The Airedale Terrier are clever, friendly and courageous pups. They were thought to have originated in the Aire River Valley in England and developed by crossing a terrier with an otter hound in the mis 1800’s. They were used by the yorkshiremen to hunt the large rats that would dwell on the banks of the Aire River…originally called the working terrier or the waterside terrier.
In 1864 they were exhibited for the first time at a championship dog show sponsored but the Airedale Agriculture society. The Kennel Club of England formally recognized the Airedale Terrier in 1886.
The breeds popularity soared during WWI when they were used as Red Cross rescue dogs. They were also deployed on the frontline of battlefields to want troops of any approach by the enemy. British colonel Edwin Hautenville Richardson trained other breeds for the War Dog Program, where they were trained to wear gas masks to navigate the battlefields.
Jack, an Airedale terrier was a true war hero, even though a piece of shrapnel smashed his jaw, another slicing his back and a forepaw Jack delivered his message and saved the battalion. Unfortunately minutes later he passed away from his wombs. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria cross for his bravery.
Today the Airedale is enjoying resurgence in popularity Disney’s 1996 live action version of 101 Dalmatians where they feature a shaggy Airedale in a prominent role of the movie. The original story as well as the animated film featured an Old English Sheepdog in the role, but the producers wanted an Airedale because of their trainability and intelligence.
They are very trainable pips, they get along great with children and other pets but leaving them home alone could be a challenge…so is this a pup for you? Let me know in the comments below!