Honoring Carin Sandahl Of Twee-Dle-Dee Kennel

It is an honour to see an article about a breeder colleague who, in my opinion, has made great contributions for the development of the breed. She is Sweden’s first lifetime member and I cannot imagine anyone that deserves it more than she does.

Carin Sandahl

 Carin showing Twee-Dle-Dee With Makeup On

Karin has always had the best of the breed in mind and is always ready to help and give valuable advice for breeders and hobbyists alike. She has generously shared her blood lines to ensure the future of the Australian Terrier in Sweden. Many kennels have borrowed a Twee-Dle-Dee male and many have a Twee-Dle-Dee bitch in their pedigrees.

The blue-and-tan colour has a special place in Carin’s heart and therefore she has chosen to specialise on blue-and-tans. Aside from her kennel, Carin has been involved in the Swedish club of the breed and spent numerous hours on non-profit work. She was also the chairperson of the club.

In 2011 Carin and undersigned wrote a book of the breed, Aussieboken (Swedish for The book of Aussie), to compile and share all that we have found and discovered about the breed during our years as breeders.

Thus, in what better way could I present her breeding than by an extract from Aussieboken? I hope that we will see a lot more Twee-Dle-Dee-dogs in the future since Carin has an extraordinary feeling for the breed.

She has a healthy attitude to the world of dog shows and does not let herself be fooled by the whims of fashion.

Her motto has always been a well-composed dog without exaggerations.

Bobo Twee-Dle-Dee Thru The Looking Glass

“Bobo” Twee-Dle-Dee Thru The Looking Glass

Carin and Roger Sandahl first began breeding poodles but became so fascinated by an article of the breed published in Hundsport (a Swedish dog magazine) in 1983 that they bought their first Australian Terrier the following year. The newly acquired Aussie was the bitch puppy Ch Sassatown Laughing Imp from Finland. Carin later mated her in 1985 with the Finnish male Ch Juuso von Bienehof and she became the mother of the first Australian terrier litter of the kennel. Carin also bought Ch Ymsen’s Yandilla in 1985 and in 1987 she bought Ch Ymsen’s Yarrwonga from the true Aussie-enthusiast Anne-Marie Hamilton Bartter, who had Ymsen’s kennel in Sweden and Wyangan kennel in Australia.

Ch Ymsen’s Yandilla had three litters, 1987 with Reni’s Äxtra Strong, 1988 with Ch Trolding’s Kerry and in 1991 with Ch Twee-Dle-Dee Tophat’s Tail. Several of her offsprings became Swedish champions and were used in breeding. Yandilla herself became 14 years old.

Ch Ymsens Yarrawonga left four litters. The successful siblings Ch Twee-Dle-Dee Knockout Drops, Ch Twee-Dle-Dee Good Vibrations and Ch Twee-Dle-Dee Punch-Line was born in Yarrawonga’s second litter.

Yarrawonga became mother to seven champions all in all.

In 1991 another bitch from Anne-Marie Bartter joined kennel Twee-Dle-Dee. This time the bitch was born in Australia and came from Anne-Marie’s last litter. Her name was Ch Wyangan Banksia.

I n 1993 a couple of Carin’s first Australian Terrier CH Sassatown Laughing Imp’s grandchildren was born in Norway. The mother of these puppies was Ch Twee-Dle-Dee Tribute To Norway and the father was the from England imported male Zellamere March Past Brimartz. The same year the kennel bought the bitch Ch All The Best. Funnily enough, also she became the mother of seven champions, among them the male Ch Twee-Dle-Dee Join The Circus (after the Australian male TineeTown Tryiton) and the bitch Ch Twee-Dle-Dee Take All Of Me (after Ch St.Capes Black Bumpkin). Carin chose to keep these two in the kennel.

Take All Of Me upheld the tradition and became the mother of seven champions. Another of All The Best’s sons, Ch Twee-Dle-Dee Banana Bender (after Ch Bluepepper´s Terri-Er) moved to kennel Bluepepper’s in Finland.

In 1995 the male Ch Rebelglen Time Bandit was imported from Australia but to Carin’s and Roger’s great disappointment Time Bandit turned out to be sterile, and was given to Carola Eriksson/Per Berg who showed him quite a bit and he became, among other things, The Aussie of the Year in 1996.

There were other rules and regulations concerning importing dogs at that time and there was great deal of drama when he travelled to Sweden.

In 1996 the bitch Ch Bluepepper’s Milla Magia was bought from Finland and in 2003 the bitch Ch Tatong’s Heavenly joined the kennel and in 2005 the male Ch Tatong’s Spy In The Sky came from Denmark.

The kennel has exported dogs to all of the Scandinavian countries and to USA.

Ulla-Britt Norgren Translated Sara Norgren

An Interview With Lifetime Member Carin Sandahl

This month ATI welcomes Carin Sandahl as the first  Lifetime Member  from Sweden. We want to congratulate Carin and thank her for her years of  dedication to the breed. The Kennel name Twee-Dle-Dee is behind many top winning  Swedish and International dogs.

Thank you so very much! It is a great honour to have become an ATI Lifetime Member  and it feels really overwhelming. I’m very happy and flattered.

I can really feel it´s a small world, and that ATI is a fantastic organization that ties us Aussie-lovers together all over the globe. I am proud to be a part of it!

Carin Sandahl

 Carin Sandahl 1

From the left: Ch Tatong’s Spy In The Sky, Ch Tatong’s Heavenly, Ch Twee-Dle-Dee Without Makeup,

Ch Twee-Dle-Dee Laughing Face and Twee-Dle-Dee Dark Angel.

How did you get involved or started with Australian Terriers?

I was breeding standard poodles for some years and wanted to try a smaller breed as a complement to the work-demanding poodles.  I found a long article about Aussies in the Swedish Kennel Club Magazine in 1983.

Both my husband and I became very interested and visited a breeder to see Aussies in real life and get to know more about the breed.

That year, 1983, only 13 puppies were born in Sweden and after that article in the KC Magazine all the puppies were sold. Later that summer we took one of the poodles to a show in Norway and ran into a man with two Aussies.

He turned out to be Mr. Harto Hallikas, of kennel Sassatown, from Finland. We kept in contact and the year after we were offered the best bitch puppy in a litter he had. Her name was Sassatown Laughing Imp, a tough little girl with a big personality. She later became our first Aussie champion.

We just loved the breed and slowly we ran out of poodles and ended up with only the Aussies.

 Sassatown Laughing Imp

Sassatown Laughing Imp did not love getting her nails done.

How did you choose your kennel name?

That was when we started with poodles. I bought my first bitch pup from another breeder and could chose a name beginning with T and somehow came up with Twee-Dle-Dee, which I thought suited the poodle mentality.

She was Creols Top Twee-Dle-Dee.  When I decided on my own kennel name it was an easy choice.

How many years have you shown Aussies?

Since I got my first Aussie in 1984.
How many years have you been breeding Aussies?

We had the first litter in 1985, so that is 27 years this year.

 Carin Sandahl 2

How many litters have you bred?

I just had Aussie litter number 46, and we also had 10 litters of standard poodles.

Do you know how many champions you have produced?

I know it is at least 40 Aussie champions, but I might have overlooked someone.

Do you enjoy mentoring other people in the breed?

Yes I do. I think it is important to pass on the knowledge you have gathered during the years.

We want the breed to live on, be true to the standard, healthy and to have the wonderful temperament it has today.

To achieve that we have to help and mentor the new and upcoming breeders so they can continue our work into the future.

Who were the people who mentored you in the breed?

After I bought my first Aussie from Harto Hallikas, we kept in contact via old-fashioned letters (before e-mails) for some years and he taught me a great deal about the breed. The rest I had to learn myself.

What do you look for in the bitch to make her worthy of your breeding program?

Health and temperament of course, but that comes without saying. She should be well constructed with good proportions and good bone, good angulation and a good carriage with long neck if possible.

A long head with good muzzle and expression is also important. Coat and colour – the wish-list could be long.

You can´t get all you want in one dog, but I want her as near my ideal as possible.

What do you look for in the stud dog to make him worthy of your breeding program?

About the same as in the bitch, but I try to make him complement the bitch and have the benefits that she lacks and vice versa. I don´t look so much at the pedigrees when I breed, except to make sure the two are not too closely related. I look more for type and try to find dogs as close to my ideal Aussie as possible.

Can you define your idea of breed type?

I think it´s important to keep in mind for what purpose this breed was once made and pay attention to the standard when you create your ideal Aussie in your mind. It should be a “low set, sturdy dog” robust enough

to be able to work most of the day. He has to have a good chest and body to support lungs and heart.

He can´t be too weedy or too heavy to do his work, but have medium bone. He needs a long head and strong muzzle with good bite to catch rodents and snakes and he must have those quick reflexes and alertness to do so. Good coat quality is also important. A too soft coat was not practical in the outback.

A good carriage and a long neck make this sturdy dog quite elegant and pretty to look at.

What have been your proudest moments in the breed?

That is difficult. There have been so many proud moments through the years, but one memorable moment was when the blue/tan male Ch Twee-Dle-Dee Knockout Drops won BIS at our National for the fourth year in a row. He won 1991 to 1994 and was the most winning Aussie in the Swedish rings at the time.

Twee-Dle-Dee Knockout Drops

BISS Ch. Twee-Dle-Dee Knockout Drops

How did you learn to groom?

I had done a lot of dog grooming earlier, and not just poodles, which is a totally different type of grooming, but also some terriers like Airedale, Welsh, Cairn, so I knew what terrier grooming was about. However, there was nobody nearby that could show me how to do an Aussie, so I had to learn that by myself.

My first Aussie had a very harsh coat that did not grow much and was easy to keep tidy.

At the same time I looked at photos of good Aussies and talked to people at shows and looked how their dogs were groomed and tried to copy the good parts at home. Slowly I learned how I wanted an Aussie to look and how I wanted it groomed.

Have you exported Aussies?

Yes, I have exported to Norway, Finland, France and USA.

Have you imported Aussies?

Yes, from Finland, Australia, Norway and USA.

Do you see a difference in personalities between dogs from other countries and dogs from Sweden?

I don´t think I have enough experience to say there is a difference between countries. I have a feeling there can be a slight difference between different blood lines. But then again every dog is an individual, so that is hard to say unless you get to know a larger number of dogs from different countries.

Did you find it difficult to produce a nice natural tail?

Yes, I think it will take some time before we see only nice and straight natural tails. If you could breed only on the look of the tail you could probably have straight tails in 2-3 generations, but in a small breed like ours you have to consider the whole dog, and you cannot afford to take an otherwise good and healthy dog out of breeding just because his tail is a bit curled, so my guess is that we will continue to get both straight and curled tails in the litters for quite a while. Unfortunately you can´t say for sure what the tail will look like on the grown dog until the puppy is 3-4 months old. It can change when the pup grows.

Can you describe what a good natural tail should look like?

I think the best way is to show it with photos.

Tail example

Tail example 2

Do you have a few favourite Aussies that you owned or bred?

All the Aussies that have lived here with us have been favourites and loved for their personalities and the individuals they have been. I cannot say that one has been more of a favourite than the others.

If you mean best show dogs I have bred, those who are closest to my ideal Aussie, I would mention the male Ch Twee-Dle-Dee Join the Circus. He was a handsome boy, well built with a lot of style and reach of neck, dark colours, and he moved very well. In bitches Ch Twee-Dle-Dee Take All Of Me was a very pretty bitch with a very good front and unusually good neck and carriage for that time. Today I have her great grand-daughter Ch Twee-Dle-Dee Without Makeup, who not only is a successful show dog, but also a fantastic brood bitch, who whelps her big litters without problems and who is the best possible mom to her puppies.

Twee-Dle-Dee Join The Circus

Ch Twee-Dle-Dee Join The Circus

Twee-Dle-Dee Take All Of Me

Ch. Twee-Dle Dee Take All of Me

Twee-Dle-Dee Without Makeup

Ch Twee-Dle-Dee Without Makeup

 How has the Aussie changed since you started breeding?

Here in Sweden I think it has changed a lot for the better during my 27 years. Backs and top-lines are much better, tail-sets and hind angulations are a lot better. Fronts are better but could be better still.

We don´t see many triangular heads anymore and most dogs have all their teeth, which was not the case earlier.

I also think the temperaments are better.

What concerns you about the Aussie of today as it relates to conformation and health?

As I said the Aussies here have improved a lot during my time, but we have to keep on working with the fronts.

Shoulder/upper arm angulation and straight front legs could be better.

When it comes to health, I think we have very few problems compared to most breeds. There are very little knee problems; cataracts are very rare. There are a few cases of thyroid diseases and sometimes a case of allergic reaction. The biggest problem must be older dogs that get diabetes.

What have Aussies added to your life?

My Aussies ARE my life. I live with them and sleep with them and they are my first priority all the time. I am surrounded by them all the time at home. Because of them I get to meet a lot of interesting people and go to a lot of places for shows. To watch the dogs interact with each other, play and do crazy things is so amusing, and to experience the very special bond between me and the dogs is priceless.

 Carin Sandahl 3

Ch Twee-Dle-Dee With Makeup On is using our Labrador to get a better view through the window.

You recently published a book about Australian Terriers. What made you decide to write a book and can you tell us a little bit about it?

There is nothing written about Australian Terriers in Swedish, and my puppy buyers now and then ask me about where they can read about their breed. So the idea to write a book came up years ago. When I talked about it with my friend and fellow breeder Ulla-Britt Norgren, Vitterklippen kennels, we discovered that we both had the same idea and decided to do it together. We started breeding Aussies about the same time so we both have a long experience of the breed in Sweden.

We decided that our book would only be about the breed, what it´s like, what you can expect living with an Aussie, stories about Aussies told both by us and by our puppy buyers, the breed history and of course lots and lots of photos. We decided not to take up space with “how to breed” or “how to train your pup” – things you can find dozens of books filled with. We wanted to pass on information about the breed that we have gotten from breeders before us and that we don´t want to be forgotten.

We have only received positive response so far, so hopefully we have succeeded in creating the book that we wanted. We had a lot of fun doing it.

Most importantly, with all you’ve done and your years of dedication to the breed……

How would you like to be remembered in the breed?

As somebody who was breeding good and healthy Aussies that can be an asset to have in the pedigrees in the future, and as someone who always had the best of the breed in focus and not my personal success.

 Carin Sandahl 4

The Australian Terrier Book

ATI could not be more proud of members Carin Sandahl and Ulla-Britt Norgren.

They have published the first book, ever written in Swedish, about Australian Terriers. Congratulations to them for this amazing accomplishment. Now if you can’t read Swedish, this book is full of wonderful Aussie photos that are sure to delight you.

A note from the authors:

We have had the lovable and tough Australian terrier in Sweden for almost fifty years but it is not until now that the breed has got its own book in Swedish. Two of the breed’s most loyal breeders have compiled experiences and material which have been collected for decades. In this book you will find information which has never before been published in Sweden. The book contains, for example, the history and the development of the breed, grooming description and anecdotes about owning an Australian Terrier.

These stories are both humorous and heart-warming. The book is both for the beginners and for the out-and-out enthusiasts of the breed. The book is written in Swedish but contains a lot of beautiful photos.