Clover and our first foster dog, ‘Dory’.

Countless dogs are destroyed every day due to the lack of suitable homes. I have worked in an animal shelter and seen first hand the problems we have with dog adoption not meeting the number of dogs in a shelter. As such, I have constantly been asked to justify how I can also breed animals. To me, the problem is multifaceted.

Firstly, many puppy-buyers are uneducated and fuel the unscrupulous breeding of huge quantities of dogs through purchasing animals from unethical institutions. These puppy buyers often don’t know where their puppy has come from, yet alone how to raise the puppy to be a sound adult dog which they are happy to commit to for 15 years.

To counteract this first problem, I try to involve myself as much as possible in the education role. The obvious is having detailed discussions with potential puppy buyers to establish the suitability of Border Terriers to their lifestyle. Furthermore, through my work, I promote responsible dog ownership in schools. Through the work of “People and Dogs”, which I have volunteered for on numerous occasions, I have attempted to educate people before a puppy enters their lives.

Secondly, I believe the problem is based around an oversupply of undesirable crossbreeds. Working in an animal pound for several years, I saw only one Border Terrier enter the facility. There is not an oversupply of Border Terriers. There are too many dogs of undeterminable heritage, inappropriately raised, and with undesirable behavioural characteristics because of this. I do not feel like I am responsible for the destruction of crossbreed animals by breeding Border Terriers.

Finally, if I am incorrect and breeding border terriers does in some way mean that crossbred dogs in pounds are destroyed, I seek to counteract this damage by being involved in rescue. Not only do I frequently donate to rescue efforts nationally, but also take foster animals into my home. Having privately fostered and rehomed animals in the past, I now volunteer as a foster carer with the Greyhound Adoption Program.

I strongly feel that those involved with breeding should also be involved in rescue, at least in their given breed. As my breed does not tend to make their way into shelters, I support rescue in other ways. In this way, I feel that breeding border terriers is no way contributing to the problems in animal shelters.


Myrtle was raised with two rescue puppies who had been rejected by their emaciated mother. This was valuable for Myrtle, to gain socialisation skills, but also for the two pups and their health and development.