Breed Differences

This is a question I get a lot: Can you describe the differences between breeds? This is a tricky question because wrapped up into every dogs unique disposition is breed traits, sex (hormones if they aren’t fixed), personality, how they have been treated/trained. So keep that in mind as I answer below. Just like people everyone is unique and different, but every breed has characteristics that ring true throughout most in their breed.

Below are some of the differences I have seen in my experience. Because all 3 of these breeds are not a super common breed, we are blessed to have met more Airedale, Welsh and Lakeland terriers than a large number of people ever meet in their entire lives.

Please utilize the magical powers of the internet as well! Be sure and check out as they have pages for each breed, along with breed standards.

General Personality

These 3 breeds are SO SO similar!! I feel that Airedales especially are know for their comedic personality. We have had Airedales the longest and have had more Airedales in my lifetime than any other breed. They are a breed that you have for life! We were EXTREMELY nervous when we got our first Welshs and Lakelands, but WOW we have been BEYOND THRILLED with all 3 breeds. We are in love with them! Each breed, but most importantly each individual dog!! ANYHOW, I say that because I get A LOT of Airedale people looking for a “smaller” Airedale. SO FROM THE MOUTH OF A ONCE “AIREDALE ONLY” FAMILY: DON’T BE AFRAID, ALL 3 OF THESE BREEDS ARE AMAZING AND WILL NOT DISAPPOINT!!

All 3 of these breeds have humorous, ornery, brilliant, stubborn, comical, human-like personalities! It can be challenging to try to describe the differences between these 3 breeds. They are all going to have the core characteristics associated with their breed. However, just like human siblings born from the same parents will share core traits, they also will have their own unique personalities and characteristics. So keep that in mind below, I am trying to describe core traits, not individual characteristics.

One of the main differences I have noticed is that Welsh’s and Lakelands both have a little bit of that “small dog personality” that Airedales don’t have, but it actually seems to sort of all even out due to the size differences. They both do more barking than Airedales typically do though (Airedales definitely can LEARN to bark more from other barking dogs). Another thing that I have noticed, Welsh & Lakeland puppies are definitely higher energy puppies than the Airedales! Believe it or not! But again that’s definitely something that sort of evens out because of size. A 4 month old Welsh or Lakeland might have more energy, but she can’t jump up and reach what is on the counters like a 4 month old Airedale could.

Keep in mind that terriers were bred to hunt varmints, they have instincts to hunt and go after critters! They DEFINITELY can be taught not to go after cats and other animals, but you have to realize that instinct is there and be prepared to teach them this and ideally expose them to other animals as puppies. Lots of past buyers have cats and other animals. I myself have cats and other animals, some of the dogs actually enjoy them verses just tolerating them. Also keep in mind, terriers are TERRIERS, they are sometimes little TERRORS! :) All 3 breeds are brilliantly smart!! Actually probably too smart for their own britches! You will catch yourself laughing at all 3 breeds, at the ornery things they do and the looks they give you (that famous terrier head tilt) and the things they do! Terriers, being so smart and active can also be very independent, so it’s important for a terrier owner to establish they are the alpha. Also, all 3 breeds can get bored easily, and can get rowdy and destructive if they don’t get enough exercise and mental stimulation. You TRULY cannot go wrong with any of these 3 breeds.

Airedales: Funny, affectionate, Intelligent, protective, courageous, ornery, goofy, human-like, watchful, endearing, playful, energetic, and confident 

Welsh: Spunky, fun, brilliant, playful, spirited, courageous, alert, headstrong, charming, amusing, fearless, curious, sweet, devoted and hardy

Lakeland: Persistent, friendly, confident, playful, energetic, adventurous, entertaining, brave, lively, irresistible, curious, independent, loving, peppy and loyal      

If you are interested in a more detailed understanding of each breed’s personality, please visit their respective pages on our website. These pages include information on Airedale Terriers, Welsh Terriers, and Lakeland Terriers.

It’s important to note that in addition to breed-specific traits, an individual dog’s personality, training, socialization, and environment all play a role in their behavior. I’ve had dogs of the same breed with vastly different personalities – from calm and caring companions who could be trusted around infants, to outgoing and energetic goofballs who need careful supervision around babies.. It’s essential to remember that not all dogs of the same breed are the same, even if you’ve had a dog of that breed before. Each dog is an individual with their own distinct personality.

General Breed Qualitites


Airedale: About 65-70 lbs.

Welsh: About 20-25 lbs.

Lakeland: About 15-18 lbs.


Airedale: Generally Black & Tan

Welsh: Generally Black & Tan

Lakeland: A variety of colors. AKC recognizes 12 different colors including solid and saddled colors

Life Span:

Airedale: 10-13 Years

Welsh: 12-15 Years

Lakeland: 12-16 Years

All 3 breeds are hypoallergenic and non-shedding

Informational Links

General Size Comparison

Adult Airedale Terrier

About 65-70 lbs.
airedale breed size chart

Adult Welsh Terrier

About 20-25 lbs.
welsh breed size chart

Adult Lakeland Terrier

About 15-18 lbs.
lakeland breed size chart