220 DOGS AND ALL ABOUT THEM
strength, sagacity, and speed-a most excellent gun-dog. He is, in fact, a general utility dog, for add to the above-mentioned qualities those of probably an incomparable guard and a most excellent companion, faithful and true, and ask yourself what do you want more, and what breed of dog, taken all round, can beat him ?
The Airedale is not of ancient origin. He was probably first heard of about the year 1850. He is undoubtedly the product of the Otterhound and the old Black and Tan wire-haired terrier referred to in the chapters on the wire-hair Fox and the Welsh Terriers. When one considers the magnificent nobleness, the great sagacity, courage, and stateliness of the Otterhound, the great gameness, cheek, and pertinacity of the old Black and Tan wire-hair, such a cross must surely produce an animal of excellent type and character.
Yorkshire, more especially that part of it round and about the town of Otley, is responsible for the birth of the Airedale. The inhabitants of the country of broad acres are, and always have been, exceedingly fond of any kind of sport-as, indeed, may also be said of their brothers of the Red Rosebut if in connection with that sport a dog has to be introduced, then indeed are they doubly blessed, for they have no compeers at the game.
Otter-hunting was formerly much indulged in by the people living in the dales of the Aire and the Wharfe, and not only were packs of Otterhounds kept, but many sportsmen maintained on their own account a few hounds for their personal delectation. These hounds were no doubt in some instances a nondescript lot, as, indeed, are several of the packs hunting the otter to-day, but there was unquestionably a good deal of Otterhound blood in them, and some pure bred hounds were also to be found. Yorkshire also has always been the great home of the terrier. Fox-terriers, as we now know them, had at this time hardly been seen. The terrier in existence then was the Black and Tan wire-hair, a hardy game terrier, a great workman on land or in water.