Terriers have given us so many lovable dog breeds, from the diminutive Yorkshire Terrier to the massive Airedale Terrier. Airedales are the largest terrier breed, measuring roughly 21 to 23 inches at maturity. That puts them at about the same size as Labs, Australian Shepherds, or Border Collies. If you fancy a larger, smarter Terrier with a stubborn streak and dignified facial fur, Airedales are right up your alley.
If you’re interested in learning more about how they grow over time, what factors affect their full size, and more, you’re in luck! We’ve detailed all that info and more down below.
Airedale Terrier Breed Overview
The Airedale Terrier was originally bred as a hunting dog adept at swimming and tracking waterfowl, which was too tiring for smaller Terriers. However, they were big and strong enough to excel at hunting larger boar or deer, and their sharp wit made them popular with the police. Early police forces in Germany and England loved the Airedale’s good-natured personality and courage, and they’re still used in some places today.
Airedale Terriers have a fun-loving, loyal, and intelligent personality that puts them at home nearly anywhere. Airedales are notably strong-willed dogs that require firm handling and early training to curb bad habits like digging, chewing, or dominant behavior toward other dogs. We’d suggest them for experienced dog owners, but even new pet owners can do well with Airedales with enough patience and stern boundaries.
Airedale Terrier Size and Growth Chart
The Airedale Terrier is known as the King of Terriers for a good reason: they have the largest heights and weights of all Terrier dog breeds. They start out surprisingly big, growing a lot in their first 6 months and slowing down for the 6 months after that. Let’s break down an example chart of how the typical Airedale Terrier grows through their life from puppyhood to maturity.
|Age||Weight Range||Height Range|
|2 months||10–15 pounds||8–10 inches|
|3 months||15–25 pounds||10–12 inches|
|4 months||20–35 pounds||12–15 inches|
|6 months||25–40 pounds||14–16 inches|
|8 months||30–45 pounds||16–18 inches|
|10 months||45–55 pounds||18–20 inches|
|12 months||40–65 pounds||21–23 inches|
When Do Airedale Terriers Stop Growing?
Most Airedales stop growing at a year old to 14 months. Some very large males will have most of their adult height by now too but continue to fill out and gain weight until around 2 years old. Females tend to cap out at a year old or so, depending on various factors we’ll talk about a bit later.
If an Airedale Terrier puppy doesn’t get enough nutrition in the critical early 6 months, they can display stunted adult growth and fall short of our size estimates above. We also caution that your puppy’s growth might not match these estimates, and only your vet can really say whether it’s normal or not.
Factors Affecting the Size of Airedale Terriers
The size and growth of a dog is a complex thing. It’s dependent on immutable characteristics, like genetics and sex, plus controllable things, like diet or exercise. While you can’t control everything when helping your Airedale Terrier reach their ideal adult size, it helps to know the variables at play so you can best take care of them. Let’s explore how these traits affect an Airedale Terrier’s growth from puppy to maturity.
Growing Airedale Terriers have high nutritional needs, like any large breed. They need a balanced puppy food formulated with their growth in mind, with at least 20% protein and a mix of carbs, fat, and other essential nutrients. When they’re a puppy, you should be feeding your Airedale Terrier three to four times per day according to the recommended portions on your kibble’s packaging.
While underfeeding can stunt growth and cause a laundry list of health problems, overfeeding is just as big a problem. Large breeds like Airedale Terriers can grow astonishingly fast when they’re young with free access to unlimited amounts of food. According to the Purina Institute, overfeeding can make a puppy’s bones grow too fast, and being overweight makes matters even worse.
Once they reach their full size, Airedales should be put on a maintenance diet that will keep them healthy without encouraging excessive weight gain. Still, it should be a high-quality dry food with at least 20% protein and a balanced mix of other ingredients like fat, carbs, calcium, and so on. On average, two or three meals per day should do the trick except with unique health conditions that make a certain diet necessary.
Like most breeds, male Airedales tend to grow larger than females, but other factors can influence this too. Females with large dogs in their recent lineage, for instance, can end up larger than the average Airedale male. Genetics are very unpredictable, and it’s always best to talk to your vet about how your dog’s genes may affect their growth or health via predisposition to certain health conditions.
Recent and distant lineage can cause wildly varying sizes in Airedale Terriers. For instance, two average-sized Airedales can have exceptionally large puppies if their parents were both large dogs. The opposite is also possible!
Quirks of genetics can play out a shocking number of ways, and it’s why you may wish to get an Airedale Terrier puppy with a well-documented medical history for the parents. It pays to be prepared, and doing your due diligence can save you and your dog both the cost and pain of any surprise health conditions down the road.
Lean, active dogs that get lots of regular exercise tend to live longer and healthier lives compared to overweight couch potatoes or dogs pent up inside all day. Airedale Terriers are a very active breed that needs at least 1 to 2 hours of vigorous exercise per day to satiate their growing curiosity and keep their bodies in good shape. Healthy bone and muscle development requires plenty of regular playtime, so a secure yard or plenty of walks are recommended.
Ideal Diet for Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Ideally, you want to stick to a high-protein kibble without grains, but grains aren’t necessarily bad; they just offer more hollow nutrition to your growing puppy, who does better with more energy-dense food.
At maturity, Airedales benefit more from a mix of protein and a lesser number of grains or corn, but we caution you to not overfeed—they’ll overeat if you let them! As sides and treats, you can choose dog-safe veggies and fruits like broccoli, squash, apples, bananas, and more. Experimenting with new foods helps treat your dog and keep them healthy with a varied diet.
How to Measure Your Airedale Terrier
To track your Airedale’s growth over time and make sure they’re on track, you’ll have to measure them at regular intervals. You’ll also need their measurements to choose the right dog apparel sizes. All you need is a blank wall, a measuring tape/stick, and your dog. Let’s walk you through exactly how to get your Airedale’s height below in four easy steps.
Airedale Terriers earn their nickname as King of Terriers with an impressive 21- to 23-inch height and 45- to 60-pound weight during adulthood. Some males can get even larger, depending on genetics and diet. It’s key for your Airedale Terrier’s healthy development to make sure they get ample exercise and carefully portioned meals.