Here at Sunrise Mountain Kennel we take great pride in producing "TRADITIONAL WORKING AIREDALES". Sunrise Mtn. Kennel is located in the Pocono mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. A longtime hunter of both terriers and hounds, I became interested in the Airedale breed after reading the Airedale columns in Full Cry magazine written for several years by Mr. Henry Johnson of Viola, Tennessee. Reading those columns I took interest in his use of Airedales as both a draw dog as well as performing lurcher duties when hunting groundhogs as part of what Henry described as a "Terrier Task Force". My first Airedale didn't work out. The second one, a two year old male, showed great interest in treeing...and when I laid a drag he would run the trail, locate the tree, and tree really hard. This caused me to change my plan temporarily, and I decided to take Ranger out at night with my coondogs and see how he would do. Turned him loose with my coondog, and he left out with her like he knew what he was doing...never to be seen again!! To this day I have no idea what happened to him. I just always figured he got near a road and was picked up by someone who felt they needed him more than I did. The third Airedale I got in a trade for a started Mtn. cur. She was also about 2 years old and had been bred by Al Kranbuhl of Camden, New York. My buddy and I started working her as a drawdog, but in short order she busted a deer and got hit and killed by a car on the highway. To say that my start in Airedales had been pretty bad is an understatement.
I took a short break and then decided that I wanted to try again to get an Airedale that suited me. I contacted Al Kranbuhl, the breeder of Tazz, the female that got hit by a car and we talked a very long time about the Airedale breed. Al told me of what great hunters the Airedales were years ago, and how the show crowd had just about ruined the breed as hunters. Told me how he had basically dedicated all his efforts to bringing the Airedale back as a consistent hunter. I thought to myself that this is the kind of dedicated person who I wanted to try again with to get a good hunting Airedale.
A date was set and I made the 200 mile trip to Al's place to pick up an 8 week old puppy. I spent the day visiting with Al and thoroughly enjoyed the day as I asked questions about the Airedale terrier breed and Al gave me answers. He never acted like he minded all my questions and I would have to say that we hit it off and from that day on I have considered him a good friend. When the day was getting on and it was time for me to start heading back toward home, one thing led to another and I ended up loading up and taking an 18 month old "Redline" male named Joe Boy home with me too. Al had too manydogs at the time and hadn't worked him any, and wanted to see him go to someone who would give him a chance. As they say folks....the rest is history!! Joe Boy went on to be a great dog that has made an excellent drawdog on groundhogs, will kill a large unhurt bolted coon in about the time it just took to say it. He has treed squirrels, jumped rabbits, flushed pheasants and woodcock, goes to ground anywhere he can squeeze into to get to game....and for the grand finale...one day my little terriers bolted a red fox out of a big debris pile along the Delaware River in New Jersey. Joe Boy came out from under that pile, hit the fox's trail, and left out of there with his head up like a heat seeking missile. In about 10 minutes we heard him bark and the fox squalling as he made the catch. We hiked to him and found him with his jaws around that fox's neck. I have no idea how he did it....I just know that he did it. I should add that another night I had him along coonhunting with my Kemmer cur. Some coyotes came in on my cur who runs open. They didn't realize an Airedale was there because he runs silent....but they got the surprise of their lives when Old Joe Boy cut loose with some roars that would wake the dead and he chased those coyotes out of that cornfield never to be heard from again that night. Joe Boy is a true versatile hunting Airedale and he is 6 years old now. A fun hunting dog and a great buddy too.
Joe Boy not only sold me on the Airedale breed but he sold me on the Airedales of Al Kranbuhl as well. Today I have 5 Airedales in my kennel that are of Al's blood and I am very happy with all of them. Although I use some of them in different ways, all of them possess the true Airedale traits. Happy go lucky dogs who love nothing more than a pat on the head and some kind words from their master, but who become nothing short of bloodthirsty killers when exposed to any type of game that we get after. These same dogs that will kill a coon or a fox or coyote in minutes....never seem to quarrel with and truly love and enjoy the company of other dogs. My stock from Al is mostly Sandhill and Old Mooreland breeding with some old behind the barn pure old hunting stock mixed in there as well. I recently shipped a female in from Matt Thom out in Arizona that is mostly Sandhill bred to bring in as an outcross on the dogs from Al's breeding, as well as a new female pup from my friend here in Pa., Lynn Burkert, which is also heavy in Sandhill bloodlines, but in her case is linebred on the bloodlines of Sandhill Cove McCain. With the dogs that now reside in our kennel we feel confident that Sunrise Mountain Airedale kennel is at the point where we will be able to produce natural hunting Airedales that anyone would be proud of.... far into the future.
I have raised a few litters of pups from Joe Boy on two of my females and we have been getting nothing short of spectacular reports on the pups. There are a few that are treeing their own bear at a young age, and others are doing the job on hogs, coon, on coyote hunts, etc. We are extremely proud of the hunting Airedales we have produced, and feel that we are producing "Traditional Working Airedales" that the breed founders back in England, in the valley of the River Aire, would be proud of. I was very fortunate to have met Al Kranbuhl and thank him for getting me started out on the right foot with the best of old fashioned hunting Airedale stock. As someone once said...."Credit where credit is due!"
At the top of this page is a photo of our "Redline" stud dog, California Joe Boy with two coons he eliminated on a hunt. The redlines are an old fashioned hunting Airedale type that many are starting to like due to the lack of coat care involved, as well as the fact that when they get into burrs or other sticky things while out hunting...it isn't the disaster that it may be when it happened to a more heavy coated Airedale.
At Sunrise Mountain Airedale kennel we have what might be called standard Airedales as well as the old-fashioned "Redline" type. We are dedicated first and foremost to the promotion of the Airedale as a hunting breed, and our Airedales are bred based on their ability in the woods....where it counts!!! It is fine to prefer certain size, coat type, build, or any other cosmetic preferences....but here we will always breed first and foremost....for ability. That said, I am proud to say that our pups are "Traditional Working Airedales" that will make the grade for hunting, working, family and farm. We basically raise a couple of litters a year and if you check with us and we don't have any pups available at that time.....there is a good chance we may be able to put you in touch with someone else raising pups from some of the same basic bloodlines. We will gladly help anyone interested in the working Airedales if we can.
I want to add that in spite of any historical reference to the Airedale as a fighting breed, or any fame they may have achieved years ago as sentry dogs and the like, we are totally opposed to to the training or use of the Airedale breed as either a fighting dog or in manwork. As Henry Johnson said in his writings for many years, the Airedales are people dogs and should be treated as such. We have no interest in seeing a Sunrise Mountain Airedale used to bite people or fight other dogs, and would say that if either of those venues is your "cup of tea"....please don't even bother contacting us. If however, you are interested in a great breed of dog for hunting, working, family or farm....we are happy to hear from you and help if we can.
I also would like to say that I write a monthly column in "Full Cry" magazine that is dedicated to the working Airedale. The title is "Traditional Working Airedales" and I would recommend hunting Airedale enthusiasts to subscribe to Full Cry. I also highly recommend anyone interested in the working Airedale to visit Al Kranbuhl's "Traditional Working Airedale" message board on the internet. Al's board is dedicated to the working Airedale and is the cream of the crop when it comes to Airedale message boards. Try both of the above mentioned....you'll be glad you did!! Thanks for reading.
Please call us at 570-228-6038 or 570-949-4137 and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have....or we'll just talk hunting and Airedales. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . We look forward to hearing from you.
Pete Bassani.....190 Urban Court, Hawley, Pennsylvania 18428