Airedale terrier hunting


The Airedale Terrier has a reputation of being an all round dog that can do well at any task it is put to and I am breeding with this in mind.

I want an Airedale that is outgoing and confident, not aggressive but fearless. He should have "terrier fire" but not be a trouble maker or a bully. Many people feel the Airedale is too headstrong but that has not been my experience and find them to be loving companion or working dogs having as much "hunt" as any hound but a bucketful more brains. Airedales are a great addition to a pack of hounds or can do it all on their own. Not having been bred as a specialist like the hound breeds means the Airedale will give up some of the qualities that make a hound such a great big game hunting dog but they will add other qualities such as intelligence, manageability and grit.

As an all round dog I feel that retrieving instinct is a desirable asset and look for that in my breeding program. Airedales can serve very well retrieving waterfowl or upland game.

The Airedales coat should be hard, straight and wiry with a soft curly coat being less desirable. It is my personal belief that the Airedale would have a better reputation as a working dog if it didn't have such a problematic coat requiring excessive care. Along with a shorter, harder self keeping coat come less flamboyant facial and leg furnishings but the benefits that a shorter coat provide far outweigh the aesthetic drawbacks. They had it right about 80 years ago but over time the coat has gotten

progressively longer, softer and less practical.

I like an Airedale to be about the size stated in most breed standards of 23 inches for dogs. A dog of this height of approximately 65 - 75 lbs. A dog of this height of approximately 65 - 75 lbs. should be agile enough to perform well while not being a burden to travel with or too small to function as a physical deterrent, retriever or hunter. Mid size dogs handle better, last longer and go farther than some of the monsters being passed off as hunting Airedales.

The Airedale is a silent trailer but will tree with great intensity and enough voice to be heard for a good distance. On bear I find silent trailing to be an advantage as the dogs can get in quite close to a bear before he knows anything is up and the bear may be more likely to tree as a result of being surprised. On cats open trailing may not be necessary because the tracks are usually run in the snow. I occasionally but not always run a hound with my dales for the extra voice that only a hound can provide however with the advent of GPS tracking systems having an open hound along to locate your dogs is no longer required.

Breeding is a science but by no means an exact one and there is certainly variety in every litter but by working towards a goal of a functional Terrier in size, coat and temperament it is my belief that the Airedale can live up to it's title as the King of Terriers.

Twinned Airedales treeing a bear.

Category: Airedale

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