Showsight Presents The Airedale Terrier

What is does is bring the Airedales into an alert state—not a growling, snarling, leaping into the air, out of control state. It brings them up on their toes, their eyes are fixed on the dog close to them, the placement and size of the ears are easily seen; they pull their bodies together and show us that square outline that we want. In addition, the neck arches, the feet tighten and the tail shows us its set-on and carriage. The KING OF TerrierS has now arrived! Coat: VERY much. I EXPECT Terriers of hard-coated breeds to be shown to me in top shape—body, mind and coat. That hard coat that is called for is for the dog’s protection against the environment and against attack by any game that is being hunted. It also protects it from the elements. I don’t just look at it, I also feel it and I know what a good coat feels like. I also know AND appreciate the amount of work that it takes to get it into shape. Side Gait: That side gait shows me the balance of the animal and it lets me see the total interaction of all of the parts; short- comings clearly stand out. 2. What, if any, are the health concerns for the Airedale? There are a few… dogs/bitches too long in loin; skulls and muzzles not on the same planes giving a Roman look; lack of proper muscle tone to rears, thus poor movement. 3. Do you have any pet peeves in the Terrier ring? There are several things. Bait, bait, bait, bait has gone way too far. Show me a good dog, in top shape, properly balanced that is looking out to the distance to something that has caught its attention and I have a much better picture than one standing like a cow watching the bait in your hand. It’s insulting to the Airedale! A related issue that I don’t understand is the exhibi- tor shoving a huge piece of bait into the dog’s mouth just when I am going to want to see the bite. Think about it. Also, listen to what I say or watch what the person in front of you was asked to do. Almost without exception you will be doing the same routine. 4. While judging, can any part of the Breed Standard be overlooked? It is my hope that when judging I am using the breed Standard in all of my decisions; however, there is one point where I do allow some leniency and that is I will accept doggy bitches, but I am unforgiving of bitchy dogs. 5. What is the greatest challenge in judging the Airedale? Without question it is in finding what we are looking for. In the case of Montgomery County weekend and historically Great Western, one could satisfy him or herself and a serious breeder/exhibitor could find new stock, future stud potentials, youngsters with shining futures, etc. But at the average show in the year, one can easily go away greatly disappointed. The situation exists because there are too many shows, diminish- ing numbers of true breeders and the big kennel days seem to be a thing of the past. A sad tune that has been repeated to me too often is that interest in Terriers is evaporating because people do not want to spend the time and effort necessary to put them down properly. Terriers are my love, I have seen almost all of the “greats” and I’ve been privileged to have judged most of them. Every time that I enter a ring I have the hope that I am going to discover the next GREAT one. Since I KNOW that God Himself has a Terrier, that hope will never leave me!

six weeks ahead of a major Terrier weekend I am always aware that the coat is not timed for me, it’s timed for the big weekend. Side Gait: For me? Very important. I have a great deal of diffi- culty pointing to a dog that can’t cover ground efficiently and effortlessly. There is very little reason for a dog to come and go flawlessly if he can’t also cover the ground well as viewed from the side. 2. What, if any, are the health concerns for the Airedale? Long and low, no angles, sagging toplines. 3. Do you have any pet peeves in the Terrier ring? First and foremost, the excessive use of coloring. Dogs seldom come in the colors that some exhibitors paint their dogs. Nothing comes off in your hands, but any dog person can tell whether a color is natural or not. I remember many years ago Dan Kiedrowski, founder and then editor of Terrier Type Magazine , told me how beautiful my Dandie bitch looked in the group at the Garden but he didn’t approve of the color. I was offended as she was not colored so I pulled a hunk of hair from her coat and mailed it to him, she was a blue black by birth. He’s still laughing about that! Secondly, only in the Terrier world do you hear the comment, “He’s a good walker” or “He isn’t a good walker.” I think this way of thinking puts Terriers at a disadvantage. Dogs gait, they don’t just walk, and how efficiently they move as viewed from the three sides, coming, going and from the side, is important. 4. While judging, can any part of the Breed Standard be overlooked? Standards are written to describe the ideal. I trade off on what virtues are the most important and difficult to retain, and what faults are easiest to breed away from. 5. What is the greatest challenge in judging the Airedale? I don’t see judging Airedales any more of a challenge than judging any other breed today. We hope dogs of quality come into the ring, it is such a pleasure to put your knowledge of the breed to the test. Judging Terriers on a major Terrier weekend is a great pleasure, an honor. More often we judges spend most of our days sorting out peoples’ pets masquerad- ing as show dogs—it is a painful truth. KENNETH MCDERMOTT 1. How important are the following for judging: sparring, coat and side gait? Sparring: Sparring, done right, is a never-to-be forgotten tool and should almost always be utilized. I do NOT allow the exhibitors to decide how it is to be done in my ring, but I give them SPECIFIC directions, thus “Bring those two out here. I DON’T want them to touch, I want them to look at one anoth- er.” If they are not sure of where to go, I point it out clearly! I wrote years ago, “A Terrier looks best looking at another Terrier!” Those moments have brought out pictures that are stored in my mind forever at just how beautiful Terriers are!


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