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CHAPTER VII.

THE AIREDA LE TERRIER.

HERE we have the largest variety of the terrier admirers of the dog have yet produced, and, big though he may be, our best specimens are now thoroughly terriers in type, and perfectly free from any of the hound-like appearance which at one time appeared to prevail. How he was originally produced there is, as usual, no record to tell, but that he is a comparatively modefn institution is an undoubted fact. 1 For fifty years, perhaps for longer, the big terriers of this kind were found in some parts of Yorkshire, usually 1n the valley of the Aire, and round about Bradford. Some of the gamekeepers had them, the sporting innkeepers kept two or three, and generally they were favourite dogs in the locality. They were strong and useful, good at vermin in the water, fond of hunting, and were by no means quarrelsome even among themselves. I fancy that .at one time or another they had been produced by judicious crossing with hounds and terriers, otter hounds most likely. A few couple of the latter and of cross-bred hounds had always been kept in Yorkshire, where they were used for hunting the sweet mart and foul mart, once a most favouritepastime with north country sportsmen, and the rough coated hounds crossed with some ordinary darkcoloured, wire-haired terriers could very easily bring" about such a dog as the Airedale terrier is now.

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Of late years he has been most carefully bred, the over-sized ears have almost entirely disappeared, and in their place is a neat drop ear quite in keeping with the character of the dog and the work he has to do, and few varieties of the terrier have made greater progress in. popularity than the one of which I write. Personally, I have been astonished at the number of Airedale terriers seen running about and following their owners in the south of England and in the suburbs of the metropolis; after the fox terrier, who comes first in numbers, he certainly appears todivide favouritism with the Irish terrier. This is, perhaps, because he is a sensible sort of dog, and too big for the dog stealer to pick up and hide away in the pockets of his great coat. Then he is not without his admirers in America and on the Continent, and isia special favourite in Holland and in various parts of Germany.

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