Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
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Combining the attractive appearance of the Airedale Terrier and the versatility of the Poodle, the Airedoodle is a cross-breed that has only recently been developed but has already earned itself a small and devoted fan base around the world. Loved as much for their affectionate nature as for their ability to compete in a wide number of canine activities, owners are finding that the Airedoodle brings a lot to the table.

Well-muscled and large, the Airedoodle has good sporting ability and needs plenty of exercise each day. They have a calm and intelligent face with a notably wide and long muzzle. Their striking coat is often curled though can also be wavy and does not typically shed much.

About & History

Not only has it become incredibly popular in recent decades to mix pedigree dogs together and create new cross-breeds, there is also a widespread trend for using the Poodle in such mixes. The Airedoodle is an example of one of the many Poodle hybrids and is thought to have only originated at the start of this century. In contrast to the Poodle, the Airedale Terrier is a rare dog and is not commonly used in designer dog mixes, making the Airedoodle rather special.

The Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier is a large dog that has been traditionally kept in England as an all-purpose farm dog with guarding abilities. They are much-loved for their elegant appearance and outgoing, independent nature. The Airedale Terrier’s claim to fame is that it is the largest of all of the Terriers, reaching heights of over 60cm when fully grown. It gets its name from it place of origin: the Aire Valley in Yorkshire, northern England. Most experts agree that they come from mixing the now extinct Black and Tan Terrier with the Otterhound.

It was some time in the mid 1800s that the breed became established and a few decades later they were exported to America where they were used for a variety of tasks, including herding and livestock guarding. Interestingly, the Airedale Terrier was one of the real stars of the first World War and their popularity surged in the years after, when people would recount stories of their bravery and usefulness. Most individuals are kept as pets today and they have seen a decline in breed number in recent years.

The Poodle

The Poodle is one of the major players in the new hybrid dog world and is well-known for its versatility. An intelligent dog that excels in a number of disciplines, the Poodle not only makes a great pet but can compete successfully in events such as agility and Flyball. The general public tend to associate the Poodle and its coiffed hairstyle with France, but the truth is that they are a German breed.

Despite their glamorous appearance, they were originally bred to hunt and retrieve waterfowl and have always been fantastic swimmers. The Poodle comes in three separate sizes: Toy, Miniature and Standard, though it is the taller Standard Poodle that contributes to the Airedoodle breed. Poodles are recognised by the Kennel Club within their Utility Group.


Handsome, tall teddy bears, the Airedoodle is an attractive dog with a unique look. They have a long muzzle and small eyes that are well spaced apart, giving them a serious expression. Their ears are often triangular in shape and hang down to the side of their face. Their body is quite square shaped and well-muscled with long limbs. Their tail is medium in length and may curl towards their back at the mid-point.

The coat of the Airedoodle is medium to long and may be tightly curled or loosely waved, depending on which parent it takes more after. Most dogs do not shed a lot and a proportion will be hypoallergenic (though it is impossible to predict which pup will be or not). Though the Airedale Terrier only has two possible coat colours (Black & Tan or Black & Gold), the Poodle has many more than this, including black, white and apricot. This means that there are several coat colour possibilities for the Airedoodle, though it’s true that many will maintain a similar fur colour to their Airedale Terrier parent.

A fully-grown Airedoodle measured to the withers will reach heights of 55cm to 61cm and will weigh between 18kg and 27kg.

Character & Temperament

Energetic and full of life, the Airedoodle is a breed that will keep owners on their toes and is always looking for something new to get stuck into. Coming from working stock, the Airedoodle is not one to sit around and do nothing and enjoys keeping active whenever possible. These dogs form strong attachments with their family members and will show them a great deal of affection. They are known for being gentle and patient with children, though their large size means that it is always advised to keep a close eye on them when in the company of little ones.

A formidable watch dog, the Airedoodle will warn away any potential intruder with their loud bark and impressive stature. They are always on alert and will instantly know whether a person is welcome or not.

As this cross-breed enjoys human company so much, they are not so keen on being left alone. Those that are under-exercised and left unaccompanied for long periods are prone to developing nuisance behaviours and separation anxiety. Owners can avoid this by providing them with plenty of things to do and by ensuring they are not out of the house for too long.


Though there is the potential for some individuals to be stubborn, the majority of breed members are eager to please. This, combined with their intelligence, makes them rewarding training partners.

As they are a large and powerful dog, it is essential that they are taught their place in the home and their manners from a young age. While it may be cute for an Airedoodle pup to jump up when they are three months old, it is less endearing when they are three years old and able to topple a child over!


Though most experts agree that a hybrid dog should be healthier than their parent breeds, there will certainly be a number of conditions that will be more prevalent in the Airedoodle than in the average dog.

Hip Dysplasia

It is strongly advised that any Airedoodle breeder hip scores both breeding parents in an attempt to ensure that their offspring will have healthy hips. This practice is especially important in a new breed that currently has a small population size.

Hip scoring is a simple procedure whereby the hips are x-rayed in several positions under a deep sedation or general anaesthetic. The images are then analysed by a specialist and assigned a number or ‘hip score’.


Tall and deep-chested dogs will be more likely to develop bloat at some time in their lives and all Airedoodle owners should make themselves aware of the potential symptoms. As the key to recovering from bloat is a quick diagnosis and speedy treatment, the sooner an animal is seen by a vet, the better their chance of survival.

Owners will probably notice that their pet’s abdomen is bloated and tense like a firm balloon and that their dog is uncomfortable and retching. They will also be quite distressed and may pant and whine, unable to lie down or settle.

Atopic Dermatitis

An inflammatory skin disease that is seen in a wide range of dogs, the Airedoodle may experience a higher incidence of atopic dermatitis than the general population. Their skin flares up when they are exposed to something they are allergic to. For many, their symptoms will wax and wane throughout their life and will be controlled with a combination of allergen avoidance, medications and shampoos.

Exercise and Activity Levels

A large dog with an athletic build, the Airedoodle has quite high exercise requirements and needs at least a one hour walk each day which should be supplemented with lots of play time and other activities. Once they have expended all of their energy for the day, they will be more than happy to curl up on the sofa and relax.


How often the fur of the Airedoodle will require brushing will depend on which coat type it inherits, but most should have a brush down every day or two. Owners must regularly check their pendulous ears for signs of infection or waxy build-ups. It is also essential to brush their teeth every one or two days in order to prevent periodontal disease setting in as they get older.

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