Bridgedale Kennel: The Beginning.

I’m one of the new “breeders in the ring,” so to speak, so my story isn’t as comprehensive as some of the other breeders you may read about. But I feel my beginnings are just as interesting, so enjoy… 

Having Wire Fox Terriers was an unplanned swerve in my life! My career had allowed me to work and travel to Toronto Canada, Sydney Australia and back home to New Zealand. Yes, 2000 was the year to leave Wellington NZ and work in London England for a year then settle in Melbourne. However life never goes to plan, does it? 

It took only 6 months to settle quite nicely into the London way of life, apart from the rain. And once settled it was time for me to think about having a four-legged companion, something I had always wanted but was never able to have as a child because my parents were owners of Grocery stores and dogs and food don’t mix in NZ. 

Dogs had always been in the background for most of my life, from Collies in Ireland, Old English Sheepdogs in NZ, Siberian Huskies in Toronto to the Puli’s in Melbourne. So I commenced checking out these breeds, all favourites of mine, to see if they were compatible with living in a Victorian sized home in London. The Kennel Club’s pages allowed me to discover that even if they were the dogs I’d consider, that in reality none of these were suitable for me, for one reason or another. So back to the drawing board! 

I forgot to mention I also enjoy anything Art Deco and enjoy watching murder mysteries, so one evening while sitting down watching Agatha Christie’s Poirot, to my surprise Poirot’s companion for that night’s murder mystery, “Dumb Witness” was none other than “Bob”, a dog. He was handsome, obedient and quirky looking and a great Dog actor! He caught my eye. I thought, “How about one of those dogs?” 

I decided to start searching for this breed to classify this cheeky but well-trained specimen of a dog. Several breeds appeared to be similar to “Bob.” He was definitely a Terrier but which one? More web research on Terriers proved them to be suitable for my lifestyle, so it was now time to take a trip up north, to Birmingham and check out Crufts. 

If you are not aware, Crufts is the largest annual International Championship conformation show in the world, for all breeds of dogs and lasts for four days. Crufts is organised and hosted by the UK Kennel Club, currently held every March at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), in Birmingham, England.  

I took the Friday (Terrier and Hound day at Crufts) off work and travelled north–only a two-hour trip out of London. Unknown to me, this would be the first of many! One could never have imagined how busy this event would be. It was worse than rush hour in London! How could that be? Thousands of people in “The Land of Dogs”!!! It took me forever to reach the Terrier section through this mass of dog-loving people. Hundreds of dogs in their crates with equal amounts on the grooming tables, being prepared for their big event. I didn’t know where to start-so many Terriers!  

“Bob” looked like a Sealyham Terrier, to me, on the internet. So I started at the Sealyham section. They had a similar face but I was surprised about their short stature-“Bob” wasn’t short! 

During a break in my search for “Bob”, I went over to watch what was happening in the Terrier show ring. To my surprise I saw “Bob”! Not one but 15 to 20 of him, in the ring!

I checked the board to see which breed was being judged. The board read WIRE FOX TERRIER. “Bob” in fact, turned out to be an un-groomed Wire Fox Terrier, with one ear standing upright! I watched and waited till after the judging was complete and spoke with the handler of the dog who won BOB (Best of Breed), Commander At Grambrae. Two years later, Commander At Grambrae was the grandfather of my puppy, Rufus. I flew from London to Lorne, Northern Ireland to Adrian Magill’s Kennel (near Belfast), to pick up Rufus. 

Millie-Canadian Champion Travella Stage Beauty- arrived a year later from Bill Brown-Cole’s Kennel, in Bristol, England. Anyone who knows about the breed knows the family history behind the Travella line. So I waited patiently for a year until a bitch was available who could be show worthy. Both Rufus & Millie have come from very well known UK breeders amongst the Wire Fox Terrier communities. Since then many changes have occurred in our lives but the one thing that remains constant is the love for the Wire Fox Terrier! 

Millie & Rufus had their first litter (two years after moving from London to downtown Toronto), late 2008. They had their second litter April 5th 2010. 

The Bridgedale Kennel name originated from the fact that we live in Riverdale and close to the soon to be completed Bridgepoint Hospital for people with complex chronic disease and disability. 

Our first litter was born in November 1st 2008. American & Canadian Champion Bridgedale Milou The Fearless came from this litter, one of five healthy puppies. He has become quite an addition to the family. Canadian Champion by 8 months of age and currently winning many shows south of the border in the US to become an American Champion at 14 months of age! Milou achieved American Champion status early January 2010. 

Assistance given by many Wire enthusiasts including Ann Gold from the WFTCC have no doubt helped me along the way. And our dog’s family away from home, Peter & Michelle Scott (Brielle Poodles) and family have been very encouraging, when we needed it the most.  

I belong to the Wire Fox Terrier Club of Canada-WFTCC as a member and also as a Board Member- Ontario’s Regional Director and I plan on promoting this handsome intelligent breed whenever and wherever. So look out for Wire Fox Terriers near you!


Colin Gerrard