Multigenerational Dogs Australia breeder, President of the National Welsh Corgi Council Australia and Dog Show Judge, Liana Bettison takes us behind the scenes of AZIAH Pembroke Welsh Corgis.
Tell us a little bit about yourself? Who are you, how long have you been breeding Pembroke Welsh Corgis for?
I have always felt extremely lucky that I was born into the world of showing and breeding as my Nana, Jean Johnson, enjoyed great success and dedicated many decades to our wonderful Pembrokes under her Jodiwyn prefix. I spent all my spare time and many school holidays poring over her collection of handbooks and boxes of pedigrees, and of course, playing with dogs! I began exhibiting with her at dog shows at the age of ten and whilst that was toward the end of her time in dogs, I always feel fortunate to have had such a sound foundation of learning.
I purchased my first show dog in 1998 and titled him, and in 1999, I was extremely fortunate to purchase my foundation bitch, she was CH Dawco Golden Glory. In 2003, I bred my first litter under my Aziah prefix out of which came my first Specialty Best In Show winner. All of my current Pembrokes trace back to this beginning.
I have enjoyed the position of Secretary with The Welsh Corgi Club of NSW for a number of years and recently, President of the Australian National Welsh a corgi Council and continue to work with wonderful committees.
I began my formal judging training in 2016; I felt that the time was right, and it was a natural progression following my passion of purebred dogs and I am enjoying the experience immensely.
What inspired you to start the breeding process?
It has always been a part of my life, and I always shared that passion with my Nana.
What is your vision for AZIAH PWC?
When you hear the word Pembroke, you should immediately think “small, active working dog”…my focus is on producing confident, resilient Pembrokes that are healthy and sound. Like any good breeder, the dogs at home are our companions first and foremost.
Complying with the current relevant codes, regulations and guidelines set out by the NSW authorities is paramount.
What health testing do you have to do to ensure you have healthy puppies?
All our breedings are carefully selected bloodlines from around the world, and despite there being no compulsory health testing requirements for the breed in Australia, our adult breeding dogs have appropriate health testing and come from generations of animals that have had their hips, elbows, hearts and eyes checked along with current and relevant DNA testing.
What considerations go into selecting two dogs to breed from?
There are many considerations made when making breeding decisions including type, soundness, structure, temperament and of course, health.
A breeding might look appealing on paper but the dogs must also compliment one another.
Are there particular traits you specifically breed for?
We revel in producing Pembrokes that fit the breed standard for not only function, but soundness, size and that classic foxlike appearance! Temperament is also of high importance, remembering most puppies bred join family homes so that outgoing and friendly nature is paramount.
What considerations go into breeding a dwarf breed?
Like most dwarf breeds, growing puppies carefully is of utmost importance to protect their often vulnerable structure from early injuries. They aren’t built like other breeds and therefore shouldn’t be over exercised during their early growth periods.
How long have you been showing for? What achievements are you particularly proud of?
I have been showing since the age of 10…I have been blessed with many homebred Pembroke Champions, Specialty Best In Show and All Breeds Best In Show winners and the 2012 National Specialty Best In Show winner. As well as this, I have made many cherished friends through our amazing breed.
How do you go about selecting the right homes for your puppies?
I spend a lot of time getting to know potential puppy buyers to understand their lifestyle and expectations when it comes to a puppy. I match each puppy to their potential family/home based on their individual personality and how I feel they’ll best fit into each environment.
Tell us about your current pack of dogs:
Tommy (2 years) arrived from the USA April 2021 and has adjusted well from farm life in Boise, Idaho with his amazing breeder, Melonie Reno to being a full time beach bunny here with us!
Luna (2 years) is 6 generations of our carefully bred bitch line. She is a nice combination of sensible yet busy and her best mate is Tommy. Her show career so far has been a dream and this year alone she has been awarded Best In Show awards at 3 Specialty shows. She is quite the show girl and really enjoys the dog show thing but her favourite thing is running the beach with Tommy.
Freddie (6 months) is our resident hooligan and Selkie (4 months) is the baby of the family and as sweet as pie.
What do you feed your gang?
A raw and fresh diet with the addition of Royal Canin kibble.
What do you wean the pups to?
We wean puppies straight onto raw and fresh food with the addition of Royal Canin kibble before they leave for new homes.
When do you start Antinol for your pups?
We start our puppies on Antinol at 8 weeks of age as a preventative and feel it has a very positive impact during their growth.
Is there any training that you have do whilst their puppies are in their critical period?
Like all breeds, early socialisation is paramount and that encompasses exposure to different surfaces, objects, sounds and people.