History of the breed in Australia


The following is an excerpt from the Soft-Coated Wheaten terrier Club of Great Britain Handbook written in 2000 regarding Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers in Australia.

Brian Dowse and Graham Kerr had actually imported two wheatens, a brother and sister pair, prior to importing Maddalo Senorita Poquito.

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The first Wheaten to be imported into Australia was a bitch, Aust.Ch.Maddalo Senorita Poquito (born 25.4.79, Eng.Ch.Finchwood Wellington ex Maddalo Jubilee Dutchess).  The Senorita arrived in Sydney towards the end of 1979, her new owners being Brian Dowse and Graham Kerr.  In late 1984 Brian and Graham imported Aust.Ch.Lissadell’s Max-a-Million (born 6.9.82, Am.Ch.Greentree Holiday O’Roses ex Am.Ch.Gleanngay Helza Poppin).  Late 1985 saw the arrival of Am.Ch.Riverrun’s Tess (born 27.3.77) and her daughter Aust.Ch.Hi-Crest Hi-Radiant Gold (born 17.12.81).  Both were from the U.S.A and imported by Brian and Graham.

In New South Wales, Tess was the first Wheaten to win Best in Group and Runner-up in Show in May 1987.  Brian and Graham established the Anubis prefix (affix) and then in conjunction with the Miller family from Brisbane, Queensland, formed the Rellimalodge prefix.  Ch.Rellimalodge Anastaza (D. Hartley, QLD) was the first Wheaten to win Best in Show in Queensland and in Australia.

John Collard and Monica O’Kelly-Collard of Victoria imported a dog and a bitch from the Newkilber Kennel in Ireland in 1985/6.  Ch.Newkilber My Way and Newkilber Perfidia were the foundation Wheatens for Larnook Kennells.  They acquired Ch.Lissadell’s Max-a-Million and Ch.Hi-Crest Hi-Radiant Gold from Brian Dowse and Graham Kerr.  Larnook Kennels then imported a bitch from Sweden, Ch.Brösings Eternal Show Dancer, and frozen semen from Am.Ch.Gleanngay Medicine Man and Am.Ch.Bantry Bay Kashmir.  Larnook has made up many champions and won group, in-group and in-show awards.

Ray and Win Newson of Victoria started their Rywani Kennels in 1988 with Ch.Larnook Cracker Jack and Ch.Stevelyn Sugar ‘N’ Spice (from the UK).  They later imported a bitch puppy Stevelyn That’s All Right and frozen semen from Eng. & Ir.Ch.Stevelyn Blue Suede Shoes of Kariskiye.  Rywani also has made up several champions, all winning group, in-group and in-show awards.

Three other breeders have produced one or more litters, Marie Vollbon of Vollmar Kennels, Queensland; John & Val Duffield, Javenfield Kennels, South Australia and David & Cheryl Deasey, Lislee Kennels, N.S.W.

There are also Wheatens taking part in obedience trials.  Although the Wheaten has been in Australia for less than 20 years, it has made its mark not only in the conformation show ring and as an obedience participant but as an excellent companion in modern suburbia.

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The Australian Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier scene has developed considerably since that article was written. Many new breeding kennels have been established, new bloodlines have been imported and Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier clubs created.

Many new Soft Coated Wheaten breeding kennels have sprung up throughout the country.  A number of these kennels have not yet bred a litter and there are also many that over the passage of time are no longer active in the Soft Coated Wheaten terrier community and are no longer breeding puppies

Australian Capital Territory

Amanda Eisman had Bwitcht Kennels and

John Collard, Dancestar Kennels

New South Wales

Nikki Smith has Ardgaeithe Kennels,

Betty Webb, Betandy Kennels,

Gillian Burton-Taylor, Druidsglen Kennels,

Kate and Barry Butler, Inchageela Kennels,

Lynnette Pezely, Orgamadra Kennels and

Tony and Tina Clift, Tchoklat Kennels.

Lori Ann Davis, Ozwheat Kennels


Christine Hetherington established Arisaid Kennels

Lynden and Janita McCormack, Cormak Kennels,

Brett Reid, Goldenwheaten Kennels,

Brett and Deb Reid, Icewheat and

Janice and David McKay Toftingall.

South Australia

Brian and Rosie Coppin established Ballykay Kennels

Graham and Susan Swalling, Bilstonwake Kennels

Peter Oswald, Paxterr Kennels

Emma Mitchell, Petrikor Kennels

and Trevor Pay, Traha Kennels.


In Tasmania Adrian and Narelle Mather have Adnaaire Kennels


Margaret Gray, Saphyr Kennels,

Sarah Lowe, Shaneca Kennels and

Marion Rowley, Softaire Kennels.

Western Australia

Stuart Johnson has Kanidor Kennels.

It is undoubtedly the case that the health and wellbeing of the breed has been strengthened by the Soft Coated Wheaten terriers that have been imported to Australia since the above article was written. Most of these have come from Europe, including Great Britain, and the United States.  Details of these imports are listed in the table below. My apologies if my research missed a worthy import.


Name of Dog/Bitch                               DoB                   Imported by


Glendowan Babington Brandy (Imp UK)         23.08.2001        Betty Webb

NZ Ch Honeyrags Geariod (Imp SWE)          01.01.2002        Tony & Tina Clift

Am Ch Geragold

      Tinker’s Wedding Imp USA)                     05.11.2002         Monica O’Kelly

Ballinvounig Sunshine (Imp IR)                       04.04.2003         Jeanette & Graham Grayston

Aimee Aira Happy Wheaten (Imp CZ) 03.06.2003        Tina & Tony Clift

SWD Ch Honeyrags

      Island Duke of Villa Rosa (Imp SWE)       25.11.2003        Margaret Gray

Larnook K litter (IID): King of Swing,               28.12.2004        Monica O’Kelly

Kaleidoscope, Kris Kringle, Koile Breda,

 Kit Kelly         

Lindywheat’s Macciato (Imp SWE)                19.02.2005        Stuart Johnson

Aussie Diva Wanton Buddy’s (Imp CZ)          04.02.2006       Janita & Lynden McCormack

Ellora Gillian’s Gold                                         07.03.2006        Tony Clift &

 Lynden McCormack

Allaflax Javelin (Imp SWE)                              02.05.2005        Monica O’Kelly

Glendowan Gillyflower (Imp UK)                     14.11.2009        Betty Webb

Ellora Oak of Truth (UK)                                 14.06.2011        Betty Webb

Others have been imported from our near neighbour New Zealand. These include:-


            Name of Dog/Bitch                               DoB                   Imported by

Cadhla of Bayadeirann (Imp NZ)                    09.08.2003          Betty Webb

Bayadeirann  Jolly Swagman (Imp NZ)          09.12.2003          Betty Webb

Bayadeirann the Real McCoy Imp NZ)           24.04.2004          Janita & Lynden McCormack

Bayadeirann Bellabong (Imp NZ)                     15.05.2004        Janita & Lynden McCormack

Silktrader My Heart Wrecker (Imp NZ)            23.10.2010         Emma Mitchell

Traligill Prionnsa Pisceach  (Imp NZ)             01.01.2011           Tony Clift &  

                                                                                                    Lynden McCormack

Silktrader Neva a Dull Moment (Imp NZ) 29.06.2012                  Lori Ann Davis        


Most of the imports mentioned above were imported by existing breeders to enhance their breeding program. Others have been imported into Australia as pets that emigrated with families settlings in Australia or bought from New Zealand.  Wheaten enthusiasts have seen them and enthusiastically either shown them or incorporated them into their breeding program, thus including them in the Australian Wheaten gene pool.  Silktrader’s Jorga Brown (Imp NZ), Dogside’s Lord of Dawn (Imp NLD) and Tangterr’s O’Kelly (Imp NOR) all fall in this group.

Health issues have been a challenge for the breed in Australia, as it has been in other countries, with incidents of PLE/PLN occurring.  Due to astute breeding and the importation of new lines the PLE/PLN problem seems to now be managed. The research of Dr Meryl Littman has also been instrumental in this regard. Wheatens, particularly the breeding stock, can now be tested for the allele that predisposes a Wheaten to this illness.  Choices can therefore be made to avoid breeding  from Wheatens that will predispose a pup to this disorder. The other major killer of Wheatens in Australia is however cancer. As with people this disease still needs considerable research and at this stage cannot be avoided.

That Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are becoming  more popular  is evidenced by the development of clubs established to celebrate and enjoy the breed. The first of these was the Victorian Wheaten Enthusiasts group, later to become the Soft Coated Wheaten terrier Club of Victoria.  This was followed by the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of New South Wales and then the South Australian club.

There are a variety of activities that Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers and their owners enjoy.  Many breeders also show their Wheatens at confirmation shows, the purpose of which is to obtain expert, independent opinion that the Wheaten is worthy to breed from. Wheatens are becoming increasingly successful in winning in Group awards and in Show awards. The pinnacle award is seen by many as wining at one of the Royal shows. In recent years Aust Ch Lindywheat’s Macciato (Imp SWD), handled by Stuart Johnson has won best in Group at the Perth Royal Show and Aust and Am Ch Geragold Tinker’s Wedding was in the last few picked out for consideration for at the Sydney Royal Show. Soft Coated Wheaten terriers now also number in those becoming Grand Champions and Aust Ch Lindywheat’s Macciato is also a Supreme Champion.

Confirmation shows are not the only activity during which Wheatens and their owners enjoy each other’s company.  Obedience activities, agility trials, herding, lure coursing as well as visitation of nursing homes and just going for a pleasant walk or swim are mutually enjoyed.

No doubt, in Australia, the enjoyment and appreciation of Soft Coated Wheaten terriers will continue to grow.



Contact Details

Club Secretary
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Email : [email protected]