The inauguration of the Airedale Terrier Club of America's hunting tests in 1994 brought a significant opportunity for the breed.
During the years of development of workshops and prototype tests, the H/W Committee faced the crucial question: Does today's Airedale have the instincts and abilities, the gameness and grit, for which the breed was originally bred?
Now owners who have been training their Airedales can answer that question in three separate tests offered on junior, senior, and master levels.
In the Upland Bird test, Airedales are required to find and flush two planted birds and do one water retrieve. Qualifying dogs receive the Junior Hunter - Flushing (JHF) certificate. Greater proficiency must be demonstrated by Airedales competing for the Senior Hunter - Flushing (SHF) and Master Hunter - Flushing (MHF) titles.
In the Retrieving Test, a dog must retrieve two chukars on land and two ducks on water. Qualifiers receive the Junior Hunter - Retriever (JHR) certificate. Senior Hunter - Retriever (SHR) and Master Hunter - Retriever (MHR) certificates are offered for advanced performances.
In the Fur Test, a dog must follow a pre-laid track of raccoon scent on an indirect route through fields to a tree holding a caged raccoon. The dog must then bark or bay to announce the find. First-time qualifiers receive the Junior Hunter - fur (JHFur) title. More difficult tracks await dogs entered in the Senior Hunter - Fur (SHFur) and Master Hunter - Fur (MHFur) competitions.
A dog who qualifies in all three basic tests receives the title Junior Hunter - Versatile (JHV). SHV and MHV titles are further possibilities.
Dogs successful in this broad performance range have proven
that the Airedale can indeed do
Anyone can claim that he has the best hunting dog,and now we have a standard of competition to measure a dog's ability. If your dog qualifies, you know he has performed with a level of ability that's universal.
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