SDC Talk!
SDC Talk!
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Breed Discussion
 Hybrids/Crossbreds
 The Airedale Terrier as a sled dog
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 2

Cliff Maxfield

USA
2631 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2010 :  07:25:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rather than hijack another thread on purebred races I'm starting his thread in hopes of enlightening a few RGO's in particular and anyone else interested.
The Airedale has been used as a sled dog for at least a hundred years - probably longer. Their use has been documented in Alaska, Norway and lower forty eight.
The breed standard describes them as a dog who'll tree a cougar one day, baby sit a child the next and pull your dog sled the next. They are a NORHERN BREED dog and not only can handle snow and cold but unlike the so called northern breed can handle running in rain as well. The breed was developed in an environment most humans would consider a living hell. Constant cold and rain and wind off the coastal regions of the UK.
The breed has a tenacity that's incredible. As a dog working with other breeds or an entire team unto themselves they are bonafide sled dogs.
As a dog trainer for over forty years I find this breed the most challenging and rewarding with super intellegence and super athletes.

TeamChester

USA
102 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2010 :  1:28:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Really. I learn something new every day. huh.
Go to Top of Page

Louise Cooke

Canada
24 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2010 :  4:13:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit Louise Cooke's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Cliff, I am from the North of England just like the Airedale (though where I am from is even more northerly than Yorkshire, yes there ARE people who live at such extremes!)and I am frankly offended that you should call my homeland 'a living hell' . I can assure you that millions of people live there quite happily, it is NOT cold, wet and miserable all of the time, and certainly no one with any sense would describe it as an arctic type climate, or the dog breeds as Northern type dogs which are the types of dogs that RGO's mean, Siberians, Malamutes, Samoyeds etc. Yes I agree that RGO's should make the criteria plain as obviously some owners don't know much about their breeds origins either

www.shaytaanhuskies.com
Go to Top of Page

Cliff Maxfield

USA
2631 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2010 :  5:03:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
AH O.K. let me clarify - The Dogs not the people. My apologies if I said it wrong. Me bad. My partner is much more adept about England and Yorkshire than I so bad me. They can retreive in extremely cold water, hunted river rats and otter. They've functioned quite well in northern regions as there history proves.
They were used as war dogs as messengers. A "flaw" in the breed is that they are so tough they could receive wounds lines while carrying messages between across enemy lines and still endured but because of their tenacity they didnt show the extent of their wounds.
My point is this dog tough and is a registered breed and can stand the rigors of a sprint race.

Edited by - Cliff Maxfield on 12/31/2010 5:20:11 PM
Go to Top of Page

sallydawson

USA
787 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2010 :  6:51:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK, as an airedale owner/breeder (10 at the moment) I'll get into this frey on a VERY VERSATILE BREED.

Can refer you to some books: The Airedale Terrier by Lars Gren and Helena Ardholm, Redsire Dogbook publication photos: p.92 doing avalanche (i.e. snow and cold) search and rescue; p.108-111 sledding, pulka and bikejoring;

Racing Alaskan Sleddogs compiled by Bill Vaudrin (1976) p. 12: "Gillie Jacko had a bunch of Airedales - we put them clear up at the front." (part of a 35 dog team) "Those airedales of Gillie's were up front barking and yapping, and that sled mowed down everything in its path - snapped dry trees 8 and 10 inches through like they were kindling."

Crossing the Gates of Alaska by Dave Metz with 2 airedales as pack dogs.

There is also an "article" at the Airedale Terrier Club of America site about airedales being used by musher Jim Wheeler in New England on winter sled rescue teams.

Airedales (at least mine) will never be the fastest team on the block, but they have something called TENACITY. They won't give up - both a good and bad trait! Pretty difficult to know if they are ever hurting. My father used to tell the story about his airedale diving under the barn again and again after a particular skunk. Of course he got a face full every time he dove, but no matter how sick that dog got, he was going to get that skunk! (and did!)

Louise, what I think Cliff was referring to was the fact that they were also used during WWI as both guard and pack dogs in some pretty miserable conditions, because they WOULD endure and keep going. I think the misunderstanding comes with the generalization of the word "northern", without saying northern what....

there - my full 10 cents worth....

Sally


Sally J. Dawson and the Mushing'dales
KA8UVQ; "RED HAT" Musher
Live each day as if it is your last
Go to Top of Page

Mushergal

Canada
21 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2010 :  8:05:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Airedale is not a Northern breed. Northern breeds, also called Spitz-type, are a very distict group of dogs. The Airdale is not part of that group.

The Airedale is in the terrier group, though it is not an earthdog like most terriers. Use wise, it can be better compaired to a large group of multi use dogs, like rotties and anatolians. They can be used for vermin killing, retrieving, hunting, herding, and yes, pulling.

To call the Airedale a northern breed is just rediculous. Northern breeds are suited to extreme cold. They have a thick downy undercoat. The Airdale, with a harsh coat, is best suited to the wind and rain of England, where it was developed. That doesn't mean it can't do well in other areas, it just means that is not what it was DEVELOPED for.

That said, I agree that it can make a fine racing dog. Like other atheletic breeds such as poodles, labradoodles and border collies, it has the physical and mental attributes it needs for warm weather mushing.

However I think it is not fair to want a Airedale team to run in purebred races against Sibes, Mals and Sammies (etc.) The whole point of purebred races is to be able to run these dogs agaist other teams on an even plane. That is why faster dogs; alaskans, euerohounds and others, are not allowed.

Purebred races are for those old breeds developed to pull large loads across huge distances in the bitter cold snow. The Airdale is not one of the breeds . Perhaps that needs to be better specified...
Go to Top of Page

Ronin

USA
77 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2010 :  10:44:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ronin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I wanna see someone run a team of registered German shorthairs in a purebred class.

http://www.roninkennels.com
Go to Top of Page

MegC

USA
1321 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2011 :  12:19:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ronin, I always threatened to throw my AKC GSPs in purebred class somewhere, but I know too many nice people who have sibes and mals and sams that would get completely bent out of shape. The enormous irony wasn't worth the bad vibrations. Still makes me laugh just thinking about doing it though.
Go to Top of Page

dgsoles

USA
375 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2011 :  08:17:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Isn't purebred, well, purebred?

Whether it's a team of Samoyeds or a team of Beagles?

Perhaps if the RGO's only want Spitz type breeds, they would need to be more specific on what particular purebreds they want in. I know a lady down here that runs a couple of beagles, and they do suprisingly well (for beagles, that is).

Doug Soles

"What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right."

Northern Dream Dog Sledding
Go to Top of Page

Ronin

USA
77 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2011 :  08:27:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit Ronin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
MegC
I run sibes and I would love it if someone ran GSPs in the purebred class. The whole thing is kinda funny anyway. We all know who we are really running against. We all have other mushers we see as our competition. I certainly don't see a sibe kennel with 30 dogs as my competition even though we may run in the same class. (I have a small kennel). Great if I beat um but they are not really what I am racing to beat. I understand why you would not want to do it but something like that would force race officials and others to realize that the purebred class issue needs to be addressed. I say do away with it, or let all AKC reg race. No more grey area. The sport needs as many participants as possible so letting all AKC race is probably the way I would lean. Then you have to let performance dictate what types of dogs people want to run. Remember with more people running dryland (almost exclusively) we have to expand our ideas of what makes a good "sled" dog. These are my opinions not meant to offend anyone.

Mike

http://www.roninkennels.com
Go to Top of Page

sallydawson

USA
787 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2011 :  10:33:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Thanks Mushergal for your definition of the purebred race class!:

"The whole point of purebred races is to be able to run these (whatever these is...)dogs against other teams on an even plane. That is why faster dogs...are not allowed.

Oh really?!?! Glad to know!

Hmmm...Thinking of Sandy Stoner's beautiful team of purebred Irish Setters, and MegC's GSP's, maybe the definition of the purebred class should be re-written (wherever Mushergal's definition came from) to ENCOURAGE and showcase more purebred team varieties! Becomes a real testament to the ability of the trainer at that point. Beagles? omg, what a training challange that would be!.. and I smile remembering Nancy Molberg's Jack Russel Terrier: certainly needed no lessons in enthsiasm running canicross last fall!!! What fun!

By the way, if you had stripped as many airedales as I have, you would have learned to curse their undercoat - for show dogs, it has to get stripped TWICE compared to only once for the top coat!

Sally

Sally J. Dawson and the Mushing'dales
KA8UVQ; "RED HAT" Musher
Live each day as if it is your last
Go to Top of Page

MegC

USA
1321 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2011 :  1:22:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Many races ARE starting to stipulate 'northern purebred', so there you go.

I've actually become a little more sympathetic to this aspect of mushing simply because really good* sibes (the breed I've seen most on the trail) are so painfully rare. It would be ideal if purebred racing would give further incentive for breeding better dogs. Unfortunately I can also see where it could stall things since the competitive bar is lowered by excluding faster teams.

*by 'really good' I don't mean a 20+mph dog. A 100% honest, willing, consistent 8-12mph dog would qualify. What I see mostly is tearing out of the lot and soon afterward dropping into the "We're Going The Speed Of Smell, So What, Screw You, Oh and We'll Stop On The Next Hill Unless You Get Off and Walk" mode no matter what the musher does. I'd seriously rather sit at home eating light bulbs while filling out tax forms listening to a loud continuous loop of the "Head On! Apply directly to the forehead!" commercial than deal with that attitude... it would seem a whole lot less futile, lol.
Go to Top of Page

Ronin

USA
77 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2011 :  2:39:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ronin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well MegC
I agree with you 100%. Love to hear that there are folks out there that appreciate a well bred and hard working sibe team. There are some really great folks trying to improve the breed. I love you description of a good sibe team. Partly because my crew more than qualifies still, let's see those GSPs in the purebred class, competition doesn't bother the folks I know who race those "good sibe teams".
Mike

http://www.roninkennels.com
Go to Top of Page

xtremeweather

USA
171 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2011 :  09:00:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit xtremeweather's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Bring on the GSP's!! I've never had an issue with the request of someone wanting to run a purebred that is not a "northern breed" i.e Sibe, Mal, Sammy ect.. I'd love to see some GSP's and other purebreds in the breed classes.. That said, this whole argument is continuously brought up over and over again on SDC from two people who have issue with one person who kept them from running the breed class back in 2007. Yet they act like all RGO's have this mentality. Some might hold firm to the northern breed only rule some might not.. I do not feel debating this over and over again on SDC will solve anything.. If you want to change this "rule" then do it right and propose a change to ISDRA and the RGO's who support the northern breed only rule. You can complain all you want but complaining does nothing. Actions speaks louder then words.

I looked up the Airedale history, standard, and its breeding purpose. I found NOTHING stating it was considered a northern breed dog or that it was bred to handle northern arctic climates.. Pulling seems to be a secondary purpose of the breed, not sledding but cart drafting and utility work.

I think its great that theses dogs work as sled dogs, but any dog or breed can pull or work as a sled do to some degree. Some excel better then others. The GSP has proven that. Just because there is limited history of the Airedale being used as a sled dog does not support the notion being presented here that they were bred or developed to be a sled dog.

Chris Bannister
Xtreme Weather Kennels
www.xtremeweather.net
Go to Top of Page

Mushergal

Canada
21 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2011 :  10:24:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sally:

I did not state the definition of purebred races. I simply stated the point of the races as I see it. 'point' and 'definition' are completly different. Do not put words in my mouth.

I have not yet seen any clear definition for purebred races. Is it any registered breed?? In that case any reg. dog should be able to race, including the 'purebred' labradoodle I once had. Or is it any Spitz type purebred? Not that either, as I saw a race advertised today that allows Malamutes, Sibes and Sammies to race, but not Canadian Eskimo Dogs?? Because of this, every race needs to be clear what their individual 'purebred class' rules are.

Myself, I agree with Northern Spitz only races, but I also think other breeds (all breeds can excell in harness) need a place to race (And if you are going to call it a purebred class, all purebreds should be allowed.) Maybe what we need is an all new class. A Northen Spitz class and a purebred dog class??

As for the Airdale, I am a dog groomer, and I know the undercoat of the Airdale. I have stripped more than I ever wanted too, and ended up with the typcial mounds of hair. That said, I also know the difference between the undercoat of a terrier and that of a northern spitz. One is more suited to extreme cold and the other to the cold dampness of England. The breed is best suited to the enviroment it was developed in, period.
Go to Top of Page

oc_spirit

Canada
115 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2011 :  07:51:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I too am a dog groomer and I was going to mention about the differing undercoats but Mushergal beat me to it :P

Yes the Airedale between its Tenacity and harsh coat can withstand a lot of element but -40C with blowing snow and limited shelter is not one of them...though they will try! Sure they could be fine as long as the keep moving but once stopped they will require more care and calories just to survive the night. As has already been stressed, they are NOT a Northern Breed dog. Also bear in mind that in order to withstand the colder harsher climates they need a decent amount of coat left on them. This harsh curly coat is terrible for picking up snowballs especially if its just below freezing. Not just snowballs on the feet but on the legs and belly too. Not exactly practical while running.

Another plus for Airedales is they can make really good boar hunting dogs. A buddy of mine in the south hunts with a pack of them and they certainly get the job done!

As for the purebred class, I'm all for any and all registered purebred to be allowed to enter. If folk want to gripe that its not fair that the team of purebred Border Collies came in and and won because they are faster then they should do the fundraising to increase the purse enough to create a new class to their preference. Funny how people can moan and groan about not liking something so easily but the mere thought of getting something done or achieved themselves is pretty well near blasphemy!

Keep 'em working!
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 2 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
SDC Talk! © Sled Dog Central Go To Top Of Page
Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.07