Energetic, playful and athletic, it makes an ideal companion for active and dedicated owners. Even though usually overlooked as a worker these days, the Airedale is still a capable hunter and protection dog. Alert and territorial, the breed makes a good watchdog, but it still has a tendency to chase smaller animals and can be confrontational around other dogs, which is why early socialization and training are very important. This powerful terrier's body is square, muscular and well-boned. The skull is long, flat and with a very soft, almost non-existing stop. The eyes are small and dark. The V-shaped ears are usually carried on the side, while appearing somewhat high-set when the dog is excited. The high-set tail has traditionally been docked, but today unaltered Airedales can be seen.
The wiry coat is rough, dense and requires regular care. Only colouring accepted is tan with a black saddle, although examples with a small white patch on the chest are fairly common. Average height is around 24 inches.