A cross between old fashioned Black and Tan Terriers and Welsh Terriers, neither breed fond of water, and water-loving Otter Hounds, Airedale Terriers were registered with the Kennel Club of England in 1886.
In 1881 the breed was imported to the U. S. and soon became a dependable working dog and popular companion. Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and Warren Harding all owned Airedales.
|Two Airedales owned by President Warren G. Harding.|
Laddie Boy participated in cabinet meetings
residing in his own hand-carved chair, and
enjoyed birthday parties with neighbors' dogs.
Source: Library of Congress
A different Laddie, made famous by the military media machine, further popularized the breed during World War Two. The press embellished dog stories to promote the idea of valor and loyalty, and the story of Laddie, a Kansas farm dog, is a somewhat shameless example.
|A boy and his dog - |
as American as apple pie.
But alas, it was not to be so. The headlines howled, "Transfusions Fail; Scott's Dog is Dead!", adding that the thousands of people who followed his flight across the country to Scott's side know that Laddie died of grief.
Army veterinarians pointed out that the dog didn't die of a broken heart but rather death was caused by gastroenteritis, anemia and old age, a necropsy report that was buried on page 7. Nevertheless, the sensational story remained front page news: "A great national tribute to a dog's love for his master in a time of war".
|In 1949 at the height of their popularity,|
Airedales were ranked 20th on the
AKC's most popular dog list.
Today they are the 56th most popular breed.