Hunting Airedales, An Oxymoron

As to their gameness, “Stonehenge,” in his “Dogs of the British Isles,” gave them a very bad character indeed, so far as courage was concerned.

“Airedale terriers are a Failure.
The result of my experiences of them is that I find them to have good noses, they will beat a hedgerow, will find and kill rats and rabbits, and work well with ferrets. They are good water dogs and companions, possessing a fair amount of intelligence.
This is the sum total of their excellence. They came to me with a great reputation for gameness, but out of fourteen that I have personally tried at badger and fighting with a bull terrier, I have Never found one game – at least, to my idea of the word.’

‘But any terrier that would do the above work better than another would be worth keeping. Were a dog like he of 45 1b. weight or more to be used at a badger he should kill the poor brute instead of merely “drawing” him.’

This is strong speaking, but this gentleman’s experiences corroborate every word of what has gone before, and the woeful exhibition made by some Airedales when tried at a badger at Wolverhampton last January was literally the laugh of the show.

So far, I am aware that my endeavours to supply information about the origin of the Airedale have not been attended with success, but upon the merits of the breed I can speak with more authority, having had the benefit of the experience of a gentleman who took it up some short time back from the glowing accounts he had heard of its gameness and bottom. The result was most Mortifying.

He could make nothing of the dogs, and was heartily glad to get rid of them. Prom what he tells me concerning Airedales, I have no doubt that they potter about the banks of a river, and take water well, and that they will kill rats, which, as they scale from 401b. to 501b., is not much in their favour.

I think that those individuals who at Wolverhampton show about 1883 made a semi-public exhibition of him against a badger, an animal the like of which the poor dog had never seen before, were extremely badly advised.

As for fighting, any terrier fond of it is a nuisance to his owner and to the owner of any other dog.
For the Airedale terrier was claimed superiority as a worker of the riverside after rats, and as an assistant to the gun in working hedgerows and thick coppices, which, it was said, he could do ‘better than a spaniel and take up less room than a retriever.’

‘I will even go further, and admit that specimens may be produced which will tackle a badger under protest; but not another step will I go in favour of the Airedales as a game, hard-bitten race.
Summing up the merits and demerits of the breed, it must be said of the Airedale that his want of heart, his size, the diversity of types, and tendency to throw back in breeding, are great drawbacks, which his fondness for water, scarcely out-balances.’

Therefore, when we find, as I believe we can, that a wire-haired Scotch, Dandie Dinmont, Skye, Irish, or small bull terrier possesses all the gameness of the Airedale (in addition to which they take up one quarter of the room, and can go to earth), the question only remains, ” Why keep an Airedale ?

A respected Airedale owner who works his dogs says about Raccoons:
“If you have one Airedale in ten that can locate and tree with accuracy and stay.
Make it a squirrel and forget it, out of all the Airedales I have owned only one would have been considered a top squirrel dog. I am talking about a top squirrel hunting dog not a dog that sight chases a squirrel off a bird feeder and trees it by sight only.
The point of all this rhetoric is that I have been asked many many times about the treeing ability of Airedales. I have always considered it their biggest weakness as a hunting dog and I will be quick to point it out.’

This is what the Airedale looked liked when it was bred for hunting and a respectable utility dog to earn its keep, though it was still called a ‘Failure’ by real working dog men in England.




TODAYS Airedale, Otterhound terrier cur underneath it all.


Standing Around & Barking…

4 vs 1 and coyote is giving worse than he gets. Others stand around

Grit? The cur/pit cross shows more, and thats saying alot…

Hunting Line Airedale Standing Around, Wont pull Fur

A Jagd, Patterdale and Mongrel pull fur, Airedale wont close. See a trend yet?

Wont close on a nearly dead, 3 legged fox with neck exposed! Hunt Line Dale.

Cant get out of the way fast enough.

3 legged trapped 30# bobcat, wont close.

Closers or Cowards?
4 on 1 and they still wont close. This Coyote gives more than he gets here..

Sniffing & barking at a Badger, will not close

From a Well Known Working Breeder. 3 legged Trapped Raccoon. Closer?

3 legged trapped bobcat. No close

Airedale waits for reinforcements and calvary.

Only pic of Dale close to closing, but Notice the coyote is hog tied, and shot with a sniper rifle setup. This dale is either a ‘decoy’ dog that runs FROM the coyote (Jagds, Bulldogs & Drahthaars dont run from vermin), or its a ‘tailgate’ picture, one made for unsuspecting viewers to think he is a game working dog. He’s NOT!


All Examples of Versatility shown by Deutsch Drahthaars
From dispatching Vermin, treeing, trailing, dead game baying or outpointing a pointer.
And note quietness on a chain gang.

* See Feb 2013 Archives for more stories and photos of other breeds.

DD & Coyote

Will Even Fetch Coyotes After Dispatching, if Need be.

Pulling fur

Pulling Fur

Putting teeth on fur

Drat and Jagd Terrier

Drahthaar Closing On a Badger

Drahthaars & Bulldog Catch dog
2 Drahthaars & Bulldog Vested and Ready To Boar Hunt

Drahthaars &amp Jagds on Hog
Drahthaars & Jagds Closing On Wild Boar

Drahthaar & Cheetah

Dead Game Bayer

Pointer Backing a Drahthaar

Refuse icy retrieves? Never!!

Drahthaar & Raccoons
A Coon Hunting Drahthaar above.
This same dog also works well in the uplands, duck blind and is a great deer recovery blood tracking dog.

USA- Young Drathaar & Jagds Baying a Hog

43 Responses to Hunting Airedales, An Oxymoron

  1. Josh England says:

    From Daily Terrier Dose Website
    ‘In this particular case, even the word “terrier” does not tell you very much, as a pit bull is not a terrier by any definition (it is too large to go ground and it does not even look like a terrier). The pit bull is a molosser breed, pure and simple.
    Adding the name “terrier” to its name does not change the reality, any more than calling me “Sue” would make me a woman. For the record, the pit bull is not the only “terrier” that has been misnamed.
    The airedale is almost pure otterhound underneath it all, and is a terrier in appearance only do to tremendous amounts of clipping and breeding to make it look more and more like a welsh terrier.
    Go look at an old Airedale picture (it is not a very old breed) and you will see it is just an odd looking otterhound that has been tidied up. A hound is not a terrier, not does the Airedale fit within the terrier form or function mold.”

    • AK says:

      Every ‘Hunting’ photo Ive seen of Airedales, they are barking, and not closing on game….
      You never see a photo with teeth on fur.
      This article about sums it up. Why feed such a dog or keep one?
      I think there are many other serious hunting breeds that will do a much better job, whether trailing, catching, baying, dispatching.
      (Catahoula, Black Mouth Curs, Lacy Curs, Deutsch Drathaars, Jagd Terriers, Dogo)

  2. troy says:

    How many of those dogs that were compared to Airedale did you see in the AKC show this month, none. And that is the issue with Airedale. The more people you have breeding them for show dogs and foer the high puppy prices the less you will see the old dogs you heard stories about. And if you compare the dogs from the kennels that have the infamous ” black” dog you aren’t really giving the breed a shot. I have and know people in my area that have game dogs. One guy had to cut it down to a quarter to keep them from getting killed by bear every year. My dogs will run a track and tree, but not like a hound. But if I want a hound I would hunt one. A lot of that aggresiveness has been bred down to lose the dog aggression. What kind of a person would want a dog that would fight other dogs, and then try to hunt it? I think you have very little knowledge of the breed and are using poor kennels for your examples.

    • gjonah says:

      Dogos, Jagd Terriers, Patterdales, Drahthaars and Pits are All hunted in small and large dog packs-without incident of dog fights.

      Hard Dogs need Not be dog aggressive, to be fierce and hard ON game!! Its a bad Fault.
      This is simply Another misnomer for bad breedering so prevalent among airedale breeders, and apologists for cull curs, that should be neutered or put down.

      If you or anyone has a ‘game’ Airedale, send me one photo or video of your dog closing on serious game (Badger, Bobcat, Coyote, Feral Hog), one on one.
      It will be posted, otherwise I rest my point as Airedales Not being gritty dogs, they are anything but, and largely Failures as hard dogs.
      As for being Versatile dogs, I think that Airedales are a bust, and many other breeds are more suitable and effective.

      Otherwise, I agree with you on show breeding, but that said, working breeders of Airdales have no testing or breeding evaluation criteria, the dogs collectively are NOT hard, they dont scent well, dont do much of anything well, imo. The pictures dont lie.
      Wait until I embed the pic of a working airedale from a working kennel, just barking at a trapped raccoon on the ground, the dog will not close one on one. Can you say Cull?

      Airedales need a new breeding program, perhaps cross breed Jagd Terriers/Drahtharrs/Patterdales for nose and game hardness ie courage and back to other airedales until the line is suitable as a true working dog, would take much culling and dedication from working breeders though, honesty about their assessment, Hardness and hunt tests as well as mandator health screening.

      • bharford says:

        That motto about them ‘doing anything any dog can do and then whip the other dog’, was said of the Pitbull, NOT the Airedale!
        Airedale owners stole that motto from the Pitbull (not surprisingly.)

        “Whatever any other breed of dog can do, a pit bull can do it better – and then whip the other dog.”
        Attributed to Louis Colby, J.P. Colby, President Roosevelt and several others.

  3. troy says:

    Why would you want a animal that engages a animal when you aren’t even near it, that tells me you are not a hunter. If it does then it gets mortally wounded you won’t even be able to take care of it and it will most likely die. Or if it does catch it, it will have to hold it until you get there. That tells me you aren’t or know very little about hunting dogs. I have owned or hunted with most of the dogs you mentioned, and some will do OK in the field. But who can stand a dog on the end of the chain or in a kennel barking non stop. And a pit isn’t a hunting dog, if your lucky it may catch something if your looking at it and don’t have any other dogs that will challenge it on the way. And most of the others you listed are great as long as your buddy doesn’t want to bring a dog, because your entire pack will jump on it. Most of these traits were bred out due to the facts I mentioned. And the Airedale you had pictured can be obtained to this day, they are called red line. Like I said previously, check you facts so you don’t look so silly if someone reads this that doesn’t live under a rock. And if you want those gator dogs stick with your dogs that you enjoy.

    • gjonah says:

      Most of what you type is nonsense, and spoken like a novice.
      If you hunted with Jagds, Drahthaars, Patterdales, Dogos or even Pits, youd know that anything on 4 legs is fair game for them, they are all heat seeking destroyers, they dont bark or wait to see if its on the menu, they destroy. Hunting is an occupation hazard for dogs-Roads, Accidentally shot, dangerous game (Vesting on dogs is frequently done for Boar in Germany)

      Dogos were bred TO hunt in packs. Drahthaars and Jagds the same.
      They are NOT dog aggressive, a terrible fault and breeding to it would be undesireable.

      Drahthaars & Munsterlanders about to be released on a Hunt, in a Pack

      Many Pits & Bulldogs hunt fine in any pack & not dog aggressive, depends on the line. Dogos for sure, they are a Running Catch dog.

      Youre making lame excuses for Airedales (most if not all of them) which have never amounted to much. Their claim to fame was as suicide dogs in war, starved and trained to run to tanks expecting food, while strapped with bombs. Do your research.

      Ive hunted over dogs for 35 years, Versatile dogs, and Hog and bear hunted with Dale crosses, Pits, Bulldogs, Jagds, Drahthaars, Kurzhaars, Setters, Brittanies and beagles.
      Well bred, Hard Versatiles I know and own, are quiet on a chain or home, but switch on in the field or forest like Jeckle and Hyde. This is what I want in a dog, in abundant supply with well bred and balanced Euro dogs.

      I dont care if its a slick, redline or solid black if it can hunt. But Airedales are a failure and all I see typed are excuses. They dont CLOSE on game, dont put teeth ON Fur.
      Please Prove me wrong, send your pics of your Airedale Closing, one vs. one on a healthy badger, coyote, bobcat, large raccoon Not shot out of a tree, or catching any decent sized hog. The readership is waiting for you to prove me wrong.
      Pictures and Video do not lie.

  4. troy says:

    If you would ever stop and try to understand what you are reading we are saying similar things, but for different purposes. The dogs you hunt are great in a pack, but not with you buddies strange dog. They would fight them, but i am sure you have the only pack that doesnt. And from what you are said in your blog you only resourses are turnerseed and maybe a person that had one here and there. Or maybe the lady in nm. The Airedale most serious hunting breeders are trying to produce aren’t the run in and tear a bear fur out, why, because you will end up with a dead dog. There are great bear and cat dogs that attack, but they are great for the one or maybe if your lucky the two years they are alive. Everyone of the dogs you listed are for a specific purpose and they do that job well, but none are as versitile as a Airedale. You still never answered the question of what person would want a dog that would find game and kill it if you were not there? You also said that they kill everything with four legs, why would you want that? I used trained dogs that distinguished what they are hunting. If that is hunting where you live, I think we have different ideas about hunting. If I want a straight kill dog I could name a thousand breeds that can do it better than the breeds you listed. So if you are saying that the airdale no longer will charge into any fight and attack whatever is there. ? Or that a Airedale is not dog aggressive, well some may be, but not all? And that Airedale are not man aggressive? Then you are right.

    • gjonah says:

      Not true,
      Exhibit A below.
      These German Drahthaars & Munsterlanders are soon to be released on Boar, roe deer, fox, badger, hare, pheasant and duck in a days hunt, Hunted IN Packs

      Confident, balanced dogs like Dogos, Drahthaars, Jagd Terriers etc can be and are HARD on game but Not dog aggressive! I can hunt my dogs and have with strangers dogs without incident.
      The breeds mentioned do fine with strange dogs once introduced and rank is established. I say confidently they are all better mannered than airedales, known to be tree fighters and bullys, especially on weaker hounds.

      Airedales are Less versatile than Drahthaars or Jagds, in every capacity. Thats why the other breeds are growing by leaps and bounds among Hunters in North America.
      Airedales have less nose, less drive and focus, are less hard on fur, cant work a field, cant blood track as well, work out of a duck blind and search cattails for cripples, or work fur. That leaves me wondering just what in the hell they are good for, other than as pets?

      Jagds, DDs, Dogos, Catahoulas are not bred for ‘specific’ purpose, they are bred and worked as true Versatile dogs, evaluated and worked on game in the Field, forest and water.
      A dogo is probably alot more versatile than a Dale as well, especially as a boar dog, same with a well bred Cur dog. Hardly 1 in 4 Airedales tested at HWA Nationals (of 100 dogs) can even pass a 100 and 300 yard raccoon drag!

      An owner of a good versatile dog (like a Jagd, Catahoula, Dogo or Drahthaar), can send dog(s) out into a 50 acres patch of woods or bigger, the dogs will work 200-800 meters away and bay (or catch smaller) boar, catch coons on the ground, kill foxes & coyotes if need be, and the next day sit quietly in a duck blind in the afternoon, after working a CRP field for upland birds in the morning-this is especially true of German Versatiles moreso than Cat curs or dogos.

      A 20# Jagd is far more valuable than an Airedale as a hunter and closer.

      And if one chooses to hunt alot of ducks and upland birds, than a Drahthaar is infinately more valuable and versatile than an Airedale, and harder on fur in every way, including Hogs.
      All I read are hollow claims from Airedale owners but thats all they have, empty words not backed by anything, and lots of excuses.
      Ive requested photos or video and have offered to post it to refute my premise, and those of people that have worked airedales and view them as failures. No one has taken up the offer.

      See the February 2013 Archive stories on this blog and see the photos and view the video of Real working breeds like Jagds working, drahthaars working, and dogos working.
      Airedales are not a jack of all trades, they are a bust in all trades. I dont think they are worth feeding personally.

  5. troy says:

    OK, so you according to you it takes at least 6 different breeds to be able to compare to an airedale. If you actually had a good dale instead of pictures you may change your mind. And like I posted previously, the dogs you listed will probably kill animals better than dales. You have a computer, email or call and ask some breeders of the dogs you mentioned and ask them how dog aggressive there breed is. Because I have. Then do a couple of searches for dales doing any of the things you listed, I am sure you can find them. This has been fun but you can’t fill the cup that is full of hate and incorrect information. So please quit calling me, I know you didn’t want me to mention it. But just like I told you on the phone, my dogs are not for sale. And I will keep your number for when I have pups. Thanks

    • gjonah says:

      It doesnt take 6 breeds, though I easily name 6 breeds that are better hunters and harder on fur game: Jagd, Drahthaar, Kurzhaar, Stichelhaar, Pudelpointer, Dogo, Catahoula Cur, Lacy Cur, Black Mouth Cur, Patterdale et al. Even a Small Feist at 30 lbs would be more productive in the woods, and probably equal in hardness than a Dale.

      I wouldnt feed an Airedale. One Jagd Terrier or Drahthaar is easier to feed and more productive on the ground, duck blind, forest baying hogs, killing badgers or coons, and tracking deer.
      For a Running Catch dog, a DOGO is hard to beat, but pound for pound the Jagd or 3 is their equal and superior to any Airedale & still costs less to feed.

      I dont need to call a breeder, Ive hunted over airedales & airedale crosses. They werent worth keeping.
      Many are dog aggressive, especially near a tree, its a BAD Fault and hasnt been bred out of the breed as with Dogos, Drahthaars and even Jagds, which are far more aggressive and hard on Game.

      This blog isnt about hate, it is YOU that Hates the Truth.
      The airedale was a failure 100 years ago, according to many experienced working dog men, working dozens of them on badgers, in the pit, fields, and the Dales are in worse shape now. The hunting community knows this after experiencing & trying to hunt with them. They run Hot, have poor noses, run trash alot, and often fight dogs in the pack, especially on tree. Other Versatile hunting breeds dont have these collection of bad faults.

      P.S. – I have never called you, and wont be calling you.
      When I need another hunting dog, it will be a JAGD Terrier and/or Drahthaar. If and when I need a running Catch dog, I will import a Dogo from Argentina.

      • gjonah says:

        And note quietness on a chain gang.

        * See Feb 2013 Archives for more stories and photos of other breeds.

        Mr. Troy Said:
        ‘But who can stand a dog on the end of the chain or in a kennel barking non stop?’

        Not me for sure, and fortunately Drahthaar owners dont have to either..
        Exhibits A and B

        Drahthaar chain gang


  6. gjonah says:

    Yours is one of the dumber comments posted here.
    Would you let any serious Versatile hunting Breed, Trailing Hound or Working dog off lead and not at Heel, when it is not trained?
    But, A Simple WHOA command breaks the TRAINED Dog, in full stride,
    off any chase, including fur as long as youre in sight. But would any responsible person allow a hunting hound, Terrier or working dog to run ‘off lead’? Not in my book, same goes with a DD or should!!

    For Flushing, a Springer/Cocker, or Hunting Lab is as good a choice as any. A Wachtelhund is even better.
    Watching Airedales work (Oxymoron) is like watching paint dry. And theyre not half the dog as a good Labrador, Drahthaar or Chessie in Retrieving. UKC HRC tests reveal this. THey Dont train, mark, handle or find crips as well as either. So NO, they are not more versatile, but less so than all 3 mentioned.

    Far as dispatching vermin, as hunters, it is our duty TO Kill vermin, dogs chase and close TO Kill game quickly IF Possible, rather than suffering a painful and slow death to die of blood loss or going septic!.
    This isnt hard to understand, dogs are used TO Hunt, Find and help conserve game by dispatching when necessary, it involves putting teeth ON Fur, even when being bitten back (Courage)!

    Part of hunter ethics is IF you wound an animal, that the dog will track and Dispatch/Kill….this is where DD, Jagds, Dogos come into play. Airedales dont.

    Far as fetching, YES DDs kill Crane (Dangerous) and large Giant Canada Geese and crows when they are still alive to avoid being injured/pecked after a graze shot..especially true with Crane, a large bird.
    Some of you sound as if youve never hunted in your lives, and probably havent.
    Stay away from real hunting dogs, please.
    Look into an Airedale and lie to yourself that you own a hunting dog.

    A Coyote Hunter that owns a DD and hunts coyotes with his says:
    ‘Both of mine will fight anything you put them on and love to sink their teeth into fur. They are very gritty. My female is the gritty of the two and has had some very serious injuries from fighting coyotes. She likes to dominate them from the top and tends to get ripped up on her flanks and belly from coyotes under her, but she stays and has gives back very well. She also will howl at a booger and has a great record of bringing them in when calls fail.’

  7. You are a jerk. I am forwarding this to Airedale rescue and PETA.

    • bharford says:

      Youre an idiot, please forward to whomever you like…hunting is still legal in America.

    • bharford says:

      Are YOU Anti Gentile? Or Anti Christian?
      Nazi. Lets define the term.
      Nazi: Acronym for National Socialist. Let’s proceed further.
      National: Associated with a nation, or collective of citizenry of a homogeneous state or confined geographical location.
      Fraternal Socialism: A Philosophy of government whose priority is the welfare of its citizenry.

      No problem so far, you sound angry they fought Marxist Communist J EWs? Perhaps YOU are anti gentile and anti Christian? See, I can throw around smears as well.

      And I can only imagine if Germany won WW2-why there’d be No Communism, Usury, Inflation, Abortion, Feminism, No Obama,No Israel, No UN, No Degenerative Media and social mores, No Gay marriage, and even porn. ie It’d be horrible.

      Even General Patton saw the errors of his ways and wished to ReArm Germany and invade Russia, believing that we fought the wrong nation, calling Germans ‘The greatest race in Europe.’

      I only kill what I intend to eat unless its game raiding vermin- aka ecological mgt.
      Far as Drahthaars go, they are the most widely used hunting dog in Europe, and the VDD is the largest hunting breed club in the world.
      So much for no one has heard about, huh? Please go away.

      YOU say you are anti racist, what you really are is Anti White.

  8. Casey Plunkett says:

    Fine sir I aporeciatied this report and how you hineslty shared yoy experience. I was considering a “working” airedale untill I had seen this page. I am now considering a DD and I’m 99% sure its the breed for me. Only problem I’m havig is that most breeders I’m researching that are of the VDD-GNA openly admit? to focusing on smaller dogs. I want a Larger DD which can truly handle the hardest hunts not just trials which simulate such. Becaure of your vast experience I am seeking your advice as to which breeders of the VDD to consider. if you could

  9. Casey Plunkett says:

    Can anyone that has posted here that is knowledgeable on DD’s please contact me. I am an X Marine, OIF Iraq grunt (infantry) in search of a truly versatile Deutsch Drahthaar my email contact is for direct messaging. An alternative email is I would truly appreciate any advice, referral to a quality breeders that has truly proven stock through rigorous hunts, not just trials simulating such.
    Thank you kindly in advice for your time and consideration.

  10. bharford says:

    Id suggest going to their website- (Vdd-GNA) than to your state or surrounding states and interviewing or watching some dogs do what they do.
    Youre best off finding a breeder that concentrates on the game you like to hunt.
    Some lines that are big game dogs might not be your cup of tea if youre a duck blind hunter, as far as training and ability to sit are concerned, not to mention hardness and getting a knot head so to speak.
    Overall, DDs are great dogs that dont have an equal.

  11. bharford says:

    This comes from a Book the author was Stonehenge, he is well acclaimed, as is the person he interviewed and YES, the dogs he tried, all 14 were Working line dogs, as was the extra 15th dog he saw baited.
    They are a Novelty breed, not much else, imho.
    If Im in Ireland I may take you up on your offer, my family came here during the English ZIonist Potato famine, aka Genocide when they confiscated our food with armed troops.

  12. “Stonehenge” was John Henry Walsh who wrote that book in 1859.

    What are your experiences with Airedales that prompted you to develop this site. I and everyone else who own Airedales reading this site would like to know?

    Please name the kennel or handler you hunted Airedales with!

    Surely you haven’t developed this site against Airedales and never actually hunted with them?

    • bharford says:

      I have hunted over Airedales and Airedales crosses on multiple occasions in the Midwest and South Eastern USA and had first hand experiences with the breed as my neighbor owned one, I also attended the North American Working Airedale Test, that is what prompted me to write this blog.

      When 80% of adults dogs fail to track a raccoon 300 yards, there are issues in the breed.
      Furthermore, the photos shown here of Airedales from so called ‘working’ sites evidencing their lack of hardness and courage are self explanatory, as are the experiences of Stonehenge who tried 14 of them.
      You probably think he gave up to soon and needed to try 14 more.
      Sorry, there are many other breeds that are more efficient, effective, easier trained and producers than Airedales. That is why they are not used in their own land of origin as hunters, in favor of German versatiles or Spaniels or lurchers and other dogs to beat brush.

  13. bharford says:

    Presa Vs CAO and it gets destroyed.

    And here: Presa gets mauled.

    More of the same

    And Presa vs a much smaller Pit..Presa curs

    Lots more just like this.
    Go away with your nonsense, be a real man instead of having to live through your dogs which are cowardly curs like yourself.

  14. Mike Berger says:

    I have had two Airedales from hunting lines, both were gutless, hard headed, stupid, barking pieces of crap. Here’s an example of the stupidity of my HighCountry Airedale. When he was about one year old, I would go into the yard with 3 rib bones for my dogs. The staghound and cur would instinctively sit and I would give each a bone. The Airedale I would give the command “sit” several times and then force him into a sitting position and praise him/give him the bone. I only did this once per week wanting to see how long before he would remember the lesson and sit when commanded. It took him ONE year(52 lessons), before he would sit on command! Truly a dumb dog. When we are hunting, if he’s 50 yards away but out of sight, if I call him, instead of going to where he last saw me, he runs the opposite direction looking for me.(tracking on the Garmin). This dog is a product of 10 generations of inbreeding, so I suspect he’s typical of the High Country airedale line. One time I encountered a badger in the desert and sicked my Mogollon Rim(one half breeding) on the critter, he barked 2-3 times and wandered away. He ran away from a Javelina and got his hind legs ripped up. The Hycountry Airedale runs from coyotes and small dogs. Once a coyote chased him about 100 yards back to me. I think Al Kranbuhl probably has good dogs but I’m skeptical of the others.

    • bharford says:

      As a hunter and owner of decent German Versatile dogs, I feel for you and your investment proven to be a bust. These are the reasons why many are turning to the German dogs, for grit, smarts and results.
      Best of luck to you in the future, you may wish to contact Chris at Drahthaar and Jagds Website or Mike Schlapa, breeder of Drahthaars in Georgia. Their dogs do it all.

  15. Pryor says:

    It appears that you ride a grudge against a specific breeder, and thereby the breed. I doubt many that hunt over Airedales would agree with you on most points, but might well agree that the dogs from a particular breeder might well not be the best hunters. But you paint with a very wide brush, sir.

    • bharford says:

      No grudge against the honest, just the BS’rs…
      So few hunters actually use Airedales to hunt and those that do usually have horrible results. The photos from those dogs ‘working’ or hunting if you call it that, speak for themselves.

    • Gerry Williams says:

      I agree that making such a broad statement about Airedales being collectively poor hunters does not characterize the breed.  After all, there is far more information and history out there much more positive in nature contradicting your statements. This statement I just made goes back over a 100 yrs, and I for one have experienced multiple Airedales that prove just the opposite to what you say, and I am 72 yrs young. I currently have a large Oorang Airedale male bred in CA that will be 12 yrs old shortly, and he took on last July an estimated 200 lb black bear in our smallish back yard in the NM mountains that had climbed over our field fence. My wife observed this event at 4:30 AM. The Airedale drove the bear back over the fence. So there is nothing you can say sir, that will convince me that Airedales as a breed are cowards, unless our Toby is a rare exception.The cowardly attitude you state does not seem to be supported by actions I have seen demonstrated by our dog, but other Airedales as well. Airedales are a noble and brave breed in the field and as a guard dog, etc. They show at remendous amount of spirit, at the very least the ones I have experienced.  I have the feeling you might be one of these people that you allow a bad experience to color your judgements about dogs, people, etc, to possibly saying things like all black people are criminals, all Hispanics are illegals, all Fords are junk, and so forth.  Whatever you have to say I  think is meaningless about anything, and it’s a shame you feel compelled to pollute the internet with crap like your opinions. .

      • bharford says:

        Youre dead wrong, it DOES characterize the ENTIRE Breed.
        Many of the Versatile hunting breeds NOW being used in America by a wide margin, which have effectively replaced the Sub par Airedale, were not even in existence 100 or so years ago). The Lacy and Catahoula curs, Jagd Terrier, The Pudelpointer, Deutsch Kurzhaar (GSP) and the Deutsch Drahthaar- which only arrived in America 30 years ago with the VDD breed club, for example. Its also why one never sees or saw an all Airedale pack hunting, they didnt have the nose, ran hot, ran trash or simply werent up to the task.

        The Airedale lived off a tired reputation, because there were not many other breeds on our shores to compare it to 80-100 yrs ago.
        If YOU have 1 photo of your dog CLOSING on vermin that isnt already dead or mortally wounded, send it, Id be welcome to post it for you. As of yet, and 30,000 views, no Airedale owner has.
        It is a sad commentary on this imposter terrier breed.
        If youre interested in a real terrier, look into the Jagd or Patterdale Terrier. See California Catchers website.

      • JJ says:

        Sir, I am south african and came across this article. Thought to give a bit of input. I would believe the story you told about your dog. I have done a bit of bird hunting with dogs (mostly with pointers but also with airedales) and the airedales have not dissapointed. Never looked at the dog and thought it to be a cowardly breed but rather confident, well trained and behaved. Having said that im sure an untrained dog can mess things up. I would not label it as the best bird hunter but it certainly got the job done in the bushveld. As for dogs that go out and tries to kill everything that moves…may they never come here cause these farmers are going to chase them away. I’m also sure the airedale owners I know prefer training their dogs in order to be able to keep them for their whole lifespan.

      • bharford says:

        Thank you but YOU do not understand Gameness, Terrier mentality nor well bred Hunting dogs.

  16. Jon Doe says:

    Mike Berger, it took YOU 52 lessons to teach an Airedale to sit?
    That is so funny!

    • bharford says:

      Sounded like it took the dog 52 lessons to learn..thats what terrible inbreeding to no standard from a glorified puppy mill, gets you even with treats to train with.

  17. Joseph says:

    I’ve been privileged to have two Airdales. They were as different as night and day. It is all in the training. The first was purchased from a Russian immigrant who had just arrived in Canada. His dog with her nine pups were in quarantine. We selected a female that we raised to look after the children in the yard and since we lived in the country we were prone to wild dogs and coyotes wandering through the yard. Her job was to protect and she did it well. She would attack and kill any furry creature that had the misfortune of coming to close. The other Airedale we currently have is a gentile a creature that would never harm anything. Occasionally, I do see the Airedale misdemeanor but generally just good natured, certainly not a hunting dog. His might and size at 80 lbs of muscle could do serious harm. (He is twice the weight of our first Airedale). He is what we want him to be. It is all in the training.

    • bharford says:

      No, its the breeding or lack thereof.
      But this article points to the fact that the breed is a failure at the outset, 100+ years ago, its now eclipsed by many other breeds that werent even conceived when the Airedale became so popular. You cant train genetics, hardness on fur and intelligence and this where the breed is lacking in addition to line sense in tracking and deep nose which it also lacks.

  18. Kate says:

    You don’t have to say “This is a bad breed”. By these standards, every small dog, or family dog, or non-hunting dog is pathetic. When you don’t like a dog, ignore it. Disregard it. Don’t make a whole website saying how bad you think Airedales are as a breed, because I happen to have had Airedales my whole life and I have loved every one of them.

    • bharford says:

      For hunters, they are indeed a ‘bad’ breed…they are last on my long list.

    • bharford says:

      One can love a mutt. Thats not what this is about. Its about Breeders fooling the gullible public into buying something that is NOT what is advertised ie a Hard, Serious, Gun dog. I borrowed the title from an author who had alot of experience with the breed and in his eyes and his experience, was a total failure. Breeders are to blame, not the breed, Ill give you that.

  19. No, I’m not “dead wrong”. You throw out all these terms, breeds like you are some kid of expert hunter. I;m a hunter, but i don’t need dogs. I hunt all over the West. I spot and stalk deer ,elk, antelope, and feral hog. Clearly your hunting skills are weak if you need to use dogs, period. What are your credentials? I call bullshit on you. Like people, dogs are individuals, and yes, there are dogs of every breed with issues and problems, which you as a human appear to have your share.

    • bharford says:

      Yours is one of the dumber posts Ive read so Im leaving it up.
      Dogs are a game conservation tool. They are used both before and after the shot in the same way that our troops used dogs in war to locate ambushes and IEDs. They can be used for scouting on stalks, for recovering gut shot deer and big game otherwise lost, wounded waterfowl left to die in thick cattails, same with upland game and certainly on hog drives, it is the most efficient way to hunt, with a trained dog.
      It is not an individual anomoly when the entire breed in more than the majority percentage % of subjects reacts the same whether failures or successes, such is the case with the Airedale when used and tried by the original author in England. Some breeds simply have MORE Issues and problems, in the case of the Airedale it was from the outset. Real hunters have learned the hard way and why other dogs in newly created breeds by comparison, have totally eclipsed it.

  20. bharford says:

    Nope, it will remain up with a challenge to YOU and YOUR fellow Airedale owners (hundreds) to post just one photo of a ‘hard’ airedale closing on a predator that fights back.
    We know the hardness and gameness is non existent….

    • bharford says:

      I didnt see one action pic of a dale doing anything worthwhile on dangerous game except on a 40 pound shoat pig. Everything else was a typical ‘tailgate’ pic….
      Video is omnipresent and easy to work. If pics are too hard send, then do video. I will gladly post it.
      Ive had an open offer to any Airedale owner to do just this over 4 years and no one has with 39,000 views.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s