Let’s Talk Breed Education!
D E TA I L S T H AT MAT T E R — E X P R E S S I ON TERRIER AIREDALE
BY APRIL CLYDE
I t is in the details that breed type is stamped on Terriers, and Airedale Terrier aficionados place great emphasis on expression as an essential breed-specific characteristic. As noted by Gladys Edwards Brown (GEB) in her hallmark book, The Complete Airedale, “Expression is a combination of several factors: size, shape, color and placement of the eyes; size and carriage of the ears; together with the general shape of the head and it is sparked by the glow with- in.” The physical components of expression can be examined individ- ually and then united with the spark from true Terrier temperament. First, examining the eye, it is interesting to note that descriptions of the proper eye are almost unchanged from early written standards of the breed. For example, in All About Airedales (Palmer, 1911), the author quotes an early Airedale Terrier breed standard, which was published in Dogs of All Nations in 1905. The standard specifies, “Eyes – small, dark in color, not prominent but full of terrier expression.” Amazingly, the current AKC Airedale Terrier Standard uses almost the exact same words: “Eyes – should be dark, small, not prominent, full of terrier expression, keenness and intelligence.” Over the years, other authors have added additional words, to paint a more detailed picture. It has been stated that the eyes should be full of fire and have a fierce, keen-eyed gaze known as the “look of eagles.” Others have described the expression as “hard-bitten,” with the dog seeming to look right through you. The Airedale Terrier’s official standard does not include information about the shape of the eye, but experts have noted that the eye should not be round. GEB writes, “Rather they are oval, sometimes giving a somewhat trian- gular appearance, but not so exaggerated as the Bull Terrier.” The Airedale Terrier Club of America’s Illustrated Standard describes the eye as “almond.” While descriptions of shape vary, the elements of “small and dark”—and the nearer to black the better—are consis- tent. It should be noted that perception of the color and shape of the eyes can be altered by the presence of dark pigmentation or “mascara” around the eye, which makes the eye look larger. The look of eagles or the hard-bitten expression that authors mention is not a physical characteristic, but is the intense gaze and alertness of a Terrier with proper temperament. It is best observed when the Airedale is looking at another dog; just one more of the many reasons for judges to spar Airedale Terriers!
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THE AIREDALE TERRIER: DETAILS THAT MATTER - EXPRESSION
The ears, too, play a large part in creating the Airedale Terrier expression. Again, current descriptions of the proper ear are consistent with early written remarks. In books from the 1900s, the ear is described as small, but not out of pro- portion to the size of the dog; V-shaped, carried close to the cheek, with the topline of the folded ear above the level of the skull. Today’s standard states, “Ears: Should be V-shaped with carriage rather to the side of the head, not pointing to the eyes, small but not out of proportion to the size of the dog. The topline of the folded ear should be above the level of the skull.” The ATCA Illustrated Standard reminds us that the ear is highly mobile, not fixed in a stationary position. The ear is best evaluated when two dogs face off against each other. When eyes and ears are not as described above, expression will appear atypical. One writer has noted, “Nothing can so distract from the correct terrier expression as large, light eyes and houndy ears.” The Airedale Terrier standard lists seven faults, and two are related to expression: “Yellow eyes, hound ears… faults which should be severely penalized.” The final component to proper Airedale Terrier expression is the “glow within” or true Airedale temperament. The Aire- dale should project an intelligent, steady, self-confident nature combined with keen awareness and interest in his surround- ings. We fanciers say, “He owns the ground he stands on.” He is not aggressive nor is he passive, but instead is ready for any action that comes his way. He should never be fearful, and in the show ring, he should recover quickly from any unusual occurrence such as a fence falling or tent flapping. When he faces another dog, his gaze should intensify and become hard- bitten. A soft or sad expression is improper, and if the Aire- dale you are examining “needs a hug” or has a gentle, pleading expression, look elsewhere for your winner! Correct Airedale expression is essential for breed type and for your BOB winner. It should be easy to spot the winner. He is standing on his own with head held high, ears breaking above the level of his skull and tight against his cheeks. His small, dark eyes are taking everything in and he’s projecting energy and confidence. While his owner has trained him to stand steady for examination, you can see his spirit on the spar. His expression reveals that he is the King of the Terriers!
April Clyde acquired her first Airedale in 1979. The dog was “just a pet” but she caused April’s love for the breed. April decided she would like to show Airedales as a hobby and purchased her first show potential pup from Harbor Hills Airedales in 1983. While “Carrie” didn’t work out as a show dog, April met very supportive fanciers in the local Airedale club, and she learned to trim, show, and breed. April’s original kennel name was Buckshot, and she owner-handled her dogs to their championships, a few Group One awards, and National Specialty Awards of Merit. She became very involved in club work, especially for the National Breed Club. In addition to holding several parent club offices, including President, April has been the ATCA Judges Education Chair for 20-plus years. April married Todd Clyde in 2003, and the couple established Longvue Airedales from the last remaining Buckshot females. After much hard work and a lovely import from Saredon Airedales, they began to establish a line of Airedale Terriers that excelled in the show ring and also produced outstanding family pets. April and Todd are proud that their line has produced multiple BIS winners; Westminster and National Specialty winners, and several #1-ranked Airedales. Many of their top dogs have been breeder/ owner-handled by Todd. April began judging dogs in 2006 and now judges the Terrier Group and many dogs in the Non-Sporting and Toy Groups. She’s retired from a long career as a healthcare executive and, between showing, judging, breeding and club work, she never has a spare moment!
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*AKC ALL BREED STATS AS OF 6/30/21
22 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY 2022
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY 2022 | 23
By Dianna G. Fielder Kyna’s Airedales
T he King of Terriers and a “Jack of all Trades” is the description of the Airedale Terrier. He is the largest of the Terrier Group and is a very stoic breed of dog. Th e Airedale can do many things from Hunting to just being a couch potato. Th e Airedale is not for everyone but for some he is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Th e Airedale has been in the United States since the 1881 and comes to us from the UK. He originates from England in the Valley of Aire region in West Riding, Yorkshire. Th e Airedale evolved some- time in the mid nineteenth Century. He is believed to be a cross between the Otter Hound, the Manchester the Ter- rier, the Wire Fox Terrier and possibly even the Bull Terrier. Th e factory workers and countryside farmers who could not a ff ord the expensive Hounds and Ter-
riers produced this dog originally called the Waterside Terrier as a working Terrier. Th e countryman did not have the luxury to own multiple dogs for all their needs so they had the Airedale; this is where the Airedale got his nickname “Jack of all Trades.” Th e Airedale was used to com- pete in the sport of water-rat matches. Th ese were regular Saturday events which were held along the Aire River where 2 Airedales, competing against each other, would work both sides of the River. Th e dogs would swim from one side of the riv- er to the other trying to locate live holes where the rats were. A dog would receive points for marking a live hole. Th en a fer- ret would be sent into the hole and force the rat out. Th e dog would then go after the rat, which usually hit the river. Th e rat would dive down and the dogs would swim around waiting for the rat to appear on the surface and then go after it. Points were also received for catching the rat and were doubled if the dog that marked the
hole also caught the rat. Many bets were placed by spectators at these social events. Th e Airedale’s size is approximately 23" at the shoulders, weighing from 55 to 60 lbs. for the males and slightly less for the females. Th e Airedale is not an extreme looking dog meaning everything is mod- erate on this dog. He is a square dog in proportion of length to height. He has a double-layered coat with a wiry top coat and a soft dense undercoat. He has a long head that is described to be the shape of a brick. He has an intense expression in his face. When he moves it should be e ff ort- less. Airedales have a moderate energy level and do need exercise of at least 1 to 2 hours a day and do best with a fenced yard. Th e Airedale is very stoic, therefore pay- ing attention to any changes in his behav- ior, is very important to his health and well being. You will not necessarily know he is ill until it too late, so when an Aire- dale seems not to feel well you need to seek medical assistance immediately.
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Airedales are considered medium main- tenance as far as grooming is concerned. With the wire coat they don’t mat and the coat doesn’t grow as fast as a soft coated dog. Th ey should be brushed once a week especially the legs and face and clipped 3 to 4 times a year. Since the breed is not a hot weather dog, being they are from a moderate climate in England, keeping them in short coat in the summer is a must. Many people let them go wooly in the winter since the breed loves to play out- doors in the cold and snowy weather. Airedales are clowns and do very funny things so a requirement of the owner is a sense of humor. Th is breed is also very intelligent therefore he is a bit of a challenge to train. An Airedale must have basic obedience training or they can become very di ffi cult to live with. Train- ing an Airedale should be fun and reward- ing to get the best results. Th e Airedale is very willing to work for you if they under- stand what is asked of them and can be a great asset to the family. Negative and hard correction type training will not work well on this breed.
Th ere are so many things you can do as activities with your Airedale. Bred to hunt and being good in the water makes hunt- ing a great activity for the breed. Aire- dales are now allowed to get hunt titles with AKC Spaniel tests. Th ere are many other competitive activities through AKC such as agility, obedience, conformation and lure coursing. Th ere are many other sports like barn hunting, dock diving, and frisbee competition. Hunting is a natual ability of the breed, so training them to participate in hunt trials is a wonderful way to do something with what this breed was bred for. Th ere are Spaniel trials all over the country and there are several groups that do hunting activi- ties with the Airedale. One is the Hunting Working Airedale Group (http://hunting- workingairedales.com) and the other is the Airedale Terrier Club of America Hunting and Field committee (www.airedale.org). Agility is not for everyone or every dog but many Airedales do quite well at it. It is also a way to keep you and your dog in shape and to have a well trained Aire- dale. It is a lot of fun running a course
with your dog going over, through and on to all kinds of obstacles. Training takes time but it’s a great way to become a team with your dog. It is also a great activity to meet many people that are involved with this exciting dog sport. Th ere are sev- eral groups in the country that involved in agility. Th e American Kennel Club (ht tp://www.akc .org/dog_ shows_t r i- als/agility/index.cfm) is one and United States Dog Agility Association is another (http://www.usdaa.com/). Competitive obedience is one where you go beyond the basic obedience and actually compete with your dog in obedience exer- cises. AKC holds trials in conjunction with dog shows all over the country. Rally obedi- ence is another type of obedience compe- tition but is not as di ffi cult as the regular obedience competition. It is a more relaxed environment. You walk a course, read signs at numbered stations and perform the obe- dience exercise at that sign. Lure coursing is a sport that Sight hounds have been doing for years and now the AKC has opened it up to all breeds. It is where the dog chases a lure on a pulley system around a field for
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600 yds. It is a timed event. Dogs with good prey drive will do well at this sport. Showing your dog in conformation is another activity. But this is not an easy thing to do with the Airedale because you need to know how to groom by hand stripping the dog. Th is is something that can be taught but it takes a lot of time and dedication. With the Airedale you can have a beautiful representation of the breed but if you don’t know how to trim it properly it will be hard to do well. Th ere are many Airedale breeders that can pos- sibly mentor you or you can hire a profes- sional handler to trim and show your dog for a fee. Airedales are great with normal day to day activities like running, hiking, walk- ing, going to the beach, take a ride to the park or just hanging out around the house. Th is breed is very versatile and just a great all around dog. Living with an Airedale can be a bit of a challenge, extremely entertaining and also very rewarding. An Airedale is not for everyone but for the right person this breed
is truly a Jack of All Trades and the King of Terriers.
o ffi ce. I taught obedience and agility for 15 years and have just recently retired from that night job. Raising dogs is a passion and I feel one must have that passion to do the best for their breed, for their bloodlines and for their dogs. I breed for health, brains, struc- ture, and a dog that meets the standard of breed as to what they were bred to do. And of course my breeding program is fueled by the passion for this wonderful breed.
I have had dogs all my life starting with a Collie but none fit me like the Airedale. I saw a wooly Black and Tan dog in the back of a pickup truck when I lived in
Alaska in 1978 and looked them up in a book (no Internet then) to see what breed it was. I was hooked. I got my first Aire- dale in 1982 and did obedience with her. I walked my first dog in the show ring in January 1985. My bloodlines are under the kennel name of Kyna’s. I have finished 40 Champions all but 2 I finished myself. I have agility, obedience, lure coursing and rally titled dogs as well as dogs that have been used for search and rescue, assistance, therapy for handicap and even a dog as a dental assistant in a pediatric dentist
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AIREDALE TERRIER THE
1. Where do you live? What is your occupation? How many years in dogs? 2. Do you have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? 3. What is it about the Airedale Terrier that makes the breed so appealing? 4. Can you speak to the breed’s versatility? Its trainability? 5. Do you compete in Performance Events with your dogs? 6. How much care does the Airedale’s coat require for the show ring? 7. Any suggestions when it comes to sparring in the ring? 8. What are some best practices for keeping an Airedale in good condition? 9. Any advice for someone thinking about sharing life with the “King of Terriers?” 10. Just for fun: Do you have a humorous tale you can tell about your experiences showing Airedales? 11. Is there anything else you’ d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. ANNE BARLOW I live in the Austin, Texas, area and currently own a boarding kennel. I’ve been in dogs for 40 years! The dogs (breeding, showing, judging) are an all encompass- ing part of my life. I do have many other interests that I wouldn’t consider hobbies. I’ve been a fan of horse racing since I was a little kid, love Astro’s baseball and all Baylor sports. What is it about the Airedale Terrier that makes the breed so appealing? For me it is their appearance, personality, size, and gameness. Can I speak to the breed’s versatility? It is a very versatile breed, but not every dog excels at every sport. I have competed with mine in conformation, agility, obedience, barn hunt, scent work, coursing ability, fast cat. I have also put CGCs and Trick Dog titles on several of mine. How much care does the Airedale’s coat require for the show ring? A lot! You’ve caught me at a time when I am conditioning two bitches for the shows. About 8-10 hours a week for both of them combined. Any suggestions when it comes to sparring in the ring? Every judge should spar this breed—I only take two at a time out and try and keep them three feet or so apart. What are some best practices for keeping an Airedale in good condition? Mine spend a great amount of time outside October- May. They are in rock hard condition as they are constantly up and down and they are out with three to four pack-mates at a time. But walking them is another option and they love to go where you do. Any advice for someone thinking about sharing life with the “King of Terriers?” Before you buy one, be sure you understand that this isn’t a Labrador or a Golden. Their daily motivations for doing everything is very different—they are independent thinkers and independent hunters. So while they are happy to make you happy it is often when they feel like it not necessarily when you want them to. But this is also a very individual trait. I’ve got several that are very easily trained and compliant. And a
couple that look at you when you tell them to do something like they are thinking, “I’ll get around to that when I feel like it.” I find mine are impossible to train as far as counter surfing. They know they aren’t supposed to do it and simply wait until I leave the kitchen. It doesn’t matter how many times they are caught in the act and corrected; they keep doing it. APRIL CLYDE I have lived continuously
with Airedale Terriers since 1979. Along with my hus- band, Todd Clyde, I have an active breeding program that has produced BIS winners; #1 Airedale Terriers in US and in England; Westminster winners; multiple successful performance dogs and count- less beloved family pets. I have served on the Airedale Terrier Club of America
Board for the past 23 years and have held numerous positions including President. I have been the breed JEC for about the last 20 years. In addition, I co-authored our most current Illustrated Breed Standard and led the development of the Airedale Terrier Versatility Award program. I served as an AKC Delegate for the California Airedale club for about five years. I am active in local all-breed clubs serving as Assistant Show Chair and an officer. I currently am an AKC conformation judge and I judge all Terrier breeds and four Non-Sporting breeds. I live in Selbyville, Delaware. I am retired from a 40-year career as a health care executive in 2017. I grew up with Poodles (all three sizes) as family pets and acquired my first Airedale Ter- rier in 1979. I have lived with Airedales continuously since then. I began exhibiting in conformation in about 1983 and bred my first litter in 1986. I began to judge the breed in 2006. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? I enjoy reading, traveling and playing poker. What is it about the Airedale Terrier that makes the breed so appealing? The blend of Terrier and Hound that created the breed has produced a dog that is alert, active and protective, but is also sweet and comical. They are true companions who love to be with their owners and be a participant in whatever their owner wants to do. They love active sports such as hiking and hunting, but also enjoy a quiet evening at home. Airedales are smart, trainable, healthy and confident. Can I speak to the breed’s versatility and trainability? The breed has the mental sharpness and physical stamina to success- fully compete in a wide variety of dog sports including obedi- ence, agility, rally, tracking, dock diving, fast cat, barn hunt, scent work, trick dog, therapy dog and anything else their own- er can think of ! They are also natural hunters of small furry game (groundhogs, rabbits, etc.) and can be trained to bird hunt activities such as upland hunting and water retrieving. They are eligible to compete AKC Spaniel Hunt Tests, AKC Fur Tracking and Trailing Tests and AKC Retriever Hunting
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AIREDALE TERRIER Q&A
Airedales, and own a boarding kennel in New Bern, North Car- olina, also named Lynaire. I’ve been involved in dogs for 37 years, and have owned a boarding kennel for 25 years. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? I enjoy reading, traveling, and photography. What is it about the Airedale Terrier that makes the breed so appealing? Their clownish behavior, intelligence, and regal appearance. Can I speak to the breed’s versatility and trainability? Aire- dales involved in agility, rally, obedience, hunting and working are easy to train, but get bored easily. You must make it fun. Do I compete in performance events with my dogs? I have done obedience with my dogs. How much care does the Airedale’s coat require for the show ring? A lot! Once in coat, you must work two to three hours a week. Any suggestions when it comes to sparring in the ring? We must spar Airedales. It shows them pulled together at their best, showing Terrier spirit—and it can be done safely! What are some best practices for keeping an Airedale in good condition? Exercise, working the coat weekly. Any advice for someone thinking about sharing life with the “King of Terriers?” Get ready for fun, challenges, and love. A humorous tale I can tell about my experiences showing Airedales? My first show Airedale was shown by Bobby Fisher— he taught her to pee on command. One day he asked her to pee on Peter Green’s shoe—she did! BRUCE & CARON JONES We live in rural North
Tests. We have many dedicated Airedale Terrier owners who compete successfully in all of these tests. In addition, our par- ent club (ATCA) offers special awards for Airedales who have achieved titles in multiple venues of competition. Fortunately in our breed, our conformation dogs are also either perfor- mance dogs themselves or have littermates who participate in performance activities. Do I compete in Performance Events with my dogs? I have titled dogs in obedience, ATCA Fur Hunting and Barn Hunt. I have participated in Scent Work and Agility, but have not yet titled dogs in those areas. How much care does the Airedale’s coat require for the show ring? A lot! The Airedale show coat is all hand-stripped and it is a labor of love and dedication! A specials dog will typically have eight hours of coat work every week while competing. The Aire- dale trim must be sequenced properly and kept up while the dog is being shown. Retired show dogs are often clipped and most family pets are also clipped. Any suggestions when it comes to sparring in the ring? Spar- ring is a very important tool for the judge to evaluate Airedale temperament and type. Sparring has nothing to do with aggres- sion or fighting. It is a means to see the dog stand his ground with tail and ears up, alert and ready for action. Airedale Terrier enthusiasts treasure seeing their breed sparred and they often remark, “It takes my breath away.” No amount of “free baiting” or stacking can replicate the appearance of an Airedale on a spar. Any judge who would like to learn this valuable evaluation tool can contact several Terrier breed mentors who can provide guid- ance and a demonstration on how it is done. What are some best practices for keeping an Airedale in good condition? All of our Airedale Terriers are very athletic and in great muscle tone. We have large paddocks for the Airedales to run in and because they have a pretty wide temperature toler- ance, they get good outside exercise almost every day. We pair a male and a female together and they love to romp and play. We don’t find any need for “road work” or treadmill use. Any advice for someone thinking about sharing life with the “King of Terriers?” Plan early to acquire an Airedale. Most are sold from waiting lists and there is a large demand for pet Aire- dales in many areas of the country. Work with an experienced breeder if you are interested in a show potential Airedale. Learn- ing the coat work is challenging and requires dedication on the part of both the teacher and student. For that reason, most Aire- dales are handled by professional handlers. We do have some outstanding non-professional handlers in the conformation ring too. LINDA BAAKE JARVIS I have shown Airedales as
Carolina, in a town called Pittsboro. Bruce is a retired contractor and now a full- time breeder and owner of Airedales. Caron works as a Certified Nurse Midwife delivering babies for a Duke- Affiliated practice. Total years in dogs: 40 years start- ing in Sporting dogs and switched to Airedale Terriers
exclusively over 25 years ago. Our hobbies outside of the dogs include building relation- ships with newcomers to the breed and mentoring them to show and do agility. We are also avid travelers to beaches, fishing, cruising and have been to almost every state in the US except four of them (which is a future goal). What is it about the Airedale Terrier that makes the breed so appealing? The Airedale Terrier is the most unique animal on the planet as these dogs are lovable, comical and serve their owners in such an inquisitive manner. They are always ready to do anything you want: hike, go for walks, play ball, go bye-bye in the car, go to Lowe’s and walk around while you buy house- hold needs. They never ask for anything, but, on occasion, they actually mimic talking to you. They make sounds so that you understand what they want. Can we speak to the breed’s versatility and trainability? The breed, overall, is highly versatile as you can do agility, hunt- ing, trick dog, coursing, barn hunting, farm dog and dock div- ing. Airedales were used in World War I to search for enemies
Lynaire Kennels. I have bred over 40 champions, including a Best of Breed winner at Mont- gomery and the 2019 West- minster winner. I have served on the board of the Airedale Terrier Club of America for 25 years and served in many offices including President, VP, and Secretary. I live with my husband, James, and nine
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AIREDALE TERRIER Q&A
The Airedale’s coat for showing requires experi- ence and learning how to maintain a coat is a lifelong work. The saddle needs to be stripped, so it takes about two to three months to strip-out the coat and to bring in a new coat. Once the new coat is in, a tool called a rake or stripping knife is used to roll the coat, taking out the undercoat and bringing in new coat.
children, other animals and are highly intelligent which makes them easy to train. The Airedale breed is one of the hardest dogs to show due to the grooming work along with the training of the dog. It is common to see professional handlers showing a majority of these dogs. It is very important to join the Airedale Terrier Club of America to mingle with other Airedalers, since learning to groom and show, and knowing the rules, are very important. Here are some important comments about our breed: Aire- dales are losing their movement as our gene pool is getting smaller and smaller. An Airedale should have good front and rear movement, but often times the fronts are off as well as some of the rears. We need to breed-up, including movement. Some breeders are not focused on movement since they say, “Airedales are a head breed.” Actually, that could not be further from the truth. Older breeders having health problems (and those who have passed) are no longer breeding. Our breed will become extinct if we do not improve these flaws. A FUNNY STORY ABOUT AIREDALES: Featuring: Butter fl y No More; by Bruce and Taylor, the Airedale The summers here in North Carolina can be long and hot. Around mid-summer we have the large yellow butterflies show up in large numbers. The Airedales enjoy chasing them across the grass fields which goes well with their hunter instincts. How- ever, try as they might, the butterflies are used to being pur- sued and have proven to be totally elusive. Some years back we had Taylor who at the time was a young 11-month-old pup. Her enthusiasm and determination when it came to chasing butter- flies was above and beyond the other Airedales as many of them had come to realize if they had not bagged one in five or so years it probably was not going to happen for them. One hot, humid day I watched Taylor chasing one butterfly relentlessly. As she chased it around the field I was spraying down the concrete runs in the kennels. I saw the butterfly come within about 30 feet of where I was at. For years I had hunted, which involved shooting at moving targets. All I can say is that when they came by me my years of hunting instincts must have kicked in. I quickly spun around and swung my spray nozzle just ahead of the butterfly and let go a quick blast of water. The sun was bright and the tight formation of water droplets glistened in the morning sun as it was at the top of its arc. A split second later the blast of droplets
and they were attached to the front of a paratrooper. They are smart and can be trained easily. These dogs are exceptionally smart and learn by themselves how to open doors, ring a bell to go out, unlatch gates, provide security and enter through dog door openings. Do we compete in Performance Events with our dogs? We compete mostly in conformation events. We have championed over 16 dogs and completed four Grand Champions, one Agility title, one Therapy Dog, Multiple Canine AKC Canine Good Citizens and, in October of 2019, won the Montgomery County Bowl: winning Best of Breed every day, including Hatboro 1 and 2 and Devon, with GCH TNC’s Gone with the Win of Singing Hills Scarlett (2019). Other Big Wins include: Best of Opposite Sex (2015) with GCHB Darbywood’s Baraboo of Singing Hills, WB (2015) Hatboro 1, Westminster Select Bitch in 2018. How much care does the Airedale’s coat require for the show ring? The Airedale’s coat for showing requires experience and learning how to maintain a coat is a lifelong work. The saddle needs to be stripped, so it takes about two to three months to strip-out the coat and to bring in a new coat. Once the new coat is in, a tool called a rake or stripping knife is used to roll the coat, taking out the undercoat and bringing in new coat. The fine trim work is very tedious having to go to the skin to bring in new hair at the right time. The furnishings are hard to work on some dogs as they are thin and break off. Details of the expres- sion and eyebrows are really the hardest parts to achieve. These are artistic touches that an amateur takes years to learn. The coat has to have shampoo and cream rinsing every two weeks to work the area. Any suggestions when it comes to sparring in the ring? Spar- ring is easy for Airedales to learn. The biggest mistake is for the owner or handler to move too close to other dogs causing a fight. Dogs pull themselves up and stack in a beautiful position when sparring with their tail wagging and basically saying, “I am not backing down.” They are to look fearless and stunning like they are on guard; and to jump into the role by not backing down. What are some best practices for keeping an Airedale in good condition? The best way to keep an Airedale in shape is to feed on a structured schedule, have plenty of exercise where they can run and chase a ball, play with others and, perhaps, a treadmill (if weather is not permitting) or on the road. Advice for anyone thinking about an Airedale: All Aire- dales are different and they do represent “King of the Terriers.” We breed for temperaments meaning our dogs are safe with
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JUNE 2020 | 177
JUDGING THE AIREDALE TERRIER
by ANNE BARLOW
T he Airedale Terrier is an elegant but sturdy dog. So begins the opening sentence under the general character- istics section in “The Airedale Terrier: the Official Standard Discussed and Clarified” first published many years ago by the ATCA. I open with that sen- tence because it has guided my thought processes in regards to what I look for in both my breeding program and while judging the breed. An Airedale has to have the size and substance to do his original job as a hunter of small game but he should be striking to look at, too. Sturdiness is, I think, the easier of the two terms to visualize and describe. The right amount of bone and muscle for the dog’s size and enough of it for him to do his job. He was bred to hunt on land and in the water so in my opin- ion, the Airedale should be strong, solid, hard muscled, with “skin tight, not loose” in order to more safely tan- gle with prey. The Airedale standard addresses what I consider to be sturdi- ness in several other places: he should have “strong and muscular hindquar- ters”, “muscular loins”, a “foreface that is powerful, strong, and muscular”, “strong teeth”, forelegs “with plenty of bone and muscle”, “thighs long and powerful, muscular second thighs”. The Airedale is indeed a lot of dog in a medium sized package. Elegance is a little more difficult to describe and apply to that sturdy dog we just talked about! To me, the Aire- dale should fill your eye, make you look at him! I believe what makes the Aire- dale structurally elegant comes about from properly placed graceful curves and straight lines on his body—and if those curves are where the straight lines should be and vice versa he quickly becomes common and cloddy looking. So, where on the Airedale’s
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“A CURVY TOPLINE IS PARTICULARLY OFFENSIVE...HE SHOULDN’T BE CONFUSED WITH THE LOCH NESS SEA MONSTER!”
body should there structural straight lines be and where should there be structural curves that conform to the breed standard? First the straight lines. The straight lines that are a MUST in this breed start on the head. His head and expression are a hallmark of breed type. When looking at the Airedale’s head, from the side or directly down from above, you should see straight lines. From the side look for a level skull, one that is “long and flat”, a head that has a “hardly vis- ible stop”, a muzzle that follows the planes of the skull and that has “little apparent difference in length” from the skull. Often aptly described as a brick. Looking down from above, his skull and flat cheeks flow evenly into his muzzle—a brick from on top, too! If the Airedale is “down faced” with his nose pointing more at an angle to the ground or is “cheeky” with prominent cheek muscles, curves have replaced straight lines and the hallmark head disappears. It should be noted that the Airedale’s teeth should be large—he is a predator. When you cup his jaw in your hand it should feel solid and strong and should easily fill your hand. His bite has to be crushing to the prey he hunts. There should be no lightness in his jaw, small canines or missing teeth. We do not have a disqualifica- tion in our standard for any reason but obviously a dog that hunts for a living should ideally have full dentition and those teeth should be large enough to mean business!
A bit about expression. The Aire- dale has a “small dark eye full of Terrier expression” and his ears should be “car- ried rather to the side of the head, not pointing to the eyes, small but not out of proportion to the head...the topline of the folded ear should be above the level of the skull”. These ears should not look like Fox Terrier ears which are set higher on the head with tips point- ing more to the center of the eye. Ear sets of this type make for a very foreign and incorrect expression on an Aire- dale. His ears shouldn’t be large and houndy either. The next straight line, seen in pro- file, is on the front of the dog. Start- ing where the underside of his jaw meets the front of the neck and runs down to his toes. You should not see a prominent keel or fore chest on the Airedale. If you do, once again a curve has replaced a straight line and is incorrect, ruining the classic silhou- ette. On to the topline and to straight lines that are very crucial. The Aire- dale’s back should be “short, strong and level”! No dips in the back. His croup should be level! Never should there be a rounding or curving of the croup. This results in a low tailset when the “root of the tail should be set well up on the back”. An Airedale with a curvy topline is particularly offensive as that topline indicates a plethora of serious structur- al faults. He shouldn’t be confused with the Loch Ness Sea Monster! The Airedale’s underline should be a straight line running from the elbow
up slightly to where the loin joins the hip. This straight line should be gradual and continuous—no acute angles or curves. And lastly, when looking at the Airedale when standing in front of the dog, his flat shoulder muscles should blend into his “perfectly straight fore- legs”. The shoulder muscles should not curve noticeably out from the body and back into the elbow area—this results in a cloddy, heavy, loaded appearance in the front. On to the properly placed structural curves. The Airedale’s shoulder blades should be “long and sloping well into the back”. The well laid back shoulder allowing for a slightly arched neck “of moderate length”—a curve starting where the headmeets the neck and flow- ing smoothly into the shoulders. Shoul- der blades that don’t slope well into the back and have little layback cause the neck to end in an abrupt sharp angle as it meets the shoulder blade—resulting in a straight line where there should be gentle curve. Again, an important aspect of the Airedale’s signature sil- houette is ruined when the shoulder blades are steep and don’t allow for the arched neck’s smooth transition into the back. There are two more very important places we should see curves on an Aire- dale and those occur on the back end of the dog. The Airedale’s tail “should be set well up on the back” and behind that tail there should be plenty of junk in the trunk! In other words, nice buns out behind that tail. The point of his
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“THE EXCLAMATION MARK TO HIS STRUCTURAL ELEGANCE IS HIS TERRIER ATTITUDE AND PRESENCE— THE PANACHE THAT MAKES A BEAUTIFULLY PUT TOGETHER DOG ONE YOU CAN’T TAKE YOUR EYES OFF OF!”
buttock should extend well beyond his tail which creates a good rounded rear end when viewed from the side. If the angle of the pelvis is too steep the point of the buttock is lowered resulting in a low tailset and flat butt with no shelf behind the tail—a straight line when viewed from the side. Additionally, the Airedale’s “stifles should be well bent” which contributes greatly to his ability to drive off his rear. So you should see the curve of the butt flow into the curve of the stifles. Straight stifles impair his ability to move effortlessly and cover ground. But neither should the Airedale be “overdone” in the rear with his thigh and second thigh too long and his stifles too well bent. This results in a dog that moves high in the rear when viewed from the side. And one that can’t move himself in a straight line coming at you—a sidewinder. Try a simple exercise by closing your eyes and reversing the impor- tant straight lines into curves and
vice versa. Not a pretty picture! Cer- tainly not the picture of a well put together elegant Airedale. The exclamation mark to his struc- tural elegance is his Terrier attitude and presence—the panache that makes a beautifully put together dog one you can’t take your eyes off of! The Airedale is described as the “King of Terriers” primarily due to his attitude and poise. He should present a commanding pres- ence in the ring and be willing to stand his ground when facing a competitor. Please spar this breed! It is the best way to see the “King of Terriers” tempera- ment tested and no amount of stacking, baiting and cajoling can make an Aire- dale look his best—he can only do that on his own. He should never back down from another dog, nor should he be overly aggressive toward them either. He should appear comfortable and con- fident in his surroundings. Regarding his tail, “it should be of good strength and substance and of fair
length”. I believe that the standard is try- ing to describe a docked tail that is long enough to provide balance and an over- all square appearance to the dog. The breed has always been shown in this country with a docked tail, it is our cus- tom. Please preserve it. An undocked tail on the Airedale is very unsightly and ruins the overall appearance of the dog. What about size? The standard states that “dogs should measure approximate- ly 23 inches at the shoulder and bitches slightly less”. But that “being much over or under the size limit is a fault which should be severely penalized.” You will likely never encounter an adult Airedale that is much under the standard height (especially in the Specials ring) but you will likely see exhibits from time to time that are simply too large. We don’t have a disqualification for height so feel free to use dogs that are somewhat tall- er than 23 inches if all else suits your eye. Just don’t penalize a 23 inch dog for “being too small” when in the ring
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THE AIREDALE TERRIER
1. Where do you live? What do you do “outside” of dogs? 2. How many years in dogs? Showing? Judging? Breeding? 3. Describe the breed in three words. 4. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? 5. Who was your mentor and what did he/she teach you that you value most highly? 6. As the King of Terriers, the Airedale commands a special place in the Group ring. Do you think his size and presence enhance his chances of recognition? 7. What are the biggest health concerns facing the breed today? 8. What is the greatest challenge most new judges face when it comes to the Airedale? What is most misunderstood? 9. To which do you attach more importance: a win at an all-breed show or a win at a specialty? 10. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? 11. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? 12. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. 13. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? 14. If there is anything else you would like to add, please to feel free to do so. LINDA JARVIS
The breed in three words: King of terriers. The must have traits in this breed are good head planes, small eye and good tail set and rear conformation. Movement is of utmost concern. My mentor was Betty Hoisington of Eden Kennels, Cor- dova, Tennessee. She taught me how to line breed and how to choose my breeding stock. I believe the Airedale is occasionally lost in the group ring because he lacks the cuteness factor of the smaller showier dogs in the group. I believe new judges do a disservice by not sparring Aire- dales. They do not understand the value of judging this breed in a spar. It can be done safely and should be done to show true conformation. A win at a specialty is more important especially as many specialty shows choose Airedale breeders to judge. The funniest thing that ever happened to me was when I was showing in both conformation and obedience. I chose to wear a skirt. My Airedale in obedience put his whole head under my skirt and sat back wagging his tail. My face turned beet red as everyone laughed. DR. VALERIA RICKARD
We live in Northern Virginia, west of Washington DC. I work in a veteri- nary hospital and reproduction center. Besides work, I like to play tennis, travel, scuba dive and ski, plus my daughter keeps me busy with her activities. We have 30 years in dogs: 20 in show- ing, nine in judging and 19 in breeding. The breed in three words: King of Terriers.
I live in New Bern, North Carolina. I own a boarding kennel there named Lynaire Kennels and Crematory. We offer boarding, day care, grooming and have a pet crematory. It is a large kennel at 17,000 square feet. I built and opened the kennel in 1994. Prior to being in the kennel business, I managed Medical Practices for many years. The largest had over 100 employees and 10 surgeons and
Airedales must have an overall “regal” look. Specifically, a square body, long clean brick head, high tail set and a good quality coat. This “package” must be able put together cor- rectly so to have fluid effortless movement. I personally value most the consistency in type and the head expression. With all of the physical attributes consid- ered, the Airedale must have a temperament that is confident and proud in the show ring while allowing them to be a sta- ble, loving and trusted family member. Who was my mentor: there hasn’t been any “one person” in particular, but initially, I spoke to numerous handlers
PA’s. My degree is in Health Care Administration. I also enjoy reading, traveling and rving. I started in dogs in 1983. I began breeding in 1984 and have bred over 45 Champions. I have been judging some sweepstakes including Montgomery but have not yet pursued my judging license.
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airedale terrier Q&A WITH LINDA JARVIS, DR. VALERIA RICKARD AND SUSAN RODGERS
“NEGLECTING TO TEST OR WITHHOLDING CRITICAL INFORMATION DOES A TRUE DISSERVICE TO THE BREED AND THE AIREDALE COMMUNITY.”
and breeders. I also educated myself in studying “old” pedi- grees and breed history. English Yearbooks, magazines and books were essential in allowing me to see across history and the evolution of the breed. It also allowed me to see how the traits and characteristics were passed through generations. Do I think size and presence enhance the chances of rec- ognition: I honestly don’t think size plays a factor. The size aspect reinforces their position as king, but they easily get bored—both in the time waiting for the groups to start as well as in the group ring after they go first and have to wait for the other 30+ breeds to go. As a result, they sometimes don’t show as well as smaller terriers who are typically more “wound up” all the time. The biggest health concerns facing the breed today are hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, renal PLN disease and mitral valve disease. The greatest challenge most new judges face when it comes to the Airedale is it’s a square breed with moder- ate angles. Judges need to spend more time learning breed type as opposed to judging them as a “generic” dog. Judges also need to understand what true Airedale good movement is, and be able to recognize it when present (or lacking) and consider that in the overall judging equation. Also, “newer” judges aren’t comfortable with sparring dogs safely, so they may neglect to provide them the opportunity to perform. There is nothing more beautiful than two Airedales per- forming a spar correctly. That is also the best time when to evaluate ears and expression, as often Airedales will not use their ears in the initial judges approach. To which do I attach more importance: a win at an all- breed show or a win at a specialty: a Win at a specialty— especially the national—in a company of many other great Airedales is very nice and something to be very proud of. But, a Best in Show win at an all-breed show is extreme- ly memorable as well as it doesn’t happen that often. Aire- dales aren’t as “flashy” of a breed in a BIS ring for the “all-rounder” judge. Traits in the breed I fear are becoming exaggerated: rear Angles and length of body, length of loin are getting longer and longer. The Airedale is a square breed with moderate angles, when these proportions are overdone, that negatively effects the overall look and movement of the animal.
Airedales are not a sporting breed, and are not like smaller terriers that were bred to go in a hole, they were bred for a specific function. If a judge isn’t familiar with the purpose an animal was bred for, they tend to apply a more generic standard that may not be appropriate. Judges educations must make sure that the judge understand the history of the Aire- dale so that the standard may be applied appropriately. Health testing is a must for all breeders (Airedales or oth- ers) who take the overall health, temperament and quality of their breed seriously. Breeders must know what is behind the animals that they select as part of their breeding pro- grams. Only a select few of the purebred animals brought into this world will enter the show ring while the majority should live as long and healthy lives as possible in their com- panion homes. Breeders must be open about their animals’ test scores and health history or we are doomed to propagate health problems that should be at minimum understood. No animal is perfect, and nature can be “fickle”, but as a breeder you must understand your animals and strive to produce the healthiest (not just the prettiest) combinations. Neglecting to test or withholding critical information does a true disservice to the breed and the Airedale community. This sport is, and must be “about the dogs” and I think the “business” of dog showing has clouded that truth. Sportsman- ship and spirited competition are great, but in the end, the Airedale breed should be the winner. We, as stewards of the breed, Must demonstrate this for the younger generation to whom we will pass the baton. I am very pleased to see junior handlers enter the Airedale ring (not an easy thing to do with an animal who is almost as big as you) and compete—and win—against the professional handlers. That is shat it is all about—working hard, practicing, and having fun in hon- est competition and bringing the focus back to the sport of dog showing. SUSAN RODGERS I am a retired university professor having taught Public Health Nursing in several schools across country. Thirty years ago Shirley Good and I opened a kennel in a very wooded area as we often kept 12 dogs and wanted to keep peace with the few neighbors. Because of kennel space we had frequent show visitors with space for human guests as well as dogs.
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