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The Airedale Terrier is well known as the King of Terriers; they are the largest breed of terrier and have quite distinctive features.
The Airedales have a prominent beard and big, bushy eyebrows; they have quite the playful streak in them and are brilliant dogs. They even carry around the confidence of the royalty they are known for.
Their intelligence and confidence make them an independent breed, meaning that they can think for themselves and don’t need to wait for their owner’s instructions when doing a job.
Airedale Terriers are bred worldwide; they’re mainly bred as hunting dogs for small and large game. You can also see them working along with the police; their personalities even make them great family companions. Whether it’s work or play, your Airedale is bound to get dirty, so you may be wondering how to groom Airedale Terrier! So, we are here to help guide you on how best to groom your Airedale Terrier.
What Makes up an Airedale Terrier’s Coat?
Before we know how to groom our Airedales properly, we need to understand their coats’ makeup.
Originally these terriers were bred to hunt large rats and otters in the Aire Valley of Yorkshire; this area is known for being wet and cold. Because of the wet and cold, this is why the Airedales developed a two-layered coat. Their topcoat is dense and wiry, while their undercoat is short and soft, with most sharing a specific coat color combo. Most of their body is a tan color, while the back and upper sides are either completely black, so black with specks of grey.
While the Airedale Terriers are not known for extreme shedding, their coats still shed, and due to the wiry-ness of their top layers, their coats can become matted.
Regular brushing helps to keep their coats in good condition and a bath if it’s needed. Just be careful of over bathing your terrier. Too many baths can soften their coarse fur, which is not suitable for your Airedale Terrier.
Why Should You Groom Your Airedale Terrier?
When you groom your dog, you’re not only making sure that they are clean but also free of parasites, ticks, and fleas.
When grooming your dog, it also allows you to get up close and personal and give them a good inspection. Ensure that you keep an eye out for any sores and open wounds, or signs of infection, especially around their ears.
Your weekly grooming session will help you spot any health issues before they become a severe issue.
Grooming doesn’t just help you make sure that your dog looks and feels good, but it also gives you two a chance to bond. Airedale Terrier’s love getting attention from their family. A close one-on-one will strengthen your friendship and help each other build up trust, carried over into your everyday lives.
Best Brush to Use on your Airedale Terrier
When choosing a brush for your weekly grooming sessions, there are some things to keep in mind. Things such as the dog’s coat type and length, whether it’s short and thick or long and wavy, will help you when it comes to choosing what best for you and your Airedale Terrier.
If you’re looking for the best brush for your Airedale Terrier, have a read of our article!
Slicker brushes are used on dogs with medium to long hair, or dogs with curly hair, such as the Airedale Terrier.
A good slicker brush will easily and effectively remove things such as mats from your Airedale Terrier’s coat. Slicker brushes will have a lot of thin metal pins that are densely packed together on the brush. Some brushes may even have their pins slightly bent at the tip to get out as much fur as possible.
De-shedding brushes are used on dogs with medium to long hair, or dogs with curly hair that have an undercoat. A good De-shedding brush is essential in the warmer months to stop your Airedale Terrier from leaving their fur all over your home.
De-shedding brushes can have various appearances depending on the brand. Their appearance can vary from a wide brush with metal teeth that appear to be very short, to a short curved blade with two sides.
Pin brushes are very similar to the type of hairbrushes we use on our hair. A good pin brush will be able to brush out any dirt in your Airedale Terrier’s coat, while also massaging their skin and coat to remain healthy.
You should use a steel pin brush for your Airedale Terrier as anything else may not be very useful. Steel pin brushes will be able to dig deep into your Airedale Terrier’s coat and help remove the excess fur, dirt while making their coat look shiny and healthy.
Bristle Brushes are the perfect alternative to a pin brush if you do not want to use one. A good bristle brush will brush out any loose fur or dirt that may be found in your Airedale Terrier’s coat. Your Airedale Terrier’s coat will also look shiny and healthy after using a bristle brush on it.
A bristle brush should only be used for short grooming sessions as it won’t reach deep in your Airedale Terrier’s coat.
How To Groom Your Airedale Terrier
Even though you don’t have to trim your Airedale Terriers coat, an untrimmed coat can become thick, curly, and unruly. Often many owners take their terriers to a professional groomer three to four times a year. By taking them to a groomer, their appearance will appear neater, especially if your Airedale goes to shows.
Their coat is trimmed with clippers or stripping (a process where their fur is thinned and shortened by a sharp comb-like tool). Sometimes it’s a combination of both.
We understand that going to a professional can become quite costly. Many owners choose to groom their dogs themselves as long as you are willing to put in the time and effort. It can be quite time-consuming, but it is well worth it.
Airedale Terrier Grooming Basics
Even though grooming can be time-consuming, Airedale Terriers don’t rank high when it comes to maintenance. Their short coats don’t shed excessively, except when they shed their winter coats.
If you brush your Airedale regularly, once to twice a week, depending on if they’re working dogs or not. The regular brush will help remove any dirt, and dead hairs, thus keeping their shedding down to a minimum. During their weekly brushing session, you may notice that their fur is starting to mat during these brushing sessions. Do not try to brush out the coat. Instead, gently pull the matted area apart with your fingers, then you can brush it out with the comb.
Cleaning an Airedale Terrier’s ears is essential; too much wax build-up can lead to ear infections and other issues. Their ears are simple enough to clean. Take a soft cotton bud, gently clean the inside of their ears, and be careful not to go too deep and get close to the ear canal. If you see redness while cleaning, or if their ear wax has an unusual smell, contact your vet. These are signs that there is something wrong, either infection or an allergic reaction.
Now, when it comes to their signature eyebrows and beard, a little more care is needed, especially if you want them to enjoy their grooming sessions.
When grooming your Airedale Terriers eyebrows, take a comb and brush them upwards to stand on their ends. Hold your hand over their eyes and clip the hairs, so they are about two inches in length, be careful not to cut the hairs too short. If you like your Airedale Terrier to have bushy eyebrows, a longer length is perfectly fine.
Grooming an Airedale Terrier’s beard is similar. Firstly, take your comb and brush the beard straight down from the nose. Secondly, using either clippers or trimmers, cut it at the bottom, leaving about three to four inches in length. If you cut their beard straight across, it will give your Terrier that sharp, smart look, and again you can leave them with a longer beard if you like your Terrier to be on the bushy side.
TIP: Remember to wipe their beards as food does tend to get stuck in there.
If your terrier is out working, their nails should naturally trim themselves; however, it is still good to cut them yourself once or twice a month. If you hear their nails clicking on the floor, that’s a sign that they have now grown too long. If their nails get too long, it can cause your doggo issues when walking.
Many owners don’t realize that the nails have blood vessels in them, and cutting your Airedale Terrier’s nails too short can be painful for them. There are plenty of suitable nail trimmers that can cut nails without going too far up. If you do not have a suitable trimmer, try to stick to the nail’s white parts, much like when you trim your nails. If you are unsure, do not hesitate to ask your groomer or your local vet for advice.
Airedale Terrier Bathing Basics
Airedale Terriers also need a regular bath but nowhere as often as their brushing sessions!
Unless your terrier is a working terrier and gets excessively dirty, one bath every eight weeks should be more than enough. For all Airedale Terrier’s, we strongly recommend using a shower instead of an actual bath. A good shower with a non-slip mat will stop your dog from hurting themselves when moving around or jumping out.
It’s essential to ensure that the water is not too hot or cold; use the shower head attachment if you have one, or even a large jug is fine to wet your dog’s fur thoroughly.
Now you can apply the safe dog shampoo. Ensure that it gets into their coat correctly, and be careful to avoid the eyes and ears. If you find that your doggo is more mud than fur, you may need to shower, rinse, repeat. When you’re rinsing out the shampoo, make sure that there is no residue left, as it can cause dry and itchy skin. One way to ensure that all the shampoo is rinsed out entirely is by taking your hand and giving your doggo a firm rub. If you hear a slightly squeaky sound, then you know that your doggo is squeaky clean!
When bathing your Airedale Terrier, it’s crucial not to get their face wet; this can easily be avoided.
When working in the safe dog shampoo, start from the back of the head and work your way down to the tail. Make sure that you avoid their face altogether. Also, ensure that you are using the right shampoo. You cannot use human shampoo on your dog! Using the wrong shampoo can lead to dry and itchy skin or cause an allergic reaction. In severe cases, the wrong shampoo can cause a burning sensation for your Airedale Terrier. This leads to an unpleasant bath experience, making them unwilling to take baths in the future.
Dog safe shampoo is readily available at any grooming parlor, shelter, or vet. If ever you are unsure, don’t hesitate to ask either one of those for advice.
Grooming can be an intimate time between you and your doggo, a time to strengthen your bond and make sure that they are happy and healthy.
Whether you’re giving your Airedale their regular grooming session or their regular baths, keep in mind to be gentle and provide them with plenty of positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement can be in the form of their favorite treats, praise, or even both! Make this time enjoyable, and you’ll have a doggo who loves grooming.
Airedale Terrier’s may have a time-consuming grooming schedule, but they are relatively low maintenance with minimal shedding. Now all that’s left is for you and your doggo to give each other some time and love!