The Airedale Terrier is a great dog, whether it's used for hunting, show or just as a family pet. If you have children, you are probably concerned about what kind of pet the Airedale will make for your children and your entire family. Many people believe that they can bring a dog home and they should automatically get along great with the children. In some lucky cases, this actually does happen.
However, in most cases, dogs need to be introduced to children gradually and vice versa. Children need to be educated as to how to treat dogs with respect. In the case of the Airedale Terrier, this is even more important. The Airedale Terrier is a very active, lovable and playful dog, but they can and will roughhouse with the children if given the opportunity. Often children tend to be too rough in their play and will cause aggression in the Airedale. If not corrected immediately, this pattern will continue until it's out of control.
The Airedale can be a great dog with children, but may be a bit too much for a young toddler that is easily knocked down. When the children and the Airedale are playing together, especially in the beginning, adult supervision should always be near to make sure the play does not get too rough on either side. Airedale Terriers need a firm hand from their owners and consistency in their training. This is not a breed that can be left alone and ignored. Not only will this possibly make them aggressive, but also it will make them become destructive out of frustration and boredom.
The Airedale is a very loyal and protective dog that may be leery of strangers, but will love their family - especially the children. Once they learn what acceptable and unacceptable behavior is, they make excellent watchdogs for the children, never wanting to leave their side. They do need a lot of exercise and space to run around and play. The bonding between the dog and children gets even stronger when the children learn how to take the Airedale for daily walks. They are not a dog that will do well living in an apartment because there is not sufficient room for this rowdy and active dog to romp around.
One negative part of the Airedale is they are stubborn and have a mind of their own. They need to be "convinced" that what you say goes and that they are not the boss. You will need everyone in the household to be consistent in their training to have a well-behaved dog. Even if you have your Airedale professionally trained, the family still has to be consistent in reinforcing what the dog was taught in "puppy school".
The Airedale Terrier can be territorial and aggressive around other dogs, especially in the house. There should be a lot of socializing for this dog, with the kids and other animals that will be sharing the house. This socializing has to begin on their first day home.