How to Train an Airedale Terrier: 6 Vet-Approved Tips

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If you are already the proud owner of an Airedale Terrier, you already know that your furry friend isn’t like other dogs and requires a lot of training. While these gorgeous dogs are intelligent, they can also be very stubborn.

The Airedale Terrier is a medium-sized dog with a life expectancy between 11 and 14 years. They are loyal but headstrong and can be difficult to train. They respond best to positive reinforcement and praise. You should never scold, yell at, or hit your Airedale Terrier, as that will only make it harder to train your furry friend and might even make the dog resent you. In this article, we provide tips for training your Airedale Terrier.

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Can an Unruly Airedale Terrier Be Trained?

Yes, you can train your unruly Airedale Terrier, but it will take consistency, patience, determination, and a lot of love. It’s important to note that training this breed can be challenging and requires time and training skills from a pet parent.

If you give them half a chance, the Airedale Terrier will quickly start thinking they are the boss. You must be a calm, patient, loving leader to bring out the best in your Airedale Terrier.

The 6 Tips for Training Your Airedale Terrier

It’s important to note that Airedale Terriers are prone to digging and are extremely curious, which means they can get into trouble if left unsupervised. Let’s get into the tips we promised for training your Airedale Terrier.

1. Positive Reinforcement Is Best

Your Airedale Terrier will respond much better to positive reinforcement than being punished or scolded. This breed is headstrong and prideful, so scolding or punishing the dog will have the opposite effect. To train your Airedale Terrier with positive reinforcement, you’ll reward them when they do the right thing and withhold that reward when they fail to respond to the command.

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As you consistently train your pet, vary the treats to keep them from becoming bored and uninterested in training. While this can be a frustrating and challenging task, it’ll be worth it when your Airedale Terrier listens to your commands.

airedale terrier dog gets rewardairedale terrier dog gets reward
Image Credit: schubbel, Shutterstock

2. Be Patient and Consistent

Patience and consistency are vital to training your Airedale Terrier. For example, you can’t teach the dog one day to do a trick and then wait 3 weeks to try again. It’s best to develop a step-based training plan and dedicate time to it every day.

Being patient is also crucial because your Airedale Terrier isn’t going to learn to behave, do tricks, or come when called overnight.

Be patient with your pet, and provide plenty of praise and positive reinforcement if you want to train the dog properly. If your Airedale Terrier is getting headstrong during a training session, take a deep breath and try another tactic. You may need to take a break and wait until your Airedale Terrier calms down to resume training. They will do best if they perceive training as a positive and enjoyable activity, so make sure you set them up for success and reinforce every small achievement.

3. Be Clear and Precise

While you want to be positive, patient, and loving, you must also be clear if you want your Airedale Terrier to learn and not be confused. Set up clear rules and expectations, stick to them, and avoid any gray areas. You also need to be precise with your timing—reinforcement needs to be delivered at the moment. Your Terrier’s behavior will be either more or less frequent depending on the consequences they get immediately after a behavior.

Punishing an Airedale Terrier for something they did in the past is ineffective and confusing to the dog. However, you have to say “No” immediately when they misbehave. You still don’t need to hit or punish your dog, but you should be firm so they understand what is allowed and what isn’t. A firm and calm “No” is enough; you just have to be consistent.

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Keep in mind that as a positive reinforcement trainer, you should mostly focus on what you want, so never miss a chance to reinforce your dog for behaviors that you wish them to repeat in the future.

Image Credit: PROMA1, Shutterstock

4. Start as Soon as Possible

Ideally, training an Airedale Terrier needs to start when they’re young and continue throughout their life. While training any dog early is important, it’s even more essential with the Airedale Terrier because they can be stubborn and willful.

Failing to train an Airedale Terrier as a puppy can result in them developing bad habits that you’ll have a harder time breaking as they grow to adulthood.

5. Be Accepting

While you can train your Airedale Terrier with patience, firmness, and positive reinforcement, there are some things you will have to accept. There are certain instincts you won’t be able to break. For example, you’ll never fully train your Airedale Terrier to not have a strong drive to chase small furry creatures, but you can fix that by keeping them on a leash when you’re out and around other people and animals.

Airedale Terrier dog walking outdoors in summerAiredale Terrier dog walking outdoors in summer
Image Credit: Sergey Ginak, Shutterstock

6. Try Obedience School

If all the previous techniques don’t work, it’s time to send your Airedale Terrier to obedience school. This works well with adult Airedale Terriers because sometimes you don’t get your pet as a puppy, and the dog is already set in their ways.

Most Airedale Terriers are incredibly energetic and have a hard time sitting still. For first-time owners, that can make training frustrating and unproductive. However, a professional trainer has the experience and patience to handle challenging pups, and they can show you how to properly handle, communicate with, and train your Airedale Terrier to be a loving, well-behaved canine.

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What Can I Train My Airedale Terrier to Do?

As previously mentioned, the Airedale Terrier is a brilliant breed, so there are many things the dog can learn and will pick up on quickly if they are trained to behave.

  • Do tricks.
  • Behave on a leash.
  • Behave at the dog park.
  • Guard your home.
  • Play fetch.
  • Hunt small animals.
  • Swim with you.
  • Do agility training.
One-year-old Airedale Terrier on training courseOne-year-old Airedale Terrier on training course
Image Credit: PROMA1, Shutterstock

What Can I Not Train My Airedale Terrier to Do?

Although they’re smart canines, there are a few things that you probably won’t be able to train your Airedale Terrier to do.

  • To stop digging.
  • To stay off the furniture.
  • To not wander off chasing squirrels.
  • To not chase the neighbor’s cat.

The Airedale Terrier is a natural digger, tends to wander off because of their intense curiosity, and is determined to be wherever their pet parents are, usually on the furniture. It’s best to concentrate on what you can train your Airedale Terrier to do, but keeping them on a leash outside can prevent them from digging or running away.

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Airedale Terriers are loyal, loving, energetic dogs that are good pets if trained and socialized properly. However, they have a stubborn streak and can get into trouble if they’re not controlled. Training the dog at an early age will keep them from developing bad habits.

If you feel that you can’t train your Airedale Terrier correctly, it’s best to send them to obedience school and let the experts assist you with training. After training your Airedale Terrier, you’ll have a well-behaved, loyal friend that will stay by your side for several years.

Featured Image Credit: Kseniia Kolesnikova, Shutterstock

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