Edited By Scott Boeving
Part 1
A Tool for Judges: Newly
Revised Airedale Terrier
Illustrated Standard
By ATCA Illustrated Committee
with April Clyde, President
The Airedale Terrier Club of America
ATCA) has long recognized that that
conformation judges can benefit from
breed specific information that expands on
the content contained in the official breed
standard. To help judges acquire this addi-
tional information, ATCA offers several
options. Formal Judges Education Semi-
nars are provided regularly throughout
the country and informal ringside men-
toring opportunities are readily available
at regional and national Airedale Terrier
specialty shows . Information about these
sessions can be obtained from the club sec-
retary whose contact information is found
on the ATCA website at Airedale.org.
Another excellent source of breed spe-
cific information is provided by the ATCA
publication “The Illustrated Standard of
the Airedale Terrier 2012” This recently
released booklet replaces the original Illus-
trated Standard and contains information
about desired and undesired breed charac-
teristics; pictures and illustrations of Aire-
dale Terriers. Within the next few months,
copies will be mailed to all approved and
provisional Airedale Terrier judges. This
article offers a preview of the Illustrated
Standard and contains pages from the
publication on key breed points includ-
ing overall breed description; information
about head, skull and ear; and information
about size and movement.
The Airedale is a medium-sized, well-
boned dog, and at all times a terrier in
appearance and attitude. He is a well-
balanced, square dog with height at the
withers being about the same as the length
from shoulder point to buttock – appear-
ing neither short in the front legs nor high
in the rear. None of the dog’s features is
exaggerated-the general impression is one
of moderation blending sturdiness and
elegance (neither Welsh Terrier nor Wire
Fox Terrier in appearance). The male has
a masculine appearance without being
common” and the female has a feminine
appearance without being fine-boned or
looking the least bit fragile. “Bitchiness”
in dogs and “dogginess” in bitches is most
undesirable. As the largest terrier, the Aire-
dale should reflect the “King of the Ter-
rier” status with an alert and self-confident
demeanor. His head and tail are held high
and he is interested in and inquisitive of all
situations. He is intelligent and steady and
is unafraid of strangers and self-assured in
the presence of other dogs.
Structure and attitude can be best eval-
uated by a controlled “spar” of two or three
dogs at a time with enough space between
them so they remain on four feet with
their necks arched and ears alert. The spar
affords the judge the opportunity to evalu-
ate the topline, tailset, ear carriage and
attitude. This impression is only revealed
during the spar and cannot be duplicated
by stacking or baiting the Airedale. The
spar should be a mandatory component
of judging at specialties and when entries
are sufficient.
Should be well balanced with little
apparent difference between the length of
skull and foreface.
Should be long and flat, not too broad
between the ears and narrowing very
slightly to the eyes. Scalp should be free
from wrinkles, stop hardly visible and
cheeks level and free from fullness.
Should be V-shaped with carriage rath-
er to the side of the head, not pointing to
the eyes, small but not out of proportion
to the size of the dog. The topline of the
folded ear should be above the level of the
skull. Hound ears are a fault that should be
severely penalized. See Figure 1.
Desired Characteristics
When viewing the head, the eye should
be used as the mid-point and the skull
behind the stop should be the same length
as the muzzle in front of the stop. The head
should be long, but in proportion to the
rest of the dog—typically a short backed,
cobby dog will have a shorter head than a
dog of the same height possessing a longer
Fig. 1.
2012 • 217