Tails they are A' Changing.

February 10, 2020
This article I wrote was published in the 2019 January issue of Showsight dog magazine. I thought it was worthy of being reposted and shared here. 

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Yes, indeed, just as the title of the popular 1964 song by Bob Dylan says, the times are changing.

Change comes with resistance, resolve, fortitude and eventually acceptance. The purpose of this article is to give the reader a clear understanding of the mission of those breeders and exhibitors, who have showcased some of their dogs in this issue of ShowSight, who choose to leave their dogs cosmetically unaltered. We expect our breeding stock to be evaluated fairly and in full by American Kennel Club judges without prejudice toward their natural state.

We are a large group of breeders who represent many different dog breeds. We breed to and follow our AKC standard with respect to our specific breed. We differ from the breed standard by making a conscious decision to have our dogs represented in their natural born state without any cosmetic alterations. Contrary to what some believe, we are not advocates for any extreme animal rights groups. Many, if not most of us, support the right of breeders to make these decisions for themselves, while others believe as our colleagues in other parts of the world that our dogs should no longer be altered at birth nor at any other time. We advocate for our dogs to receive equal consideration in the show ring.

A brief look into the history of this practice provides some theories as to why dogs were altered in the first place. Historical writings dated prior to 1796 show that in the United Kingdom a tax was levied upon working dogs with tails. Many types of dogs, therefore, were docked to avoid payment of this tax. In 1796 this tax was repealed. Others believe by docking our dogs we prevent potential injury that may occur during specific breed trait activities. Others once thought by docking tails the dogs were less likely to contract rabies. Now, in 2019, we know these original reasons for historically altering our dogs are unfounded. There are no legitimate nor medical justifications to cosmetically alter our dogs.

The following is the position of the American Veterinarian Medical Association, directly quoted from the AVMA :

“1976 POLICY Suggested by the American Animal Hospital Association and approved by the AVMA House of Delegates Resolved, that the American Veterinary Medical Association recommend to the American Kennel Club and appropriate breed associations that action be taken to delete mention of cropped or trimmed ears from breed standards for dogs and to prohibit the showing of dogs with cropped or trimmed ears if such animals were born after some reasonable future date. 2012 POLICY Reaffirmation of the 2008 policy recommended by the Animal Welfare Committee and approved by the AVMA Executive Board. The AVMA opposes ear cropping and tail docking of dogs when done solely for cosmetic purposes. The AVMA encourages the elimination of ear cropping and tail docking from breed standards.”

This position as stated by the AVMA is one that we stand behind.
The American Kennel Club states their current position on this issue as follows:

“The American Kennel Club recognizes that ear cropping, tail docking, and dewclaw removal, as described in certain breed standards, are acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving breed character and/or enhancing good health. Appropriate veterinary care should be provided.”

The AKC’s position is to accept altering, not require it. We acknowledge and respect that the breed standard is set forth by each National Parent Club. We also acknowledge that AKC prohibits any breed standard to include any disqualification verbiage for showing dogs in their natural state. One must ask why the controversy?

We live in a global society and we know it is imperative for us to work together with breeders all over the world to protect and maximize gene pools in order to sustain and improve our pure-bred dogs. Most countries have a ban on docking and cropping. Removing prejudice against unaltered dogs in the conformation ring here in the USA would help support our dogs being shown outside of our country, thereby giving us the ability to represent the USA at international shows.

What should a breeder do when faced with the decision to crop or dock their dogs? American Kennel Club conformation judges are required to evaluate the “whole” dog, and most do. We expect the AKC judges to do so without personal bias or prejudice toward dogs being shown as they were born. Consider for a moment your dog's DNA, what is passed on to its offspring. That DNA contains the characteristics of the natural dog, regardless of whether the dog is cropped/docked. As breeding stock, the natural dog deserves to be judged equitably in comparison to its cropped/docked competition in the show ring.

In this section of ShowSight you will see many quality pure-bred dogs being shown in their natural born state despite their breed standard reflecting docked or cropped. Many of these dogs and many others not pictured in this issue have been awarded their AKC Championships, Grand Championships, group placements and national specialty placements. Some are even top ranked. We thank the multitude of judges who look beyond the parts that have not been cosmetically altered. Many of these judges acknowledge that change is coming, and it’s coming sooner rather than later. These judges uphold the standard yet realize that the breed standard is not compromised when they award dogs being shown as they were born.

Together we celebrate as a large diverse group. We consult and support each other at dog shows and through social media. We are well versed on those judges who care about the future of our pure-bred dogs and we understand the importance of working together with our global friends and breeders for the betterment of our breeds. We also know with the continued decline of dog show entries that the future of this sport is in the hands of all of us.

If you are interested in joining the hundreds of breeders and exhibitors, a group that is growing daily, who want to know more about showing natural dogs in the USA, feel free to request membership to the Facebook private group called Tales about Judging Tails.

For now, it’s ultimately the breeder’s decision. We choose not to alter our dogs yet most respect the rights of our colleagues who decide to cosmetically alter their dogs. Let’s unite and put our personal bias aside for the betterment of this wonderful sport and for pure-bred dogs everywhere.

 

2016 Highlights

February 7, 2017
Happy New Year from all of us at Dunham Lake Australian Terriers!
Click on link below or here for pdf form.
https://issuu.com/theresagoiffon/docs/dl_2016_review

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Grooming Supply List

February 29, 2016
Many people contact me inquiring about what kind of grooming supplies I recommend. Here is a list of some basic tools that I recommend. Some items specifically the scissors and blending sheers I have not used that brand so I can not personally attest to them but they appear to be decent based on the price.

Hope this is helpful.

Here is a list of grooming supplies I suggest to anyone new and would like some basic and fairly reasonable tools to groom your Australian Terrier.

1 set Basic Frankling ...


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Reflecting on 2015

December 29, 2015
We had a amazing 2015. Happy New Year!

Click here for the pdf version of "Reflecting 2015"



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Hatboro, Morris Essex and Montgomery 2015

October 8, 2015

Home from the 5 day 20 hour drive from our home in Wisconsin to Pennsylvania which included a National Specialty one day and the Montgomery County Terrier show. 

Our dogs and breeding was well represented. We are pleased with our results on Friday at the Hatboro show, during the designated National show BIS BIS/NOH GCH Ch Dunham Lake Unanimous Decision "Jake" won breed and a new title Best in Show Specialty (BISS) with 20 Australian Terriers entered, the largest entry that weekend. A huge...


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The Dog Show Journal

July 20, 2015


Read the pdf version here.
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2014 Year in Review

December 24, 2014
Wishing you all a very Blessed 2015, filled with good health, happiness and peace.

 Click on the photo for the full newsletter.




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2014 Australian Terrier National Specialty

June 6, 2014


Home at last from a super National Specialty weekend in Colorado! 

We met several new friends and caught up with many old friend. We won some top awards, with many beautiful Aussie represented including one puppy with her natural tail Dunham Lake Arista Magic Cheers for You! "Karla" MBIS GCH Dunham Lake Scoutmaster "Select", GCH Dunham Lake Touched by an Angel "Gabby" two days "Select" and GCH Dunham Lake Unanimous Decision, made the first cut two of the three days. 

I want to thank my daughter...

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Dunham Lake Aussies in the News!

May 1, 2014
Very happy about this new article written by our local newspaper. A follow up story titled "Goiffon Family Takes Success in Stride" to one that was written about our family in 2010. I hope you enjoy the update. You can read the article by clicking on this link.  (Note: If the article shows a sideways view, right click on your mouse and rotate clockwise).


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Memories of our first dog show.

April 27, 2014

Memories... since Lydia has now moved out on her own, what else am I to do on a rainy day, kids all gone, but reorganize her room, which will now become another guest room.

I found a treasure among a few things she left behind. A tee-shirt I had made, one for Lydia with her dog "Kaih's" name and one for Ellie with "Dakota's" name on it. I thought it would be special for the girls to wear these shirts at their first dog show. 
Little did I know that is not proper.

It was the first show we partici...

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Breeder of Merit


Theresa Greetings from Northwestern Wisconsin! I am a wife, mother, grandmother, breeder and author. I also work with helping small businesses with their website needs. Previously, I had a 25 year banking career. Retired several years ago, as a Vice President of Commercial Banking and Business Development Director for a financial institution. I have owned and raised dogs and cats for over 40 years. In 2007, we started to show and raise Australian Terriers. We now have 10 Australian Terriers and 2 Australian Shepherds. Breeder of Multiple Best in Show Aussies. We own and have bred some of the top Australian Terriers in the USA. We have bred and co-own the 16th and 17th Best in Show Australian Terrier in America he held the #1 in All-Breed in the USA in both 2013 and 2014. We have bred/own/handle the 2015 #1 Australian Terrier in the USA Jake who also won his first Best in Show with my 15 year old daughter Ellie handling him. Jake is only the 2nd "red" Australian Terrier to ever win a BIS. Breeder of 2 Australian Terriers to Win Best of Breed Westminster 2014 and 2015. We have Championed many Aussies and we have Champions in training, that being said, our dogs are first and foremost our companions. I take my role as a breeder very seriously. I support health testing and temperament testing as well as evaluating proper conformation prior to breeding. We believe in breeding for quality not quantity. We do not ship our puppies. Regardless of whether your puppy comes from us or not I hope you find our site a helpful resource. If you have questions about our program or about the Aussie Terrier, please e-mail me theresaagoiffon@msn.com or give me a call@ 715-689-2675. Thanks for visiting us! Blessings, Theresa