Grooming the Airedale Terrier

Take your Airedale Terrier from This  to This 




Regular grooming on a daily basis (e.g. a  good brushing and comb through)  takes only 10-15 minutes. 

Doing this helps;

  •  bonding with your dog first whilst he/she is a puppy and then as an adult
  • enables you to notice and deal with any cuts, abrasions, lumps and sore spots, ear and teeth problems
  • stops the coat from getting too tangled and matted.
  • makes life much easier for the dog and the groomer by having a dog that is used to be being brushed and combed and having it's feet handled. 

It is also important to check that the hair between the pads of the feet are free from hair or mud balls and the nails are trimmed short regularly. By keeping the area around your dogs anus and genitals and the back of the tail short and clean you will avoid any need for you or your groomer to have to deal with a mess in that area.

Keeping the area along the side of the mouth short and clean will also help to  keep knots and matts at bay and help control the drool. You will notice about half way along the bollom lip is a pocket like part. This is called the flews. If you keep the hair cut away from this area you will find that there is less drool.

The following guidelines are suitable for grooming your pet Airedale which is clipped rather than hand stripped as used when preparing an Airedale Terrier for the show ring. If you wish to learn to hand strip the Airedale Terrier contact your breeder and they should be able to teach you to do this. However, hand stripping is a long and ardous task and it is debatable as to whether it is worthwhile for a pet. However, your Airedale will keep a better coat colour and texture if it is hand stripped.

If you have your own clippers the dog may be clipped using a size 10 blade on the head, shoulders, front,  bottom, ears and throat. You can use a size 7 on the saddle or if you prefer a shorter cut a size 10 is fine all over. 


Equipment for basic grooming of your Airedale Terrier


Nail clippers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can also use a file, or some coarse sandpaper to file them or a “Dremel” type rotary tool.   See here for more details on nail trimming     


The Mars Coat King  is a useful tool for  raking out dead coat on the saddle and legs. This tool should not be used if you are preparing your dog for the show ring as it may cut the coat.



A product that is worth spending the money buying quality ones.                                                                        

Straight scissors are the ones you will use most and if you only have one pair these are what you need.

Round end scissors are good for ears and curved blade scissors are good for getting in between the pads of the feet.

Thinning scissors are also handy in several areas.


Stripping knives and stones  If you are clipping your dog you probably will not need to use these but there are many different types available if you wish to purchase some.                                                                                                                  



Combs and Brushes


Steel tooth comb  an essential tool                           Hard bristle brush                         Boar bristle grooming brush


Grooming Guide

    Thanks to Lesley Lee (Stargus Airedales UK) for the following Grooming Guide

                                      Head Grooming

1,2,3&4—The hair in these areas should be all 1/4” in length.

5&6—The hair on the crest of the neck should be approximately 1 to 11/2” graduating to 1/2” at the side of the neck and then blending into the1/4” hair on the side of the neck.

7&8– The hair here should be short and bridge from between the eyes across the muzzle and down to the nose. The eyebrows should not meet across the bridge of the muzzle.

9&10— The hair forward from the corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth should be approximately 1/2” in length graduating down the side of the muzzle to ultimately reach a length of 2” or more past the nose. This helps to emphasise the length of the head. The hair back from the corner of the mouth to the cheek should graduate in length to blend into the very short cheek hair.

11– Eyebrows should graduate from 1/4”  in length at the outer corner of the eye to  at least 1” at the inner corner. The hair should extend back on the head about 1”.



1. From the chest bone down to between the legs the hair should be at least 1.5 to 2” long. It should end just below the elbow.

2. The front of the neck down to the chest bone should be no more than 1/4” in length. This should blend into the shoulder blades at the same length. The side of the neck should blend from the longer length to the shorter length.

3. From the long chest hair trim short—1/4” to the natural line at the point of the shoulder blade and then blend this into the shoulder blade itself and down to the elbows. All this should be the same length.

4. This area should blend from the shoulder blade hair to the elbow graduating from 1/4” to 1/2”. This in turn is trimmed to graduate from the 1/2” length into the long hair of the legs which should be approx. 1.5”

The feet should be trimmed close and round—either by hand or scissors. Nails should be trimmed short. Feet should not appear flat and the whole leg from the elbow to the feet should look cylindrical

                             Neck and Front Grooming

1. Hair on the back of the neck should be approximately 1” to 1.5” in length progressing down the back of the neck into the back. It should also go down either side of the neck blending into shorter hair until it graduates into the very short hair on the side of the neck and shoulders.

2. Hair on the shoulders should be very short with medium hair graduating into the longer hair on the back and brisket.

3 & 4. Short hair blending from shoulder to top of leg and then graduating to medium and long hair down the leg. The long hair should be trimmed neat and not too bushy. Shape should be tubelike. Feet should be trimmed fairly close.

                              Rear Leg Grooming

 1. The hair from the tuck up down the second thigh should be roughly the same length but should be trimmed tidily to emphasise the bend of stifle.

2. The top of the thigh should blend and be of the same length as the jacket (saddle). It should then graduate in length to meet the longer hair on the second thigh. The hair on the thigh should be trimmed to extend beyond the base of the tail to emphasise the bottom and follow the rear of the leg all the way down to the hock to emphasise the angulation.

3. Hair on the hocks and rear pastern should be short and straight. The lower the hock to the ground the better.

4. Feet should be trimmed short and round. Hair between the toes should be cut short to keep feet tight


1. Inside thigh should be very short graduating in length to blend with the long hair on the outer thigh.

2. Back of tail very short which continues down around the anus and inside of thighs

3. Outside of thigh medium graduating down thigh to long hair. Long hair continues on second thigh and down to foot. Shaped to emphasise angulation.

4. Long hair graduates down thigh to second thigh and foot. Slight trimming to emphasise low hock and angulation. Neat scissoring around foot to emphasise small round feet.


Contact Details

Sue Henderson
Email: [email protected]