North American Working Airedale Terrier Association

FCI International Standard 7b for the Airedale Terrier








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General Appearance:  largest of the terriers, a muscular, active, fairly cobby dog without suspicion of legginess or undue length of body.


Characteristics: keen of expression, quick of movement, on the tip-toe of expectation at any moment. Character denoted and shown by expression of eyes, and by carriage of ears and erect tail.


Temperament: outgoing and confident, friendly, courageous and intelligent. Alert at all times, not aggressive but fearless.


Head and Skull:  skull long and flat, not too broad between ears, and narrowing slightly to eyes. Well balanced, with no apparent difference in length between skull and foreface. Free from wrinkles, with stop hardly visible; cheeks level and free from fullness. Foreface well filled up before eyes, not dish-faced or falling away quickly below eyes, but a delicate chiseling prevents appearance of wedginess or plainness.  Upper and lower jaws deep, powerful, strong and muscular, as strength of foreface is greatly desired. No excess development of the jaws to give a rounded or bulging appearance to the cheeks, as “cheekiness” is undesirable.  Lips tight, nose black.


Eyes:  dark in colour, small, not prominent, full of terrier expression, keenness and intelligence. Light or bold eye highly undesirable.


Ears:  “V” shaped with a side carriage, small but not out of proportion to size of dog.  Top line of folded ear slightly above level of skull. Pendulous ears or ears set too high undesirable.


Mouth: teeth strong.  Jaws strong.  Scissor bite, i.e. Upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws preferable, but vice-like bite acceptable.  An overshot or undershot mouth undesirable.


Neck: clean, muscular, of moderate length and thickness, gradually widening towards shoulders, and free from throatiness.


Forequarters:  shoulders long, well laid back, sloping obliquely, shoulder blades flat. Forelegs perfectly straight, with good bone. Elbows perpendicular to body, working free of sides.


Body:  back short, strong straight and level, showing no slackness.  Loins muscular.  Ribs wells sprung.  In short-coupled and well ribbed-up dogs there is little space between ribs and hips. When dog is long in couplings some slackness will be shown here. Chest deep (i.e. approximately level with elbows), but not broad.


Hindquarters:  thighs long and powerful with muscular second thigh, stifles well bent, turned neither in nor out.  Hocks well let down, parallel with each other when viewed from behind.


Feet  small, round and compact, with a good depth of pad, well-cusioned, and the toes moderately arched, not turned in or out


Tail  set on high and  carried gaily, but not curled over the back Customarily docked.  Tip approximately at same height as top of skull.


Gait/Movement  legs carried straight forward.  Forelegs move freely, parallel to the ground.  When approaching forelegs should form a continuation of the straight line of the front, feet being same distance apart as elbows.  Propulsive power is furnished by hind legs.


Coat  hard, dense and wiry, and not too long as to appear ragged.  It should also lie straight and close, covering the body and legs; the outer coat of hard, wiry, stiff hairs, the undercoat should be a shorter growth of softer hair.  Some of the hardest coats are crinkling or just slightly waved; a curly coat is objectionable


Colour  body – saddle black or grizzle as is top of the neck and top surface of tail.  All other parts tan.  Ears often a darker tan and shading may occur round neck and side of skull.  A few white hairs between forelegs acceptable..


Weight and Size  Height about 23-24 inches (58-61 cm) for dogs, taken from top of shoulder, and bitches about 22-23 inches (56-59 cm).  Weight to be commensurate with height and type


Faults  any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.


Note  male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Approved by the General Assembly FCI on the 23rd and 24th June 1987 in Jerusalem.