A healthy Airedale will be approximately 22-24 inches at the shoulder. Beware of breeders boasting that they breed extra large or “Oorang” Airedales. To purposefully breed a dog outside of the breed standard is rarely ethical in our opinion, and demands an exceptionally well informed breeder with a specific purpose and exceptionally high breeding standards (rather than selecting breeding stock based primarily on size in order to breed with one focus: size).
“Oorang” Airedales trace their lineage to the lowest point in the history of the breed: During the 1930’s Airedales were the number one breed in America and England. In the American southwest, Airedales were bred on farm in large quantities, as this type of breeding continued to meet the demand popularity created, Airedales of that decade became larger, developed aggressive tenancies, and began exhibiting genetic problems. Generations of careful breeding and relative unpopularity have returned the Airedale to the medium-large, even-tempered, working-minded, healthy dog the original nineteenth century breeders intended.
Dogs sold as “Oorang” Airedales today are often descended from those extra-large, poorly bred dogs of the 1930’s and may carry the genetics that cause the medical and behavioral problems that are all but extinct from today’s Airedales bred to standard by responsible breeders.
“Oorangs” Airedales are not infrequently surrendered to rescue. If you have you heart set on a larger Airedale, consider adoption.