Known as the “King of Terriers,” the Airedale terrier is a favorite among dog lovers looking for versatility in their pet’s personality. This breed is smart, loyal, athletic, and an incredible hunter. And when all of that is done? They’re the perfect companion dog—and love nothing more than curling up next to you on the couch.
Clearly, the Airedale terrier has a lot to offer. But what about when it comes to grooming?
Let’s take a look at the basics of how to groom the Airedale terrier—including brushing, bathing, and when (and how!) you should give your dog a haircut.
As far as grooming goes, the Airedale terrier leans more towards the “low maintenance” side of the spectrum. They have a short, wiry coat that doesn’t shed too much—especially with regular brushings. Plan to brush your Airedale terrier on a regular basis; this will remove any dead hair and keep shedding to an absolute minimum.
If you notice any matting during your weekly brushing sessions (which can happen with this breed!), pull the mat apart with your fingers and then brush it out with a comb. Just make sure to be gentle.
In addition to their weekly brushing sessions, Airedale terriers also need regular baths, although their bathing needs are significantly less than their brushing needs. Typically, eight weeks between baths is fine unless the dog gets excessively dirty.
When you’re bathing your dog, make sure to use a shampoo specifically formulated for dogs and to rinse thoroughly to remove any excess product before removing your pet from the bath. Airedale terriers are prone to skin issues, which can be exacerbated by shampoo residue left on the skin. Also, if you notice your dog’s face or legs are looking a little worse-for-wear in between baths, it’s fine to give just those areas a rinse to remove any excess dirt or debris.
You should also plan to trim your dog’s nails on a regular basis—usually about once per month. If you’re not sure if your dog is due for a nail trim, a great way to check is to listen. If you can hear their nails against the floor, they’re too long and it’s time for a trim.
Airedale terriers also need to be fully groomed at least four times per year. This means hair trims as well as full clipping/stripping, which removes the dead coat and stimulates fresh, healthy coat growth. If you’ve never done hand stripping or full-on grooming before, take your terrier to a professional groomer.
So, the Airedale terrier will need regular trims to look and feel their best. But what are the best haircuts for this breed?
Airedale terrier haircut #1: Breed standard show cut
The standard haircut for the Airedale terrier is the same cut you’d see if you were working the room at a dog show. The dog is hand-stripped to remove any excess coat. Then, the dog is trimmed, following the line of the body, keeping hair short around the torso, head, and tail. The coat is kept slightly longer around the legs and nose for a look that has become synonymous with the Airedale terrier. It’s easily the most recognizable trait of this breed.
Airedale terrier haircut #2: Puppy cut
The puppy cut is a favorite choice for a variety of breeds and that includes the Airedale terrier.
With this hairstyle, the coat is kept short (typically between one and two inches in length) and even across the body, head, face, and tail. This can give the dog a more youthful appearance, which is why it’s called the puppy cut.
Keeping your dog’s hair short can also keep matting to a minimum, which is a) more comfortable for your dog, and b) less work for you. Just keep in mind that if you decide to go with the puppy cut, you’ll need to schedule regular haircuts for your dog to keep their coat nice and short.
Airedale terrier haircut #3: Full and shaggy
Some Airedale terrier owners prefer a fuller look for their dogs—and for those people, going with a shaggier haircut might be something to consider. This cut allows for a bit of added length, which gives the dog’s coat a fuller appearance. Just keep in mind, even if you don’t want to trim your dog’s hair too much, they’ll still need to be stripped or clipped a few times a year. Also, the longer their coat, the more likely it is they’ll deal with mats—so make sure you’re keeping an eye out and removing them as necessary.