Are Airedale Terriers Aggressive Towards Other Pets, Strangers, Or Kids?

Are Airedale Terriers Aggressive Towards Other Pets, Strangers, Or Kids?

Airedale Terriers are generally not considered aggressive. They are known for their friendly and outgoing nature. However, like any dog breed, individual temperaments can vary, and there may be some Airedales that display aggressive behavior. So, if you are looking for answers to ‘are Airedale Terriers aggressive?’ this article is for you!

Dogs are domesticated animals; hence it is not hard to teach them to associate with human beings as well as other animals, especially within the domestic context. However, you might know that dogs have varying temperaments and personalities, and accordingly, some dogs will get along very well with anyone and everyone, whereas others don’t.

So when you decide to get a pet dog, you might be very considerate about whether the dog is aggressive. In this article, we will look into whether Airedale Terriers are aggressive to other pets, strangers, and kids.

Are Airedale Terriers aggressive? These dogs can be somewhat assertive by nature; however, Airedale Terriers are not very aggressive dogs. These dogs get along very well with their families. Not only are Airedales loyal and friendly they also are affectionate towards the owners. However, since they are naturally feisty dogs, Airedale Terriers can be aggressive toward strangers, kids, and other pets if you do not socialize the dog with them. Airedale Terriers are intelligent, so adequate socialization helps them to merge well with other pets, strangers, and kids. 

Understanding the characteristics and temperaments of the breed you are willing to have is crucial. Some dogs are easy to train and generally friendly with everyone; contrary to that, some dogs can be aggressive on certain occasions.

Keep reading to find out whether Airedale Terriers are aggressive toward other pets, strangers, and kids.

Are Airedale Terriers Aggressive?

Developed in the mid-1800s in Yorkshire, England, Airedale Terrier is considered the largest member of the Terrier dog family. As existing literature points out, Airedale Terrier is a breed developed for multiple purposes, especially hunting.

Read – How Much Do Airedale Terriers Cost?

In the early 1900s, during the first world war, these dogs were also used for military purposes, including carrying messages and finding wounded soldiers on the battlefield. When we look into this breed’s history, it is evident that Airedale Terriers are assertive and strong-willed dogs.

However, as time progressed and dogs became domestic animals, their personalities changed to some extent. Therefore Airedale Terrier is not necessarily an aggressive dog breed.

Although Airedale Terriers are not considered aggressive but remember that they can occasionally show aggressive behavior, personality is something that dogs build through both internal and external factors; hence personality can be changed.

When it comes to temperament, dogs inherit their temperament from birth, and it will likely remain throughout their long lifespan. Airedale Terriers can naturally have somewhat aggressive temperaments.

This breed gets super attached and loyal to its family. But they could show aggressive, stubborn, and rowdy behavior toward those they feel suspicious or unsure about.

You cannot entirely eliminate the strong-willed characters of Airedale Terriers because it is a part of who they are. Still, you can surely train the dog to socialize, significantly diminishing its aggressiveness. 

Are Airedale Terriers Aggressive Towards Strangers?

Dogs are usually friendly and fond of human beings. Some dogs not only get along well with their family but also with anyone that they meet in general. This happens mainly as a result of the dog’s temperament.

Read – Do Airedale Terriers Shed A Lot? and Are Airedale Terriers Hypoallergenic?

Some dogs are easygoing and very friendly by nature with everyone, whereas others only show friendliness to their families. Where do Airedale Terriers stand when it comes to this concern? Do they get along well with strangers, or are they aggressive?

As already mentioned, Airedale Terriers could have strong-willed characters. Therefore they are peculiar about with whom they should be friendly. Airedale Terriers are loyal and trustworthy canines. They will love their owners with all their hearts. However, this is different when it comes to strangers.

Since Airedale Terriers have watchdog and guard dog genes embedded within them, they are very protective of the family; as a result, they seem suspicious toward strangers and will potentially act aggressively if they sense danger.

You cannot expect an Airedale Terrier to be friendly, playful, and cuddly with every stranger that comes into your house. Still, this does not mean that Airedale Terriers will always show destructive and aggressive behavior towards strangers.

If you socialize an Airedale Terrier from a young age, they will not exhibit aggressive behavior towards strangers. 

Are Airedale Terriers Aggressive With Kids?

People with kids tend to be extra careful when selecting their family dog, and the reasons are perfectly understandable. You must consider which breed suits you best if you have kids at home. It is intriguing how some dog breeds gently merge with kids without causing trouble.

However, certain dog breeds can’t tolerate the behavior of kids, and it could make them act aggressively toward the kids. Is it safe to have an Airedale Terrier around kids? How well do they get along with kids?

As said earlier, Airedale Terriers can sometimes demonstrate assertive behavior; however, the good news is that this breed is safe to have around kids.

Despite their strong-willed characters Airedale Terriers are intelligent dogs. They are smart, trainable, and know how to blend with kids. Airedale Terriers also have high energy levels that help them keep up with kids’ energy.

Airedale Terriers are also tolerant dogs, so they usually do not mind rough playing with kids. With all the plus points, there can be downturns too. Sometimes, Airedale Terriers could get jealous of kids, especially if the dog was brought home before the kids were born.

If an Airedale Terrier is jealous of the kids, they will try to show some destructive behavior to grab the attention. Still, on the bright side, this behavior can be managed through socialization.

So make sure you socialize your Airedale Terrier from the youngest age; train the dog consistently; that way, they become close friends with kids. 

Are Airedale Terriers Aggressive Towards Other Pets?

Some pets can cohabit with each other, but some find it difficult. So pet owners often come across the question if they need to have two pets at once. What can you do if you own an Airedale Terrier and want another pet or vice versa? How will they get along with each other? 

Airedale Terrier, as a breed that descends from a hunting lineage, could show prey instinct occasionally, so it will make you question whether it is okay to have another pet in your home with an Airedale Terrier.

Due to their prey instinct, Airedale Terriers can be somewhat aggressive toward smaller animals, especially cats, birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, and even other dogs smaller than them.

Early socialization will help an Airedale Terrier learn to merge with other dogs and cats without getting aggressive. However, you must ensure that you train them from the pup stage.

Moreover, do not be quick to introduce the two animals at once. Take your time until both pets get comfortable with one another. Taking things slowly yet consistently would undoubtedly help your Airedale Terrier be friendly with other dogs or cats.

Just because the training helps them reduce their aggressive behavior, keep in mind that you cannot completely eliminate it. Airedale Terrier is a breed originally bred for hunting purposes so that instinct will always be within them, at least to a small extent.

Therefore having rabbits, rodents, and similar pets with Airedale Terriers will not be an intelligent decision. 

How To Calm an Aggressive Airedale Terrier?

It is not bizarre to see aggressive behavior in Airedale Terriers in certain scenarios. As comprehensively explained, Airedale Terriers are loyal and affectionate to their family.

However, they can be a little assertive around strangers, other pets, and sometimes around kids; this is why they require proper socialization and training.

So if your Airedale Terrier starts acting aggressively, what can you do? Below you can find some tips on how to calm an aggressive Airedale Terrier. 

If your Airedale Terrier acts aggressively, make sure not to punish them physically or be mad at them. It will never calm down the dog if you act in such a manner. Instead, it will make things worse.

When the dog shows signs of aggression, including growling, snarling, and straightened fur, do not try to touch the dog; calm them down using your words. Talk to the dog gently and make them feel safe.

Find what triggers the aggressive behavior in your Airedale Terrier and distract the dog from it. It is essential to make the dog feel safe because that helps them calm down their nerves.

You can calm down your aggressive Airedale Terrier as long as you work patiently. There are also calming supplements that you can use, but it is better to get professional advice before using them. 

Final thoughts 

In this article, we attempt to figure out if Airedale Terriers are aggressive toward other pets, strangers, and kids. The bottom line is Airedale Terriers can be somewhat aggressive by nature, so you have to expect stubborn behavior from them from time to time.

This breed could show aggressive behavior, especially toward strangers and other pets in your home. However, if you socialize your Airedale Terrier from a young age and train them well, you can significantly reduce their aggressive behavior. 


  • Lisa Watson

    Lisa W. is a practicing certified veterinarian (BVetMed Hons in Veterinary Medicine) who graduated from Royal Veterinary College, UK. One of her research fields is mixed-dog breeds and their temperament, behavioral issues, and genetic health concerns. Also, she gathers data about purebred dog breeds and their origin, lifespan, and genetic conditions. Lisa is a loving dog parent who is keen to share her expertise with other fellow dog parents.

    [email protected]

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