Today we’re going to look at the question, do Airdales shed?
Airedales are unique dogs with a sassy personality. Their playful spirit and high energy make them great family dogs, but many people love how they hardly seem to shed.
Hi dog moms and dads! My name is Bri, and my dog Bruce is an old American Bulldog. I have had many different dog breeds over the years, but Bruce sheds more than any of them.
When my in-laws decided to get a new puppy, the brought home an Airedale named Marley.
Naturally, Bruce & Marley spent many play dates together and the first thing I noticed was just how little Marley shed his curly fur.
This got me interested in Airedales, so after a little research and first hand experience I’ve put together this full guide to help others learn more about Airedales and their shedding traits!
Airedales are members of the terrier family. There are many different breeds of terrier out there that are similar to Airedales like the Welsh terrier and Scottish terrier, but none quite like the Airedale.
These pups are the biggest of the terrier family, and make excellent guard dogs for their alertness and protective personalities.
However, they’re not aggressive and are actually one of the more docile breeds you can bring home.
Airedales are very athleticand active. They also are not afraid to speak up for what they believe in (like getting extra treats). They are known to be extremely vocal dogs who love to “talk” to their owners.
I have seen my father-in-law have full conversations with Marley. It’s not weird.
Airedales Through the Ages
The Airedale Terrier is a British icon. They were initially bred as hunting dogs, but also became popular message carrier dogs during the war.
This is when people began to see the benefits of having an Airedale as a guard dog. Their keen sense of smell and hearing made them incredibly alert.
Eventually, farmers started breeding them as work and herding dogs to protect their livestock. Now, these pups are bred for just about anything from guard dog to K9 cop to just a cute fluffy family dog.
What is an Airedale’s Coat Like?
Airedales have short, coarse, curly fur. When Marley goes too long without a haircut, his curls make him look at least 3 inches fatter because of how his fur fluffs out
Their coats are black and tan and need very little maintenance. The hairs are wiry and normally short depending on owner preference.
Most owners typically keep the fur relatively short but leave a little length around the jaw of the dog to give them what is best described as a beard. Marley has a full beard and mustache that makes him look very dapper!
Do Airedales Shed?
Yes. Airedales might have short fur, but they do shed. However, it is extremely minimal!
When my in-laws first brought their Airedale home I did not think he shed at all. You can barely see his little tan hairs on their furniture.
The only time I ever really noticed him shedding was when I gave him some vigorous back scratches and noticed a little bit of fur on my hands afterwards.
In fact, even the AKC says that most people with an Airedale do not experience much shedding if they keep up with regular grooming habits.
When do Airedales Shed the Most?
Like many other dogs, Airedales shed more during the changing temperatures. This is most common times are during the transition from winter to spring and from summer to fall.
This shedding process is important to regulate the dog’s body temperatures. However, they typically shed year-round.
Obviously, Airedales will shed more heavily while being brushed, or during a good petting session. Airedale puppies also shed much more as they age.
When they are little, they have their soft puppy fur. As they mature, they grow into their adult fur and lose their puppy fur, much like we lose baby teeth as we grow.
How to Manage Airedale Shedding
Regular grooming is key for Airedales! They should be professionally groomed about four times a year.
To help minimize shedding, a full grooming session should include a nice bath, brushing and clipping to keep their fur clean and short.
There are a couple good brushes that work really well for Airedale fur which we will get into later.
Regular baths between full grooming is also helpful for shedding control. Airedales do not need baths very often, but if they get super dirty or it’s the time of year they start shedding more, a bath will help.
Just make sure you do it outside or in a tub that has a drain that can handle lots of dog hair! Their fur may be short but it can be thick, which could clog a normal house drain if you are not careful.
Tools that Help Manage Airedale Shedding
Keeping your home clean can be a hassle with dogs. Dog hair gets everywhere, so having a good lint roller is super handy.
We try to be environmentally friendly in our home as much as possible, so we like to use a lint roller that does not have the sticky paper you remove and throw away.
Plus, you have to replace those when they run out and in our home they just do not last long enough.
We really like the Evercare Magik Brush because it is reusable and does a great job getting dog hair off of our clothes and furniture surfaces.
This little brush is less than ten bucks, is dual sided and picks up everything.
For grooming needs, a gentle bristle brush is best for Airedales. Something like the DGLQ Grooming Brush is a great option because it has long bristles that come through thick, curly fur without being too scratchy.
There are also multiple attachments so you can try out different ones and see which works best for your Airedale. It even has a de-shedding comb that helps remove dead, excess fur from their coat.
There are many other brushes to choose from, but Airedale terrier fur is unique. That curly fur needs long, gentle bristles to keep it untangled.
A short, metal brush would not do much good with Airedale fur and would more than likely end up doing more harm than good.
When a dog has thick fur like an Airedale, you want to make sure the brush you use will go through the hairs and not pull it.
This could be really painful for your poor pup and make it extremely hard for you to groom them in the future!
Are Airedale Hypoallergenic?
Did you know that there really is not a single dog that is fully hypoallergenic? I spent years thinking certain breeds were completely allergy free, but that is not the case!
All dogs shed – even if it is only a little bit. Some breeds have fur that is more like human hair, which might not aggravate a person’s allergies as much, but it does not always work out that way.
Plus, all dogs shed dander just like humans do! Sometimes the dander triggers worse allergies in humans than the pet fur does.
Bruce has super dry skin in the winter and his dander makes my allergies go crazy. Even Airedales can get dry skin and pet dander!
Long story short, no; Airedales are not hypoallergenic. They definitely shed less than other dogs, like my boy Bruce, but they still shed and still have that pesky pet dander.
Do Some Airedales Shed more than others?
Dogs are like snowflakes. They might be similar, but each one is never the same! The same is true for Airedales and their shedding.
All Airedales shed, but some might have different circumstances that make one shed more than another.
While it is not common for some Airedales to shed noticeably more than others, there is no way to say it will not happen. There are plenty of things that can affect how much a dog sheds.
Airedales who live in different climates may shed more than the other, and Airedales at different stages of life will probably show different amounts of shedding as well.
Nature is always changing and adapting, so some traits of Airedales may differ than others because of the way they have adapted over time.
There are also different health conditions that a dog could have that might affect their shedding which we will cover next!
Health Reasons for Increased Shedding in Bulldogs
Shedding is an important natural trait in all dogs. They lose their dead hair to make room for the new coat that continues to grow.
Something that is important to note with Airedales is that their thick, curly hair can easily become matted. This is another reason why grooming and shedding is so important.
If an Airedale fails to shed the healthy amount of hair during the year, his fur can become entangled and matted.
This can cause many underlying skin conditions because dirt and bacteria gets trapped under the matted fur.
It is also important to me observant of when your dog might be shedding too much.
Airedales are very moderate shedders, so if their fur is coming out in clumps or much more frequent than normal it could be signs of something else happening beneath the surface.
Hypothyroidism can happen in any dog breed, but is definitely more common in Airedales for whatever reason. Hypothyroidism is a condition that prevents the thyroid gland from releasing certain hormones.
This condition is treatable and usually not life-threatening, but the most common symptoms include alopecia (hair loss) and – you guessed it – excessive shedding.
Like I said, Airedales are moderate shedders. Pay attention to how much your dog sheds throughout the year. This will be extremely helpful if there ever comes a time when they start to shed more than normal.
Sometimes it is hard to recognize symptoms like these, so even though it sounds silly, write it down!
Bruce gets lumps and bumps all the time in his old age and sometimes I start to panic and think the worst.
Then I remind myself that I made a note of the bump a year ago and it has not changed since, so more than likely I have nothing to worry about. Dog mom problems.
Airedales are not as prone to skin conditions as other dogs are, so it is rare so see them with bald patches and hot spots.
Be sure to pay attention to their shedding and the look of the coats to make sure they are shedding the healthy, normal amount.
Excess shedding can also happen with age, which is totally normal. As with anything else, it is important to consult your vet if you think your Airedale terrier might be shedding too much or too little.
Before my in-laws brought Marley home, I had never actually seen an Airedale in real life. I was raised with Labradors, so this fancy-pants dog was new to me!
The more time I spend with Marley the more I fall in love with him.
He has so much spunk and personality, I do not blame my in-laws for sticking with the Airedale breed (they have had several over the years!).
That being said, Airedales are incredible family dogs that do not require too much maintenance. Their low shedding levels can really make a difference when you are trying to keep your home clean.
Even though they do shed, their fur is so fine and they hardly shed enough to actually notice it. Plus, with the right tools, you can keep your home and clothes cleaner.
If you are looking for a dog that never sheds, let me know when you find one. No dog breed is completely 100% immune to shedding.
All dogs, however, are completely 100% worth cleaning up after. Hopefully this information helps you understand all the shedding traits of the Airedale terrier. Happy Pup Parenting!