Airedale Terrier Health Issues | How To Find a Healthy Puppy (2024)

An adult Airedale Terrier lying outside on green grass.

Airedale Terriers have an interesting look, and they are very energetic, social, and loyal. There are many reasons why these dogs are such popular pets.

Airedale Terriers can suffer from illnesses and health problems that may affect their quality of life.

It’s important for Airedale Terrier owners to be aware of these health problems so they can ensure their dogs receive the proper veterinary care.

What health problems do Airedale Terriers have? Airedale Terriers are susceptible to certain health problems such as cancer, hip and elbow dysplasia, allergies, digestive problems, dental issues, and heart problems. An comprehensive health check can rule out any predisposition to these health problems and others. 

If you have an Airedale Terrier or are thinking about welcoming one to your family, read on to learn more about health issues that are associated with this breed.

Airedale Terrier Health Issues

Airedale Terriers are a fairly healthy breed, but they are susceptible to digestive issues, dental issues, and allergies. The breed is also known to suffer from the following:


Cancer is the most common cause of death in Airedale Terriers.

They are most likely to suffer from skin cancer, but other cancers, such as those that affect the bloodstream and lymph nodes, and tumors that can grow on their internal organs have been seen as well. 

Eye Issues

Airedale Terriers are also prone to certain eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy.

Some Airedale Terriers are also known to have eyelash abnormalities that can cause vision problems.

Heart Conditions

This breed is often susceptible to cardiomyopathy, which affects the muscles of the heart, as well as pulmonic stenosis or a leaky heart valve.

These heart problems can affect each dog differently, and while some may only experience minor problems, these heart conditions can be fatal in others if left untreated.

Orthopedic Issues

Hip dysplasia is common in Airedale Terriers, and about 11% of them will suffer from this problem. Hip dysplasia can cause lethargy, pain, and arthritis if left untreated but can be corrected with surgery.

Elbow dysplasia can occur as well and cause mobility issues if not treated.

Thyroid Conditions

Airedale Terriers are prone to different thyroid conditions. These conditions can affect their weight, appetites, and energy levels.

Most can be treated and controlled with medication, but some may require surgery.

Kidney Disease

Some Airedale Terriers can inherit a disease called juvenile renal disease, which is a type of kidney disease that can be fatal if left untreated. It can be controlled with proper medication.

An Airedale Terrier puppy running across the grass.

How To Make Sure You’re Buying a Healthy Puppy

If you are planning on buying a puppy, you want to make sure you choose a healthy one. Here are some ways you can do that.

Find a Reputable Breeder

Always buy your puppy from a reputable breeder. If possible, talk to people who have purchased puppies from this breeder to see if their puppy is healthy and doing well.

You also want to make sure the breeder has a clean and safe facility and will ensure your puppy has all his vaccines before you take him home.

Ask To Meet the Parents

The health of the parents of your puppy can tell you a lot about your puppy’s health.

Ask to see the parents so you can tell if the parents are healthy or if there are any health problems that may be cause for concern.

Also note the temperament of the parents to give you an idea of what to expect with your new pup.

Evaluate the Puppies’ Living Conditions

If the puppy comes from a facility that is not cleaned properly or does not have adequate space, he could be more likely to become sick or suffer from health problems.

Always inspect the facility to ensure it is clean and acceptable.

Ask To See Health Screenings

You can always ask your breeder to provide health screenings or proof of veterinary checks for the parents and the puppy.

Reputable breeders will always have the parent dogs tested for genetic issues prior to breeding to eliminate the risk of inheritable diseases being passed on to the puppies.

You can also ask for shot records if you are worried that your puppy may not be up to date on their vaccines.

Evaluate the Behavior & Overall Health of Puppies

Before you choose a puppy to bring home, watch the litter carefully to see how they act and to get an idea of their overall health.

Watch for puppies that are not playful, seem lethargic, or have obvious health issues. Make sure the puppy you choose appears healthy, active, gentle, and social.

Related Question:

Are Airedale Terriers Hypoallergenic?

Airedale Terriers are considered hypoallergenic. They do not shed often, and they don’t drool too much. They also produce less dander.

Even though Airedale Terriers are considered hypoallergenic, it doesn’t mean they are completely allergy free as the breed can develop allergies to food and environmental triggers.


Airedale Terriers have an adorable appearance, and although they are large dogs, they are very social and love to cuddle with their owners.

Unfortunately, they are prone to certain health problems just like all purebred dogs.

Understanding these health problems will ensure your dog receives the proper medical care and has a better chance of living a long, healthy life.