About Us

The History of Patterdale


Originally started by the late Rosemary & George Williamson, Patterdale Border Terrier lines are amongst the oldest Border Terrier lines in New Zealand. Starting in 1965 Patterdale imported 14 Borders from the UK, with breeding starting in 1974. Rosemary always saw her beloved Borders as pets first and therefore placed emphasis on good temperaments - success in the show ring was secondary. 
Rosemary successfully showed many Borders to gain Championship in both New Zealand and Australia and many Australian lines until today have somewhere a "Patterdale" in the pedigree. Rosemary had her biggest success in the show ring with the UK import NZ CH Farmway Red Raven, who was the first ever Border to win Best in Show  at the Kumeu Kennel Association's All Breed Championship Show in 1975.
Those of us who knew her valued her devotion to the breed and her knowledge. This knowledge was also evident to many people around the world, who invited Rosemary to judge at various shows.
My husband Colin & I, Sonja Firby decided to buy a Border Terrier. After many years of showing our Australian Terrier next to a Border Terrier in The Group judging, we grew very fond of the Borders.
Our first contact with Rosemary was disappointing, she only had a Bitch Puppy for sale, I wanted a dog - she didn't want to sell to us anyway, because we were both working. She did invite us though to come and meet her Borders at home and one sunny Saturday in September we set off to Clevedon to visit Rosemary & George and their Borders.
We had our 2 Australian Terriers with us and when they jumped out of the car Rosemary's eyes lit up. She was the very first person that ever judged our boy many years previous - but she still remembered him.
It turned out that very day Rosemary had put an advertisement in the newspaper to sell the 3 1/2 months old Bitch Puppy. She had hoped to keep her as new breeding stock, but then learnt of her illness and decided that she just couldn't keep a puppy under the circumstances. We got on very well with Rosemary & George, and my husband Colin and George disappeared frequently to test the content of George's Oak barrel.
We left, without the puppy, and as I had driven 3km down the road Colin said: "If you want that puppy - go back and get it now - I'm not going all the way back tomorrow!"
Well, I stepped on the brake and we went back to get the puppy. Rosemary was delighted that we wanted her and so we left, happily with our Patterdale Tweed.









Contact Details

Sonja Firby
Bay of Plenty, NZ
Phone : 07 322 8619
Email : [email protected]