Irish Terrier vs Airedale Terrier: What are the Differences?

Written by Emmanuel Kingsley
Published: July 20, 2022
© Rita_Kochmarjova/Shutterstock.com
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The Airedale Terrier and the Irish Terrier are both members of the Canidae family and they share the scientific name “Canis lupus” with other dog breeds. While it is true that both dogs have loads of similarities, they also differ from each other in a number of ways. In this article, we’ll be looking closely at both animals to see how they differ from each other. 

Comparing the Irish Terrier vs Airedale Terrier 

Irish Terriers and Airedale Terriers differ in size, life expectancy, and common health issues, among others.

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Irish TerrierAiredale Terrier
SizeHeight: 18-20 inches
Weight: 25-27 pounds
Length: 21-24 inches
Weight: 55-65 lbs
Appearance Red wiry coat(sometimes dark) and fiery look. Medium-sized with brown, black, and ton colors; square-shaped body. 
Diet Omnivorous; proteinous foods with taurine and carrots.Omnivorous; foods with high fish oil and glucosamine content
Lifespan 11-13 years9-12 years
Common Health IssuesObesity, hyperkeratosis, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and muscular dystrophy Hip dysplasia, bloat, Von Willebrand’s disease, progressive retinal atrophy  
Behavior and Temperament Animated, great with children, curious, intelligent, and sometimes reckless/stubborn.  Playful, friendly, wary of strangers 

Major Differences Between The Irish Terrier and the Airedale Terrier

The major differences between the Irish Terrier and the Airedale Terrier include size, life expectancy as well as common health issues, among others. We’ll be going into more detail about these differences below. 

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Irish Terrier Vs Airedale Terrier: Size

Irish Terrier running out of flower bush
The Irish Terrier is about 18-20 inches tall and weighs between 25-27 pounds.

©iStock.com/Svetlana Evgrafova

The Irish Terrier and the Airedale Terrier differ in size and you can tell from just getting a side-by-side view of both breeds. The Irish Terrier is about 18-20 inches tall and weighs between 25-27 pounds. The Airedale Terrier, on the other hand, is 21-24 inches tall and weighs between 55-65 pounds, which makes it the superior breed in terms of size and weight.

Irish Terrier Vs Airedale Terrier: Appearance

Airedale Terrier in the park
Airedale Terriers boast a towering height and a square body with a brown coat featuring shades of black and tan.

©Dora Zett/Shutterstock.com

Besides significant differences in height and weight, the Irish Terrier and the Airedale Terrier also differ in appearance. The Irish Terrier has a red, wiry coat, a fiery look, and floppy ears that may look like boneless horns when they sit. As for Airedale Terriers, they boast a towering height and a square body with a brown coat featuring shades of black and tan. 

Irish Terrier Vs Airedale Terrier: Diet

The Irish Terrier and the Airedale Terrier have a fundamentally similar diet, in that they are both omnivorous. However, given their status as pure-bred dogs, both breeds have different foods specially tailored to their individual needs. 

Irish Terriers need about 1-1.5 cups of dry dog food which should ideally be spread over two meals per day. However, these dogs come in different sizes and may not need the same level of feeding, so you might want to consult trusted experts. Our research shows the best dog food for the Irish Terrier is the Wellness Core RawRev Wholesome Grains Small Breed Original Recipe. This is because the presence of the high protein content makes for great muscle building. Also, the taurine and carrots help preserve the dog’s sight by ensuring it remains at a top level for long. 

Airedale Terriers need between 1.5-2.5 cups of dry dog food every day to be spread over two meals. They are also comfortable with mixes of wet and dry foods, particularly ones with fish oil and glucosamine. Since they are prone to allergies, some individuals may not be able to feed on just any dog food, which is why it is important to consult with experts. From our end, we would recommend the Canidae Pure Goodness Limited Ingredient Dog Food. Among other things, the food has no fillers and additives; corn and wheat are also absent to avoid irritation. What the dog gets from the Canidae Pure Goodness food is top-tier ingredients with plenty of vitamins and antioxidants. 

On the whole, Irish terriers and Airedale Terriers are omnivorous breeds but they have distinct foods based on their builds and peculiarities. 

Irish Terrier Vs Airedale Terrier: Lifespan

Irish terrier playing with ball
The Irish Terrier has an average lifespan of 11-13 years.

©Rita_Kochmarjova/Shutterstock.com

Irish Terriers and Airedale Terriers also have different average life expectancies. The Irish Terrier has an average lifespan of 11-13 years while the Airedale Terrier lives for about 9-12 years on average. So, as far as lifespan is concerned, Irish terriers are slightly superior to Airedale Terriers. We must, however, mention that how long these breeds will end up living depends largely on how well they are taken care of. 

Irish Terrier Vs Airedale Terrier: Common Health Issues

Like most other dog breeds, Irish Terriers and Airedale Terriers struggle with certain health defects. Irish Terriers are mostly prone to health problems like muscular dystrophy, cataracts, hyperkeratosis, obesity, and progressive retinal atrophy. Airedale Terriers, on the other hand, often struggle with hip dysplasia, bloat, allergies, Von Willebrand’s disease, and also progressive retinal atrophy. 

Irish Terrier Vs Airedale Terrier: Behavior And Temperament

airedale terrier puppy laying the grass
The Airedale Terrier is very playful, trainable, intelligent, and curious.

©Lenkadan/Shutterstock.com

Although Irish Terriers and Airedale Terriers have many similarities in their behavior and temperament, there are some differences. The Irish Terrier has certain qualities including playfulness, curiosity, and sharp alertness. They are also intelligent, trainable, and reasonably suspicious of strangers and strange situations, which makes them excellent guard dogs. On the flip side, they can be stubborn, imprudent, and may get feisty with other dogs. 

The Airedale Terrier is also very playful, trainable, intelligent, and curious. They can get very destructive when they are bored by way of barking, chewing, and digging in places where they aren’t supposed to be. They are also very wary of strangers and would make great guard dogs. 

Irish Terrier Vs Airedale Terrier: Availability and Cost 

The Irish Terrier and the Airedale Terrier are originally from Ireland and the United Kingdom respectively and both breeds are very much available, even beyond Europe and North America. Irish Terriers cost between $600-$1000 and owners may spend over $500 yearly on feeding, grooming, and other things. 

Airedale Terriers, however, cost between $500-$1500 and the puppies are more expensive than adult ones. Experts say owners may have to spend more than $100 monthly to take proper care of Airedale Terriers. 

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The Featured Image

Irish terrier laying on dock with tongue out
The Irish terrier has a surprisingly easy coat to maintain.
© Rita_Kochmarjova/Shutterstock.com

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