The Airedale terrier traces its ancestry back with many of the other terriers to the extinct black and tan terrier. These feisty dogs were bred to hunt vermin of any size or shape. They were somewhat lacking in scenting skills and swimming ability though, so in the 1800s near the area of the River Aire in England, these terriers were crossed with Otterhounds to create the “King of Terriers”, the Airedale terrier.
Probably some crosses were made with Irish and bull terriers as well to help create this tough, good-sized hunter. Airedales not only hunt vermin, but have been successfully used on large game and as defense and security dogs. Most American Airedales trace their ancestry back to CH Master Briar, a British dog brought over to the United States near the turn of the century.
Airedales can still be seen today working as hunting dogs for both large and small game, in police work, and as wonderful family companions. Airedales are seen in agility and obedience competitions as well.
For further breed information, the following Australian dog association can be contacted:
Australian National Kennel Council – ankc.org.au/