Airedale Shepherd: Breed Profile

| Updated: August 10, 2023
Airedale Terrier look inquisitive.

Origin History of the Airedale Shepherd:

The Airedale Shepherd is a designer breed created by crossing an Airedale Terrier and a German Shepherd. The two parent breeds have a rich and interesting history, so let’s take a look at how the Airedale Shepherd emerged.

The Airedale Terrier was first developed in the Aire Valley of Yorkshire, England in the mid-19th century. The original goal was to create an all-purpose sporting dog that could hunt otters in the rivers and rats on land. To do this, a Rough-Coated Black and Tan Terrier was crossed with an Otterhound, and the result was a dog with the keenness of a terrier and the ability to swim and scent game. The breed was originally called Waterside or Bingley Terriers, but in 1879, author Hugh Dalziel wrote a report on the breed and referred to it as the Airedale Terrier, which the Kennel Club in England officially accepted in 1886. The Airedale Terrier Club of America was founded in 1900, and the breed was used in World War I as a messenger, sentry, scavenger, and guard dog.

The German Shepherd was developed in Germany in the late 19th century as a herding breed. However, their use has expanded over the years, initially in the military and then as service animals. The breed’s popularity in the US grew exponentially after the success of the Rin Tin Tin series.

The Airedale Shepherd is a relatively new breed and does not have a long history of its own. However, the two parent breeds have a long and storied history, and together they make a wonderful and loyal companion.

Airedale Shepherd Appearance:

The Airedale Shepherd is a medium to large-sized dog with a muscular and athletic build. Their coats can vary in color, typically black and tan, but may also have shades of gray, white, and brown. They have a wiry outer coat that is thick and coarse, as well as a softer undercoat. The coat of the Airedale Shepherd is not known for extreme shedding, however, they may shed seasonally. The majority of the dog is tan, while the back and upper sides are either black or grizzled. The Airedale Shepherd is known for having a white star on the chest, along with a speckling of red in the black.

Grooming the Airedale Shepherd is important to keep their coats looking neat and healthy. They should be brushed at least once or twice a week to prevent tangling and mats and should be bathed as needed. Professional grooming is recommended three to four times a year to give the Airedale Shepherd a neat appearance. Their nails should be trimmed once or twice a month, and their teeth should be brushed at least two to three times a week. It is important to check the Airedale Shepherd’s ears weekly for any signs of infection and to wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with a pH-balanced ear cleaner to prevent any infections from occurring.

Overall, the Airedale Shepherd is a handsome and athletic breed with a thick and wiry coat. With proper grooming and care, the Airedale Shepherd can be a healthy and active canine companion.

Diet and Nutrition:

The Airedale Shepherd is a large- to giant-sized breed with high energy levels and should be fed a diet to match. This breed needs a balanced diet that is rich in protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as vitamins and minerals, to meet their nutritional needs. When feeding an Airedale Shepherd, it is best to opt for high-quality, nutritionally balanced dog food that is specifically formulated for their size and energy requirements.

When selecting food for an Airedale Shepherd, it is important to consider the ingredients and the nutrient content. Look for foods that include fresh, whole-food ingredients with vitamins and minerals as well as natural sources of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Avoid foods that contain artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, and fillers.

While a balanced diet is essential for an Airedale Shepherd, it is also important to provide them with supplements and treats. Supplementing their diet with omega-3 fatty acids can help keep their coat and skin healthy and can also help reduce inflammation. Additionally, treats should be given in moderation, as too many treats can lead to weight gain in this breed. It is best to stick to low-calorie treats such as carrots, apples, and other fresh fruits and vegetables.

Overall, it is important to provide an Airedale Shepherd with a nutritionally balanced diet that is tailored to their needs. Consult your veterinarian or a professional nutritionist for advice on the best food to feed your dog. Additionally, providing them with supplements and treats in moderation can help to ensure their overall health and well-being.

Common Health Issues Affecting Airedale Shepherds:

As with any mixed breed, Airedale Shepherds may be predisposed to certain health issues that can affect either of their parent breeds. It’s important to be aware of these health issues and take steps to prevent or manage them.

One of the most common health issues affecting Airedale Shepherds is hip dysplasia. This is a painful condition that occurs when the hip joint doesn’t form properly, leading to arthritis and joint pain. It’s important to have your Airedale Shepherd evaluated by a veterinarian to make sure they don’t have signs of hip dysplasia.

Another common health issue that can affect Airedale Shepherds is elbow dysplasia. This is an inherited condition that can cause joint instability, pain, and lameness. It’s important to have your Airedale Shepherd evaluated by a veterinarian to make sure they don’t have signs of elbow dysplasia.

Hypothyroidism is another condition that can affect Airedale Shepherds. This is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the hormone thyroxine, resulting in a variety of symptoms including poor appetite, weight gain, hair loss, and lethargy. It’s important to have your Airedale Shepherd evaluated by a veterinarian to make sure they don’t have hypothyroidism.

Airedale Shepherds may also be prone to allergies, which can cause skin irritation, itching, and hair loss. If your Airedale Shepherd is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it’s important to have them evaluated by a veterinarian to determine the cause and find the best solution.

The best way to keep your Airedale Shepherd healthy is to provide them with proper nutrition, exercise, and regular visits to the vet for preventative care. If you’re aware of the potential health issues that can affect Airedale Shepherds, you can take steps to help ensure your pup stays healthy and happy.

Interesting Facts about Airedale Shepherds:

Airedale Shepherds are an energetic and loyal mixed breed that has become increasingly popular over the years. Here are some interesting facts to know about these unique pups:

Airedale Shepherds are a combination of the Airedale Terrier and German Shepherd breeds. As a result, they are incredibly active and intelligent. This makes them a great choice for families who are looking for an energetic pup that is also easy to train.

Airedale Shepherds are often referred to as ‘Airedales’ for short. These pups are medium to large in size, with a wiry coat that is often black and tan in color. They have a high energy level and need plenty of daily exercise.

Airedale Shepherds are known for their loyalty and protective nature. They are usually very friendly and affectionate with their family, but they can be wary of strangers. This makes them excellent guard dogs, as they will bark to alert you if they sense any potential danger.

Where to Adopt or Buy:

The Airedale Shepherd is a mixed breed, though it is not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. The best place to look for a pup is through rescue organizations or shelters. This is a great way to ensure that a pup is getting the love and attention it deserves.

If you are looking to buy an Airedale Shepherd from a breeder, it is important to do your research. Make sure that the breeder you choose is reputable and is knowledgeable about the breed. Ask questions about the pup’s parents and any medical history. You should also ask to see the pup’s vaccination records.

When it comes to adopting an Airedale Shepherd, you can find them at many local shelters and rescues. The Airedale Club of America also has a list of rescue organizations that specialize in the breed. Speak to the shelter staff or rescue workers to learn more about the pup’s background and personality.

No matter where you choose to get your Airedale Shepherd, be sure to give them lots of love and attention. The breed is very loyal and loving and will make a great companion for many years.


The Airedale Shepherd is a highly intelligent and energetic mixed breed that is sure to make a wonderful companion. Because of their active lifestyles, they will need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. They are loyal and affectionate with their families and tend to be gentle and patient with children, but may be dominant with other dogs if not socialized properly. Because they have no breed standard, they come in a variety of colors and sizes. With the combination of the Airedale Terrier and German Shepherd, the Airedale Shepherd is sure to make a wonderful addition to any home.


Q. What is an Airedale Shepherd?

A. An Airedale Shepherd is a hybrid breed, created by cross-breeding an Airedale Terrier and a German Shepherd. These dogs are loyal, intelligent, and have a strong work ethic, making them great family companions. They tend to be medium to large in size and have a wiry coat with variations of black and tan.

Q. What is the temperament of an Airedale Shepherd?

A. An Airedale Shepherd is an intelligent, loyal, and energetic dog that loves to be part of a family. They are protective of their owners and may be wary of strangers, but they tend to be friendly and welcoming when they see that their owners are not in danger. They are very trainable and love to please their owners.

Q. How much exercise does an Airedale Shepherd need?

A. Airedale Shepherds are active and need plenty of exercise. They love to run and play and will require daily walks and playtime. They may also enjoy activities such as agility or flyball. It is important to give an Airedale Shepherd enough exercise to keep them happy and healthy.

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