Showsight Presents The Airedale Terrier


Edited By Scott Boeving

Part 1 A Tool for Judges: Newly Revised Airedale Terrier Illustrated Standard By ATCA Illustrated Committee with April Clyde, President Th e Airedale Terrier Club of America (ATCA) has long recognized that that conformation judges can benefit from breed specific information that expands on the content contained in the o ffi cial breed standard. To help judges acquire this addi- tional information, ATCA o ff ers several options. Formal Judges Education Semi- nars are provided regularly throughout the country and informal ringside men- toring opportunities are readily available at regional and national Airedale Terrier specialty shows . Information about these sessions can be obtained from the club sec- retary whose contact information is found on the ATCA website at Another excellent source of breed spe- cific information is provided by the ATCA publication “ Th e Illustrated Standard of the Airedale Terrier 2012” Th is recently released booklet replaces the original Illus- trated Standard and contains information about desired and undesired breed charac- teristics; pictures and illustrations of Aire- dale Terriers. Within the next few months, copies will be mailed to all approved and provisional Airedale Terrier judges. Th is article o ff ers a preview of the Illustrated Standard and contains pages from the publication on key breed points includ- ing overall breed description; information about head, skull and ear; and information about size and movement. Th e Airedale is a medium-sized, well- boned dog, and at all times a terrier in appearance and attitude. He is a well-

balanced, square dog with height at the withers being about the same as the length from shoulder point to buttock – appear- ing neither short in the front legs nor high in the rear. None of the dog’s features is exaggerated-the general impression is one of moderation blending sturdiness and elegance (neither Welsh Terrier nor Wire Fox Terrier in appearance). Th e male has a masculine appearance without being “common” and the female has a feminine appearance without being fine-boned or looking the least bit fragile. “Bitchiness” in dogs and “dogginess” in bitches is most undesirable. As the largest terrier, the Aire- dale should reflect the “King of the Ter- rier” status with an alert and self-confident demeanor. His head and tail are held high and he is interested in and inquisitive of all situations. He is intelligent and steady and is unafraid of strangers and self-assured in the presence of other dogs. Structure and attitude can be best eval- uated by a controlled “spar” of two or three dogs at a time with enough space between them so they remain on four feet with their necks arched and ears alert. Th e spar a ff ords the judge the opportunity to evalu- ate the topline, tailset, ear carriage and attitude. Th is impression is only revealed during the spar and cannot be duplicated by stacking or baiting the Airedale. Th e

spar should be a mandatory component of judging at specialties and when entries are su ffi cient. Head Should be well balanced with little apparent di ff erence between the length of skull and foreface. Skull Should be long and flat, not too broad between the ears and narrowing very slightly to the eyes. Scalp should be free from wrinkles, stop hardly visible and cheeks level and free from fullness. Ears Should be V-shaped with carriage rath- er to the side of the head, not pointing to the eyes, small but not out of proportion to the size of the dog. Th e topline of the folded ear should be above the level of the skull. Hound ears are a fault that should be severely penalized. See Figure 1. Desired Characteristics When viewing the head, the eye should be used as the mid-point and the skull behind the stop should be the same length as the muzzle in front of the stop. Th e head should be long, but in proportion to the rest of the dog—typically a short backed, cobby dog will have a shorter head than a dog of the same height possessing a longer

Fig. 1.

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