Showsight Presents The Airedale Terrier

“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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276 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2019

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