Teraustralis Australian Terriers
Congratulations To New Australian Lifetime Member
ATI congratulates Gillian Bartlett (Australia) on her Lifetime Membership. Gillian has worked hard to nurture and preserve our Grand Little Dogs. She has been a friend and mentor to many internationally. It was our great pleasure to welcome her to the US at the National Specialty in 2010. Gillian, ATI honors and appreciates your wonderful efforts and contributions.
“I have known Gillian Bartlett for just over four years and in that time I have come to admire and respect her. She has been more than helpful in making my husband and I welcome members of the Australian Terrier Club of SA. She has also been helpful in encouraging me with the breeding of my Australian Terriers and in encouraging me to show my dogs as to which I have enjoyed and have some success. She has the Australian Terrier firm in her heart and is willing to help anyone if she can and is genuine in her efforts. I am honoured to call her a friend” Cerrie Gower
Written and Interviewed By: Pamela Levy
Did you have dogs as a child?
We had a well-loved Scottish Terrier called Heather. I admire the terrier temperament – loving, intelligent, no fool, spirited, who knows its own mind.
When did you become acquainted with Aussies and how did you become interested in showing?
In 1974, my young son David wanted a dog of his own, and the only puppy we could buy in Alice Springs, where we lived, was an Australian Terrier. We took the 8 week old puppy home and fell in love with him – Winton was the perfect dog. His parents were both Tineetown stock and he was very handsome. When we were on holidays a few years later we went to visit an Alice Springs friend who was showing his Old English Sheepdog at the show week in Canberra. We wandered over to see the Australian Terriers and thought that our dog was much better than those being shown. When we all were back in Alice Springs, our Old English Sheepdog friend helped me join the N.T. Canine Association, transfer pedigree papers, and enter a show. He showed me how to get up at 5am on the day of the show and shampoo and blow dry the dog’s coat (no mention of any trimming, stripping or tidying). We entered the ring and the judge said “Oh no dear, see me afterwards.” This kind lady gave me a quick lesson on how to strip a coat and groom the dog. At the show the next day we got our first Challenge Certificate, so her advice worked.
What other breeds have you owned?
My husband fell in love with a photo of a Norwich Terrier, and when we were on holidays in Melbourne in 1982 we visited a breeder who had the first Australian litter from English imports. The 8 month old Norwich wrapped himself around David and wouldn’t let him go – we loved him, and he went back to Alice Springs with us. We imported a female from New Zealand 3 years later, but only had the one litter as the two didn’t really like each other.
How many Aussies do you have currently living at your home?
Currently we have seven Australian Terriers – two geriatrics (13 and 15), a de-sexed 8 year old female, a 5 year old stud dog, two 3 year old girls, and a 10 month old female puppy.
What is it that you like about Aussies?
They are so handsome, easy to maintain and the right size dog to live with. They have so much personality – loving, devious, intelligent, and appreciate anything you do for them. Each Aussie has its own different character traits and is never boring – I can sit for hours watching them play, having adventures, trying to catch passing birds, anything that moves, or annoying each other.
How many years have you been involved with Aussies?
Our first Aussie arrived in January 1975. I started showing in 1980, bred the first litter in 1982.
You have been very involved with your club in Australia. Can you share with us the positions you’ve held?
When we came to Adelaide, South Australia, I was keen to see an Aussie breed club, and in 1997, with the support of a friend, we called a public meeting and got it under way. We did not have enough show people to have a big club so it was meant to be a club for ALL Australian Terrier owners or anyone interested in the breed. We currently have about 70 members. I was the secretary from the start until 2009. I have produced the club AUSSIE NEWS every two months since 1999 and am still currently the editor.
In your years with Aussies, how do you feel we are progressing or aren’t we, with regard to health?
Care of pets has generally improved over the years, and hopefully with more information we are educating owners through breed publications.
In compiling the ‘AT Database’, I have been amazed at the past when some dams had so many litters, on consecutive seasons, and some even at 9 years of age. I think we are more conscious now that close matings are not desirable and that inbreeding causes problems. We are checking the health of our breeding dogs’ ancestors, and having more humane breeding programs. It is good to see Australian Terrier clubs gathering information on the health of the breed. With regards to health, what more would you like to see, if anything, done? There is always room for more education of owners regarding diet, exercise, vaccinations and training, which all affect the dog’s health. (I think everyone should attend a course and have a licence to prove competency to have a dog!)
How many litters have you bred?
I have bred 15 Australian Terrier litters. I would have liked to have bred more, but have been limited because of work commitments for many years. Later, I was limited for lack of suitable stud dogs or new lines available.
Do you feel the breeders in Australia are on the right course with their breeding programs?
Some are, some not. Some strive hard to keep an extended gene pool available by widening breeding lines even to bringing in interstate and overseas lines, maintaining a viable gene pool for the future.
In the past each Australian State has used mostly the same local gene pool and with a different emphasis on a type. South Australian Aussies were admired for the rough texture of their coats, with their rich tan and blue colour.
What if anything would you like to see more emphasis on with regard to breeding programs?
Personally I would like to see more use of ‘outcross’ dogs. This can import possible problems, but it would also breed a more standard type of dog. The top show dog is often used in preference to the dog not shown but may sire better progeny. Every breeder should know the Breed Standard thoroughly and strive to produce dogs that conform to the standard .
Our Canine Association Rules state that a bitch should not be bred from more than once in a 12 month period; I do not think the practice in some countries of having three consecutive litters is humane.
Have you imported dogs? Exported?
I would have loved to have had the female promised to me from the US (!!!!) but now I have a great little girl from New Zealand – Mystral’s Bright N Breezy, who is doing well at the shows, and hopefully will contribute to the gene pool available when she produces puppies late next year.
I have exported a dog to Finland, and he has helped with the breed there by siring many litters.
How did you find those experiences and why?
Importing is complicated because of Australia’s strict quarantine regulations. The New Zealand girl enjoyed her trip (aged 5 months) and was well looked after en route.
My male who travelled to Amsterdam/Helsinki at the age of 6 months was well cared for, with no problems and had a very excellent home in Finland.
It is hard to export and ensure the dog will have a good home, not just used in a breeding program and then sold, which is why I have not been too keen on sending dogs far away.
Have you made international friends as a result of those experiences? I have life-long friends in Finland. They have been so kind and loving to Jacko, and I don’t think he could ever have had a better home. The breeder in New Zealand I knew and trusted; we are both proud of Breezy’s success.
In 2010 you attended the US National Specialty. How would you compare the US dogs you saw to the Australian Aussies?
They are developing to their own style in the US. – all so immaculately groomed and well behaved. Our Breed Standard says: “Its untrimmed, harsh coat with definite ruff around the neck extending to the breastbone and its long strong head assist in developing its hard bitten, rugged appearance.” In Australia, we know of the breed primarily as a family dog, more than a show dog. Of course, the dogs that are shown have been bathed, tidied (hair removed from in front of eyes, feet tidied, etc.) but not shaped and groomed to the extent that I saw on most of the dogs in the US in 2010. Many of the US dogs were a little larger, but we still have some variations here – some of the dogs range from 14 lbs. to 18 lbs., and may be 10 to 11½ inches at the withers. Our judges like to have expression/fire in the dog, looking alert and interested in what is going on. Zeb’s handler had him ‘fired up’ which I thought was great, showing he was alert and ready to go!
How has viewing the Aussie world through “international eyes” impacted your own breeding program?
Happy with what I am doing – getting outcross dogs, and knowing the ancestors in the lines I use. Handsome, healthy dogs with good temperaments have always been my aim.
What has been your high point in the breed?
Winning Best in Terrier Group four times at major all-breeds shows, and In Show several times with Canto and Bradman rate highly, but gaining obedience titles with Toby and Canto would rate higher. The ability to train a terrier/earth dog to act like a working dog takes time and tenacity and they both did me proud!
Have you had any favorite Aussies and why?
Canto, Toby, Della, Sappho, Trixie, Brad, Penny – where do I stop? Just love them all for being such beautiful dogs, good fun and company and enhancing our life.
What do you feel your contributions have been to the breed?
Preserving their history by establishing the “Australian Terrier Database” of pedigrees of Australian born Aussies (www.worldpedigrees.com);
being active in the formation of the Australian Terrier Club of South Australia, and editing the AUSSIE NEWS for the club.
How would you like to be remembered in the breed?
Someone who was interested in maintaining the uniqueness of the breed, preserving its quality for the future and trying to improve each Aussie’s quality of life.
Photo 1 Mystral’s Bright N Breezy New Zealand Import Photo 2 Ch. T. Canto CD Photo 3 Ch. T. Canto CD and Girls Photo 4 Ch. T. Flash Jack 2009 Photo 5 Ch. Teraustralis Bradman 2001 Photo 6 Ch. Teraustralis Flash Jack at Adelaide Royal Show 2009 Photo 7 Ch. Teraustralis Paws Truly (Penny) is a sitter 2007 Photo 8 Dalejeff Dragnet, outside of Alice Springs, 1958 Photo 9 T. Jackaroo, exported to Finland 1997 Photo 10 Teraustralis Toby CD, Alice Springs 1982 Photo 11 The sandy litter, Frank and Faria 2006 Photo 12 The old dear having a rest Photo 13 Penny (T. Paws Truly)