The Airedale Terrier (often shortened to "Airedale") is a dog breed of the terrier dog type that originated in Airedale, a geographic area in Yorkshire, England. It is traditionally called the "King of Terriers" because it is the largest of the terrier breeds. Bred from a Welsh Terrier and an Otterhound, the breed has also been called the Waterside Terrier, because it was bred originally to hunt otters in and around the valleys of the River Aire which runs through Airedale. In the United Kingdom this breed has also been used as a police dog.
Airedale Terriers in UK, USA, and Canadian surveys had a median lifespan of about 11.5 years, which is similar to other breeds of their size.In a 2004 UK Kennel Club survey, the most common causes of death were cancer (39.5%), old age (14%), urologic (9%), and cardiac (7%). In a 2000–2001 USA/Canada Health Survey, the most common causes of death were cancer (38%), urologic (17%), old age (12%), and cardiac (6%) A very hardy breed, although some may suffer from eye problems, hip dysplasia and skin infections.
Airedales can be affected by Hip dysplasia (canine).
Like most terriers, they have a propensity towards dermatitis. Skin disorders may go unnoticed in Airedales, because of their hard, dense, wiry coats. Itchy skin may be manifest as acral lick dermatitis (also known as lick granuloma; caused by licking one area excessively) or acute moist dermatitis or "Hot spot (veterinary medicine)" (an oppressively itchy, inflamed and oozing patch of skin, made worse by intense licking and chewing). Allergies, dietary imbalances, and under/over-productive thyroid glands are the main causes of skin conditions.An Airedale's coat was originally designed to protect the dog from its predators—the coat was designed to come out in the claws of the predator the dog was designed to hunt, leaving the dog unharmed. Because of this, some forms of skin dermatitis can respond to hand stripping the coat. Clipping the coat cuts the dead hair, leaving dead roots within the hair follicles. It is these dead roots which can cause skin irritations. However, hand stripping removes these dead roots from the skin and stimulates new growth.The first Canadian registrations are recorded in the Stud book of 1888–1889.In 1910, the ATCA (Airedale Terrier Club of America) offered the Airedale Bowl as a perpetual trophy, which continues to this day. It is now mounted on a hardwood pedestal base, holding engraved plates with the names of the hundreds of dogs that have been awarded Best of Breed at the National Specialties.The Airedale was extensively used in World War I to carry messages to soldiers behind enemy lines and transport mail. They were also used by the Red Cross to find wounded soldiers on the battlefield. There are numerous tales of Airedales delivering their messages despite terrible injury. An Airedale named 'Jack' ran through half a mile of enemy fire, with a message attached within his collar. He arrived at headquarters with his jaw broken and one leg badly splintered, and right after he delivered the message, he dropped dead in front of its recipient.Lieutenant Colonel Edwin Hautenville Richardson was responsible for the development of messenger and guard dogs in the British Army. He, along with his wife, established the British War Dog School at Shoeburyness in Essex, England. In 1916, they provided two Airedales (Wolf & Prince) for use as message carriers. After both dogs proved themselves in battle, Airedales were given more duties, such as locating injured soldiers on the battlefield, an idea taken from the Red Cross.Before the adoption of the German Shepherd Dog as the dog of choice for police dog and search and rescue work, the Airedale terrier often filled this role.In 1906, Richardson tried to interest the British Police in using dogs to accompany officers, for protection on patrol at night. Mr. Geddes, Chief Goods Manager for Hull Docks in Yorkshire, was convinced after he went and saw the impressive work of police dogs in Belgium. Geddes convinced Superintendent Dobie of the North Eastern Railway Police, to arrange a plan for policing the docks. Airedale Terriers were selected for duty as police dogs because of their intelligence, good scenting abilities and their hard, wiry coats that were easy to maintain and clean.At the beginning of the Russo-Japanese war in 1904, the Russian embassy in London contacted Lt. Colonel Richardson for help acquiring dogs for the Russian Army, trained to take the wounded away from the battlefields. He sent terriers, mostly Airedale Terriers, for communication and sanitary services. Although these original imports perished, Airedale Terriers were reintroduced to Russia in the early 1920s for use by the Red Army. Special service dog units were created in 1923, and Airedale Terriers were used as demolition dogs, guard dogs, police tracking dogs and casualty dogs. Two Airedales were among the dogs lost with the sinking of the RMS Titanic. The Airedale "Kitty" belonged to Colonel John Jacob Astor IV, the real-estate mogul. The second Airedale belonged to William E. Carter of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania. Mr. Carter was the owner of the Renault automobile in which Jack and Rose trysted in the movie "Titanic". Carter, his wife and two children survived the sinking.During the 1930s, when airedales were farmed like livestock, American breeders developed the Oorang airedale.Capt. Walter Lingo, of LaRue, Ohio, developed the Oorang Airedale strain. The name came from a line of bench champions, headed by King Oorang 11, a dog which was said to have been the finest utility dog. King could retrieve waterfowl and upland game, tree raccoons, drive cattle and sheep, and bay cougar, bears, and Gray wolf. King even fought one of the best fighting bull terriers, and killed his opponent. He also trained in Red Cross work, and served the American Expeditionary Force at the front in France.Lingo simply wasn't satisfied with the average strain of Airedale, and after an incredible series of breedings, for which he brought in great Airedales from all over the world, he created the "King Oorang." At the time, Field and Stream magazine called it, "the greatest utility dog in the history of the world." The Oorang Kennel Company continued until Walter Lingo's death in 1969. To help promote the King Oorang, as well as his kennels, Lingo created the Oorang Indians football team headed up by Jim Thorpe. The team played in National Football League from 1922–1923. Jerry Siebert, an Airedale breeder in Buckeye Lake, Ohio, followed in Lingo's footsteps, and bred "Jerang Airedales." There is a kennel in Tennessee that claims to have original Oorang Airedales.After the First World War, the Airedales' popularity rapidly increased thanks to stories of their bravery on the battlefield and also because Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren Harding owned Airedales. President Harding's Airedale, was the "first celebrity White House pet".
President Harding had a special chair hand carved for him to sit on at very important Cabinet meetings. In the 1920s, the Airedale became the most popular breed in the USA.President Roosevelt claimed that "An Airedale can do anything any other dog can do and then lick the other dog, if he has to."1949 marked the peak of the Airedales' popularity in the USA, ranked 20th out of 110 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club.The Airedale Terrier was recognized by United Kennel Club in 1914.The Airedale Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888.The Airedale Terrier Club of America (ATCA), founded in 1900 is the parent club of the breed in the United States and the official-spokes organization for the breed with the American Kennel Club (AKC).The Airedale Terrier Club of America periodically holds performance and conformation events. The Airedale judged to be Best of Breed at these national specialty shows is awarded the Airedale Bowl.
The Airedale Terrier Club of America