Page 20 - ShowSight Presents - The Airedale Terrier
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                 JUDGING THE
The Airedale Terrier is an ele- his job. He was bred to hunt on land and I believe what makes the Airedale struc-
gant but sturdy dog. So begins the opening sentence under the general characteristics sec-
tion in “The Airedale Terrier: the Official Standard Discussed and Clarified” first published many years ago by the ATCA. I open with that sentence because it has guided my thought processes in regards to what I look for in both my breeding program and while judging the breed. An Airedale has to have the size and substance to do his original job as a hunter of small game but he should be striking to look at, too. Sturdiness is, I think, the easier of the two terms to visualize and describe. The right amount of bone and muscle for the dog’s size and enough of it for him to do
in the water so in my opinion, the Airedale should be strong, solid, hard muscled, with “skin tight, not loose” in order to more safely tangle with prey. The Airedale stan- dard addresses what I consider to be stur- diness in several other places: he should have “strong and muscular hindquarters”, “muscular loins”, a “foreface that is power- ful, strong, and muscular”, “strong teeth”, forelegs “with plenty of bone and muscle”, “thighs long and powerful, muscular sec- ond thighs”. The Airedale is indeed a lot of dog in a medium-sized package.
Elegance is a little more difficult to describe and apply to that sturdy dog we just talked about! To me, the Airedale should fill your eye, make you look at him!
turally elegant comes about from prop- erly placed graceful curves and straight lines on his body—and if those curves are where the straight lines should be and vice versa he quickly becomes common and cloddy looking. So, where on the Airedale’s body should there structural straight lines be and where should there be structural curves that conform to the breed standard?
First the straight lines. The straight lines that are a MUST in this breed start on the head. His head and expression are a hallmark of breed type. When looking at the Airedale’s head, from the side or directly down from above, you should see straight lines. From the side look for a level skull, one that is “long and flat”, a head that

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