« ForrigeFortsett »
which must be very confusing to the novice. If all breeders took Ch. Master Briar (a grand old dog, who has done more for the breed than any other living to-day) as the type, and tried to breed dogs built on his lines, with very dark, well-placed eyes, coat hard and not wavy, colour black or dark, grizzled back, the head and quarters orange-tan, we should be on the road to getting a perfect Airedale terrier.
Mr. E. H. ARMSTRONG. There is a tendency to the hound type in several present-day winners. More attention should be paid to coat. I would disqualify a soft - coated dog, for an Airedale terrier's coat should handle like wire. I think we have reached the maximum size--45 lbs. dogs, and 40 lbs. bitches ; this is plenty big enough. Any dogs that exceed the above weight are too large, and should be penalised accordingly.
MR. THOMAS BEAUMONT.-Breeders must pay more attention to produce a straight, sound coat, and good strong hindquarters. I have noticed how some breeders think more about the sire's blood and good points than the dam's. I think this is a mistake. To my mind let me have the best of blood on the dam's side, and keep your eye on quality and character. Then breeders would be more delighted to look at their efforts to turn out a real high-class terrier.
MR. HOLLAND BUCKLEY.--I am quite satisfied with the breed as it exists to-day, but coats require to be harder and more weather-resisting
Several other correspondents express themselves as perfectly satisfied with the modern type, which is a pleasing tribute to the pitch approaching perfection arrived at by the breed. The popularity of the Airedale is reflected in the wide range of its recommendations. In a running paragraph as follows :
“Very sensible and intelligent; will retrieve land or water ; excellent in driving cattle, and will kill vermin against any other breed of dog ; game as a pebble, and first-rate guard.”—“Good all round; can be trained to anything. What a dog can do, an Airedale will do it.”—“Dives like an otter, swims like a fish, and is a great hunter, and quiet ; the best possible companion ; no day is too long for him ; absolutely safe
with children ; without a doubt the very best dog extant.”—“Such a game, sensible companion ! Such a stayer !”—“Pre-eminently the best all-round dog for
sport. No work is too hard, no day too long. As watch-dog, vermin-killer, hunter, and water-dog, he stands out. He can be trained to sheep, and two which I owned are used by a farmer here, doing their work well, and giving general satisfaction.”—“I have kept Airedale terriers for many years, and used them for rabbiting and ratting; my chief delight now is to take my dogs for a walk along the waterside, and watch them hunting for rats. I have an old dog, nearly ten years old, but as game as a two-year old, who fetches the letters from the door every night, and when I sit down to take off my boots away the old boy goes for my slippers ; but he won't bring any one else's.”—“The Airdale can do the work of a spaniel or a retriever ; as a water-dog is equal to a Newfoundland, and for waterside hunting cannot be beaten, whilst for gameness he can take his own part with anything. His general outline, coat and colour and hardy appearance make him one of the handsomest and most useful units in the canine race."-" The best all-round dog living ; it is difficult to put him to the wrong work; an excellent dog with the gun ; will face a badger or otter; and no one could get a better companion.”
Of the intelligence, I may even say the political wisdom, of the Airedale, Mr. Blunt supplies the following conclusive proofs :
To show you the amount of intelligence and tenacious memory of some of the breed I may mention the following true facts. I once bought an Airedale terrier at High Wycombe and sold him to a gentleman who lived near Lake Windermere. Afterwards he was re-sold to a gentleman who lived in London.
And then, after being away for nearly two years, he managed to find his way back to his old master at High Wycombe. As a puppy he had been taught many tricks; not one of these had he forgotten, but on his return to his old home went through them all again as perfectly as before he left. Another Airedale I owned was known as the Political Dog. He was reared by a lady who was a staunch Conservative, and he would not touch the best of mutton chops or beef steaks if told it was “Radical," but could be persuaded to take even medicine if assured it was “ Conservative” or “Beaconsfield.” When I had old Willow Nut, before he went to America, I have seen him dive and fetch things from the bottom of the canal; and a larger specimen of the breed that a gamekeeper trained for me would retrieve a bird to hand, and scarcely disturb a feather, and work with the gun and find game that other sporting dogs had passed over.
The Airedale terrier is well looked after in the matter of specialist clubs, there being no less than four devoted to his interests. The Airedale Terrier Club, of which Mr. Edward Blunt is the Honorary Secretary, has a membership of over fifty. The entrance fee is IOS. and the annual subscription the same. The Standard Airedale Terrier Club, founded in 1903, is a new institution, with a very strong committee, nearly twenty club judges, and its Honorary Secretaryship is in the hands of Mr. Edward Thorp, whose enthusiasm for the breed predicts success for his club. The entrance fee and subscription are each half a guinea. Other clubs are the South of England and the National Airedale Terrier Clubs. From the published book of the first mentioned I extract the following description :
STANDARD OF POINTS OF THE AIREDALE TERRIER
HEAD,--Long, with flat skull, not too broad between the ears, and narrowing slightly to the eyes ; free from wrinkle. Stop hardly visible, and cheeks free from fulness. Jaw deep and powerful, well filled up before the eyes ; lips tight; ears V-shaped, with a side carriage, small, but not out of proportion to the size of the dog ; the nose black; eyes small, dark in colour, not prominent, but full of terrier expression ; teeth strong and level.
NECK.—Should be of moderate length and thickness, gradually widening towards the shoulders, and free from throatiness.
SHOULDERS AND Chest.-Shoulders long, and sloping well into the back; chest deep, but not broad.
BODY.— Back short, strong and straight; ribs well sprung.
HINDQUARTERS.--Strong and muscular, with no droop ; hocks well let down; the tail set on high, and carried gaily, but not curled over the back.
LEGS AND FEET.-Legs perfectly straight, with plenty of bone ; feet small and round, with a good depth of pad.
COAT.-Hard and wiry, and not so long as to appear ragged ; it should also lie straight and close, covering the dog well all over the body and legs.
COLOUR.—The head and the ears, with the exception of dark mark. ings on each side of the skull, should be tan; the ears being of a darker shade than the rest, the legs up to the thighs and elbows being also tan. The body black, or dark grizzle.
Size.—Dogs, 40 to 45 lbs. ; bitches slightly less.
Note.—That as it is the unanimous opinion of the Airedale Terrier Club that the size of the Airedale terrier, as given in the above standard, is one of, if not the most important characteristic of the breed, all judges who shall henceforth adjudicate on the merits of the Airedale terrier shall consider under-sized specimens of the breed severely handicapped when competing with dogs of the standard weight. And that any of the club's judges who, in the opinion of the committee, shall give prizes, or other. wise push to the front dogs of a small type, shall be at once struck off from the list of specialist judges.
In the Standard of Points given by the Standard Airedale Terrier Club, there is a paragraph added for
ACTION.-The gait should be free and full of liberty; the elbows should remain tight under the shoulder; the hocks should not be bowed outward or bent inwards (cow-hocked). The forward movement of the legs should be quite straight, and the feet should be lifted clear of the ground ; but on no account should the action be too stilted or springy. And there is given the following Important Advice to Judges :- Judges are strongly recommended to pay careful attention to the above Standard of Points, and to judge strictly in accordance with the same. Their attention is particularly called to the desirability of improving the breed by penalising soft or wavy coats, light eyes, or any terriers obviously above or below the standard size or weight. The size approved is 20 inches at the shoulder for dogs, and 19 inches for bitches.
No point values are given in any of the club's publications, but Mr. E. Thorp kindly supplies the following :
100 This differs from the old scale, which was, I believe, originally advocated by the Airedale Terrier Club, to wit: Head, ears, eyes, and mouth, 20; neck, shoulders, and chest, 10; body, 10; hindquarters and stern, 5; legs and feet, 15; coat, 15; colour, 10; general character and expression, 15-total, 100.
The chief disqualifications comprise a Dudley nose, white on throat, face, or feet (on other parts of the body objectionable), an uneven mouth, and being either undershot or overshot.
Amongst the most typical Airedale terriers of the day the names are mentioned of Champions Tone Masterpiece, Master Briar, Clonmel Monarch, Dumbarton Sceptre, and others, and I have selected the first named for illustration.
Ch. Tone Masterpiece is the property of Mr. C. H. Elder, and was bred by Mr. J. Turner, by Ch. Master Briar ex Houston Nell, and was born in September 1899. He is a black and tan dog of correct type, with small, dark eyes ; well placed, small ears, correct high carriage ; straight coat of hard texture; beautiful body, well sprung ribs ; best of legs and feet, and very stylish and full of terrier character. In the illustration he is seen straining at his lead, which does injustice to his feet, which are perfect; he stands right up on his toes. He has won eleven championships, eight of them in 1903 under eight different judges, and innumerable first prizes, not having once sustained defeat in that year. He is the sire of Ch. Dumbarton Sceptre, and other winners,