Monday, November 28, 2011

Sausage Heads

I own a fairly comprehensive library of not only vintage Airedale books but also a bunch more on various other hunting breeds. One of the things I find interesting is the evolution in physical characteristics of a breed as it is refined over the years.

I would like to believe that most dog breeder's ultimate goal when they make a mating is to make their breed of choice better in every way they can, but of course the way the dogs are used will be a major determining factor.

In reality most show people will be slanted toward conformation and looks where performance breeders such as hunters will be looking more at how the dog produces in the field.

Sometimes things breeders do with dogs start getting out of hand and some breeds end up being distinctly different in both looks and performance. In some breeds like Hounds, they remain relatively unscathed by the show crowd. Other breeds like the English Bull Dogs, they are so screwed up they can not even mate naturally.

In my opinion it all stems from the breed moving away from and not participating in the jobs and work they were originally developed and bred to do.

Below are a couple of photos of Airedales that were on a calendar I received as a gift, I was left not only scratching my head but I was also angry. Take a look a the heads on these dogs, their skulls are barely wider than their muzzle, and look at the muzzle length, they almost appear "Anteater" like. As the tennis player John McEnroe would say "You Can't Be Serious", I am trying to figure out what the hell are these people thinking??

Sorry but this is no improvement of the Airedale breed and I sure hope this narrow headed conformation fad falls out of any kind of favor and goes by the wayside!!

Below those two are some photos illustrating my point, first one of those calendar photos compared to my big Mooreland hunting bred Airedale, below them an old time Airedale from 1899 and another current Airedale from hunting lines, wider heads and medium length muzzles.

I want to see some space between the ears with room for brains and power, when that Mooreland dog chomps down, bones start breaking,  I will take the old fashioned heads any day, the breed founders knew what they were doing!!

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Monday, October 31, 2011

What I Know About Airedales (HUNTING)

The Naysayers!

I belong to several hunting dog forums and visit them all with some regularity. Once in awhile on one of these forums the subject of Airedale Terriers is brought up from someone looking for some opinions on what kind of hunting dogs they make. Most of the answers are of the generic type, stuff that is the oft repeated tales found on the internet and in books. Then there are some folks giving information that actually have some experience with the breed. And of course there are the naysayer internet experts. I have even come across a blog which has the sole purpose of berating the Airedale as a hunting dog. Below are a few examples of some typical responses from some of these self proclaimed experts.

Airedales to me are very overrated living off undeserved decades old reputation, and a waste of good dog food.

"I hear talk of how 'gritty' they are, but all I see are singing dogs, not biters.. I think their reputation is unearned and living off wives tales for half of century."

"If I hear one more time how tough Airedales are or how they outhunt Pointers in the field or out retrieve Labradors on the water, Im going to vomit. All I see in Hunting photos of Airedales are them barking, not biting, game. None of them close on dangerous game or are catchy."


I can surely understand how one can get down a a breed or line of hunting dog when they have a bad experience. But it is a big mistake for one to paint any breed of hunting dog with a wide brush as sorry especially when one has limited experience with the breed. Whoever made those statements above never owned or hunted with an Airedale personally and would have you believe there is not a good hunting Airedale in existence. It is plain to see this fellow above has an agenda and a vendetta against Airedales, there is plenty of picture evidence just on this Blog to prove him grossly wrong!

Making a breed evaluation and indicting all the dogs in it from such scant information such as a few internet pictures or an I knew a guy or heard a tale does not tell the whole story about any breed, far from it!

I started out in the heyday of the dog jockey, if I had a dollar for every sorry hound I got taken on I could buy myself a pretty nice present, that was the bad part. The good part is I now can spot a shyster or blowhard almost immediately.

I owned and hunted with a good many Hounds of all breeds in my lifetime, if I dwelled on and just went by every shy, track jacking, dog aggressive=tree fighting, gutless, retarded no account hound I owned or saw owned by others I would not mess with Hounds period. Especially Walkers, yet the truth be known Walkers are far an away the most successful and popular Coon Hound breed, the fact of the matter is I just had the bad luck or misfortune to get some poor performers, it happens! Even though I was disappointed and yes "Angry" I am not going to stand on a podium and rip Walkers! This kind of stuff comes with the territory and if one can not face disappointment they should stay out of this line of sport.

On the other hand I have also owned and hunted Hounds that were and are as good as any. Even though I have had my fair share of poor performers Hounds are still far and away one of my favorite breeds and I will always have a couple around until I can't hunt coon or rabbits anymore. What I am saying is for me to indict Hounds as worthless hunting dogs because of the sorry ones is ridiculous. Yet you will have some people rip Airedales on just an isolated incident, a few pictures or hearsay.

I have owned and hunted Airedales since the sixties and as I did with Hounds I have had plenty of sorry ones and yes some were produced by me personally. By the same token some of the best all around hunting dogs I have ever had were Airedales, I don't believe there is a more versatile hunting dog alive when you get a good one. There are some pretty fair hunting bred with guts to spare Airedales to be had if someone wants to take the time to look for them.

The Airedale is seeing a resurgence as a hunting dog in recent years, there are never guarantees with any breed but your odds getting a decent hunting dog can be increased substantially. A breeder can tell you anything and everything you want to hear but in the end the dogs they produce have to speak for themselves and that is when and where the truth comes out! My best advice to anyone buying any kind of hunting dog is to do your homework, closely consider the source of your info, find reputable breeders who actually hunt their Airedales and get references from people you can trust!

Now if you think the breed assassins have just crawled out of their holes in recent years with the advent of the internet WRONG! It is something that seems to have been going on forever, before the internet there was magazines for them to push their agenda.

Below is an example of Scott McGill's reply to an magazine article from the early 1900s where a fellow wrote his disparaging remarks about the Airedale breed!

On a personal note when I am looking to buy a hunting dog from any breed, it is the dog men like Scott McGill that I seek out!

Al Kranbuhl

What I know About Airedales

Out of an old outdoor publication circa the early 1900s, the author
Scott McGill


I don't suppose anything I can say will settle the argument between the hound admirers and the Airedale fans, but for the benefit of both of these fine dogs, the opinion of a man of sixty-two who has hunted with dogs continually for over fifty years may help some.

My first experience with hunting dogs was down on the farm, where game was plentiful, and "Old Shep' answered our purpose very well. We had many of these shepherd dogs and considered them the best hunters and game getters, until some city men came to our place to hunt bobcat, and gave my father one of their hounds that had been mauled by a cat. We soon got this hound in good shape again and took him out for a hunt, and as he did not do much the first time, my father called him a "lazy cuss," but after a few hunts he soon proved his superiority over Old Shep as a trailer, and what my father at first termed as "yawpin," he later said was "fine music" when this dog opened up on a trail. After the passing of this grand dog, we got more hounds, and later got to crossing them with bird dogs and water spaniels. Among these mongrels were the best all-round hunting dogs my father ever had, and one in particular, a half water spaniel and hound, I place first among all the dogs I have ever hunted with, for work in the rough country where we lived.

When I became old enough to own a dog of my own I got pure bred black and tan hounds with long thin ears and good voices, and for many years would consider nothing else for coon or other fur hunting. Occasionally my neighbors would take their mongrels out with me and tree ahead of my hounds, but I noticed that my hounds would usually get the trail well started first.

I preferred the black and tans with long ears, not because the color or length of ear made any difference in the hunting ability, but I considered these points an indication of good breeding, and certainly they were beautiful dogs. I always kept my dogs in the best of condition, and I am sure I have been repaid many times over for my care of them. I have raised and trained many pups and found that they suited me better than the so-called trained dogs that I have bought.

I have owned upwards of seventy-five or eighty hounds and of these I would place about five of them in class number one as coon hounds; I would place about twenty of them in class number two, and the balance were third grade or worse. The first class do-;s are the kind you seldom get, and then only for a very high price, or through the use of extra great care and patience in training. The second class coon dogs are good coon dogs and cost about a hundred dollars today.

I owned one pure bred (as far as I know) hound that was as game a fighter as I ever saw in action. I never knew him to quit, once he got into a mix-up. On one occasion he was frightfully punished by a bobcat and never made a sound or gave sign of quitting during the fight, though he was bleeding from ugly cuts in the throat, had one eye gouged out, ears split to ribbons, and a broken and badly lacerated foot. By the time I crossed the river to him he was badly used up, but still doing his best. He was, of course, an exception in this respect, for a pure hound, whose business it is only to find the game.

My first experience with Airedales was when a neighbor of mine had a year-old pup sent to him by a city relative. I was not very favorably impressed with this dog at first but consented to have a. hunt with him and take my old dog "Bugle." When my neighbor arrived at my farm, I let Bugle out of his yard, and we did not see him again until we arrived at the tree where he was barking up.

This Airedale did not quite understand Bugle's musical efforts at lirst, and stayed rather close to us most of the time, but I noticed several limes during the hunt that he would smell around a bit, and pick up a rabbit track and run it a few minutes, then come back to us. This was his first trip out and he was a young dog so we did not expect much of him. When we got to the tree, this dog smelled around, watched Bugle, looked up the tree, growled, bit, and tried to climb up, then started to bark. On our next hunt, when we shot the coon out of the tree, the Airedale had him almost as soon as Bugle, and after a few times out this dog began to hunt some and finally we let him kill a coon alone.

From that time on he began to improve fast and or his third hunting season was a good coon and cat do?. He became an eager and persistent hunter, a good tree dog, and though he could not unravel a trail like a good hound, would stick as long as allowed to, or until he had treed. He once killed a twenty-two pound bobcat without help.

I decided to buy an Airedale to take the rough work off my hounds and got a twoyear-old dog. After much patience and care; trying to train him, I gave him away as worthless. My third one proved to be a good one. He was bred from hunting stock, and showed it in his work. He was a good tree dog and first class in water, would also run a hot track faster than most dogs and was an all night sticker at a tree. I have owned seven other Airedales since this one, but only one of them was as good. My second good Airedale was an excellent cattle dog as well as a hunter and watch dog, and like most Airedales, a good tree and water dog. We never kept him tied from the time when we got him as a puppy, and I never knew him to stray off my farm without one of the family going with him. I worked this dog with a black and tan fox hound bitch and believe they were the best team I ever owned. Each seemed to know just what the other, would do in any circumstances, and each did its part of the work.

Later the Airedale, through an accident, became the sire of a litter of pups out of this bitch. I now have a dog out of that litter and can not think of any price that would buy him. My oldest son also has a dog from that litter, which, with an Airedale and two hounds, makes up his pack of bear and lion dogs, and he says the cross bred is the best and brainiest dog he has, and, as he expresses it, "The best dog in Idaho."

The Airedale to begin with, is half otter hound and half terrier, but the fancy breeders have all but spoiled him by in-breeding him to a fashionable and unnatural standard. I would not consider the average show Airedale worth much to a hunter; such a dog would be too narrow and flat in the skull to have room for much brains or good temperament, he would be too narrow in chest and short in back to have the endurance and ability required in a hunting dog.

But there is a good kind of Airedale; he is bred intelligently, from hunting stock by hunters; he is a "natural" dog in type and disposition, with the hunting instinct and lots of courage and grit bred in him. He has all the desirable qualities of the good Airedale and many of the good qualities of the good hound. The hunter who has such a dog and works him with a good hound is going to get the game and have lots of fun doing it.

The good Airedales may be a little jealous, but that quality makes him a good tree dog, watch dog and companion, and loyal to his master.

There are individual Airedales which are good coon dogs; there are individual hounds not worth their salt; however we can not condemn all hounds on account of the poor ones, nor say all Airedales are good. The average hound is superior to the average Airedale as a hunter and the Airedale requires more care to keep him looking presentable, but the man who likes dogs will be well repaid for the extra care. As puppies, the Airedales are more ''foolish" and require more training to make hunters of them.

A man is not qualified to make the broad statement that "Airedales are no good" or any other similar statement, because of having had an experience with one or two Airedales of the inferior kind. Some of the brother hunters speaking of the Airedale, seem very much peeved at him. Such a peevishness could be brought about by trying to enter a neighbor's chicken coop when an Airedale was on guard, or by trying to take game from a boy that had an Airedale companion. However such feelings are acquired, it shows poor judgment to exhibit them.

The Airedale, being the newest breed, is least standardized, and is. therefore, most likely to produce off-shoots of good and bad. with- all grades in between. In time to come the practical hunters, such as the readers of this magazine, and other sportsmen will perfect a strain of Airedales, exactly suited to the purpose of the hunter, not to take the place of the hound, but to work with him, each dog to supply the quality which the other does not have so highly developed.

Of the dogs that I have owned, the hounds were the best trailers and did it with greater ease and perfection; the Airedales were the most persistent and busy hunters and had more grit and determination; the hounds had the most endurance in a long chase; the Airedales were better at tree or hole. I always love and admire the beautiful appearance of a well conditioned hound, and I honor and respect a good Airedale for those qualities which make him loyal to one master and the courageous fighter that he is. The Airedales I have owned would fight for me; but the hounds would not.

If I were hunting fox exclusively, nothing would answer would be a well bred fox hound; for rabbits I would want a beagle hound; an English setter for birds; an Airedale for woodchucks, but as I hunt nothing but coon, I have "degenerated" so far as to select a first cross of Airedale and hound.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hunting With Airedales Demographics

Had an interesting question posed to me the other day asking who are the folks that are using Airedales for hunting purposes and what are they hunting? I did not exactly know the answer so I decided just for the heck of it to do a bit of unscientific research into that question.


I used the Traditional Working Airedale message board's members to get some idea who are the people that hunt with Airedales. Online since 2004 the Traditional Working Airedale message board makes no bones about who we recruit for members. Our focus for members is a narrow one, you must have an serious interest in hunting with Airedales and you must participate on the board along with an introduction of who you are and where you are from. As this is being written the board has some 300 members. While certainly not the last word it does give a pretty good representation and shows hunting trends of hunters who are actually using Airedales to hunt with.

So after sorting through the information obtained from this group of folks we will try to answer the question, "who are the people that actually hunt with Airedales and what game do they hunt?

We will look at the gender statistics first off, out of that 300 plus membership there are only a half dozen women members that are regulars and only one or two of them would be considered a hard core hunter. Interesting considering that there are probably more women that own and breed Airedales than men but when it comes to numbers we can see that men are far and away the ones that actually seriously hunt Airedales.

The board's new member introduction section tells a lot and it is one of the reasons it is a requirement for new members. Below is a typical introduction and the majority of the intros are pretty much the same.

Hello everyone, my name is Joe and I live in Ohio, I hunted with hounds and trapped lot as a boy but after I got out of school and got a job and started a family, I had to let my dogs go and hunting was set on the back burner.

I am now at the point where things have settled down and have some free time. I would like to get myself a dog and get back into hunting. I not only want a hunting dog but I want the dog to double as a family pet for my wife and kids.

I have done a bunch of research and the Airedale seems to be tailor made for what I am looking for. A great companion and pet for the family and also a dog I can take out on the weekend and do a bit of hunting with.


What we are seeing on the board is typically middle aged to older retired guys (40s through 60s) that were hunters in their youth, got away from it for a little bit but have now come to a time in their lives where they can get back into the swing of things. Not what one would call hard core but for fun and some recreation.

In my opinion a good Airedale makes the perfect hunting dog for these guys and I must admit that the type and frequency of hunting I am involved in these days, as I get older, I am kind of starting to fit into this group myself.

While we have a few young Airedale member-hunters we do not have anywhere near the numbers I would like to see and that is for a couple of reasons. First of all when young most of these guys are hard core, speaking for myself I would hunt just about every day during season and would consider a day I did not limit out a failure.

Most of the really serious hunters I have been around go with a top performer of specialist breed, for Coons it was a Coon hound, for Rabbits it was a Beagle. Personally while I was always serious I was different in that I did bring in an Airedale along most of the time and they certainly always were contributors to the hunt but I was an exception to the rule as most hunters would stick with straight up specialists.

The second big thing is the price of an Airedale, many breeders are asking two to three times higher for what it costs to buy a top bred Hound or Cur and even a Bird dog pup.

It is a pretty hard sell to get somebody with a half a brain to pay three times the going rate for a well bred cur pup to hunt Squirrels with for an Airedale pup that in most cases will not do nearly as well.

We need the young folks, personally I will do my best to get a pup into the hands of a serious young hunter, the youngsters hold the future.

And lastly there are the serious straight up Airedalers, the guys live, eat and sleep hunting with Airedales, our numbers are not huge but these are the guys, hunter-breeders, that work to maintain that Airedale hunting Tradition both in the dog itself and in the field! These guys hunt their Airedales on anything and everything!

What kind of game do hunters use Airedales for? On the board we have three categories of hunting, Small Game, Big Game, and Birds. It is pretty easy to see where the interest is.

Half of all hunting threads and posts are in the Small Game section, by Small Game we are talking Coons, Squirrels, Possum, Fox, Chucks, Rabbits, Rats, Coyotes etc for the most part.

We then can divide what is left of the second half of the posts and threads into thirds, two thirds of which are in the Big Game section. By Big Game we are talking Bear, Lion and Hogs.

The last third are threads about Bird hunting, this may be surprising to some considering the push in recent years to represent the Airedale as a bird dog. Not surprising to me, in all my years with the Airedale breed I have had very few inquiries about using an Airedale for actual bird hunting.

I will say there are some folks involved with bird field trial type events that are training and using Airedales, but as with Hounds, trialing is a lot different than actually going into the field with a gun and hunting wild game.

This Blog's hunting Airedales In Action Photo section is indicative also, those photos show pretty much the member's hunting tendencies and were their interest is. These stats also fall in line with pretty much with everything that has ever been written about hunting with Airedales going back to day one.

Approximate Percentage Wise Breakdown Of Game Hunted Is As Follows

Small Game = 50%

Big Game = 34%

Bird Hunting =16%

So there you have the breakdown and it is what it is, most Airedales are hunted by middle aged to a bit older men who are not the hard hunters they once were but still interested in getting out and having a productive but more a casual day afield. They want a dog that doubles as their family pet but can do a reasonably good job producing a wide variety of game to the gun. For that job there is no better a candidate than a well bred Airedale.

Al Kranbuhl

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hunting Dog Faults

A survey taken back in 2006

The question was posed to those in the hunting community who trained and used dogs. I asked hunters in all disciplines of hunting and those included were bird, squirrel, big game and coon. Breed was of no consequence as long as it was a hunting dog.

The individuals polled were "REAL" hunters that actually hunt with dogs not internet pretenders.

The question is a simple one but one of the most if not the most important regarding hunting dogs.


1. Dog on Dog aggression= 1973

2. Shy-Timid= 1528

3. No Nose, Can not move a track accurately= 617

4. Various Other, slick treeing, babbling, jacking a track, no ranging out, etc.= 598

Timid and shy were almost interchangeable with dog aggression, in other words most said that even though one was their first pick the second pick was just about as bad.

My personal thoughts when is comes to faults are about the same as the survey, I detest dog on dog aggression and will not own a dog that exhibits that trait, it is the absolute worse fault a hunting dog can have.

I want to add something here, there are some that believe that grit and dog aggression go hand and hand. With correctly bred hunting dogs that train of thought is pure "Bullshit"! Airedales are indicted by many unknowing hunters as being surly and ill toward other dogs which puts an immediate stigma on them from being used by serious hunters for the reasons shown in the above survey.

Airedales that are bred up right for hunting should not be causing any trouble when hunted with other dogs, Historically Airedales have always been hunted not only singly but in packs and especially with Hounds. I have personally hunted my Airedales from day one along side both with other Airedales and many other hunting dog breeds with zero problems. I will add that my Airedales have shown me all the grit that is needed to get the job done for the hunting I do.

I can tell you all this, anyone defending dog on dog aggression is not any kind of a real hunter, real hunters just do not hunt with those kinds of dogs, they are dogs I would avoid like the plague no matter what the breed.

Al Kranbuhl

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Obtaining A Hunting Pup

From 1921's The Airedale For Work & Show by A. F. Hochwalt

"I would say to the would be owner of a working Airedale, select a puppy from a reliable utility strain and train him yourself. The average puppy from a working strain is very intellegent. very game and very hardy."

"Some of the bench show strains are lacking all these qualities and gameness. It is not beyond the bounds of truth in saying fully seventy percent of puppies descended from a generation of bench dogs are sadly lacking this most essential quality of the Airedale."

A. F. Hochwalt

Well there you have it, and sadly some things never change and in fact the situation is probably even worse in today's Airedales. Hochwalt recognized way back in 1921 the effect show dogs were making on the Airedale breed in the working department and I have to agree with what he said.

My own personal experience with show line Airedales has not been good at all when it comes to hunting, they are watered down and just seem to be lacking and weak in all of the important traits that go into the makeup of a number one hunting dog.

Any breeder who thinks they can produce good hunting dogs without getting them in the woods and severely testing them to see if they have what it takes is living in a dream world, and a big reason why you see many of today's Airedales performing so poorly as hunting dogs when they are actually hunted seriously.

If you are not testing your dogs and hunting them, "BOTH MALES &  FEMALES" you are breeding blind! All the good traits that went into the Airedale that caused them earn their stellar hunting reputation was through selection and testing, to keep and retain those traits requires more of the same, it is a process that never ends!

Al Kranbuhl

Pete Bassani's Redline Airedale "Joe Boy" and Den Terriers after a successful hunt.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Improving The Airedale Breed (HUNTING)

I often get inquiries by hunters looking into the Airedale breed as hunting dogs wanting to know what their shortcomings are. In my opinion there are two things that hold these dogs back from main stream hunters giving them a serious shot.

It is well known that many early Airedales were used by poachers, silent hunting dogs were the choice as so not to get caught. Well that may have been fine for the old time poachers in the Britain but today in North America a little bit of voice on the hunt would sure make a big difference and an asset.

Lets face the facts, much of the game hunted here in the US will take to climbing trees, over time the popular hunting dogs breeds like Curs and Hounds have been adapted and bred for this type of hunting.

So number one on my list is an elevation percentage wise in the hunting lines of good bred in natural treeing instinct. This would provide a marked improved performance on small game like Bobcat, Possums, Squirrels and Coon, and also on the big game side we have Lion and Bear.

Wayne Hill's "Katie" with treed Bear.


My personal experience has been mixed I have owned a couple of good hard lock down treeing Airedales that located and barked as nice as one could want. Many were what I would call fair tree dogs, they would bark and hold tree long enough I could get in to them in time to see the tree they were on before they quit, I can at least live with that!

The Airedales that are the most frustrating are the ones that are doing everything right but just do not bark. They will get out and strike a track, they have enough nose to move that track out and will locate the correct tree and not utter a bark! You will find them jumping, climbing, and biting on the tree but other than maybe some whining, no barks.

You then will have some that just do not have a clue at the tree, zero tree sense.

The other thing I would like to see more of in the breed is being just a bit vocal on track. No I don't expect an Airedale to run track like a bawl mouth Hound, but I like to hear at least enough noise so I can keep track of a race running a lone dog. It is pretty hard to follow a hunting dog in heavy cover that does not give at least some voice. I believe barking treed and being open on track are somewhat intertwined. I have noticed that my best treeing Airedales also said something when they were tracking.

As the old timers say "You will reap what you sow", if you want a treeing dog you have to breed from dogs that locate and tree, the same goes for open track dogs. As with any other hunting breed it takes hunting and testing on game to expose the Airedales that possess these traits.

As group we have to keep our eyes open for the Airedales that exhibit these good and essential traits for hunting much of the game pursued in this part of the world..

A group of people can get a lot accomplished by working together. I can see no reason why the Airedales of today can not be brought back up on a par with the old Traditional hunting American Airedales that by most accounts seemed to have these traits pretty well entrenched in their makeup.

One more thing, to those within and those looking to join the Airedale community, that stand on the sidelines bickering, bitching and crabbing about the Airedale's short comings and what should be done to improve the Airedale's performance. I say to them get to work and practice what you preach, don't worry about what others do and things you can not control. Lead by example, if you produce good hunting Airedales they will speak for themselves and you!

Lets get them in the woods on game and see what they got!

Al Kranbuhl

Old photo showing some old time Airedale coon dogs owned by Donald Johnson of Staffordsville VA. It was said his Airedales could out coon hunt any hounds in that area. An illustration showing that there was a time when Airedales were pretty fair tree dogs.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Mooreland Airedales

From the pages of the Traditional Working Airedale message board.

This is a little piece I wrote a few years ago for Full Cry as a tribute Gordon Moore and his famous Mooreland Airedales. It never made the Full Cry and actually it is the second time this article was assembled as I had the hard drive crap out on my computer where it was stored and lost the works. I have recovered bits and pieces and have slowly put the thing back together. Many of the pictures are not the best, they were from old brochures and captured frames from a VHS video that I took while on a visit to the Mooreland kennel. I could not recover it all but I got a good part of it. I hope it gives just a bit of credit and insight to one of the best hunting strains of American Airedales Terriers ever in my opinion. :)

There are quite a few pictures in this piece so if you have an old fashioned dial up IP like me the whole thing will take a little time to unfurl. ;) You might also have to hit the refresh button a time or two to get them all to unload.

Al Kranbuhl
Mooreland "GUS", this fine Airedale was owned by Richard Augusta, California, Gus is out of the famous Mooreland stud "Fire Boss" who is also pictured down below. October 1979
When a man and a couple of his Airedales change your life forever I think some words about this fellow are in order. The man I am talking about is Gordon Moore who for many years ran the Mooreland Kennel out of Sparta Tennessee. Mr. Moore does not have a clue on how he has affected my life, to him I am probably just one of many customers that obtained a couple of Airedales from him. I can say with certainty that a single Airedale from that kennel taught me more about the ins and outs of hunting dogs than anything else in my life. This dog had such an profound effect on me that in the end it virtually determined my lifestyle, where I live, my job, vehicles and even this message board and much more as my life went to the dogs LOL. And it was not only me, anybody that had the opportunity to see this special dog in action never forgot him. I still have my buddies bring up old Rex when the subject of great hunting dogs arises. 1967 was the year, the Mooreland Airedale was Rex and he introduced me to the to the Airedale breed as hunting dogs, I have been obsessed with Airedale Terriers ever since. ;D

Moreland Kennel, Sparta Tennessee, 1992, Two of the last pure Mooreland Airedales. The picture quality stinks and does not do these two dogs justice. Two big heavy eared bruisers, I would have liked to brought home either one.

For those who are not familiar with Gordon Moore and his Airedales he ran his operation from the fifties up to the early nineties. Moore's Airedales were not show dogs, his Airedales were of the large, hunting type and promoted as such. Advertising ran in the classified sections of all the major outdoor magazines such as Outdoor Life, Field and Stream, and Sports Afield. The Mooreland strain and the Ouachita strain were the two best known hunting lines in the US during this period and both were of the large type. Although Mr. Moore bred and advertised large sized Airedales he told Henry and myself that he did not necessarily favor the large type exclusively. He came right out and said the public for what ever the reason associated large Airedales as ones that could hunt and that is what they wanted. Being a business man he bred what his customers wanted but acknowledged and rightly so that good hunting Airedales came in every size.


In their day the reputation of the Mooreland Airedales as hunting dogs was legendary. I have had conversations with so many former owners of this strain and the stories are consistent. The praises sound like a record playing over and over again. Time after time I heard tales about about individuals from a strain of Airedales that were the real deal and actually did duplicate all of the types of hunting we read about in old books and magazines and did it the right way. This information has all jived with my own experience with these Mooreland Airedales. I can assure you that all Airedales are not created equal when it comes to hunting ability, my Mooreland Airedales were in a league of their own.
A picture of a Mooreland pup, notice the heavy-houndy ears which seem to have been typical of many Mooreland Airedales I have seen. This young Airedale could almost pass for an Otterhound.
One of my present Airedales, He has a good percentage of Mooreland breeding, Again notice the heavy-houndy ears. I believe those ears are showing these dogs have a strong Otterhound influence and probably one of the reasons they have such good noses. I would rate the Mooreland Airedale's nose and their ability as track dogs right up there and on par with medium nosed hound.


Another picture of the same Airedale illustrating what I call a Mooreland head.

Another quality that many Mooreland Airedales seem to have is they will open some on the track. Not like a hound but enough so you know where they are and can keep track of them. It makes things much easier when hunting them alone. A high percentage of them also make tree dogs as they seem to have this trait bred into them fairly strong. Remember the biggest weakness of the Airedale breed as a hunting dog is treeing ability, (after all they are Terriers) it is a inherited bred in trait so when you find a line of dogs that possess it you have something special indeed.

One of the best traits of this strain is their temperament which was just absolutely perfect for a hunting dog. My Moorelands had not a mean bone in their body, they got along well with all my hounds and loved people. But Mr. on game they they were something, they turned things on big time when the time came and it counted if you know what I mean.

This temperament thing is huge, one of the first things you will hear from a hunter that uses dogs and the subject is about Airedales is dog aggression. This is especially true with houndsmen that would like to add an Airedale to their pack for an increase in octane in the grit department. Because of the ruff-tuff Airedale reputation they think they are problem dogs and many will not take a chance on trying them for fear of fights and ruining their dogs. As a recent poll I did on hunting dog faults shows, with several thousand responses submitted from HUNTERS, "DOG AGGRESSION" is the "NUMBER ONE" concern with hunters that use dogs by far and rightly so. Anyone that has actually seen and dealt with the devestating results an ill tempered dog can have on other dogs while out hunting will promote it to the top of their list of faults in a hurry. When these Airedales are bred right there should be no problems hunting them with other dogs. Tough with grit and guts to spare yes, dog aggression absolutely not.
An Airedale that is bred for hunting should not go around jumping other dogs starting fights for no reason. When it comes to other trouble making dogs they should have confidence and an attitude to try and stay away from trouble, "but not be a coward". In other words if they could talk they would be saying " look friend leave me alone because I do not want to fight", "but if you keep pushing your luck I can and will kick your ass and kick it good".
Gordon Moore

Mr. Moore looking over a couple of young Mooreland Airedales

I can't say I know Gordon Moore well but I have had quite a bit of correspondence through mail and phone conversations along with a visit to his Kennel along with my good friend Henry Johnson. When you talk to anyone that ever dealt with Mr. Moore he could come across as Henry would say a bit "crusty." I actually can understand this as there is not many days that go by that I am not called or get emails about Airedales. With the long lived operation of his kennel I am sure Mr. Moore had to get his fair share of Airedale talk-questions. We have to remember most of the time that he was in business there was no email and most correspondence was hand written snail-mail, he licked a lot of stamps in his day I bet. I do not care how much you love the breed but sometimes the constant load plus time involved and just repeating yourself over and over gets to be a bit much. So much so that as Henry said it will make you a bit crusty in the temperament department. In fact with some of the baloney and foolishness floating around out there in the Airedale world I do not have much tolerance or sense of humor and can become a bit crusty myself. ;) So I am sure we all would feel there are days it would be nice to have a break from the same old, same old. ;)


Henry telling a tall tale!

I got along quite well with the man once conversation got rolling I found him interesting and easy to talk to. We had several things in common such as our farms and the types of animals we raised. Gordon was also an avid varmint hunter (chucks) and we had some of the same taste in rifles and in the calibers they were chambered in. I remember well the target he showed me shot from his Ruger 77 which was his and one of my favorite rifle models. Besides his farm and kennel Mr. Moore also owned and operated a local AM radio station. He also seemed to like mechanical tinkering and making things, he had a real nice shop for the projects he indulged in. He was proud to show off his improved version of an electric fence charger he developed and produced in limited numbers that was a local favorite among area farmers. I found his bream and catfish ponds interesting, a handful of fish feed would bring the fish to the top where we could get a good look at them and they were beauties. These fish could not be caught with much success with a rod and reel. Another invention was developed to catch them. They would be lured into a small area that could be charged with electricity, the fish would be stunned and come to the top of the water. A fresh fish dinner was a landing net away. I would say Mr. Moore lived a quite diverse and interesting lifestyle.
Some of the buildings and runs at Mooreland Kennel

Mr. Moore
The visit to the Mooreland Kennel was one heck of a big deal to me. As corny as it sounds this was almost hallowed ground to me. Here was THE breeder and kennel responsible for producing the best hunting dog I ever owned and made me an Airedale man for life. There it all was as in the pictures burnt in my memory from those brochures I got from Mr. Moore. I wore the pages out looking at them over and over when I was just a kid in the mid sixties. I spent a lot of hours dreaming of the day I would get to have one of his great Airedales for my own.

The kennel was actually split and located on two separate properties. One facility was next to his Radio Station in Sparta. This I believe is what would be called the breeding facility, all breeding stock was housed there. Matings were made and pups were whelped and raised here. The other location was on Mr. Moore's farm and that was where the young dogs were located. Big fenced yards and plenty of room to run and get some exercise back away from the road. A real nice well thought out setup.
At the Sparta facility a big Mooreland female getting ready to whelp, it was pretty hot on this day and she was just trying to stay cool.

My visit took place in the early nineties and I could see then that the handwriting was on the wall. Mr. Moore was in his seventies running things by himself, the buildings were starting to need a lot of repair and upkeep. At that time I do not think he had a dozen Airedales total, far fewer than in the kennel's heyday. Sadly it was plain to see that things at Mooreland kennel were winding down.

Henry Johnson and Gordon Moore looking over some of the last of the Mooreland Airedales

The Mooreland Airedales


Gordon Moore, Henry Johnson and Tim Findlay looking over some Airedales at the Sparta facility.

Mooreland Kennel

Here is a bit of information and quotes Mr. Moore gave out in brochures about his philosophy on the Mooreland Airedale strain.
Like many Airedale people Mr. Moore's introduction to the breed was from his dad who owned them in the 20s and 30s. He grew up around Airedales, fell in love with the breed and just kept the ball rolling.

The official startup of the Mooreland kennel breeding program started in 1957.

"The strain was of quality necessary, not only to possess superb hunting and working qualities and abilities but also an Airedale pleasing to the eye."

"Our Standard varies considerably from the standard of the AKC and Airedale Terrier Club of America. Their standard has proven inadequacies as to gait, speed guts and endurance."


Young Mack pictured below my last pure Mooreland, I raised just one litter out of him and he produced some great dogs. Mr T just below was one of them.

This is Mr T he is out of Mack and was half Mooreland, this guy was a good one. Again notice the ear set which is what I call heavy-houndy, it was fairly typical on the Moorelands. Another thing is they had big wide heads with some space between their ears. Not the elongated narrow headed type Airedales that seem to becoming popular with the show crowd these days.


"We want markings pleasing to the eye. deep rich black and tan color. Well developed bone that shows refinement."

"We want them larger than the AKC standard, as large as possible with males not less than 75 lbs and larger if possible. But not at the sacrifice of good conformation and agility. Females would be of course would be around 10 lbs lighter in most cases. Only the very best individuals can be used for breeding".

As you can see looking at the pedigree of the "Fire Boss" dog below Moore used quite a bit of Oorang breeding in his Airedales. I noticed that my Mooreland Airedales also had quite a few Oorang dogs showing in their pedigrees.
"Another spot in which the Airedale fits very well is an all-around dog for the city dweller, who loves a bit of outdoor sport in the woods and fields, but who can not keep more than one dog. here again the Airedale is a "jack of all trades".
"On the farm he makes a splendid sheep and cattle dog. When not in use for these chores he will answer for a sporting dog whether it is for hunting rabbits, squirrels, possums coons, or as a waterfowl retriever or hunting upland birds."
Michelle Schwenneker's Mooreland bred Airedale "Daisy" who has a job of keeping the farm free of vermin

This is one of my Airedales his name is Rex and he is out of Michelle's Daisy pictured above.


"The Airedale is an ambitious dog to a much greater extent than most breeds. Leave him to follow his master to the pastures a few times and he will soon learn how to drive stock."
"With effortless training there is no limit to his capacity. You will pay attention to his bark for he will seldom bark without cause, if ever a dog slept with one eye open it is an Airedale."

The Airedale as a companion
"His natural Terrier playfulness and eagerness to please comes about through devotion for his owner and not through viciousness The Airedale is a sensitive, responsive dog and will return many times over the care and affection invested in him. There is nothing better than an Airedale who has grown along with you in wisdom and understanding."


The Mooreland kennel was a very large operation in it's heyday. Moore gave me a number of pups he shipped during one of his best years and while I do not remember the exact number it was huge. In the early days he said he would bring a truck load of pups in crates to the train station in Nashville. They were sent all around the country by train. Of course later on everything was shipped by air.
In today's politically correct climate he would surely be branded as a puppy mill operator.

Although he hunted his dogs personally I believe he also relied a lot on his hired help, friends that hunted his dogs, and feedback from customers for performance information and evaluation. Mr. Moore would use that feedback for his decision making when it came to breeding. When handling that large of a number of hunting dogs it would be the only way. In truth he had a operation that followed a formula that was very similar to the old Oorang Kennel except on a smaller scale.


This is a reproduction of a newspaper article from one Mr. Don Kimsey, credit is to be given to the Albany Journal.

This article is a typical one in that the stories I have heard are very similar from many many Mooreland Airedale owners, minus the murder part of course.


By Don Kimsey, Georgia,

This is the story of a dog, not just an ordinary dog but a life saving thoroughbred Airedale out of the hills of Tennessee who disappeared in a sensational murder case in Albany and has not been heard or seen since.

The Airedale pup was shipped to me via air express, from the Mooreland Kennels in Tennessee. The owner and I both desired to see how an Airedale, essentially a cold weather type, could live and compete with other good dogs in this section. He outdid them all.
That is the story and here are the details.

I bought the Airedale as a companion, but soon I was to learn he was more than that. Before half grown we were walking through a pecan grove and he froze and pointed at a clump of grass. "You silly dog", I thought "what do you think you are?" I was amazed when I flushed a covey of quail under his point. I was to be more amazed later.

Full grown, this great hunting Airedale and this writer experienced the most hair raising episode in all my years of hunting and fishing.

The foreman of a big plantation near Albany gave me permission to hunt the big wild boar hogs that were plaguing his good swine stock, tearing down fences and pens to get the sows and otherwise creating havoc.

Late one chilly autumn day, I set out into the dense wetlands of the plantation with the dog to try my luck with one of the big boars. I knew they were rough and tough and could kill or cripple a hunter in less time it takes to tell about it.

I hunted for several hours and did not sight a boar, but as it turned out one ran across me. In the fading light I was walking back to my car. taking the route in a shallow leaf filled ditch to avoid the underbrush, My Airedale was taking a different route, out of the ditch but near me. Suddenly I heard a snort and a noise ahead of me in the ditch. Hardly before I could realize it a huge boar hog was coming at me at full speed.

I will not dramatize, just tell what happened. I had three buckshot shells in my magnum 12 ga Browning automatic shotgun and unloaded them into the charging boar as fast as I could hoping for head shots.

Needless to say, I was startled, frightened and nervous but at the same time felt sure that those three magnum loads would stop that big beast, even though lighting in the setting sun in the woods made shooting difficult.

The boar did not hesitate, he kept coming at my best estimate about forty feet away. In a panic I turned to scramble out of the ditch. My right boot slipped on the ground and I went to my knees, but was up instantly hoping to reach a tree or climb something.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw my Airedale, like a hurtling bundle of fury hit the boar sideways. And quicker than I could imagine even now, had clamped his big jaws and teeth into the boar's neck spine and was tearing twisting with indescribable strength.

However, my dog's efforts probably were not needed as the boar was dying in his charge as the Airedale hit him. The big tusker had no fight left. The buckshot had torn the big brute's head to pieces. He was no more than twenty feet from me and I still remember those long knife like tucks and those red eyes.

After hugging and patting up my Airedale looking over the big pig and composing myself somewhat, I drove back to the plantation foreman's home and told him what happened. He said I was lucky and if I hunted in that section again, near the creek, always be extra cautious and if possible bring a hunting partner with me. He said he would take care of the boars carcass as I wanted no part of it. Sometime later he advised me that the tusker weighed around 250 lbs. Why the boar charged I'll never know, unless the ditch I was walking in was a regular escape route for him, or he scented or saw my dog and did not see me at first.

Incidentally my big Airedale was out of thoroughbred linage of boar hunting Airedales in Tennessee. He was one of the best duck and quail retrievers I have ever seen. He would point and back up points with the best dogs in this region. When needed he would circle and drive deer in our direction, not just chase them. An unusual thing was that he always gave the other dogs the "breaks", seeming smiling and then moving in to do his job.

Despite his direct descendency from aristocracy in the Airedale breed, with a name as long as your arm, my youngest son insisted that he be named "Butchie" and that was that.

When Butchie saved an elderly lady's life, it was quite an occasion in Leesburg, Ga. We were at a friend's home and Butchie was chained outside to a comfortable dog house. When a fire broke out in the woman's house, across the street, Butchie broke his chain and and dashed to the front porch of the burning home. His frantic barking aroused neighbors, who with the help from firemen, got the woman out and revived her.

The story of this remarkable, intelligent dog, at last is one that haunts me constantly.
A well know local politician, running for office, persuaded me to loan him Butchie for two weeks to keep him company and to travel with him in his car. The politician was murdered (shot) and Butchie has not been seen or heard of since.

Many searches and investigations have been made but no sign or trace of this great dog. There was no indication Butchie was with the man when he was murdered. The murderer was caught tried and convicted, but he said he knew nothing of the dog. All this is a matter of public record in the Dougherty and Worth counties.
I always will remember Butchie close at heart. I remember the time when I blew a rattlesnake's head off in Lee county and bent down to pick up the reptile to count it's rattles. Butchie grabbed me gently by the arm and would not let me touch it until he himself was assured it was dead.

I remember the times near our home when Butchie made it a regular chore to look after the school children. He would gently nudge them back on to the sidewalk out of the street and always stand between the children and cars.

No dog could whip him, as it says in the dog book. A pit Bull, a vicious animal attacked him once and Butchie killed him almost instantly. Also a huge and mean German Shepherd attacked Butchie and the Airedale merely knocked him off his feet and held him down with his feet until the Shepherd cooled off. From then on they were good friends.
But enough about my dog, Airedales come in different sizes, b ut if you want to get a real dog get one of the great hunting types. In a final tribute to Butchie-my goodness I could even talk to him.

Don Kimsey
(I would like to make one more comment on Mr Kimsey's article and it is his very last sentence that rang so true for me. My Mooreland Airedale Rex I could talk to and I swear he knew what I was saying.) He was by far the most intelligent animal I ever knew.
Mack pictured here is my last pure Mooreland Airedale, he was getting a tour of the farm not long after I picked him up at the Airport. Neither of my pure Mooreland Airedales were exceptionally big, both Rex and Mack ended up around 75lbs to maybe 80lbs. Most of the dogs I saw at the kennel were around 80 to 85 lbs, I know some Moorelands did get up in the 100lb range.

Another comment I would like to make was that my first Mooreland Airedale Rex had what would be today considered a Redline type coat much like my Texas Pete dog. Very short and hard with minimal furnishings. I did ask Mr. Moore about the short coats and he referred to them as "old fashioned Airedale coats". That so called "old fashioned coat" was the terminolgy used by most Airedale folks years ago until Henry gave the look and type a definitve name "Redline". As you can see on little Mack his coat was not very fuzzy and ended up as a medium length coat as an adult.


Well it is all over but the crying now, the kennel is now closed for more than ten years and no more. The last time I talked to Gordon Moore he had just a couple of Airedales left. Believe me I tried in every way I could to pry one of those dogs away from him but it was no go. Mr. Moore has since had open heart surgery and the last I knew he was still alive but every time I called I could never get hold of him. Probably about as sick of me pestering him as a body could be, and he would have to be in his eighties as I write this.

In closing this little piece I have to say one thing. Back on that visit to his kennel that one of the biggest blunders I have ever made was not bringing back a couple of the last of those pure Mooreland Airedales. I am still kicking myself over that. As the old saying goes "You Snooze You Lose"!

While I still have Mooreland blood in most of my Airedales it has become more and more diluted as time goes by and I am still always on the lookout for Mooreland blood in high percentage.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Grit & Airedale Wisdom

I get requests every now and then from young fellers that they are wanting an Airedale with the over the top aggressive traits, essentially a Pitbull that looks like an Airedale. While grit can certainly be a good thing it can also be too much of a good thing. For hunting dogs it needs to be tempered and used smartly in the right dose. I try to explain to them that aggression is something that can be overdone and while one has to admire a dog going at it head on with something like a bear, getting themselves killed or busted up is not practical not to mention all the time and effort that went down the drain put in raising up and training a hunting dog from a pup.

Another consequence of these aggressive high wired dogs is dog on dog aggression which in my opinion is about the worst fault a hunting dog can have.  For most of these young guys preaching will just not work, many times this type of thing will end up having to be a live and learn experience. When the Vet bills start piling up and dogs have to be buried, and your hunting buddies start avoiding you like the plague attitudes about wanting to own the baddest dogs in the land start to change. The fact of the matter is this over the top grit thing is just not necessary to produce a top of the line hunting dog.

Below is some Airedale Wisdom by an early old time Airedale breeder and hunter James Keefe, from my hunter's perspective it is short but sweet as they say. A lot of knowledge and in the woods experience shows in those paragraphs and I strongly agree with his statements.

Al Kranbuhl


"The Airedale has so many good qualities and shows up so differently under varying conditions, that a person who watches closely is always finding new virtues and attractive traits in them. Their gameness is now fully acknowledged universally, their fidelity and love for one master alone is unquestioned. Their keenness of nose, eye and ear is proverbial, and their value for hunting all kinds of game and as watchdogs and companions is becoming better known every day."

"One of the greatest virtues and one that makes them reliable and safe is their aloofness and their certain tact and quality of minding their own business. Most people seem to think that a game-gritty dog is necessarily "scrappy" but this is not at all true, at least not with Airedales. The owner of an Airedale is not in hot water all the time on account of dog fights and on the other hand does not have to worry much if a fight is started for he will find Mr. Airedale very much alive and it is generally the hospital for the other dog usually the aggressor in the beginning."

James Keefe

Old hunting photo of a short coated Airedale and a Bobcat that was bagged.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Henry Johnson's Quadrant System

From the "Traditional Working Airedale Board"

Long time Airedale man Henry Johnson came up with a quadrant system to describe the many different types of coat one can find on Airedale Terriers. Below is a brief description from Henry.

Now you also asked me about this quadrant system I sometimes speak of. That hasn't been used much and may not be very useful. I just laid out a straight line across the page in front of me and put the modern, long-coated show line type Airedale at the left end of the line (left being socially progressive, liberal, and politically correct) and the extreme, shorter-coated "redline" type Airedale at the right end of the line (right being conservative).
I then drew lines from the two end points down to a central point to make an inverted pyramid and put old Airedale Jerry at that point (they all come from him, you know). Then I divided the horizontal line into four equal parts and connected the dividing points to the center point at the bottom. That gave me four quadrants, with the modern, longer coated dog being in the 1st quadrant and the classic "redline" type Airedale being in the 4th quadrant. There are all possible variations between the two extremes. I don't use this classification much and don't really know how practical it is, but my own breeding goal was and is the third quadrant dog.
By the way, I also used to say that the modern show line dog of the 1st quadrant type has been "much improved" over old Airedale Jerry, whereas the 4th quadrant dog is the same conservative, old "unimproved" type that Airedale Jerry was. Some people say that the "redline" type dog has more natural hunting drive than the 1st and 2nd quadrant Airedales do. I can't prove it myself but am inclined to believe that is true more often than not.
Henry Johnson
Liberal left Number I quadrant showing a couple of today's so called improved modern type Airedales with their soft sheep type coats left to grow out in their natural state. From my hunter's point of view I really can not make much of a positive case for a long soft curly coat such as those on these two Airedales pictured, it is just not practical.
Conservative right Number 4 quadrant at the other end of the spectrum, an actual picture of old Airedale Jerry, he is what we call a Redline type today. Airedale Jerry was born in England in 1888 and is said to be the foundation sire of the entire Airedale breed. Airedales with a coat length similar to old Jerry's were fairly common in the early days. Being a relatively young breed it does not take a genetic engineer to figure out why one of these Redline Airedales will occur in a litter from time to time even today.

Here is a bit more to compliment Henry's description I decided to try my best to put some pictures together that would help out explaining the "Quadrant System, you know they say a picture is worth a thousand words. I have owned Airedales whose coats pretty much run the gamut of Henry's quadrants and have a few pictures of them in their natural ungroomed coats to get an idea of what Henry was trying to explain.


One of my old half Mooreland bred dogs, "Mr. T" a real hair bag as you can see, his coat is long everywhere on his body. It got even longer than shown here, lots of clipping and stripping.

QUADRANT 2. Tee Jay Mack

TJ, His coat will fall midway between old Pete and old Mr. T. He is combed out with a stripping comb on a regular basis so in an unclipped state his coat would be longer than shown here especially on his body. The biggest differences between TJ and the other two is the coat length on his head and body. Left to grow TJ's coat will get long enough to require some type stripping or clipping to keep the burrs and stickers to a minimum during hunting season.

QUADRANT 3. Texas Pete

Pete here has my favorite coat type, very hard wiry coat that lays close to the body, what you see here is the way it pretty much stays. Easy to take care of with just a pair of scissors, good old fashioned Airedale look. Nice natural short coat with just enough length that makes him looked like a well groomed Airedale all the time.

QUADRANT 4. Attila The Slick

This is "Slick" and he is a full blown number 4 Redline, as his name reveals he has a very short, very hard coat, similar to the coat of old time "Airedale Jerry".

"Slick" was the only pup in his litter with the Redline look, all his siblings grew up looking like what most consider to be a "typical"  Airedale with the longer wire coat.

This type of coat is pretty rare, I am in my fifth decade with Airedales and in all that time I have had about a half dozen total show up in my litters. They take a little getting used to but they sure are practical and I have to say they grow on you once you have one.

What is amazing is Slick is closely related to all of the above dogs and his mother had a number 2 coat and his dad is Pete pictured above him. And one more comment about old "Slick", in my lifetime I have owned and trained many Airedales and have been around many more owned by other folks. I can say emphatically that "Slick", other than his short coat is all Airedale in every way one would measure an Airedale!!

Now getting back to the coats, of course there will be coats that will fall in between these but one should be getting the idea behind the quadrant system and I hope this helps.

Al Kranbuhl