Airedale Terrier Breed History and Origin
Airedale Terrier History It is not ancient and there is still no exact data on the origin of Airedale terriers.
According to some sources, in the course of the breed’s history, the blood of otterhounds, bull terriers and other terriers "merged" in Airedale terriers. According to other sources, the listed breeds also complement the setter and collie. But the bull terrier itself “consists” of English bulldogs, white English terriers and other terrier-like dogs. Oterhound evolved from the Welsh hound, English bulldog, water spaniel, French Vendee griffins, and bloodhounds.
So an airedale is not just a terrier. This is a “multinational alloy” of terriers, shepherd dogs, dog-like, hounds and cops.
Airedale came from England. And although the Airedale breed is relatively young (its origin dates back to the end of the 19th century), it was bred for a long time and carefully.
In the photo: dog of the Airedale breed
Once upon a time, the Yorkshire fired a passion for hunting otters living in the Air River. Otterhounds (otter dogs) were used for this purpose. They had excellent hunting qualities, lacked only terrier passion and sports excitement.
Hunters needed a temperamental, courageous and indefatigable assistant with excellent hearing and vision and waterproof coat. Amateurs who sought to improve the breed looked closely at the winners of the muskrat and dog fighting competitions.
Information about the first airedale in the history of the breed was kept in the strictest confidence. However, over time, rumors of unusual dogs spread outside the county. And for the first time, “dogs from the Air River Valley,” or “shore dogs,” were presented at the local exhibition in 1864.
At that time, nobody cared about the appearance of the Airedale terriers: color, constitutional defects, and wool quality. The main focus was on intelligence, courage, obedience, activity (on land and on water) and working qualities. However, when the airedale came to the south of England, amateurs began to pay attention also to improving their appearance.
The first club of lovers of airedale was created in 1892. The breed quickly gained popularity among high society. And purposeful work began on improving these dogs.
The goal was to create a large, strong and at the same time compact dog, in whose appearance there was no trace of hounds, only the features of a terrier. Plus, the airedale should have had a tireless temperament.
The breed has long been considered almost a national treasure of Great Britain.
They were forbidden to export abroad. Legend has it that when the first dog was sold to a foreigner at one of the shows, the indignation of the respectable British public was so great that both the seller and the buyer had to escape through the back door.
Before World War I, Airedales in the UK patrolled mountainous and inaccessible areas. Their service qualities were valued even higher than the ability of German shepherds.
In Germany, the airedale immediately fell into military service as orderlies, projectile carriers, liaison officers, and sappers.
In the Russian Empire, representatives of the breed appeared in 1904. The Red Cross transferred them to the army as medical dogs. Airedale soon became the most popular (along with Dobermans) police dogs. However, in 1917, like greyhounds, these dogs fell into the millstones of the revolution.
Airedale were still widely used during the Second World War as sappers, orderlies and messengers. However, after the war, Dobermans and German Shepherds gradually began to push them into the background.
During the history of the breed (last century) Airedale terriers have changed a lot. At present, airedales mainly "work" as partners, guard homes and protect their owners, but they are still able to master a wide range of professions.