Grooming Tips

About Amber-Aire

I purchased my first Airedale in 1987; Amber Lace of White House. I competed in obedience with Lacey. Lacey became a certified Therapy Dog. She hooked me on the breed and was a wonderful companion and a good ambassador for the breed. I had my first litter in 1989.

All of my puppies are born and raised in my home.

All of my puppies are well socialized, handled daily from birth, used to household noises, groomed at six weeks of age (depending on the weather) and again before going to their new homes.

A hobby breeder shows their dogs in conformation, obedience or agility and breeds to the AKC standard. They do health testing and are usually very knowledgeable about the breed and mentor their puppy buyers.

I try to educate first time puppy buyers to the traits of the Airedale Terrier and make sure it is the breed for them.

To help us understand your needs and whether an Airedale puppy is a good fit for your family, you fill out the Amber-Aire Puppy Questionnaire and return it to us.

We typically have more requests for puppies than we have pups in a litter. So, if you choose to proceed with the purchase of an Amber-Aire puppy, you will make a deposit reserving you puppy and we will issue you an Amber-Aire Puppy Contract.

Once you are approved, I require a non refundable $200 deposit to reserve your puppy in the current litter.

Of course, if we are unable to provide you with a puppy from the litter, your deposit will be returned to you in full.

About Airedale Terriers

The average male Airedale will be approximately 23” tall at the shoulder, and weigh anywhere from 45 to 60 lbs. Females typically are no more than 23" tall and weigh 45-55 lbs.

Any dog, if raised with common sense, should get along with children. However, I do not recommend any puppy for families with kids under 5 years of age.

average life span is 10-12 years.

Airedale Terriers do not have a seasonal shed like most breeds. They will however shed off dead hair if they are not groomed regularly.

I have put obedience titles on several of my Airedale Terriers. I find them very trainable. You need to make training fun, with positive reinforcement and variety.

They will have their adult coat color at approximately ten months.


I have had litters of thirteen and I have had litters of two.


Hand stripping is done to keep the coat hard and crisp. All Airedales that are shown in conformation must be shown in a stripped coat. Pet Airedales can be clipped.

Males have a tendency to be more loveable, females can be aloof. However there are exceptions.

Hip-dysplasia can be a concern and both parents should be X-rayed and OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) certified Excellent, Good, or Fair before they are bred. OFA certification information is provided to you by the AKC on your puppy's papers after the Sire and Dam names.

Amber-Aire always provides X-ray data about our puppy's parents. Amberaire's breeding stock is always OFA certified.

Airedale, a valley (dale) in the West Riding of Yorkshire, named for the river Aire that runs through it, was the birthplace of the breed. In the mid-19th Century, working class people created the Airedale Terrier by crossing the old English rough-coated Black and Tan Terrier (now known as the Welsh Terrier) with the Otterhound. In 1886, the Kennel Club of England formally recognized the Airedale Terrier breed.

In 1864 they were exhibited for the first time at a championship dog show sponsored by the Airedale Agricultural Society. They were classified under different names, including Rough Coated, Bingley and Waterside Terrier. In 1879 breed fanciers decided to call the breed the Airedale Terrier, a name accepted by the Kennel Club (England) in 1886.

Well-to-do hunters of the era were typically accompanied by a pack of hounds and several terriers, often running them both together. The hounds would scent and pursue the quarry and the terriers would "go to ground" or enter into the quarry's burrow and make the kill. Terriers were often the sporting dog of choice for the common man. Early sporting terriers needed to be big enough to tackle the quarry, but not so big as to prevent them from maneuvering through the quarry's underground lair. As a result, these terriers had to have a very high degree of courage and pluck to face the foe in a tight, dark underground den without the help of human handlers.

During the middle of the nineteenth century, regular sporting events took place along the Aire River in which terriers pursued the large river rats that inhabited the area. A terrier was judged on its ability to locate a "live" hole in the riverbank and then, after the rat was driven from its hole by a ferret brought along for that purpose, the terrier would pursue the rat through water until it could make a kill. As these events became more popular, demand arose for a terrier that could excel in this activity. One such terrier was developed through judicious crossings of the Black-and-Tan Terrier and Bull and Terrier dogs popular at the time with the Otter Hound. The result was a long-legged fellow that would soon develop into the dog we recognize today as the Airedale Terrier. This character was too big to "go to ground" in the manner of the smaller working terriers; however, it was good at everything else expected of a sporting terrier, and it was particularly adept at water work. This big terrier had other talents in addition to its skill as a ratter. Because of its hound heritage it was well equipped to pick up the scent of game and due to its size, able to tackle larger animals. It became more of a multipurpose terrier that could pursue game by powerful scenting ability, be broken to gun, and taught to retrieve. Its size and temperament made it an able guardian of farm and home. One of the colorful, but less-than legal, uses of the early Airedale Terrier was to assist its master in poaching game on the large estates that were off-limits to commoners. Rabbits, hare, and fowl were plentiful, and the Airedale could be taught to retrieve game killed by its master, or to pursue, kill, and bring it back itself.

The first imports of Airedale Terriers to North America were in the 1880s. The first Airedale to come to American shores was named Bruce. After his 1881 arrival, Bruce won the terrier class in a New York dog show.

The patriarch of the breed is considered to be CH Master Briar (1897–1906). Two of his sons, Crompton Marvel and Monarch, also made important contributions to the breed.

The first Canadian registrations are recorded in the Stud book of 1888–1889.

In 1910, the ATCA (Airedale Terrier Club of America) offered the Airedale Bowl as a perpetual trophy, which continues to this day. It is now mounted on a hardwood pedestal base, holding engraved plates with the names of the hundreds of dogs that have been awarded Best of Breed at the National Specialties.

The Airedale was extensively used in World War I to carry messages to soldiers behind enemy lines and transport mail. They were also used by the Red Cross to find wounded soldiers on the battlefield. There are numerous tales of Airedales delivering their messages despite terrible injury. An Airedale named 'Jack' ran through half a mile of enemy fire, with a message attached within his collar. He arrived at headquarters with his jaw broken and one leg badly splintered, and right after he delivered the message, he dropped dead in front of its recipient.

Lieutenant Colonel Edwin Hautenville Richardson was responsible for the development of messenger and guard dogs in the British Army. He, along with his wife, established the British War Dog School at Shoeburyness in Essex, England. In 1916, they provided two Airedales (Wolf & Prince) for use as message carriers. After both dogs proved themselves in battle, Airedales were given more duties, such as locating injured soldiers on the battlefield, an idea taken from the Red Cross.

Before the adoption of the German Shepherd as the dog of choice for law enforcement and search and rescue work, the Airedale terrier often filled this role.

In 1906, Richardson tried to interest the British Police in using dogs to accompany officers, for protection on patrol at night. Mr. Geddes, Chief Goods Manager for Hull Docks in Yorkshire, was convinced after he went and saw the impressive work of police dogs in Belgium. Geddes convinced Superintendent Dobie of the North Eastern Railway Police, to arrange a plan for policing the docks. Airedale Terriers were selected for duty as police dogs because of their intelligence, good scenting abilities and their hard, wiry coats that were easy to maintain and clean.

At the beginning of the Russo-Japanese war in 1904, the Russian embassy in London contacted Lt. Colonel Richardson for help acquiring dogs for the Russian Army, trained to take the wounded away from the battlefields. He sent terriers, mostly Airedale Terriers, for communication and sanitary services. Although these original imports perished, Airedale Terriers were reintroduced to Russia in the early 1920s for use by the Red Army. Special service dog units were created in 1923, and Airedale Terriers were used as demolition dogs, guard dogs, police tracking dogs and casualty dogs.

After the First World War, the Airedales' popularity rapidly increased thanks to stories of their bravery on the battlefield and also because Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren Harding owned Airedales. President Harding's Airedale, Laddie Boy, was the "first celebrity White House pet".[14] President Harding had a special chair hand carved for him to sit on at very important Cabinet meetings. In the 1920s, the Airedale became the most popular breed in the USA.

1949 marked the peak of the Airedales' popularity in the USA, ranked 20th out of 110 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club.

The Airedale Terrier was recognized by United Kennel Club in 1914.

The Airedale Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888.

The Airedale Terrier Club of America (ATCA), founded in 1900 is the parent club of the breed in the United States and the official-spokes organization for the breed with the American Kennel Club (AKC).

The Airedale Terrier Club of America periodically holds performance and conformation events. The Airedale judged to be Best of Breed at these national specialty shows is awarded the Airedale Bowl.

Caring for my Airedale Terrier

Your dog should be groomed every ten to twelve weeks.

I have found that by the age of five months most Airedale Terriers can be trusted loose in your house at night. At this age they are housebroken and know that nighttime is for sleeping.

Your contract obliges you to return the dog to Amber-Aire with its AKC papers and health records. I take total responsability for the dogs I breed from their birth to their death. I will take back any dog Amber-Aire breeds, no matter what its age and for whatever reason.

If you ever have a problem that prevents you from taking care of your Airedale, please do the right thing and contact me.

Although most people feel their dog is mature at one year, I strongly discourage you from leaving your dog lose in the house until the age of eighteen months. Dogs go through a second teething stage at approximately thirteen to fifteen months. At this age they have their permanent teeth and can do a lot more damage than when they were puppies. At the age of sixteen to eighteen months you can do fifteen minute trial periods and extend the period of time you are out of the house, until you feel secure leaving the dog.

Yes, I will help any way I can. I am only a phone call away.

Yes, we have a full-service grooming shop.

Letting you dog chew on bones is a good way of keeping his teeth clean. You can also brush your dog’s teeth once they get their permanent teeth (at approximately four to five months of age).

Males should not be neutered before the age of ten to twelve months. Females should not be spayed before ten months.

No, All of my pet puppies are sold on a spay/neuter agreement and on a 'Limited AKC Registration'. They are not sold for breeding.

Airedales were bred to hunt small animals and have a high prey drive. They love to chase squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, etc. A fence (including electric invisible fences) is a way of keeping your dog safe.


Treats are a good way of rewarding your puppy for doing something good, however it can be overdone; don’t let your puppy train you! You don't want to give them too many treats; if you do they won't want to eat their regular meal and have a balanced diet.

Sometimes, despite the best of intentions, an owner can get to a point in their life where they can no longer care for the canine member of their family. Some family illness, or financial disaster, or other unanticipated event may make it impossible to give your Airedale the care it deserves. If this time ever comes for you, Amber-Aire Airedales is there to help. Please read Bender's story below, and make the Bender promise.

Clause 5 of the contract you sign with Amber-Aire Airedales when you buy your puppy states "Throughout the lifetime of the Airedale, if FOR ANY REASON the Buyer can no longer keep this Airedale, it is to be returned to the Seller/Breeder with the AKC papers."

Why is this clause in your contract? The 'Surrender Form' of Airedale Rescue and Adoption of the Deleware Valley provides the answer. (This is the form owners have to fill out when they hand their dogs over to that Airedale rescue organization.) It states:

"NOTE: Please notify the breeder, if available, before surrendering to rescue. All good, responsible breeders will want to take back any dog they've bred, regardless of age, for the privelege of placing that dog in a suitable new home themselves."

They are correct. But it is you, the owner, that has to do the right thing.

In my thirty years of breeding I have gotten back six adult dogs; coincidentally two in this last week of February 2014. One of these returns had a happy ending, the other didn't. This is ...


Last Sunday I took back an almost-eight-year-old Airedale who has now gone to his third loving home. He was given up by his first owner at age five, due to the owners illness and his inability to care for him. I found him another wonderful home. Unfortunately illness struck again. His new owner was a single Mom with an elderly live-in mother. The mother had a stroke and her daughter instantly became a care giver as well as a working mom. This second time around, the Airedale was not with me long enough for him to dry from his grooming and bath, before his new family showed up to meet and immediately adopt him. I spoke with them today and they are thrilled with him. This Airedale's three owners are a perfect example of 'the right thing to do'! Ironically the Airdale's first name was 'Lucky'.

'Lucky' with his third family, Clark and Linda Van Orden. (They've chosen to call him 'Kelvin', the name his second owner gave him.)
Bender's story will break your heart.

First I would like to thank Cindy Johnstonbaugh for picking up Bender. I've worked with Delaware Valley Rescue and know how indispensable foster care givers are. When Cindy took possession of Bender, she could see that he had not been groomed in at least six months. He stank, was filthy dirty, had hot spots, and had a mass on his right hind leg near his rectum. Cindy said there was no sign of toys or a dog bed in the home; all she was given was a metal tin of dry food and his vet records.

One of Bender's active hotspots. It had been bleeding freely when I picked him up and before I groomed him and treated it.
As soon as I got Bender home Friday, up on the grooming table he went. To my horror as I clipped away several inches of hair, the mass grew in size. It was bigger than a baseball and then some, and the anus was definitely involved. After he was nice and clean and, I'm sure, feeling better than he had in a long time, he walked into my house and instantly got along with everyone; both humans and my dog pack of six. Bender was a sweet, gentle, loving dog.

I had made a vet appointment for Bender Wednesday evening but after spending the night with him, I realized he needed to be seen sooner. Thankfully we got an appointment for 11:15 Saturday morning.

Bender's tumor viewed from the back. It is clear he can no longer completely control his stool.
When the vet saw the mass as Bender stood on the scale she said "Oh my god, that's huge". During the examination there was no option for surgery as she said the anus would have to be removed. The internal exam confirmed that the mass on the inside was almost as big as the mass on the outside. She also confirmed that it had to be very uncomfortable for the dog, and he had feces running out of his rectum.

Bender's tumor from the side. How could an owner ignore this?
We all made the decision to end his suffering. He died in my arms. I cannot tell you how heartbroken I was that a beautiful, sweet puppy I sold to someone almost ten years ago, could have been neglected like this over such a long period.

The owner told Cindy she realized she should have given him up five years ago when she got divorced because she really didn't have the money to care for him.

When we studied the medical records in detail we found that on 3/25/2010 Bender's tumor was first reported to the vet as having been there "for 3-6 months." But his tumor was not removed until 4/11/2011, thirteen months later! On 10/27/2011 he was back "lethargic ... seems painful in hips." On 1/26/2012 he was back at the vet again, and there was "stool stuck to tail." On 9/20/2013 Bender was back again. The vet noted that the "mass ... removed several years ago has returned within the last 1.5 years" and that the "rectal mass [is] pressing on the left anal area."

At this point Bender's vet record is annotated "client asks we not call for update because she sleeps during day and PM is full. She will call us if there's a problem."

That was the last visit Bender had with a vet until I brought him to my veterinarian five months later on 2/22/2014.


I could have re-homed Bender five years ago with a caring owner who would have addressed the tumor issue long before it got to the point of no return. I keep in touch with all of my puppy buyers, at the very least with a Christmas card every year. But this family moved and never contacted me with their new address and phone number. The daughter e-mailed me on January 23, 2014. I called her back on the 24th and told her I absolutely would take the dog back. The daughter emailed me twice more, but never let me know where they lived. In the last email I was simply informed the owner had "made other arrangements."

Perhaps the owners had become embarrassed at the thought of returning Bender to his breeder in the state to which he had deteriorated.

Thankfully, I was able to learn of Bender's whereabouts by posting an APB on Facebook. Cindy contacted me immediately that she was about to take possession of a ten year old Airedale. It turned out to be Bender and I took responsibility for him. His last vet visit, euthenasia, and cremation cost me $145.

I am grateful that it was me he was the last to see, that I held him, spoke softly to him, and let my tears flow freely as he slipped away. At the very end he was loved. I did what the owners could not bring themselves to do; the right thing!

If you ever find yourself unable to care for your Airedale. Please, PLEASE, in memory of Bender, make the Bender promise, and contact me for help. I am only a phone call away.

Groomed, cared for and loved, Carol and Bender during his last visit to the vet.

Bringing Home My Airedale Puppy

You are welcome to visit anytime before or after the puppies are born. I do not evaluate the puppies before seven to eight weeks.

I try to match the puppy to the family that is purchasing it. I have spent eight weeks with the puppies and know their personalities and idiosyncrasies. If I have two or more puppies I think will suit your life style, you certainly can chose from them.


You need to have your house puppy-proofed, have a crate, food and a leash.


The same as you would if you had a baby. Make sure all clothes, shoes, toys etc. are picked up. Puppies will chew on anything, so make sure the puppy is not unsupervised where there are any electrical cords (such as a lamp cord). Use baby gates to keep your puppy in specified areas, and crate your puppy when you are not at home.


It is wise to buy a single crate with a divider panel that can be moved as the puppy grows. The average adult Airedale will need a crate 24” wide X 36” long X 27” high. A folding wire crate is ideal as you can fold it up and take it anywhere with you.


When you pick up your puppy, you will get eight cups of the puppy's current food (which is a chicken and rice formula equivalent to Eukanuba). You can choose to keep the puppy on the food I have provided or switch to another brand.


A six-foot nylon or cotton-web lead is ideal.

When you pick up your puppy you will receive the Amber-Aire ‘Puppy-Pack’ including the following items: •

• Your AKC application to register your puppy

• The puppies shot record

• Information on vaccination do and don’ts

• A collar

• A box of Iams puppy biscuits

• A toy

• Eight cups of puppy food.

Your puppy will have had its first set of shots and have been examined by a licensed veterinarian. You will get the puppies shot records in your puppy pack.


‘OFA’ stands for the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Your puppy’s parents have been OFA rated. An OFA rating of Excellent, Good or Fair means that the parent is free of hip dysplasia. The number and age the parents were ex-rayed will be on your AKC papers, immediately after the name of both sire and dam.

The Pennsylvania Dog Purchaser Protection Act gives you specific rights and obligations with respect to the purchase of your puppy.

The Pennyslvania Attorney General provides a set of questions and answers entitled "Facts For Purchasers - Dog Purchaser Protection", here.

You can read the complete statute, #201-9.3 Dog purchaser protection, here.

The Pennyslvania Attorney General summarizes the Dog Purchaser Protection Act as follows:

Dog Purchaser Protection Act

Dogs can be our dearest friends. That's why the unwitting purchase of an unhealthy pet can be so devastating. In an effort to ensure that consumers buying a dog in Pennsylvania know their new pet has a clean bill of health, Pennsylvania's dog sellers and breeders must now post a visible notice that informs consumers of their rights under the state's Dog Purchaser Protection Act, also known as the "Puppy Lemon Law". Sellers and breeders must also provide a written copy of the consumer's rights at the time of the sale.

[1] A seller shall provide you with a health record for the dog at the time of sale. The health record must contain information as required by the Law.

[2] The seller shall provide a health certificate issued by a veterinarian within 21 days prior to the date of sale OR a guarantee of good health issued and signed by the seller. The health certificate and the guarantee of good health must contain information as required by the Law.

[3] To preserve your rights under the Law, you must take your newly purchased dog to a licensed veterinarian for examination within 10 days of purchase. If a veterinarian determines, within 10 days of purchase, that your dog is clinically ill or has died from an injury sustained or illness likely to have been contracted on or before the date of sale and delivery, you have the following options:

[3a] Return the dog for a complete refund;

[3b] Return the dog for a replacement dog of equal value; OR

[3c] Retain the dog and receive reimbursement for reasonable veterinary fees, not exceeding the purchase price. These options do not apply where a seller, who has provided a health certificate issued by a veterinarian, discloses in writing at the time of sale the health problem for which the buyer later seeks to return the dog.

[4] If, within 30 days of purchase, a licensed veterinarian determines that your dog has a congenital or hereditary defect which adversely affects the animal's health or that your dog died from a congenital or hereditary defect, you have the same options as outlined in Section 3 (above).

[5] Within 2 business days of a veterinarian's certification of your dog's illness, defect or death, you must notify the seller of the name, address and telephone number of the examining veterinarian. Failure to notify the seller within 2 business days will result in forfeiture of rights.

[6] Refunds or reimbursements shall be made no later than 14 days after the seller receives the veterinarian certification. Veterinarian certification shall be presented to the seller not later than 5 days after you receive it.

[7] Registerable Dogs: If the seller does not provide within 120 days all documentation to effect registration,you may exercise one of the following options:

[7a] Return the dog and receive a full refund of the purchase price; OR

[7b] Retain the dog and receive a 50% refund of the purchase price.

[8] If registerable, the seller shall provide at the time of sale: the breeder's name and address, the name and registration number of the dam and sire, and the name and address of the pedigree registry organization where the dam and sire are registered.

Dog Owner Safety Tips