Kay Spencer

The View from Europe, an interview with Sandra Zilch (S Bar L)

THE VIEW FROM EUROPE: AN INTERVIEW WITH SANDRA ZILCH (S BAR L, Germany) interview by Kay Spencer How long have you been breeding Aussies? What is your history with the breed? I had my first litter in 2000 with my blue merle female WTCH Deep Blue Heaven In May RD DNA-CP. My very first Aussie, May´s sire, is now 16 years old. I got to know the breed during my studies when I went to work for a western riding…

Read More

Sheepdog Training, an All-Breed Approach

BOOK REVIEW: SHEEPDOG TRAINING, AN ALL-BREED APPROACH BY MARI TAGGART reviewed by Kay Spencer first published in 1986, second printing 1991, Alpine Publications 1986 edition: hardback, sewn binding; paper quality excellent. Many black and white photographs. Mari Taggart is a Border Collie trainer who both owned and worked with loose-eyed breeds at a time when herding training was almost entirely focused on Border Colllies. Her first book was Heeler Power: A Guide to Training the Working Australian Cattle Dog, published…

Read More

Stub, the Best Cowdog in the West

STUB, THE BEST COWDOG IN THE WEST by Kay Spencer If you’ve ever watched any Lassie movies or were a fan of the tv series, you might remember a few scenes in which Lassie herded sheep. Maybe you were naive and thought she (he, really) was actually herding, or maybe you knew what herding looked like and realized all he was doing was following the instructions of his off-camera handler: run left, run right, stop. The performance was flawless, but…

Read More

Real World Working Aussies

REAL WORLD WORKING AUSSIES by Kay Spencer Almost any homestead, farm, or ranch can use a good dog. Used to be, every farm had an Old Shep who brought in the cows, guarded the children, and did hundred small and large jobs, often ones he had taught himself to do. This kind of dog still exists, if you know where to look. The working-bred Aussie is an all-purpose stockdog who will move ducks, chickens, hogs, sheep, goats, and cattle, and…

Read More

Most Versatile: Nick Davis and Apache Trails

FIRST SUPREME VERSATILITY CHAMPION: NICK DAVIS AND APACHE TRAILS interview by Kay Spencer Nick Davis is a person who should need no introduction to Australian Shepherd lovers, but whose name and whose dogs have, like many deserving others, moved out of the passing public spotlight. Nick’s career in Aussies is among the longest. He started competing in ASCA shows and trials in the 1970’s, and became well-known through his most famous dog, HOF SVCH WTCH CH Apache Tears of Timberline…

Read More

Inherited Problems in Australian Shepherds

INHERITED PROBLEMS IN AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERDS Aussies are generally a healthy breed, but any dog, whether purebred, “designer dog”, or mutt, can have genetic problems. In most breeds, certain kinds of problems are more commonly inherited than others. In Australian Shepherds, genetic disorders to be aware of include: • epilepsy • hip dysplasia • cataracts • auto immune disorders • double merle • MDR1 You can increase your likelihood of ending up with a healthy Aussie by following the “best practices”…

Read More

Finding A Herding Instructor

CONSIDERATIONS AND CAVEATS ON FINDING A HERDING INSTRUCTOR With Apologies to Everyone From Whom I Have Stolen Ideas and Advice by Kay Spencer So, you have an Australian Shepherd and have a desire to learn how to move stock with your dog. You’ve realized that you won’t get anywhere except into trouble, without experienced help (perfectly true).What are some of the things you should think about before embarking on this project? Mainly, you need to decide why you want to…

Read More

The Genesis of the Working Aussie Source Website

THE GENESIS OF THE WORKING AUSSIE SOURCE WEBSITE by Kay Spencer “Truth is never pure, and rarely simple.” –Oscar Wilde “God wants everything to be known.” –Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose One of the qualities of the internet is its common lack of “history”— so often it is hard to tell where, how, and when something came to be. So here is some back story for Working Aussie Source, for anyone who is interested in Aussie Politics. Since…

Read More

Inherited Epilepsy and Working Aussies

INHERITED EPILEPSY AND WORKING AUSSIES: MYTHS, FACTS, AND QUESTIONS An interview with C.A. Sharp by Kay Spencer C.A.Sharp is the president of the Australian Shepherd Genetics Institute, an organization ‘dedicated to the increase and diffusion of knowledge of genetics in the Australian Shepherd, and the inherited diseases from which it sometimes suffers.’ She is a science writer and an internationally recognized lay expert on canine genetics and hereditary diseases. Q: Why should breeders concern themselves with inherited epilepsy if they…

Read More

Starting the Stockdog

STARTING THE STOCKDOG An interview with Sherry Baker by Kay Spencer For fifty years, Twin Oaks Australian Shepherds in Galt, California has provided ranchers and stockdog trialers with sound, stock-savvy using dogs. Although the founder of the kennel, Audrey Klarer, is still a large part of the operation, her daughter Sherry Baker has become one of the preemininent Aussie stockdog trainers in the country. Sherry is the breeder, trainer, and handler of two ASCA Supreme Champion stockdogs, meaning a dog…

Read More
Join Our Newsletter