Rare Black and Red Airedale

black airedale

Post by shawnboryca on Nov 2, 2009 8:02:43 GMT -5

I stumbled on to this article while researching color phases in cur dogs -- it may be of some interest here.



The late winter and spring of 2009 has witnessed the concerted assault on the sport of dogs by

extremist organizations such as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the

Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The alarming fact is where these extremists are waging

their assaults: in our state's legislatures. State after state has had bills introduced to limit the number of

dogs it's citizens can own; the number of intact dogs it's citizens can own; licensing requirements for

“commercial breeders”; and the prohibition of tail docking, ear cropping and dew claw removal.

These actions are mounting on the “successes” these extremists have already accomplished such as

banning the ownership of certain breeds of dogs like the ubiquitous “pit bull” in Denver, Colorado.

There is another equally insidious assault in one breed which is threatening the concept of breed purity

and the integrity of the stud book. If it can happen to one pure breed, it can happen to others.

There were two stories posted by newspapers on the INTERNET involving “Black Airedale Terriers”.

Sadly, the dogs were in need of help. First, out of Hawaii was the story of a dog picked up by a Good

Samaritan after being hit by a car. The Good Sam took the dog to a vet and got it emergency treatment

which included surgery to amputate an injured foreleg. The article included many quotes from a

woman named Elizabeth Bush who is THE expert in Hawaii on “Black Airedales”. Ms Bush decried

the fact that Airedale Rescue, which had been contacted to assist the dog, declined to help the dog

because it is a mixed breed. Then in late April came the story of 19 “Black Airedales” which had been

abandoned and were running loose on Beeline Highway, just outside Phoenix, Arizona. Beeline is a

very busy road off I 10 between Scottsdale and Mesa, it is also known as Highway 87. The Animal

Control folks were not having luck locating the party or parties responsible for abandoning the dogs.

The dogs were in extremely poor condition and the younger ones in particular were obviously

malnourished. Airedale Rescue was again contacted but the news report made no mention of their

involvement. These sad news reports prompted an investigation into the conundrum of the “Black


Few modern dog breeds are as shrouded in mystery as is the Airedale Terrier. The veiled mystique

surrounding the foundation stock of the breed is largely undocumented and references to the

contributions made by dogs like the “Bull and Terrier” further confuses the precise origins. Collie,

Otter hound, and the old rough coated black and tan terrier are typically cited as being progenitors.

The selective breeding practices of the early breeders dictated assortative matches: dogs with known,

demonstrable abilities were bred to bitches with similar abilities. Features like coat color were not

important to breeders until the advent of “dog shows” at the English Agricultural Fairs of circa 1850.

By 1900 however, the Airedale Terrier had become fixed in type, size and coat color. The standard was

set on a dog of square profile, long legged, short crouped and rough coated. The acceptable coloration

was then dictated to be black and tan or grizzle and tan.

As the breeds popularity increased, many became interested in the breed and began writing about

Airedale Terriers. All the literature, from the earliest days of the breed through today, follow a pattern.

Details of the Airedale are discussed at length, feeding, care, grooming, training and history are each

documented and described. Pedigrees are offered and different families or strains are identified. But

regardless of the writer, or their place in time, one thing none of them have ever mentioned is a solid

colored, pure bred, Airedale Terrier.

It is not surprising then that when a certain breeder began advertising for sale, pure bred, all black

Airedale Terriers that the ATCA (Airedale Terrier Club of America) took notice. The breeder was a man

named Frank Drach who had purchased an all black puppy bitch while he was employed in Alaska.

Drach registered this bitch with the AKC (American Kennel Club) in the early 1980's and on her

registration listed the color as Black. AKC accepted the registration paperwork and attendant fees for

“Frank's Tina Lorray”. Once back home in Phoenix, Arizona, Drach began breeding Tina Lorray to his

typical colored Airedale and registering those puppies with AKC too. Those who were, Drach listed

their color as Black and as per their norm, AKC accepted the paperwork and the attendant fees.

Suddenly, in national dog magazines, advertising called attention to the Drach-Black Airedales. And it

then became known to a highly regarded breeder/judge, Mareth Kipp, that one of her Moraine

Airedales had been bred into this Drach-Black mess and she brought it to the attention of the ATCA.

Polite inquiries of the Drachs proved unresponsive as to specifics and an investigation ensued. AKC

asked a well known and highly regarded professional handler, Clay Coady, who was located in the

southwest, to visit the Drach Kennel, investigate the veracity of the breeder's claims and observe the

anomalous “Airedales”. Coady came away unconvinced as to the purported purity of the dogs and

reported that, in his opinion, the dogs were cross bred Airedale and Labrador mixes, Labradales. Coady

also reported that the Drach operation was an unusually poor example of back yard breeding with dogs

running loose in a large yard full of junked cars and other detritus. AKC responded to the Coady report

by removing all the Drach stock back to Frank's Tina Lorray from the stud book and the registry. Frank

Drach and, his then spouse, Southern Drach, filed suit against AKC and Mr and Mrs Kipp. The Drachs

hired as counsel Steven Gladstone who had at one time sat on the Board of Directors of the AKC. The

court found against Drach and he appealed. The appeals court found against Drach as well. While the

legal issue was being settled, the mainstream media got hold of the story and one writer, Herm David,

styled a story akin to David and Goliath in which he portrayed AKC as the Goliath backing an equally

vilified cohort, the Kipps, against the downtrodden little guy, Frank Drach. Dog News published

Herm's fairytale and other magazines pursued their own slant, many finding the story to be a tale of

hucksterism and poor record keeping.

The issue should have been settled at that point. The Drachs however, realized that they were facing

significant financial loss from the AKC action against their dogs and the courts ruling for AKC and the

Kipps. Frank and Southern Drach contrived to resolve that problem. Their research disclosed a little

known, privately owned dog registry in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and it was to that organization they

applied. The States Kennel Club accepted the genealogical paperwork and the necessary fees, the

Mississippi registry accepted their dogs and issued papers to the “purebred” stock. And Abracadabra.

The breeder was back in the purebred Airedale Terrier business. It was shortly after this new registry

began including all Black Drach Airedales that the all red Airedale also emerged at, incredibly,

Southern Drach Harrison Herrera kennels.

This conundrum of all black and all red Airedale Terriers surfaces with annoying frequency on

INTERNET discussion boards and other e forums. Attempts to put this issue to rest have been met with

“I have DNA proof!” The facts are obvious though and a short review should settle the matter once and

for all.

Apparently as of this date Mr Frank Drach is no longer involved in the breeding and selling all Black-

Drach Airedales. The kennel is now known by the name of Drach's former wife, Southern, and is called

alternatively Southern and Southern/Roc Airedales. The new proprietor is, according to her website,

Southern Drach Harrison Herrera. It is here that the story gets it's scientific angle. Anytime the

question as to heritage comes up, Southern Herrera will bleat loud and plaintively, “I have DNA proof”.

The proof Herrera claims to have was supposedly collected and tested at Texas A & M University's

College of Veterinary Medicine, in the 1990s. Without a doubt, Texas A&M is a fine veterinary college.

There are several little niggling issues with Southern Herrera's DNA “proof “and the science necessary

to establish and corroborate it.

Given the situation, it must be acknowledged that mutations do occur in genetically closed

populations like dog breeds. To accept the “proof” that Southern Herrera claims one must also accept

that the Southern/Roc “Airedales” experienced not one, but two mutations: the first mutation, acquired

with Tina Lorray in Alaska, introduced solid black coat color; and the second mutation introduced solid

red coat color. The odds against such an occurrence are astronomical! But to get at the heart of the

matter a review of what is possible, and when it became so, is in order.

First, in the 1990s it was impossible for any one to discern the genetic difference between a wolf and a

Chihuahua. The technological protocols weren't available and the knowledge to perform such a

comparative analysis was largely theory. Second, it was not until July 2004 that the genome of the

domestic dog was mapped. (Genome is the total genetic material in an organism) Third, it was not until

late 2005 that the genome of the Airedale Terrier was mapped. Further, the research which produced the

domestic dog genome was done at the Broad Institute, MIT and Harvard, of Cambridge, Mass and the

breed genome research was conducted at the Hutchinson Cancer Institute of Seattle, Wash. Texas A &

M, in the 1990's, had neither the genome maps nor the technological protocols to complete an accurate

DNA profile to prove breed purity by comparing a sample to a known genome! Those facts beg the

question as to exactly what “proof” Southern Herrera refers to as being established by Texas A&M.

Today, on the INTERNET, there are five breeders who advertise for sale “Rare All Black” and

“Extremely Rare All Red Airedale Terriers”; as well as over sized Airedale Terriers: Southern/Roc

Airedales in McIntosh, New Mexico; Tenkiller Airedales, in Demming N.M.; Hi Kountry Airedales in

Wyoming; Bairedales in Idaho; and Pinnacle Farm Airedales in Kingfield, Maine. Along with coat

colors and oversized dogs, these breeders all have similar health guarantees, their dogs are registered at

the same registry in Mississippi and they all claim to have DNA proof. The breeder at Southern/Roc

Airedales is, in all probability, the source of the foundation stock for the other four breeders. In

researching this story, the writer tried unsuccessfully to get a written statement from any of these

breeders detailing the DNA “proof” that each purportedly has. None would answer any of the following

questions: When was the sample collected? Where was the sample collected? Who, exactly, performed

the analysis and evaluation to determine breed purity?

The sad thing is that these crossbred dogs are having some difficulties which are going to cause

Airedale Rescue and the ATCA continuing headache. The dogs in Arizona were undoubtedly out of

Southern/Roc kennels. Since that “establishment” had moved out of state, they could not be located by

the Maricopa County authorities to provide care for these dogs. The dog in Hawaii has been cared for

and funded by private donation. The common feature in both cases is that Airedale Rescue was

mentioned in the news in an unflattering fashion: uncaring of the plight of these dogs. The fact is that

Airedale Rescue did respond to the plight of these animals and assisted in their care but used private

donations from around the country and not Rescue funds for Airedale Terriers. Another fact which did

not makethe news stories was that very experienced Airedalers took some of the Arizona dogs into their

personal care and reported that these anomalous dogs did not act like Airedale Terriers, they exhibited

personalities very different from those of pure bred Airedales. Yet the public perception and that of

Animal Control personnel was that the dogs were Airedales and they turned to the Airedale community

for assistance when the situations arose in both Hawaii and Arizona.

The challenge now for Airedalers is to continue the effort to educate the public and law enforcement

communities that these animals are not pure bred Airedale Terriers. In 1980 there were no claims of

solid colored, pure bred Airedale Terriers. Yet in 2009, there are five different kennels that are actively

breeding Labradales and fraudulently misrepresenting them to the public as pure bred dogs!

In summary, recall that no writer, from the earliest days of the breed to the present, has ever mentioned

either an all black or all red Airedale Terrier. Clay Coady, a very well respected professional dog man

acting at the behest of the AKC, reviewed the original stock of Southern Drach Harrison Herrera and

decided that they were Labrador Retriever Airedale Terrier cross bred dogs. Two different legal

proceedings, a District Court and an Appeals Court, both determined that the Drach Black Labradales

were not pure bred dogs upholding AKC's right to remove ALL of the Drach connected dogs from both

the stud book AND the registry. Some twenty years after the Coady investigation other long time

Airedalers, some of whom are breeders, took in and cared for the 19 Drach Black Labradales and all

said the dogs did not have signature Airedale personalities. The question of DNA proof. as claimed by

Southern Drach Harrison Herrera and her apprentices, could not have been established at the point in

time that she claims; it was a scientific impossibility. These five kennels know this to be true. If they

had certain proof, or truly accepted that what they had was proof, why would they not answer

the three simple questions to support their contention?

The marketing of these Labradales is a detriment to Airedalers across the USA. It questions the breeds

integrity and it further confuses the public with an incorrect picture of what an Airedale Terrier is, what

an Airedale Terrier looks like and how an Airedale Terrier behaves. If it comes to your attention in a

publication that these dogs are being marketed in the classifieds, contact the publisher with your

legitimate concerns and convince them that by accepting this type of advertising the publisher is

enabling these hucksters in undermining our breed and scamming the public. If you are a breeder and

have a website, make it clear on your website that these Labradales are not to be confused with pure

bred Airedale Terriers. Get the word out to your local Animal Control officers that these Labradales are

not to be confused with pure bred Airedale Terriers. Challenge the contention that these Labradales are

pure bred each and every time you are confronted with it. And do not rest. In a space of 30 years we

have seen the profit motive of one greedy, unethical individual bloom into a nationwide attempt to

confuse and scam the public using the Airedale Terrier to further their illicit goals. The only way to stop

this assault on the breed purity of the Airedale Terrier is to challenge it when it appears and use the

facts to refute these spurious scam artists.

Trust me I didn't write this or make this up. I found it in a dog magazine.

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