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Brown Australian Terriers….a new variation of the Breed?
[Response To The Article Below]
The Chocolate Debate Click Here
I have read with interest the article posted on the Australian Terrier Breed notes “celebrating” the only known chocolate Australian Terrier in the world. This little dog was bred by the Dunham Lake Australian Terriers of Wisconsin last year and is said to be the only one of its type known in the world….I doubt that. Brown Aussies have appeared in litters over here occasionally over the years…I personally have never seen one but I do know of at least 2 kennels where this accident of genes occurred.
The dogs I have heard of were pet homed and never bred from…nor should they be as they are an anomaly of the breed and for those of us who hold the breed dear will always strive to breed even better dogs and to the standard of the country where they were born. The Australian Terrier Club of America voted to allow, for registration purposes only the colour brown/tan for this puppy. A letter also went out to judges of Australian Terriers in the USA reinforcing the breed standard and correct colours of the breed as brown/tan is NOT an acceptable colour. This puppy is also the result of a mother/son mating. The offspring of such a mating should NEVER be bred from as the genepool is simply too close….but that is an ethical decision for the breeder to take but certainly not a risk I would wish to take.
Here in the UK our Kennel Club would register a brown and tan Aussie but its registration would be endorsed with the letters CNR (colour not recognised) …letters which appear on the registrations of non standard coloured dogs such as is very common at the moment in pugs and French Bulldogs. Our standard colours are blue/tan, red and sandy. Also our KC have confirmed that they would NOT register puppies from a mother/son mating as this is against the Code of Ethics we all have to abide by with our KC…therefore this puppy if born here could not be sold as KC registered.
This is a delightful breed and I would hate to see it diluted or even destroyed by the penchant for unusual colours…why would you do this….I would suggest that £ or $ signs loom large as they could be passed off as extremely rare. I do hope I am wrong………
SHEILA G STODDART
Millvalley Australian Terriers
The Only Known Chocolate Australian Terrier In The World
If someone were to mention the great Badger State of Wisconsin, and you were familiar with the US state, your thoughts would probably turn to such things perhaps as its the Swiss Cheese Capital of the World (no, really! Its not Switzerland!) or that it has the worlds largest Bratwurst festival but the fact that it is now the home of the only known Chocolate Australian Terrier in the world, would more than likely not be your first thought. You would certainly not be alone.
Almost unheard of, the Australian Terrier is not just an old breed but one not easily found. It's a hard breed to locate if you would happen to decide that you wanted one. I myself had never heard of an Australian Terrier until my mother and I adopted a "terrier mix" from a local shelter in the state of Ohio. She was a charming, eager, little dog with a few idiosyncrasies that were environmental rather than breed specific, which had resulted in her return to the same shelter six times after being adopted. After a period of adjustment, she settled into our home and quickly became a beloved and adored, well mannered member of our family.
But whenever I would look at this little dog, something would nag away at me. I suspected that there was more to Trixie than met the eye so I began to do some research. Initially I thought maybe she was simply an oversized Yorkie mix, her colors and pattern certainly seemed to indicate a Yorkie or a Silky Terrier in herbackground. I researched on the internet sporadically until by chance I happened upon a picture that looked as though Trixie had posed for it. The photo was of an Australian Terrier gazing confidently into the camera. Amazed, I kept looking at the photo then back at the dog stretched out upon my lap. They were a match! I began to delve even deeper into researching the little dog that I was now almost positive was an Australian Terrier.
My internet investigation located an Australian Terrier breeder in Wisconsin who urged me to call her when I contacted her by email. Her name was Theresa Goiffon, a highly regarded breeder in the dog show world whohas had many, many awards bestowed upon her and her Australian Terriers; among which are multiple Best in Show's and #1 ranked Australian Terriers in the USA. She has had dogs win overseas with her breed line represented in the US, Germany, Sweden, and Wales. Theresa was open, friendly, and eager to help a stranger in need of information. Iexplained I was searching for my dogs breeder and that because Wisconsin was not too far from Ohio, I thought that perhaps Trixie was one of Theresa's bloodline.
Theresa was surprised when I informed her that we had discovered Trixie in a shelter. She explained that a conscientious and reputable breeder generally requires that any pup adopted, be returned to them when and if they became unwanted but this little dogs buyer had obviously not returned her to her source or perhaps had been unable to due to unforeseen circumstances.
As best she could by looking at pictures sent, Theresa determined that yes, Trixie was an Aussie, a term of endearment used by those familiar with the breed but this Aussie was not one of her litters offspring. Despite further searches, Trixie's origins remained a mystery but during our telephone conversation I was invited tojoin an online group of her fellow breeders, adopters of her puppies and people like myself, all passionate about the Australian breed. The wealth of experience among these folks proved invaluable to me concerning the needs and unique aspects of little Trixie.
Soon after my joining this online group yet another first for Wisconsin happened. A rare and most unusual birth. A little female Australian Terrier was born in Theresa's kennels. In a breeding kennel that would hardly be newsworthy, but the fact that this puppy was unique, a true one of a kind and the only one known of in the world today, is her claim to fame in the dog world as well as in her home state of Wisconsin. The puppy's colors, chocolate and tan, thought to have been bred out of the blood line has resurfaced in her and despite the littleterriers size, she set off a Great Dane sized flap among some in the dog world. This little Chocolate Terrier has tipped a portion of the Australian Terrier world on its axis.
Godiva, a true chocolate as proven by DNA tests, is one of only a very a few born since the Australian Terrierbreed was recognized by the Australian Terrier Club of America, (ATCA) formed in 1957. There have certainly been other Chocolates in the interim although little is known about where or when. Most breeders simply spayor neuter then sell the Chocolates because the color is not in the AKC standard and unfortunately, a few have euthanized this unique color combination.
The only colors recognized as acceptable in Australian Terriers are blue and tan, solid sandy and solid red. Originally Nell Fox, the ardent champion of this breed and one of its most passionate breeders had wanted chocolate to be recognized when theStandards were being decided in the ATCA. At one point, as the ATCA Standards were being developed, the Chocolate was written into the standard, however one month later, it was requested of the American Kennel Club that the Chocolate be removed from the standard which once again, narrowed the field of acceptable colors to the blue and tan, solid sandy and solid red.
But this generations newcomer, Dunham Lake The Finest Chocolate Godiva or simply Godiva as her family and those who love herknows her, bounded onto the scene July12, 2017 and into our hearts then promptly blazed a new path onto the scene.
Theresa is following this puppy's development very closely and carefully, documenting everything including DNA testing and color genetic profiles should another puppy like her be born in the future. According to a few breeders, there have been some chocolatesborn in the US, however no records, no breeders name, photos or pedigrees have been made available.
Little "Dunham Lake the Finest Chocolate Godiva" has all the wonderful characteristics and qualities of her breed. She is spunky,brave, adventurous and despite being born in Wisconsin, every single inch of her is an Australian Terrier. When romping with her litter mates, she is boisterous, rowdy and silly. Her antics can be observed at https://www.facebook.com/Dunham-Lake-The-Finest-Chocolate-Godiva-312826629187932/ where you can watch as she bedevils her long suffering feline uncles, Reggie and Todd, the resident house cats, rompingwith the members of the pack and just being her silly, puppy self, playing with the latest litter of pups.
There is a certain degree of prejudice surrounding this lovely little girl, as some in the Australian Community would have others believe, suggesting that her colours conceal an aggressive nature, that the chocolate bloodline can be traced back to an aggressiveancestor, the Irish Terrier. Be that as it may, just as it is with people, unfounded prejudice of any type is unacceptable whether it be against a person of colour or a dog that is judged simply because of the unique qualities of her appearance. Individuals, whether dog or person must be judged upon their own merits. As of this writing, the AKC and the ATCA have registered Godiva as brown and tan, making her the first Brown and Tan Australian terrier ever to be registered with these colours.
Potentially, will there be a line of chocolate Australian Terriers coming in the future? Will this old, once recognized, chocolate blood line be resurrected and will the American Terrier Club of America,(ATCA) standards accept her? What the ATCA will decide remains unknown but one thing without doubt is that this little dog has a bright future. Colour's not withstanding, she is beloved for just being herself, a chocolate treat in a fuzzy wrapper.
By Loni Brennan
Photo Courtesy of Theresa Goiffon
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