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Oorang Airedale: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

Ed Malaker

By Ed Malaker

Airedale terrier dog on a beige background

The Oorang Airedale is a rare and historic dog breed that was developed in the 1920s and has ties to the National Football League. These dogs are similar to the standard Airedale Terrier but are larger. If you are considering getting one for your home, keep reading as we discuss their size, temperament, history, and formal recognition to help you determine if they are right for your family.

Breed Overview

Height: 23–28 inches
Weight: 65–100+ pounds
Lifespan: 8–12 years
Colors: Tan and black, grizzle and tan
Suitable for: Active families, hunting, guarding
Temperament: Intelligent, loyal, playful, independent

Oorang Airedales, bred for hunting large game, can weigh between 65 and 100 pounds or more and stand 23–28 inches tall. They are much larger than standard Airedale Terriers, which rarely weigh more than 65 pounds or stand taller than 23 inches at the shoulder. Oorangs also typically have stronger hunting instincts and protective qualities, making them a distinct breed. They can be excellent companions for active individuals or families willing to spend time with them, train them, and socialize them.

Oorang Airedale Characteristics



The Earliest Records of the Oorang Airedale in History

The Oorang Airedale Terrier breed was developed in the 1920s by Walter Lingo, a wealthy sportsman and dog breeder in Ohio, U.S.A. He also started the Oorang Kennel Company, where he bred and promoted these larger Airedale Terriers as Oorang Airedales. These dogs also excelled at performing tricks, and Lingo traveled with them to help boost their popularity. He even had an NFL football team, named the Oorang Indians, with famous Native American Jim Thorpe as coach and player. During a few of the first half-time shows, Lingo would have the players show off the dogs and their skills, stating that they were the perfect all-around dog, so people would buy them.

How the Oorang Airedale Gained Popularity

The Oorang Indians was an NFL team for the 1922 and 1923 seasons, and the dogs were featured and sold at the games, so they became quite popular. However, after the Great Depression started in 1929, pets became too expensive for many homes, and the large size of these dogs didn’t help, so they quickly fell out of favor, with many reports stating that Lingo had to euthanize many of the puppies. After that, there is not much information on the breed. Lingo died in 1966, and it’s unclear if he continued to breed the dogs after the Depression. He did try to start a business to manufacture dog items, but it didn’t succeed.

Today, the Oorang Airedale Terrier is considered a rare and historic breed, with very few breeders dedicated to their preservation and continuation, with detractors stating that current Oorang Airedale dogs are only rare standard Airedale Terriers.

Formal Recognition of the Oorang Airedale

Unfortunately, the Oorang Airedale Terrier has not received formal recognition as a distinct breed by major kennel clubs or breed registries despite their historical significance and unique characteristics. They remain a historical and rare variation of the Airedale Terrier rather than a separate breed.


Top 3 Unique Facts About the Oorang Airedale

1. Breeders wanted to create a larger Airedale Terrier well-suited for hunting large game like bears and wild boars.

2. The Oorang Airedale gained significant popularity in the 1920s due to Walter Lingo’s promotional efforts, which featured the dogs in advertising, on sports memorabilia, and even in short films.

3. While the Oorang Airedale as a breed has largely disappeared, their legacy lives on in historical records, photographs, and contributions to the popularity of the Airedale Terrier breed.


Does the Oolong Airedale Make a Good Pet?

If you can find one, the Oorang Airedale can make a wonderful pet for the right family. Their large size means they need plenty of physical activity, and they can be difficult for some people to manage. Their strong prey drive also makes them more likely to chase after smaller animals, including cats, without the proper socialization as a puppy. However, they are intelligent and capable of learning complex tasks. They are loyal, alert, and fun, especially at the beach. They also make great watchdogs.



The Oorang Airedale is an extremely rare and historic breed similar to the more common Airedale Terrier, only much larger. They were first seen in the 1920s when a breeder named Lingo wanted a large dog that could hunt bears and wild boars and set out to develop one. He was also a talented marketer and used his skills to drive dog sales, including purchasing an NFL football team to feature them during half-time shows. Unfortunately, the Great Depression eliminated demand for these dogs, and they faded into obscurity. Today, if you are lucky enough to find one for sale, it’s a good idea to heavily research their background first, as they may just be a large Airedale Terrier.

Featured Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock

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