The Airdale and Bedlington Terriers
From paintings by Louis Agassiz Fuertes
The Bedlington terrier is a dog of very deceptive appearance, and
this may account in some degree for the fact that he has never been very popular.
Clad in a woolly coat and a smile that would have graced
Mary’s little lamb, one who did not know him would hardly
suspect the stout heart which beats beneath the wool
“the steeltrap jaws behind that cherubic smile.
He’s as game as the gamest, and if you had a Bedlington terrier
between you and a wild cat” well, you should feel sorry for the wild cat.
There has never been a pronounced fancy lor the Bedlington in this country,
though he is a very distinctive dog, resembling no other type.
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Bedlington Terriers Makeup
Not quite as large as the Airedale of today, he is characterized by his harsh,
rough coat and his curiously lamblike head, occasioned bv the silkv pale top-knot and brow.
The only one the artist ever knew was an inveterate ratter, and if the
breed is as good on all vermin as this one was on his favorite quarry,
it should be popular as a pest-ridder!
In conformation they are true terriers” straight of back and leg and active to a degree.
Their color may be blue, blue and tan, liver, liver and tan, sandy, or sandy and tan.
In all colors the head should be decidedly paler than the rest of the dog.
The Dandie (or Dandy) Dinmont, a Scottish terrier rather popular in this country,
resembles the Bedlington somewhat, but is extremely short in the legs and big in the head.
He is a quaint, affectionate little fellow, whose woolly crown gives an
odd expression of sadness to the half-hidden eyes.
The Airdale Terrier
By far the most popular big terrier, in this country at least, is the
Airedale, and for an all-around dog he would be very hard to beat.
He is afraid of nothing that walks or crawls on land, and his great fondness for the
water betrays the otterhound blood which is in him.
While not necessarily quarrelsome, this dog knows his strength, and as a
rule will not walk far out of his way to avoid a scrap. Airedales are
usually intelligent, and hundreds of them have been used for
Red Cross work on the battlefields of Europe.
The Airdale Terrier Breeding
So well established and in such favor is this breed today, it is hard to
believe that sixty years ago it was practically unknown outside of Yorkshire, England,
where it existed as an unkempt, shaggy-coated, long-eared mongrel, in which the
blood of the otterhound and the old black-and-tan wire-haired terrier were easiest to recognize.
But after about thirty years of careful breeding most of the
hound blood was bred out of him, and there was left something very much like the
stylish, well-built, well-marked Airedale, now to be seen everywhere.
To be a “good” one, he should weigh from 35 to 45 pounds, and be about 22 inches high,
and of the color and type shown in the plate.
The distribution of the tan or sandy color is rigorously dictated by standard;
the saddle and neck may be either black, which is preferable, or grizzled gray.
The head, set at an exact right-angle to the straight, strong neck,
should be long, and a straight line from occiput to nose, or very slightly “roman.”
This effect is frequently heightened by the hair on the face between the eyes,
being a little longer than that on the nose and crown.
There is quite a marked tendency for the hair on the lips and chin to be long,
forming a sort of beard.
The Airdale Terrier form
Their back must be straight and strong, the legs also must be
very straight and well boned and muscled, the feet short and round.
This is one of the best of terriers, and of his thousands of owners hardly
one could be found to say an unfavorable word for him.
Being a terrier, he is playful and rather destructive in his youth,
but in a season he grows up. and becomes a remarkably thoughtful, companionable, and dependable dog.
He can be trained to hunt, but is rather impetuous for this work.
The hair should be fairly long, hard, and nearly straight.
It would be hard to win a ribbon with a curly Airedale, however good they are.
Cow-hocks, a marked stop, sprung pasterns, and white markings are all defects.