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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