Airedale Terrier History
The Airedale was developed in middle of the 1800s in Yorkshire England to control the otter and rat populations in the Valley of the Aire River and as useful multi-purposed breed for the common yorkshiremen as most could not afford separate breeds for separate purposes such as a smaller terrier for ground work and the large and powerful Otterhound for water work.
The breed first appeared to have been crosses from the now extinct Broken Coated Olde English Black and Tan Terriers (Common Ancestor of most all the english rough coated terrier breeds) for the fearless and incredible cognitive ability of the Terrier and the Otterhound. The otterhound improved on the Broken Coated Terrier’s scent and swimming ability while also provided a dog of substantial power and water resistant coat. It has been said that several other breeds were used to add and improve on endurance and durability with the addition of Collie with its trainability and Olde English Bull Terrier - extinct (Predecessor to most Staffordshire type bull terrier) for its protective abilities.
By the late 1800s the Airedale Terrier (Also known as the Bingley, Waterside, and Working Terrier) the breed was quickly gaining popularity in England as it was a Town and Country dog just like today. In the early 1900s the breed came to America where the breed became the popular dog in the country through the 1920s as they were popular with Thedore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, William Harding whose dog Laddie Boy became the first White House Celebrity Pet with several news articles and I believe even a gossip column.
Airedales served the United States and our Allies well in both World Wars as a field messenger, risking life and limb to cross battlelines. It has been said that over 3,000 Airedales lost their lives in the trenches. Around the same time the Airedale had gained quite the gaming reputation. It appears there was an article written regarding an Airedale that President Teddy Roosevelt had chosen to accompany him on a big game safari in Africa. This article fueled the demand in the early 1900s and America fell in love with breed over and over again. The Airedale spread across the country and has developed urban legends in all corners o f the map. In Texas, the old timers talk of Airedales bear hunting in New Mexico and Coyote hunting on the plains.
Fame, however, has its downsides and the Airedale grew so popular that little care was taken in the breeding choices. This is very similar to today when we think of our current top 10 popular dog breeds. Currently the dog breed with the most attack records is the Golden Retreiver. When a breed becomes popular – people begin to breed for profit and notwithstanding anything else breed inferior dogs to inferior dogs without even goals for the next generation other than to sell and make a buck. The Airedale is ranked in the 40s to 50s of over 150 breeds on average. Protecting the breed has been a labor of love for countless Airedale breeders that are breeding for proper temperament over several generations. The Airedale of today is happy and clownish and great with families and loves kids. The breed still has the instinct to protect their family and your home as well as a great hunter while gladly obeying the commands of your toddler.
The DogwoodDale Airedale Type:
It is our goal to breed Airedales true to Mooreland and Ouachita Types that most resemble in look and size to Airedale from the 1920s with classic Airedale personality -Clownish, Intelligent, devoted, sweet, strong, terrier. The Airedale is an "always at hand" dog and thus it seems naturally fitting the dog should be near the height of a mans hand - we do not breed large Airedales for the sake of being large or in any way violating the breeds conformation, agility, movement - we look to improve the next generation while preserving and protecting the best Airedale. The personality we are looking for: bubbly, happy, gentle, endearing, sweet, protective when justified, eager to please, easy to train, eager to hunt and work, water loving dog with their owner as first priority. Not always whats in fashion; although we may show, we don't breed for excessively small dogs, nor those with the above narrow shaped "show head", neither those Airedales which lack in size and power to fulfill the breeds historical and original purpose an everyman's versatile multi-sportsdog. Many dogs of this style of breeding of done well in the show ring especially in other countries outside the US. Similarly, this is the American (and in our opinion - the best!) version of the German and Russian Airedales used for Schutzhund competitions. The coat should be harsh, wiry, with even and full furnishings that are not excessive. The coat should dry very quickly and be maintainable.
Airedale Terrier Breeder Divisions
There are many sects in the Airedale community (as with religion, politics, etc) in regards to the future of the breed. Most notable item of contention is size and whether the dog should follow its other terrier cousins and become just another show dog, or should we protect the working legacy of the breed. Whatever side Airedale breeders are on, we hope we all share one common goal - preserving the incredible Airedale personality and whether your dog is a 45 lb show dog or 90 lb Oorang Airedale, if proper training practices are utilized, it will be playful, sweet, and smart.