Born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma, dogs have always been a part of my life. My father kept and raised English Pointers for hunting and my mother had Schnauzers. I learned early that I had allergies to the Pointers, and that is why I have kept “hypo-allergenic” breeds ever since.
In 2011, our family Schnauzer, Buddy, passed away at 15 years old, and thus began our family's search for a a new companion. I never would have imagined the road that search would put me on. We love the schnauzers, but I was interested in looking at other hypo-allergenic breeds. We didn't have the room for a large dog that would require a lot of exercise room, but I wasn't interested in smaller breeds like poodles, or Bichons Frises. I really wanted a dog with the temperament of a large breed, but contained in a small package.
That is when we found the Australian Terrier, the best breed you've probably never heard of. After educating myself on the breed to make sure this is what I wanted, I began to search for a puppy. This was where things got a little tough. There were no breeders anywhere near us. I certainly didn't want to get a puppy without seeing where he would come from. I finally found a pup in the Texas area, so we took a road trip. We came home with Boomer.
Boomer blew us away. Smart, fearless, fiercely loyal, and top of his obedience class. Everywhere we went, he made new friends, but nobody knew what he was. I would hear “Is that a Yorkie?” all the time. Once I was even asked “Is that an Airedale puppy?” I began to wonder how it could be that this great breed was so unknown. Research time. What I found was that very few Australian terriers were being registered with the AKC. The numbers could be measured in the low hundreds. Popular breeds were being registered by the tens of thousands. Over-popularity is not good, but with numbers as low as I was seeing for Aussies, I was immediately concerned about the future of the breed. I felt I needed to get involved. I hope someday to find others like myself to help in the breed as this trend continues to be a problem. AKC ranks the most popular breeds by registration each year. In 2013, the Australian Terrier was ranked 122nd most popular breed out of 164 recognized breeds. In 2014, they dropped to 133rd most popular.
I'll leave out the details of what it took for me to get as far as I have. Finding anyone who had healthy puppies that would consider letting me start breeding was very difficult. But I have been lucky to find a few very good friends that were willing to let me see where I could go with this. I want to say a special thank you to Theresa Goiffon and her family. This wonderful friend was the first that was willing to take a chance on me, and I hope that I am making her proud as I continue to do the right thing by this breed. She has allowed me to take a puppy from her breeding and raise her into a wonderful adult. My first breeding was with a girl from Theresa Goiffon's breeding, Scarlett.
I never see myself having a large breeding program. Doing it right requires a lot of work and devotion, so I am not sure I could handle more than one or two litters per year, but I don't want to get ahead of myself.
Thanks for reading!
A Statement about Tails: The first Aussie that I owned came to me with a tail that was already docked and it is possible that future pups that come into my program will also come to me with already docked tails as many breeders do this because they are following the AKC Breed Standard set by the National Club. That said I do not believe that docking is needed or desirable. I believe that it can be painful and is most certainly painful if done after the first few days following birth. I also believe that it detracts from the balance of the dog and presents them with additional challenges as they grow older. These challenges include balance, and communication with humans and other dogs. Because of this I choose not to dock the tails of any of my litters and include a clause in my contracts that precludes the families that get puppies from me from ever docking the tail in the future. Any puppy that you get from me will not have a docked tail and will get to keep what they were born with :).