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Airedale- Good Bear Dog?



By: ElkBowhunter
Posted: 11-May-12

I have a 6 month old Airedale Pup. Anyone ever train one for tracking.....Bear/Elk?


By: Rupe
Posted: 11-May-12

With a name like "Airdale" I'd guess it's better for waterfowl and upland game...you know anything that flies in the air! :)

All joking aside they are smart dogs and have been used for Big game hunting in Africa so they might work for elk/bear, although not sure how good their nose is as far as "tracking"!


By: bb
Posted: 11-May-12

A lot of guys that run bears with hounds will have an Airedale in the pack. They aren't there for tracking


By: ElkBowhunter
Posted: 11-May-12

So what your saying I should hunt elephants with her. What state has elephants? haha.....I thought since Airdale has a bit of bloodhound in them they should be pretty good at tracking.


By: Outdoorsdude
Posted: 11-May-12

The standard size is a big dog,maybe to big for distance work, they were originally breed in Germany to be guard dogs.

I knew a guy in OK that lived on the Cimmaron river who had one, that dog could hunt and kill anything! Absolutely loved Bobcats.


By: elmer@laptop
Posted: 11-May-12

only airedales I've known. 5 of em were dumber than rocks!


By: Coyote 65
Posted: 11-May-12

In the early 50's the forest ranger for the Tonto National Forest had a pack of hounds for hunting lions and bears. An Airdale was included in the pack as he would challenge the prey. Most of his ears were gone and there were big portions of his hide where there was no hair. The airdale was also the family pet while the hounds were kenneled.

Terry


By: Beendare
Posted: 11-May-12

The origin of the breed is hunting but that was many moons ago. I think the hunt-and brains- has been bred out of them years ago.

I used to run tracking dogs 25 years ago and we tried a few Airedales and A crosses....and I agree with elmer above


By: Eric Lechleitner
Posted: 11-May-12

It depends on the breeding on your dog. Their is a very good strain of them out of CA called redline. They are a short haired dog with a ton of hunt in them. Hounds have been breed for many years to not stick close to their owners. This is one of the hardest instincts to break in a dog. If you want him to trail you will need to practice trailing him. We start hounds at 5 or six weeks on bacon and hot dogs. Your dog is six months old I would start him with food and move to scent soon. If you can live trap a coon and it is legal in your state to keep it I would let him bark at it and fight it through the cage. After a week of him barking at it I would turn it loose in front of him and let him chase it. Most dogs at six months will not fight the coon but bark at him. Let him tree the coon, hopefully he will tree. If he trees you will be on your way if he does not tree than you will have to train him to do that. If you live in an area with lots of squirrels start him on those. Work hard and treat him well.


By: 2OBowman
Posted: 11-May-12

There used to be a government trapper around here that had a border collie and an airedale. If he saw a coyote, he would sic the border collie on the coyote and the airedale would follow him, when the collie caught up to the coyote, they would turn to fight and the airedale would get there and kill the coyote.


By: Chip T.
Posted: 11-May-12

Airdales are the laregest of the terriers and have no bloodhound in them. Most terriers are ratters meaning they are great for digging up things. They have none or very little hunting instinct bred into them but that doesn't mean yours can't be trained to hunt bears somehow. Good luck with the pooch.


By: okiebones
Posted: 13-Jul-12

I use 'em for everything from birds to pigs and everything in between...they're different. But we won't ever be without one. Just make sure you pick one up from hunting strains.

Know some guys that do run them in with their hound packs for bears.

They were not originally bred in Germany as a guard dog. Police work came much later and they were never developed in Germany. They came from the Aire region in the UK. They were a cross from English otterhounds and some kind of terrier. Look up otterhound and you'll see the resemblance. Like I said, I know of a lot of guys that run them in with their cat and bear hounds.


By: FullCryHounds
Posted: 13-Jul-12

You asked if they are 'good' for bear. In short, not really. They have a poor nose for tracking compared to a hound. They are silent on track and rarely 'tree'. What they do have is what some houndsmen call Grit. That is, they are fearsome when they do get to the game. Some bears are difficult to get them to tree. So some guys like dogs that will harrass a bear to the point they have to climb. That is the reason some houndsmen keep an airdale with thier pack. If you are thinking you could train your dog to track and tree a bear, it is highly unlikely. Put a couple of hounds with him and then you could have some fun.


By: woodguy65
Posted: 13-Jul-12

I always thought Rhodesian Ridgebacks would make great bear dogs, never really see them anywhere.


By: Beendare
Posted: 13-Jul-12

I've seen a Rhodesian run away from a bayed hog...

Again, I think its more about if the dog comes from a strain that has kept the hunt in them. Labs, Airedales, terriers, all- no different. When you get a line that has been bred as pets...you roll the dice and might get a good one. When you get a line thats pedigree is hunting- its more of a sure thing IME


By: Wages
Posted: 13-Jul-12

I knew of a guy that used Airedales for coyote decoy and troll dogs. His take on them was in line with what others have said, it really depends on the lineage.

So many airedales come from show dog lines, that most were not really suitable for hunting, according to him.

I think show dog / pet breeders work very hard to remove most of the traits that make a good sport dog, so it makes sense that many of them won't hunt. I think it's just not in them, after their parents and granparents, etc. have been selected just for looks, or for more gentleness, or whatever.


By: woodguy65
Posted: 13-Jul-12

Beendare - I imagine you could find a pitbull that runs from a poodle too, beagles that couldnt find a rabbit in a house, doesnt mean the one you saw was representative of the breed, prolly wasnt even a purebreed.

Ridgebacks are hounds and were bred to track/bay lions, can't imagine they would run from a hog.


By: Medicinemann
Posted: 15-Jul-12

Back in the early 1990's, I bowhunted Mt. Lion with a guy that lived Ovando, Montana. His kids walked to school every day...and each child had their own airdale, which walked them to their tiny, rural school. They would lay outside all day until school ended, then walk home with the kids. My guide said that airdales are fearless and will give their life to protect the child....like FullCryHounds said....they have grit.


By: muskeg
Posted: 15-Jul-12

Actually too much 'grit' for a Bear dog ..

I use to run Hounds in California. It was always said that the Airdales were way to brave and get injured or killed by being so gritty.


By: forkehornreggie
Posted: 15-Jul-12

I have an Airdale and I found him on a website called "Hunting Airdales.com". What is ironic is that when a gun is brought out he runs and is extremly scared. His parents were Winchester and Remington. Good thing I'm an archerer instead of a gun hunter. I never intended to use him to hunt. I just love Airdales and he is the best dog ever.


By: Barty1970
Posted: 16-Jul-12

The Airedale comes from the dale of the river Aire in Yorkshire and was originally bred to tackle otter; a 20+ # dog otter is a very formidable opponent, so the terrier had to be as game as possible. Now whether he'd stand up to a bear....


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