AIREDALE TERRIER
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Airedale Terrier>> History

 

The Valley of the Aire in West Riding, Yorkshire, was the birthplace of the Airedale Terrier. In the mid 19th Century, working class Britons created the Airedale Terrier by crossing the old English rough coated Black and Tan Terrier with the Otterhound. The result was an intelligent, hardy dog adept in the water, on land, at work, or with the family; their goal to create an all-purpose dog was fulfilled. In 1886, the Kennel Club of England formally recognized the Airedale Terrier breed.

The Airedale was extensively used in World War One to carry messages to soldiers behind enemy lines and occupying the trenches. They were also used extensively by the Red Cross to find wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Their courage and stalwart character in the face of danger was legendary; there are numerous tales of airedales delivering their messages despite terrible injury.

Before the adoption of the German Shepherd as the dog of choice for law enforcement and search and rescue work, the Airedale terrier often filled this role.

Post-WW1, 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 Airedale Terriers. 1949 marked the peak of the Airedales' popularity, ranked 20th out of 110 breeds by the American Kennel Club. The breed has since slipped to 50th out of 146.

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