WHY THE AIREDALE IS POPULAR
The recent record-breaking entry at the Philadelphia and New York Airedale terrier specialty shows, as well as the large entry seen at most of the larger all-breed shows in the Airedale terrier classes, has called forth a great amount of optimistic talk among the fanciers about this type of wire-haired dog. The puppy classes seen at the late shows also have brought forth a great deal of praise for the skill of the American breeders. This popularity of the Airedale is not undeserved and the claim made for it that "an Airedale can do anything any other dog can do and then lick the other dog" is also practically true. For the man who desires a good all-around dog as a companion, or those who wish to combine sporting instincts with a strong, medium sized, hardy dog that can be utilized as a guard, there is no breed which can equal the Airedale.
Much has been written on the composition of blood which flows in the veins of this useful breed, and summarized it can be said that it is composed largely of the otter hound, from which came the size. bone, color and voice, with a judicious mixture of the terrier tribe, chiefly the old English or rat-catcher's terrier, which gave it the ears and hard coat, while the Irish terrier evidently played a strong part in the development of the head. Some writers claim that various sporting breeds, such as the retriever, setter, sheep dog and Bedlington terrier, were used to enhance the sporting value of the breed.
The dog was first bred somewhere about 1840, with the object of producing a large, hardy, game and fearless hunting dog of the terrier type for use in the fast flowing streams of the valleys of the Aire and Wharfe in Yorkshire. His show career began about 1875, under the name of Waterside terrier, and about four years later matters had progressed to such an extent that a club was formed, known as the Airedale and Old English Terrier Club, as a guide for breeders. This club fixed the size of the dog as forty to fifty-five pounds for dogs and thirty to fifty pounds for bitches. In 1881 the name of the breed was changed to Airedale terrier and a place in the stud book was given it in 1886. Since that time, by judicious breeding to a standard of type, the present-day show Airedale has been perfected, but although working for a certain degree of perfection in the show ring the breed has lost but little of its adaptability as a sporting dog and guard, and retains in a marked degree its hardy constitution, coupled with good manners.
The Airedale terrier can be taught to do the work of thi sheep dog, can be trained to the gun; some strains, being wonderfully soft mouthed, arc perfect water dogs, and for war purposes are largely used by the allied armies. These dogs deserve in every way the popularity that has been accorded them, and that this popularity is increasing is evidenced by the number seen at the late shows and especially the number of young American breeds seen.
The principal shows for the Airedale are those held by the three specialty clubs, viz., the Airedale Terrier Club of America, which brings out an entry of 100 to 150 dogs, and where a win is the goal at which breeders aim; the Philadelphia Airedale Terrier Club, a show which is well patronized, as Philadelphia and suburbs of that city are a hotbed for Airedale breeders, and the Western Airedale Terrier Club, whose show in Chicago is always a big one, as some of the largest kennels of terriers in America are situated in and near Chicago.
To show how really modern the breed is, all one has to do is to mention that the dog which practically decided the type of the present Airedale, Champion Cholmondeley Briar, was born in 1890 and died in 19x33, and his son. Briar Test, died in Canada less than ten years ago. Other leading lights in the making of the Airedale ot to-day were Bruce, Airedale Jerry, Brush, Coinr Crack. Wharfedale Rush, Rustic Twig and Rustic Kitty. Enough has been said to show that for a one-man dog the Airedale stands out above the other breeds as the most suitable in point of size, shape, coat, color and all-around usefulness; his long, well-shaped, expressive head; bright, dark eyes; good shoulders; dark weather resisting jacket, and grand legs and feet, all combining to form a dog that one should be proud to own.
Fur, News. Fur News, January 1916.
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