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Old 05-06-2011, 11:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Airedale question

I know there are some terrier gurus on this forum so maybe you all could offer a little help.

I fox hunt occasionally with a huntclub that is looking to breed hounds with broken/terrier type coats. They would like to acquire a couple dogs with this type of fur to use both as active members of the pack and for breeding.

The dogs are hunted November through April, and are hunted alongside large groups of riders on horseback. They must be able to run out ahead of a field of galloping horses, get over or through obstacles that can be large, and withstand the cold and wet for the duration of the hunt.

Dog aggression is not tolerated, and any dog that intentionally injures or goes after a horse or member of the hunt is put down.

At this point they are looking at either acquiring a couple airedales or importing some Welsh foxhounds. Obviously, importing dogs is more expensive, and if airedales are capable of doing what is required then I think the club may go with the terriers... especially if decent dogs can be found here. Have dales ever been used for this type of hunting, or could they be?
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Airedale question

Talk to Don Turnipseed, he is a member here.
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Airedale question

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Originally Posted by catherine hardigan View Post
I know there are some terrier gurus on this forum so maybe you all could offer a little help.

I fox hunt occasionally with a huntclub that is looking to breed hounds with broken/terrier type coats. They would like to acquire a couple dogs with this type of fur to use both as active members of the pack and for breeding.

The dogs are hunted November through April, and are hunted alongside large groups of riders on horseback. They must be able to run out ahead of a field of galloping horses, get over or through obstacles that can be large, and withstand the cold and wet for the duration of the hunt.

Dog aggression is not tolerated, and any dog that intentionally injures or goes after a horse or member of the hunt is put down.

At this point they are looking at either acquiring a couple airedales or importing some Welsh foxhounds. Obviously, importing dogs is more expensive, and if airedales are capable of doing what is required then I think the club may go with the terriers... especially if decent dogs can be found here. Have dales ever been used for this type of hunting, or could they be?
Cathrine, first off, inporting the "right" dogs is usually far cheaper than buying the wrong dogs in the long run. Much of what you will tolerate, such as going after a horse, is on the purshaser of the pup. They either train them or they don't. You can't just go buy an Airedale and think it is going to fit all the all stories told about them 100 years ago. They aren't even close. If you get an airedale that fits the standard, they can't run, they are quick, but quick just covers a little ground as long as there are no big obstacles. My dogs are fast and can cover a lt of ground but, it took years of breeding. Obviusly, the field of galloping horses aren't moving at a "full gallop because horses are faster than dogs. Fox hounds I have seen are very leggy. My dogs are leggy. Airedales have short legs.
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Airedale question

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Originally Posted by Don Turnipseed View Post
Cathrine, first off, inporting the "right" dogs is usually far cheaper than buying the wrong dogs in the long run. Much of what you will tolerate, such as going after a horse, is on the purshaser of the pup. They either train them or they don't. You can't just go buy an Airedale and think it is going to fit all the all stories told about them 100 years ago. They aren't even close. If you get an airedale that fits the standard, they can't run, they are quick, but quick just covers a little ground as long as there are no big obstacles. My dogs are fast and can cover a lt of ground but, it took years of breeding. Obviusly, the field of galloping horses aren't moving at a "full gallop because horses are faster than dogs. Fox hounds I have seen are very leggy. My dogs are leggy. Airedales have short legs.
I see. I'm not sure if the club plans to breed its own line of dogs or if they would do some sort of hound/dale hybrid. Not all hounds used for fox hunting have super leggy proportions. There is at least one club that uses bloodhounds.

Probably the most important physical requirements for the dogs are the ability to keep up with the horses, the endurance to do it for 2 to 6 hours once or twice per week, the nose to keep on a trail, and good cold tolerance. There are some other training things but I don't think and airedale would to a big problem with those.

Quickness is not really an asset. The dogs need to be able to keep pace in situations like this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dAKve7ILvI

and have the toughness to occasionally get through stuff like this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOggE...eature=related
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Airedale question

Oh yeh, the right dogs can keep that pace and get out of the water better than the horses were doing. You mentioned they might possibly be planning n breeding their own fox dogs. You need the right dog and the right coat, but, is there anyone in the club that knows anything about breeding...and th time involved?
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Airedale question

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Originally Posted by Don Turnipseed View Post
Oh yeh, the right dogs can keep that pace and get out of the water better than the horses were doing. You mentioned they might possibly be planning n breeding their own fox dogs. You need the right dog and the right coat, but, is there anyone in the club that knows anything about breeding...and th time involved?
Yes. The huntsman and whips know about breeding. In fact, many clubs breed their own dogs and there are several different lines of foxhounds. I'm sure they know nothing about breeding dales though.

If they end up going with Welsh foxhounds these dogs would have to be changed a bit too. The hunting countryside in Wales is super rugged and hilly so the dogs have a pretty powerful build, while a leggier dog is favored here in the states.

I'll direct the club powers that be to your site. Hopefully they'll be able to figure out what would work best given the pros and cons.
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Airedale question

Catherine, I have heard many, times over, through the years, that fox hounds are non aggressive. It seems to me, since airedales originated basically in the part of the world where foxhunting was popular, the English would have used them if they were a suitable dog. Two different types of dogs with entirely in temperaments.
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Airedale question

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Originally Posted by Don Turnipseed View Post
Catherine, I have heard many, times over, through the years, that fox hounds are non aggressive. It seems to me, since airedales originated basically in the part of the world where foxhunting was popular, the English would have used them if they were a suitable dog. Two different types of dogs with entirely in temperaments.
Hmmm. I thought that part of it was economics and the other part was tradition. I'm not a hunting expert, but from what I've heard fox hunting is a deeply traditional sport in GB, so once they started with a certain breed nobody was going to ask any questions. Plus, weren't the big terriers sort of the poor man's all purpose hunting dog while the hounds were kept by the rich?

Maybe aggression toward other dogs is just too hard to breed out once it's there. At times in England the dogs and horses have to be able to do stuff like this in public, although I'm unaware of anybody here who does anything even close.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe54XooQIYM
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Airedale question

Your probably right about "tradition". with the hounds. When it comes to the terriers, they have been mixing and matching them forever. Unlike the hounds, airedales that hunt, hunt for the fight and the kill.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Airedale question

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Your probably right about "tradition". with the hounds. When it comes to the terriers, they have been mixing and matching them forever. Unlike the hounds, airedales that hunt, hunt for the fight and the kill.
I've never seen the hounds fight, but I've watched them kill foxes many times. That's one of the reasons the whippers-in carry whips.

Sadly in GB it is now illegal to hunt with dogs. People there do what is called drag hunting. Basically, someone goes out and lays a track for the dogs to follow before the hunt begins. On the one hand the track is easier for the dogs to follow so the hunt is usually a lot more fast paced. I've heard of stretches during drag hunts where the dogs have been clocked at 20-25 mph. On the other, I worry that gene pool of dogs will lose some of their scenting ability.

Hopefully the same thing doesn't happen here in the U.S. I don't think it will.
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