It is not always easy to be patient and wait for the right dog to come along but in Dancer’s case the wait was worth it.
After months of research, we found a breeder that cared about the breed standard, soundness of mind and body and trainability. Dancer came from MJ Airedales in Lima, Ohio and Robaire Airedales in New Orleans, LA .
Dancer could be best described as an intellectual Airedale, so things always have to be kept very interesting in training! We have done a lot of training through the years, with great success in obedience trials that led to many High in class and multiple High in trial. One of our most enjoyable High in trial win was at the A.T.C.A. Montgomery Specialty weekend in 1996. It is always nice to compete with the best obedience Airedales in North America.
The most exciting training has been in the field of Hunting and Working. Dancer and I traveled many miles over the years, going to National Specialties and meeting great people willing to help and share their knowledge in the art of grooming and stripping, but our best trips were those to the A.T.C.A. Hunting and Working weekend held in Ohio every March since 1986. Dancer and I attended our first Hunting and Working weekend in the mid 1990's, what a great experience!
There I met people of vision. You could call them true "keepers of the breed". The same original, determined group that put together the first the Hunting and Working workshop in 1986 to show the versatility originally bred into the Airedale.
After 14 years, the Hunting and Working weekend is bigger and better than ever. Today, regional Hunting and Working trials are taking place all over the U.S. Bonnie and Steve Gilbert (M.J.kn), E. Forbes Gordon (Tartan kn), and Park Peter (Suzark kn) spent endless hours of hard work to make it the great success that it is today.
Working with true keepers of the Airedale breed has been an inspiration and pure joy! I feel blessed to have such camaraderie in a field that I love so much. In addition I would like to acknowledge with deep gratitude some special people for their creative and supportive assistance all through this great Hunting and Working experience. Chris Halvorson (Dog Ads) for all the field and working Airedale photos documenting all that history in the making; Mary J. Nelson and Bob Fore for all their help in training; Bonnie and Steve Gilbert for turning the theory of the hunting ability of the breed into a reality; and all the hard working Hunting and Working members making it all possible.
That's what I mean by people of vision. Best of all, most of them are still around. If you have a chance to meet them they're always around at National or floating Specialties, because some of the pretty faces winning in the show ring are the same pretty faces in the field!!
Dancer and the rest of the family will be back to many more Hunting and Working weekends.