Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More thoughts on the Airedale Terrier

When running he sweeps along with the free open
stride of a galloping thoroughbred, with his head
often carried low, but his tail always high.

Very often the man wanting a dog for hunting,
for a guard, for a pal turns up his nose at all the
finely enumerated details in which the standard
describes the fanciers' ideal of Airedale perfec-
tion. He is wrong, for, as the advertisements
say, " There's a reason." Take the double coat
for example. The Airedale was originally bred
to be a water dog. The wiry coat sheds water
like a duck's back, and the undercoat keeps him
warm in all weather. With the kind of a jacket
for which the standard calls an Airedale can swim
the river, scramble out, shake himself, roll over,
and be dry. Moreover, such a coat is a perfect
armor against all kinds of thorns, claws, and
teeth. The long, clean head with its strong mucles
means a jaw with plenty of room for big,
strong teeth and muscles to shut those teeth as
quickly; and as surely as a spring trap.

Of course, not one Airedale in a thousand
comes within seventy-five per cent, of being all
that the standard describes. The average, how-
ever, is high in America; much higher here than
anywhere else in the world, except England, and
our best can even hold their own with the cham-
pions from the land of the breed's creation.

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