Owners and friends of the
Airedale Terrier founded in 1890 the "Club for Rough-Coated
Terries" - later, along with other Terrier breeds, to become the
Club For Terriers.
In 1902, the Ariedale Terrier was put inot service as the first
Criminal-Police Service Dog under the direction of Franz-Friedrich
Laufert, from Schwelm.
The Airedale was used as a Messenger Dog and was also as a Medic Dog in
the Boxxer Rebellion in China (1899-1900), in the Russian-Japanese War
(1904-1905), and in the first and Second World Wars. The Airedale
excelled in courage, readiness, reliaibility and loyalty. In Switzerland,
the Airedale is used today as an avalanche dog. After the second World
War, the Airedales was used as a police service dog in some districts -
especially in Lower Saxony. The recent former KFT performance events
judge, Bruno Lanke, was head of the school for Service Dogs in Lower
In the '80's Airedale Terrier groups participated three times in
international (Schitzhund) contests in Amsterdam with towering success.
But then....Our Airedale Terrier was from June 1983 to 1985 no longer
classified as an international Working Dog!
Without any official notification or prior notice, the executive
Committee of the KFT learned second-hand that, at their general meeting
the FCI decided that the Airedale Terrier would no longer be counted
among the international working dogs.
The reason was very simple. The countries, from an international
perspective, that used Airedales as working or utility dogs, were in the
minority about 1 to 10.
Out club leaders had asked several times in writing the VDH (Verband Fur
das Deutsche Hundewesen - similar to AKC) intervene on behalf of the KFT.
A new proposal to the FCI in 1984 was refused by a large margin. Only
after the concerted action with other European countries, where the
Airedale was considered as a working dog, was there some success.
The final decision of the FCI in June 1985 went somewhat as follows, that
the current breed clubs of individual countries should decide for
themselves whether their breed - in our case the Airedale Terrier - would
be allowed to be classified as working dogs. For in the past two years -
since 1983 - the Airedale was no longer a working dog, neither at the
international nor at the individual country level. Thus Airedales could
not participate in any trials at these levels.
At this opportunity I must express out gratitude to all the organizations
and countries that came to our support in this matter. These organization
were: The Swiss Airedale Terrier Club and The Airedale Terrier Special
Club of Austria. Also the KFT leadership at that time should be thanked
for their initiative in getting the Airedale Terrier restored to its
working dog status so that it would be once more possible to participate
in international and national trails and contests.
Due to the restoration of the Airedale Terrier to the status of a working
dog, it was now once again possible to participate in the national
qualifying trails. Because they placed well, some Airedale Terriers with
their handler took part in the FCI World Championships with good success.
The introduction of the breed acceptance test improved the selective
breeding program of the Airedale Terrier immensely, and this has been a
great advantage for the entire breeding program. A second improvement was
to require HD x-rays.
Because of these measures, in the course of the years, we have seen good
results in local club trials, regional qualifying trials and also in the
KFT National. The Airedale has also demonstrated a towering ability in
trails and they have qualified for the German Championship Trial as well
as other inter-European contests.
The decision to have an annual Tracking Dog (FH) championship gave the
Airedale Terrier and also other KFT Terrier breeds the opportunity to
nurture their most natural ability (i.e. nose work). The present status
is a number of about 30 participants in the Club Championship Trial and
Club Tracking Dog championships - after having qualified, of course, in
their respective regional trials. This is a proud!
After the reunification (of Germany) the performance accomplishments of
the Airedale Terrier have become even better due to the inclusion of very
good working dogs from the new member-lands of the German Republic (i.e.
the East German provinces).
As to the overall results of the Airedale Terrier breeding program, it
can be said that the finest and most conscientious breeders place great
emphasis on performance, temperament and conformation. The scope of the
"performance breeding" (requires titled parents) has definitely
increased. There is a good balanced between the VDH and the AZG
(Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Zuchtvereine und Gebrauchshundeverbande, i.e.
working federation of breed organizations and working dog organizations).
I look to the future with calm assurance and definitely believe that
there wil be further positive developments for our Airedale Terriers in
the Dog Sport arena. I hope for the future success for all those that
Performance Judge Representative