The Airedale is a product of modern times, and was 'manufactured' by the men of Yorkshire by judicious crossing of the Otterhound with the now extinct Old English Black & Tan Terrier, which after some research I discovered that it is the progenitor of the Welsh Terrier.

This first crossing of these two breeds possessed the keeness of a Terrier and was able to swim and scent game.  The first dogs were called WATERSIDE or BINGLEY Terriers, and within 12 years the dog had become a popular sporting Terrier.

In 1864 the first dog show in the Aire Valley was held and the Waterside Terrier competed under the Broken-Haired Terrier class.  Author Hugh Dalziel, after judging the dog at a show, went on to describe the Bingley Terrier as "par exceedingly good one".  His comments brought immediate interest in the breed and a cry of protest from it's fans who decried the fact that Dalziel pinpointed Bingley as the breed's birthplace.

Airedales were used throughout World War 1 as messengers, sentries, carriers of food and ammunition, scouts, ambulance dogs, ratters and Red Cross casualty dogs, sled dogs and guard dogs.  The War brought stories of the Airedale's bravery and loyalty and soarked popularity in the breed.  American presidents have owned Airedales as did the Actor John Wayne (his dog was named Duke)


The Airedale belongs to the class of "Broken-Haired" dogs, (Wiry as opposed to the smooth hair of the Fox Terrier) and as such his coat only grows to a certain length and then dies, to keep him neat and tidy he is either hand stripped or clipped.  Hand stripping means pulling out the dead hair, and allowing it to grow back again,(it doesnt hurt, the hair is dead)  and with his gleaming black saddle and rich tan legs  and head, he is a beautiful sight to behold.

Clipping brings about the same result, BUT eventually the coat becomes very soft, and loses it's deep black colouring.

He should be brushed at least once a week, to keep his furnishings (leg and facial hair) from becoming tangled.