My series of Working dogs we hardly hear or ta…

My series of Working dogs we hardly hear or talk about.
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The men who developed the Airedale didn’t come from Aristocracy or weren’t Gentlemen of the sporting dog world but everyday Working Class people. They were mostly farmers and hunters living near the Ayre (Aire) and Wharfe Rivers near Yorkshire, England.
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Around 1860’s in that region of England a “do everything” type dog was needed that could control vermin as well as bring in birds for the table. A dog with the courage to stay in the fight and protect, a dog of high character, surely a weather resistant coat, not to mention exemplary hunting instincts and the gentleness to be a family dog. Strong swimming attributes as well as being an efficient bird dog was also on the list of needs.
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An assortment of breeds contributed to the creation of the AIREDALE. As was common in those days, many breeds were mixed that had the attributes needed for the dog to be fulfilled. It is believed the now extinct Black and Tan terrier, Otterhound, Broken-Coated Terrier and English Bull terrier contributed towards the creation of the breed with other Terrier breeds which may or may not have been mixed in. The end product first become known as the Waterside Terrier, then the Bingley Terrier, and finally by 1879 the Airedale terrier.
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Dog writer Holland Buckley wrote a book called “The Airedale Terrier” (c. 1900), in which he stated “he [the Airedale] is a three-in-one gun dog combining the virtues of the pointer, spaniel and retriever.” Alas the breed was finally considered a Sporting Dog where it’s popularity in North America grew quickly becoming the most popular breed in the United States between the 1920’s and 30’s.
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The breeds popularity waned for years after due to many factors, one of which is the choices of other working breeds. In the past 30 plus years, Airedale fanciers has successfully restored the breeds versatility as a hunting dog and one of purpose.
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