale Shepherd 🧠

Airedale Shepherds are intelligent dogs with an eagerness to please. As such, with proper training and socialization, this animal can be an excellent companion and friend to you and your family, as well as to other pets.

Being so large, they make for an an excellent guard dog. In fact, this job comes as second nature to an Airedale Shepherd, as they are typically alert, watchful, curious, and obedient.

These traits come from their German Shepherd ancestry. As mentioned, German Shepherds are considered to be one of the most intelligent dog breeds on the planet. They are also fiercely territorial, courageous, and loyal. Thankfully, the Airedale Shepherd exhibits these traits as well.

The Airedale Shepherd inherits traits from the Airedale Terrier as well. Airedale Terriers are also highly intelligent, as well as adventurous, bold, and playful. Expect those qualities in the Airedale Shepherd.

Behavioral training is important to Airedale Shepherds to keep them from developing bad habits.

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Things to Know When Owning an Airedale Shepherd

The following are the most important things to take note of when considering an Airedale Shepherd.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Thanks to their high-energy nature, these Airedale Terrier mixes need a power-packed diet. This means that they require a higher content of protein in their diet than other dogs.

While dogs are not obligate carnivores in that they do not have to rely solely on animal meat for survival, they still require a significant amount of protein in their diet. In the case of Airedale Shepherds, ensure that at least 22% of their diet consists of animal protein.

Your dog deserves the best. As such, if you are going to keep an Airedale Shepherd, make sure that you are feeding them pure protein, rather than low-quality dog food that contains fillers.

Airedale Shepherds also require fat in their diet. Fat helps keep their coat healthy, which is especially helpful to Airedale Shepherds because they have long coats.

However, the ideal nutritional requirements for an Airedale Shepherd depend on their age, sex, and lifestyle. The rule of thumb is that younger and active Airedale Shepherds require more protein than older and less active dogs of this breed.

Exercise 🐕

Airedale Shepherds are extremely high-energy canines and have large statures. This means they need a great deal of physical activity to stay stable and happy.

As such, if you cannot spare an hour or two to exercise this dog per day, this breed is not for you. As mentioned, Airedale Shepherds are extremely curious and adventurous, and lacking exercise will result in pent-up energy, which will result in destructive habits.

An hour of moderate walking, followed by another hour of intensive play, should be enough to keep this dog happy and content.

Training 🦮

When it comes to training, you will love Airedale Shepherds because these dogs have an affinity for training due to the mental stimulation that it provides them. Airedale Shepherds, therefore, are some of the best dogs to train.

Nonetheless, these animals do not respond well to negative feedback. During training, be patient and understanding and always provide them with positive reinforcement. This means appreciating the animal for every command that they execute correctly.

There will be times that the dog will not obey the command. When you become frustrated, the animal will pick up on that and associate training with your disappointment. This will cause them to resent training.

As such, when training an Airedale Shepherd, be patient and avoid getting frustrated with them.

Grooming ✂️

Airedale Shepherds have a double coat that consists of a wiry outer coat and soft undercoat. This means that they need more grooming than regular dogs. To keep their coat healthy, brush it twice per week, and bathe the dog at least twice a month.

Make sure to trim their nails too.

Health and Conditions ❤️

The Airedale Shepherd is an exceptionally hardy breed. However, they are susceptible to common conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia. Therefore, make sure you take them to the vet occasionally to make sure that they are physically healthy.Divider 3


Airedale Shepherds make for excellent pets. However, they are best suited for active families, as they are extremely high-energy dogs.

To ensure that you end up with a good dog, get one from a reputable breeder. A reputable breeder is recognized by kennel clubs.

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