History of the Border Terrier and the club in NSW


There were reports of Border Terriers in Australia during the 1930’s but no records or details were kept.  The first recorded owner of a Border Terrier in Australia was Mrs Russell of Melbourne in the mid 1940’s.  The first record of Border Terriers in NSW was in the early 1960’s when Mr George Sheaves imported a pair, from Solways Kennels in the UK, into Sydney.  Unfortunately the bitch died shortly afterwards but the dog became a champion being handled by John Ellem of NSW.  He was the first Border Terrier to win a Best in Group award in Australia.  His win was under Theo Shannon (Fox Terrier Wires).

In the late 70’s Tom and Anne Morrow (RULEWATER) imported Andrus of Patterdale & Robert Bartram (CRAIGEND) imported Brigit of Patterdale from New Zealand.  Other dogs came into the country at this time and this small gene pool formed the basis of the breed in Australia for the late 70’s and early 1980’s.  To complement these dogs Robert Bartram arranged to have Rhozzum Venture imported from the UK.  Venture was a very successful stud dog and produced 4 sons that had considerable impact on the breed.

Today the breed is gaining popularity in all states of Australia and there are two breed clubs, The Border Terrier Club of NSW Inc and the Border Terrier Club of Victoria Inc. 

The Border Terrier Club of NSW started as an idea of John Caldwell (BARAMBAH) in 1981 and when it was first established it was an Australia wide social club.  The first newsletter, The Border Bugle, was produced in June 1981 and on 27th February 1982 the inaugural meeting of the Border Terrier club was held.  Derek Hastie was elected President; John Caldwell was the Secretary/Treasurer & Robert Bartram was the Publicity Officer.  Area Reps were appointed and The Border Bugle was adopted as the quarterly newsletter to keep exhibitors and enthusiasts in touch.  The first parade was held one year later at Queanbeyan showground, when Frances Sefton, original owner and editor of National Dog and the first Patron of the club, judged the breed and Derek Hyde judged the sweepstakes and property classes.  Best in Show was Rhozzum Venture (Bartram) and Runner up was Foxjoy Berberis (Emery). 

In 1985 the club was granted provisional affiliation with the RASKC and became the Border Terrier Club of NSW.  The club has now been active for more than 30 years and holds a championship show every year at the Queanbeyan showgrounds during the October long weekend, where entries average between 35 - 45 dogs, with entries also coming from interstate visitors.

Earthdog Tests were commenced in 2005 and this has added strength and depth to the club as well as another dimension of club activities for exhibitors and their dogs. After a lull in earthdog activities for several years, the tests began again with double tests being held at the DogsNSW Orchard Hills complex in September 2016.

Our club's patron is Mrs Delma Nelson (BORTERR). Life Members of the club are as follows: Mrs Joyce Caldwell, Mrs Di Cross, Mr Mike Cross, Mrs Pamela Harding, Mr Garth Harding, Mrs Dee Hyde, Mr Derek Hyde, Miss Carol Maciver, with Mrs Delma Nelson being added to the distinguished group in 2016.

Imports continue to come into Australia and numbers at shows throughout the country are gradually increasing.  We still need to encourage newcomers to the breed.  It does seem more judges understand and are interested in the breed and remember the breed’s most important characteristics.  

Some significant past imports include Ch Rhozzum Venture, who sired many significant dogs, foremost being Ch Craigend Cheviot Piper who won BIS five times at club shows, an All Breeds Runner Up BIS and many Best in Group awards.  He sired 20 Australian Champions, 1 American Champion and 3 New Zealand Champions.  He made a major contribution to the breed in NSW.  His son Ch Craigend Cheviot Major was BIS twice at the club show and his grandson Ch Craigend Chowchilla won Best in Show 6 times.

Ch Brigand of Brockhole and Lynsett (Imp UK), who was imported by Elaine Davies, sired many champions and had a large impact on the breed including siring Ch Ramarego Hunter’s Moon who was BIS at the club show in 1994 and Dog CC winner in 1993. 

Ch Rhozzum Argos (Imp UK) came in 1994 and though used infrequently he produced significant dogs who were winners at the club show and at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney.  From this same kennel came Ch Rhozzum MacBeth (Imp UK) who also had considerable impact on the breed in NSW.

Other dogs have been imported into Australia and have had significant impact including Grand Ch/Fin Ch/NZ Ch Foxforest one For The Road (Imp Fnl) imported into Victoria.  He was significant in siring many of the Best in Show winners at the club shows in more recent years.

These days, while the breed in NSW does not have a large number of exhibitors, many are dedicated to breeding and showing the best they can.  These include Pamela and Garth Harding (Guilcroft), Peter & Siobhan Collins (Edenside), Margaret Killmore (Hedgehope)  and Angela and Laurie Swain (Glenboyd). Interstate members include Gaela Whyte (Bohunt, Vic), Sue Mewse (Glenbogle, Vic), Tegan Whalan (Leema, SA), Anne Smith (Chanpema, SA), Lisa McGinn (Lisgar, Tas). In addition, many members of the club are now involved in sporting activities such as agility, obedience, tracking, lure coursing and (of course!) earthdog, as well as showing their dogs.

The Secretary can be contacted via email at [email protected]  if you wish any further information on the club or the breed.





Contact Details

Lizzy Pattinson
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Email : [email protected]