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
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