Kennels: Terry Martin and Slash V

Terry Martin, home of HOF Slash V Aussies. KH: Can you tell me about your foundation dogs? Who do you consider had the most influence on your program? TM: My foundation males that my present dogs trace back to were these.  I did have Aussies before them, but they are not in my pedigrees today.  These dogs were born in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Martin’s Tim Tim who was a Taylor’s Whiskey x Taylor’s Buena son bred by…

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4-H Stockdog Project

Reprinted with Permission from Stockdog Trainer, Dec 90/Jan 91 by John C. Rossy, Lecoma MO I’ve been raising sheep and training my own dogs for a number of years, including Australian Shepherds, a Border Collie, and a Blue Heeler. When people come to my farm, they will see my dogs at work and ask if I raise and train working dogs. I don’t train dogs for people, nor do I sell trained dogs; but I’m always willing to help them…

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Stockdog Savvy – ASCA Stockdog Title Tracker

Author Jeanne Joy Hartnagle-Taylor had a little package waiting for me after a particularly tough day . . . I opened it up and was super pleased to see something she’d told me about but I’d forgotten about – her title tracker book! This little guy is 39 pages of charts and what not designed to let the trialer keep a record of how they’re progressing in the stockdog program. My first thought upon seeing this was: this is something…

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Favorite Articles for Getting Started

Whether you’re new to livestock, or just new to working livestock with dogs – there is a lot to learn!  While the working Australian Shepherd is instinctive, a handler with a good eye is key.  We’ve put together a few of our favorite articles to get started! Above All So You Think You Want A Stockdog – Sounds great so far? Buyer be aware. Basic Knowledge Cowology – If you don’t understand the basics of how livestock move, then you…

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The Calcium Connection – Whelping tip

By Kristin Tara Horowitz This particular subject is near and dear to my heart because as I write this, I have a litter on the ground with this issue — I’ve seen three or four Working Aussie Source breeders come up with a case in the last month or so, and after 25 years in the breed, it’s totally new to me. It caused me to lose a puppy, and it’s been as much work as having a newborn baby.…

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TWIN OAKS: The California Branch on the Australian Shepherd family tree

[Originally printed in the 2010 ASCA Nationals catalog, it is reprinted here with permission of the author in honor of the passing of Roger and Audrey Klarer.] With Far More Working Trial Champions Than Any Kennel In History, Twin Oaks Has Achieved The Aussies’ California Dream By Sal Manna and Karen S. Russell “The most consistent, natural stockdogs today, trace their ancestry to a few predominate foundation bloodlines.  Las Rocosa, Twin Oaks, and Woods, are the fountainhead of bloodstock that…

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A Stockdog Trialer’s Prayer

A Stockdog Trialer’s Prayer By Sal Manna   Dear Lord, I truly understand why this is called a trial, For a team of stockdog and man requires power and guile. Yet on days like today my dog seems to lack the former And I am certainly lacking enough of the latter.   I sent my dog from my side to gather the sheep And he swung wide behind them, together the flock to keep. So why, Lord, is my good…

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Susan Boyd on ranching with dogs on arid land

Susan Boyd is a Working Aussie Souce member with amazing photos and a recent video clip that led to this article. WAS:Can you tell us about your operation? My husband Curt and I purchased and established Boyd Ranch, LLC in 2004. It is situated on 25,000 acres and is located in Central NM about 75 miles SE of Albuquerque. The headquarters are in the old ghost town of Chupadera, NM. Over 100 years ago this town was a hopping little…

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An interview with Joe Sheeran

Ed note: I asked Joe some questions because of late he has been doing an amazing job of educating not only the Aussie folk, but the stockdog folk in general about the amazing potential of these dogs and how to use them. He plans to continue to make useful videos and hopefully his work will find its way to a bigger audience. But who is he and how did he get into these dogs for his operation? About me, I…

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K9 Influenza and the Traveling Dog

K9 Flu and Communicable Disease – Tips from a Pro by: Amy Bradley Last week I had the chance to speak to Dr. Cynda Crawford, DVM PhD (link: http://sheltermedicine.vetmed.ufl.edu/about-us/meet-the-team/cynda-crawford-dvm-phd/ ) from the University of Florida. She is a specialist in Shelter Medicine and her PhD is in immunology and infectious disease. Outside of her numerous professional publications for the American Journal of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Journal of Internal Medicine and similar, she has been published in major news outlets such…

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An interview with Sarah Martin – Part 1, Starting to Use Dogs in a Cattle Operation

  Sarah Martin, of G-S Ranch, runs purebred red Angus with her husband and his family in northern Alberta, Canada. She is available for clinics. WAS: How did you get your first dogs? What did you look for? How did you know what to look for? Did you get what you wanted? SM: As stated above I got into my first working dog with a friend. I wanted a dog and his only stipulation was that I needed to find a working Australian…

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Tips on getting more people to look at your listings

A simple text listing really doesn’t work for people looking at the internet. To get the most out of your presence here, we suggest the following: Photos: Select high quality photos that make your dogs look good – show angles, show head type, and of course, show the dog working. If your dog is wide working, find photos that show that If your dog has bite, show it Choose your main photo for the image it conveys to a potential…

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The Stockdog Savvy Workbook, by Jeanne Joy Hartnagle-Taylor

I think this is true for most Aussie people, but Jeanne Joy Hartnagle-Taylor is my first Aussie mentor. It started because her book (All About Aussies)  was the first one I bought, even before I had a dog, and it shaped my perception of the breed. Her family’s kennel name is pretty much known by every Aussie person for this reason, and the photos in those books really set a “type” for me about what these dogs should be. Moreover,…

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Stockdog Corner: Working Aussie and the Standard

This time the Stockdog Corner is going to be written for the pet owner, the breeder, large and small, the competitor in conformation or agility or any other doggy event. I am in hopes that some who get the Aussie Times and who are not working their Aussies will take the time to read this. It is written for those of you who probably will never work a dog on stock or may do it a few times at a…

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Stockdog Corner: Development of the ASCA Stockdog Program – letter from ASCA 1976

STOCKDOG CORNER By Terry Martin in the Aussie Times (date unknown) After I found out on a phone call that my dear old friend Shiree Christiansen (Brushwood Aussies) had kept some ASCA material from back in the 1970’s (which happens to be when the original ASCA Stockdog Program was written), she offered to send it to me. (Thanks, Shiree) So this is going to be a historical discussion of a time far different than the present.  This was a time when…

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Stockdog Corner: Early Evolution of the ASCA Stockdog Program Scoresheet

STOCKDOG CORNER By Terry Martin in the Aussie Times (date unknown) In my last column I told you about some very interesting historical material I had received regarding the beginning of the ASCA Stockdog Program.  The score sheet below [WAS ed note: we don’t have the score sheet images] was included with the first program dated 1976 (when it went to the Affiliate clubs).  It is extremely interesting when compared to today’s score sheet and those that have been used in…

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Stockdog Corner: The Evolution of ASCA at the Affiliate Level and Stockdog Program

STOCKDOG CORNER by Terry Martin in the Aussie Times (date unknown) I had an interesting discussion the other day with someone in another working breed.  Like myself, she had been in the dogs for a long time and started out with working dogs, but when she discovered the shows in the 1970’s  she began showing her dogs in conformation.  That was my story too as when I first had Aussies I did not know anything about the world of purebred dogs…

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Stockdog Corner: How much impact does a breed club program have on a breed?

STOCKDOG CORNER By Terry Martin as published in the Aussie Times (date unknown) I badly missed my deadline with company here and got a reprieve so decided to do something I have thought about doing before (usually when I can’t think of a topic to write about).  How about a trip into the past?  To go back farther than 2003 I would need to retype from the magazines, but I found this one from May 2003.  To recap history, this was…

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Stockdog Corner: The Aussie getting established as a breed

STOCKDOG CORNER By Terry Martin, as published in the Aussie Times (date unknown) I thought I would write about the past this time.  If no one does that, it becomes lost.  When I do this, it is the past as I remember it, so I welcome other views and other memories of ASCA’s early years as well as the early years of the Aussies. I was not around when ASCA was incorporated in 1957 and certainly was not around to…

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Genetic Testing as a Tool

You may see listings here and on breeders’ sites with a lot of alphabet soup. A number of genetic tests have been developed to better predict inherited health problems in dogs and help breeders and puppy buyers make choices about the future health of their dogs. While not all breeders choose to test or do all the tests, more information is certainly better than none at all. Below is a list of the common tests you may see listed and the…

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Stockdog Library

We’ve brought together articles from many sources here; besides those commissioned by us, there are re-publications from websites, magazines, and online discussion boards. All are copyrighted to the authors unless otherwise marked, and the opinions expressed are those of the writer alone. Please remember that there are many different points of view and training techniques–not all of them will be appropriate for your dog, or your situation. A list of books and videos helpful in training loose-eyed breeds may be…

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List of Working Titles

STOCKDOG TRIAL AND HERDING TITLES All Titles are Suffix titles unless indicated otherwise! ASCA (Australian Shepherd Club of America) STD — Started Trial Dog, beginning level OTD — Open Trial Dog, intermediate level ATD — Advanced Trial Dog, advanced level ATD-M – Advanced Trial Dog Multiple requires two qualifying scores each from Courses A and B from two different judges. In addition, two qualifying scores on courses C – H for a total of six additional scores. ATD-X – Advanced…

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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…

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ASCA Working Description

THE WORKING DESCRIPTION OF THE AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD Adopted by the Stockdog Committee of the Australian Shepherd Club of America on March 12, 2006 Introduction The Australian Shepherd was developed in the 19th and 20th centuries as a general purpose ranch and farm dog in the American West, where a tough, enduring, versatile stockdog with an honest work ethic was required. His usual work included moving very large herds of sheep and cattle from summer to winter grazing grounds and back,…

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A Ranch Dog

A RANCH DOG by Roy Wilson I let you know in the other article the type of dogs I use gathering wild cattle, spoiled cattle, cows and calves, or whatever is hard to pen. Light cattle, heifers or steers can be worked with dogs with less power, grit and bite. A dog that has a little outrun to it, has enough eye to steady it, some walk up strength, and will use their teeth a little, in most cases, can…

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Ranch Dogs

RANCH DOGS by Bud Williams I hate to see so much emphasis being put on trying to prove that trial dogs are better than ranch dogs, or that ranch dogs would be better if we had more control on them. There is a huge difference between a good trial dog and a good ranch dog. There is practically no way to compare them. We have trials as a means of comparing one trial dog to another. The course for each…

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Training the Ranch Dog

TRAINING THE RANCH DOG by Bud Williams I was born on a farm in Oregon in 1932. My Dad’s insistence that we kids be “Good Neighbors” has led me through a very interesting life. I have worked on ranches or with livestock most of my life. I always had good dogs, so I found myself helping the neighbors get in their “tough ones”. One thing led to another and I found myself working on just livestock problems. Eunice, my wife…

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History of the Australian Shepherd

HISTORY OF THE AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD by Phillip C. Wildhagen, ASCA Historian (Working Aussie Source editor’s note: this article, published in the 1977 ASCA Yearbook, is a summary of what was then known or surmised about the origins of the Aussie. At this remove, both the article and its content are of historical interest. More detailed, and sometimes, contradicting, information has come to light in the meantime. All photos are from the Yearbook.) THE EARLY STOCKDOG A great deal of historical…

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Moving Stock

MOVING STOCK by Bud Williams How do you teach your dog to continue moving stock in the same direction? This ability is especially useful if you need to leave your dog moving one group of stock toward the corral while you go out to bring in a second group. Following is an explanation of what I do. You may need to adjust the procedure a bit as each dog is different, but the principle will be the same with any…

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Aussies vs Border Collies

WORKING STYLE: AUSSIES VS BORDER COLLIES by Jeanne Weaver I have been asked to explain the difference in working style between the Aussie and the Border Collie. I will attempt to touch on some of the more obvious differences. Admittedly, I am no expert on the subject of Border Collies. I have worked with Border Collies and numerous other breeds for the past three years at our weekly training classes. You could definitely say that the students and I are…

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Allowing a Dog To Learn

ALLOWING A DOG TO LEARN by Michelle Weese, Lock-Eye Border Collies What we as stock dog trainers like to do most is COMMAND. “Go bye, way to me, down, walk up, what are you doing?, hey get out, get back, lie down, look back!” Did you ever notice that you feel the most proud when your dog gathers stock that’s out of sight and you can’t shout commands? Stockdogs have the instinct to work well on their own, we just…

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The Australian Cattle Dog Outrun

TRAINING THE OUTRUN ON THE AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOG by Steve Waltenburg, Trails End Kennel Training the outrun actually starts with the introduction of the dog to stock. From this point forward, the goal is to get the dog on the other side of the stock to the point of balance. The stockdog’s reward is to be able to work stock, so keep this in mind when training. Being allowed to work stock after improperly performing an element of training, such…

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Roundpens, Walkabouts, and Chores

ROUNDPENS, WALKABOUTS, AND CHORES by Maarten Walter Question: I’ve got a 9 month old girl that I’ve been letting work sheep about once a week or so. She’s worked ducks a little too. I haven’t been doing any overt training, just trying to block her with my body to get her to flank back, and give her time on stock to keep her interested. And boy is she interested. We’ve been working in an round pen tho’, where she is…

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Answers on Cowdog Training

Question and Answers: How to Start a Cowdog (Working Aussie Source editor note: this Ranch Dog Trainer magazine format poses one reader question to several experienced stockmen, in this case, Lee Adams, Robin Nuffer, Finis Hallmark, Carl Larsen, and Les Walker) QUESTION: (1) I have a dog I want to train as a cowdog. He is 2 years old and has a strong drive to herd cattle but all he knows how to do is chase them. I think I…

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The Cow/Calf Dog

THE COW/CALF DOG by Boe Suhr, Lone Rider Stockdogs All the time I hear people talk about letting their dogs fetch cattle to them as they ride in the front. That’s all well and good for those who have yearlings or stocker cows. For me, my dogs fetch cattle when the calves are about 500 lbs or when I have weaned them. Now don’t get me wrong, I do use my dogs – even on pairs. But, I don’t fetch…

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Teaching the “Stubborn” Stockdog to Lie Down

TEACHING THE “STUBBORN” STOCKDOG TO LIE DOWN Mary Taggart Morrison Many beginning trainers have difficulty getting their stockdog to lie down when they tell him to on the stock. Teaching a dog to stop by lying down is very simple providing you understand the way a dog thinks. The lie down command is used in training to control the speed of a dog’s approach to the livestock, which in turn controls the speed the stock travels. Most people want their…

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Historic Photos

THE AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD’S ORIGIN AND HISTORY: Photo Gallery, Part One of Four by Gwen Stevenson Working Aussie Source editor’s note: Gwen Stevenson was a founding member of ASCA, who lived in Oak Run, California. She made a collection of her own and other people’s articles, photos, stories and correspondence, some of which was first published in the newsletter of the Animal Research Foundation, one of the earliest organizations to recognize the Aussie. This collection was eventually assembled into a small…

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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…

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Australian Shepherd Origin and History

THE AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD’S ORIGIN AND HISTORY by Gwen Stevenson (Working Aussie Source editor’s note: Gwen Stevenson was a founding member of ASCA, who lived in Oak Run, California. This is a collection of her own and other people’s stories, articles, and correspondence, some of which was first published in the newsletter of the Animal Research Foundation, one of the earliest organizations to recognize the Aussie. It was eventually assembled into a small book, published by Dorrance & Co. in 1972,…

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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…

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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…

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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”…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Pre-herding Training

PRE-HERDING TRAINING by Anne Shope Many people we’ve come across do some puppy preparation for herding; the normal sits, downs, stays, and walk up. Specifically, working on the down away from the handler is crucial. Lots of dogs only want to down at their handler’s feet. Lots of dogs are dependent upon eye contact with a handler to obey. It’s important to change their focus as you’ll want their eye ideally on their stock. Fetch games can be incorporated into…

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Sleeping Dragons — Hereditary Disease and Breeder Ethics

SLEEPING DRAGONS: HERIDITARY DISEASE AND BREEDER ETHICS by C.A.Sharp The world of purebred dogs rests on the shoulders of two sleeping dragons. The stockman in his pasture, the exhibitor in the ring and the breeder beside the whelping box feel the earth shudder when either is aroused. One of these dragons — hereditary disease — seems to have taken a heavy dose of caffeine. Breeders find themselves faced with a growing list of ills. The situation has become so serious…

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Sheepwagon Dogs

SHEEPWAGON DOGS These photos are of dogs used to herd sheep in the Western US from the 19th century onward to the present. Most are from Wyoming and Montana. It is a good illustration of the very wide variety of sheepdog types used. Most look very like today’s English Shepherds or Australian Shepherds. Whatever they were, these are the real dogs. The dogs were incidental to the photos, so these pictures are ‘cropped to the dog’ from larger ones appearing…

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The Price of Popularity; Popular Sires and Population Genetics

THE PRICE OF POPULARITY: POPULAR SIRES AND POPULATION GENETICS by C.A. Sharp Consider the hypothetical case of Old Blue, Malthound extraordinaire. Blue was perfect: Sound, healthy and smart. On week days he retrieved malt balls from dawn to dusk. On weekends he sparkled in malt field and obedience trials as well as conformation shows, where he baited to—you guessed it—malt balls. Everybody had a good reason to breed to Blue, so everybody did. His descendants trotted in his paw-prints on…

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Rising Storm: The Immune System

THE RISING STORM: What Breeders Need to Know about the Immune System Winner of 2002 AKC/CHF Golden Paw Award by C.A. Sharp A complex and threatening storm is gathering on horizon. Reports of immune-mediated disease are on the rise in Australian Shepherds, as well as other purebred dogs. In magazines, on Internet discussion lists and at gatherings devoted to dogs autoimmune disease and allergies are regular topics. Immune-mediated disease results from excessive or inadequate action by the immune system. But…

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Can You See? Inherited Eye Disease

CAN YOU SEE? Inherited Eye Disease in Aussies by C.A. Sharp (ed. note: 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.) Eye defects are the most common inherited problem in Australian Shepherds. Even discounting the problems…

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Speaking Heresy; A Dispassionate View of Cross-breeding

SPEAKING HERESY: A DISPASSIONATE VIEW OF CROSS-BREEDING by C.A. Sharp Several years ago the working Australian Shepherd community was rocked by a scandal. One breeder was alleged to have produced cross-bred Aussies/Border Collies and registered them as purebred Australian Shepherds, in order to give the pups produced an advantage in Australian Shepherd Club of America working trials. An act of fraud may have been committed—on the registry and on the trial system, but ASCA could do nothing to prove the…

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BINGO! Understanding Polygenetic Inheritance

BINGO! Understanding Polygenetic Inheritance by C.A.Sharp Everyone knows this old game: You place beans or other markers on numbered squares arranged in a grid as someone announces numbers pulled at random from a box. The first person to form a line of markers across the grid in any direction yells, “Bingo!” Breeding dogs is likeplaying Bingo, but instead of arranging beans on a card you are shuffling genes. When the right combination lines up, one or more of the puppies…

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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…

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Jay Sisler, an interview with his wife and daughter

JAY SISLER, THE MAN BEHIND THOSE FAMOUS BLUE DOGS An interview with his wife Joy and daughter Maggie by Andrea Scott Anyone who is acquainted with Australian Shepherds knows the name Jay Sisler. Sisler, who passed away in 1995, made the breed famous with his dogs by performing at rodeos and appearing in movies. Although many people are familiar with his dogs, less is known about Sisler. Jay Sisler first met Joy, his wife, through family in 1978 in Emmett,…

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Webfooted Sheep Substitutes

WEB-FOOTED SHEEP SUBSTITUTES by Linda Rorem Ducks display flocking behavior in a manner similar to sheep and can be used for training herding dogs in the maneuvers to be used with sheep and other larger stock. Ducks sometimes are used to test very young puppies for herding instinct. A big advantage of ducks is that several can be kept where it would be impossible to keep sheep. Ducks are hardy, fairly easy to keep, and easy to transport. KEEPING DUCKS…

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An Aussie at a French-Style Trial

AN AUSSIE AT A FRENCH-STYLE TRIAL September 30 – October 1, 2006 , Wilton , CA by Linda Rorem Due to the logistics involved, it isn’’t often that trials are available featuring groups of 50 or more sheep. But beginning in 1995, an annual trial has been held in Northern California that has provided such an opportunity. The California Shetland Sheepdog Herding Club sponsors a yearly French-style trial sanctioned by the American Herding Breed Association. The trials came about as…

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No Turners for Me, Please

NO TURNERS FOR ME, PLEASE by Tony Rohne I leased a pasture on the condition that I would run the landlord’s Holstein milk cow with the Herefords I was buying. My cows were wild as a March Hare and his cow was skin and bones. She died about five days after she had a half Brahman calf. I thought the little fellow would steal enough milk to make it but felt like I needed to bottle feed him for awhile.…

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A View of Australian Shepherd History

A VIEW OF AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD HISTORY by Linda Rorem Little can be known for certain about the origin of many breeds. With regard to the Australian Shepherd, various theories have arisen: that it is of Australian origin; that it is really a Basque breed; that it is of old Spanish origin. The investigating I have done indicates that none of the above theories provides the whole story, but together they may provide a picture. Histories of California relate that although…

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Selecting a Pup for Stockwork

SELECTING A PUP FOR STOCK WORK by Tony Rohne “with help from Red” Buying the right pup is the backbone of a good training program. Without the proper homework, just walking up to a pen full of pretty pups and picking the one that is the most aggressive, or the most curious, or the most intelligent acting won’t get you very far. There are many internal traits, as described below, that are totally hidden from the observer when the pups…

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Thoughts About Cowdogs

THOUGHTS ABOUT COWDOGS by Tony Rohne Note: This is a response to an e-mail that Tony got from someone who asked how to go about getting a dog trained, apparently someone with a lot of stock and no experience with dogs. Where do we start? With 1,000 mother cows and probably 3,500 ewes, it obvious one dog will not be able to do much. Rather than jumping into a lot of formal training, it might be best to step back…

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Cattlemasters

editor’s note: the term ‘Cattlemaster’ is now the name of a breed of commercial cowdog; this article was written before that term was in use. CATTLEMASTERS by Tony Rohne Right now, the offspring of registered dogs are eligible to be registered in their respective registries without much consideration of the merit of those pups. It looks like knowing a “stockdog’s” pedigree back to Lincoln’s Fido is more important than knowing if the mutt is worth a flip on stock. As…

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Mutt the Ranch Hand Dog

MUTT THE RANCH HAND DOG by Tony Rohne I have looked for good ranch hand dogs for about 12 years now. A good hand in cow country is hard to beat. A good one fixes a water gap while the creek is still up, ties a cow off to a shed pole and dehorns her with a hand saw, and tends a downer cow until she gets up or dies. He may not need to rope or even ride a…

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The Stockdog At Lambing Time

THE STOCKDOG AT LAMBING TIME: AN INVALUABLE PARTNER by George Rogerson (editor’s note: Mr. Rodgerson works Border Collies, but his advice about lambing is just as applicable to Aussies. The photos are not those which originally accompanied the article) There are few things that can improve the profitability and pleasure of your sheep operation than lambing on pasture. A good dog is indispensable in pasture lambing and the special skills and attitude required of a lambing dog will make a…

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Bite Is Might

BITE IS MIGHT!! by Tony Rohne Bite is an essential part of handling cattle whether it be a truckload of 300 pound calves or a pasture full of cows with calves. Here are some examples. 1. A few years ago, I needed to sell some calves to make a bank note payment. When I got to the pasture, one of the tires on my trailer was low so I aired it up. A cousin had needed to borrow the license…

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Interview with the Hartnagles

A STUDY IN BREEDING WORKING DOGS: LAS ROCOSA AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERDS by Peggy Potter Ask ranch dog trainers what the most important thing is in a working dog and 99% of them will tell you a dog with working bloodlines. Breeding better dogs, stockdogs in particular, is not only a science, but also an art. Masters of this science and art are Ernest and Elaine Hartnagle who, along with their family, are the founders of the Las Rocosa line of Australian…

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Cee Hambo, A Tradition of Working Dogs

CEE HAMBO: A TRADITION OF WORKING DOGS by Peggy Potter Three generations ago, the area of California around San Francisco was much different than it is today. Basque shepherds moved their flocks over thousands of acres each year using dogs to herd and guard them from both four-legged and two-legged predators. California cowboys herded tough cattle through the misty oceanside canyons and into the hot, dry inland hills. Colorful characters were easy to find. One woman bought and sold stock…

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Sherry Baker Interview

INTERVIEW WITH SHERRY BAKER, THIRD GENERATION STOCKDOG HANDLER by Peggy Potter Many of us have the fantasy of being born and raised on a ranch with horses to ride, cattle to work and a couple good stockdogs handy to help make chores easier. Not all of us can be as lucky as Sherry Baker. She comes from a long line of ranchers. Her mother, Audrey Klarer and Audrey’s twin sister, Muriel Hayes, were adventuresome horsewomen when they were in their…

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Training the Essentials

TRAINING THE ESSENTIALS by Charles O’Reilly Common Mistakes In the last issue I covered two of the more common mistakes that owners of working dogs make during the first year or so of the dog’s life. Those two mistakes are: (1) Allowing the dog to work on its own without any supervision. So many bad habits develop because of this poor management practice that it may be impossible for you, the owner, or anyone else to correct them after several…

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Is It Old Shep Or Old Aussie?

IS IT OLD SHEP OR OLD AUSSIE OR ARE THEY THE SAME? by Red Oliver This very short excerpt of a much longer dissertation on the Origin of the Aussie, is in response to a recent letter in the RDT. About ten years ago I started wondering where the name Australian Shepherd came from. An early premise that was the basis for my doubts and still is, is that if indeed, as some have stated, a few hundred dogs did…

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Power-Force

POWER-FORCE Aggressiveness-Domination-Authority-Clout-Influence-Command-Mastery Attack-Fight-Coercion-Might-Muscle-Punch-Strength Brutality-Ferocity-Violence by Red Oliver After looking in several dictionaries and after discussing the issue with anyone who would agree, I have come to the conclusion that there is no single term that will satisfactorily describe what is required by each type of stock or each type of rancher, especially considering that each of us has our own peculiar idea on how to train a dog to enhance his inherited power. While these are my own opinions, you…

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Commands and Corrections

CONFOUNDED BY COMMANDS AND CORRECTIONS? From the Unpublished Works of El Rojo by Red Oliver DO NOT confuse commands with corrections. Commands have very definite and precise meanings while corrections are physical or tonal in nature, a “growl”, a “uh uh”, or an “eh”, expressing pleasure or displeasure with the pup’s behavior. It is as important to let your pup know he is doing right as it is to let him know he is doing wrong. If properly applied, neither…

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Down or Stand?

DOWN OR STAND by Gemi Sasson-Brickson, Jamie Burns, Anne Jespersen, Maarten Walter Gemi Sasson-Brickson— I’d like to know, for those of you who use a stand-stay when working stock, how you go about teaching that to the dog. Does this just work better for some dogs from the get-go? Or do you insist on a down-stay early in a dog’s career and then later, when the stays are more reliable and the dog is more experienced at reading situations on…

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Bopping and Rebopping: Is it a Requirement? Is it Ethical?

BOPPING AND REBOPPING: Is It A Requirement? Is It Ethical? by Red Oliver First, a Pre-Postscript; Recently, on the internet (SHEEPDOG), there has been a healthy discussion on the merits and demerits of physically correcting a dog in training; i.e. hitting the trainee pup with a staff, in order to impress on him those behaviors that the handler does not want repeated. Cyn-Dee (editor/publisher of Ranch Dog Trainer Magazine) has asked me if I would put a few words together,…

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Starting the Drive

STARTING DRIVING by Melinda May, Dicky Renn, Jamie Burns, Maarten Walter, Kathi Schwengel Melinda May— I have a problem training the drive . . . mostly on sheep. I can get Beau to drive pretty well on cattle with a few corrections when he starts to over flank. He’s not rough on cattle but he works real intense. On sheep he’s pretty tight and I spend all my time getting him out, slowing him down, working on getting him to…

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When to Start Trialing

WHEN TO START TRIALING by Tenley Dexter and Maarten Walter Question: Have been using my Aussie for chores and taken some formal lessons on herding. Question is at what point would one consider entering a trial: with what behaviors needed as a starting point. Tenley Dexter comments: Ah, this is an easy question! When I can take a young dog away to a friend’s farm to work stock that my dog has never seen, in a place that is totally…

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The Rule of Ten

THE RULE OF TEN by Jay Homan, Rose McCleod, & Darlene Lasko 1. TRUST YOUR DOG! 2. LEARN TO WALK BACKWARDS 3. KEEP MOVING 4. WATCH YOUR SHEEP! 5. KEEP YOUR DOG OFF THE SHEEP 6. DON’T WALK STRAIGHT ONTO YOUR SHEEP 7. PUT A GOOD STOP ON YOUR DOG 8. BE AWARE OF WHERE YOUR DOG IS 9. DON’T FOLLOW YOUR DOG 10. ALWAYS BRING THE LARGER NUMBER TO THE SMALLER NUMBER— DO NOT CHASE A SINGLE THAT’LL DO!…

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Teaching a dog sort out different species of stock

Q & A FORUM: TEACHING A DOG TO SORT SPECIES answers by Steve & Judy Freeman, and Roger Stevens QUESTION: When using my dogs I am often confronted with a large pasture (in excess of 50 acres) containing several separate groups/types of stock. How do I begin to teach my young dog that today “Get Around” means get the sheep, not the cows, without constantly having to call off and resend the dog – discouraging him and causing him to…

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Fixing the Outrun: Initial Shaping

FIXING THE OUTRUN: INITIAL SHAPING Question and Answer Forum from Ranch Dog Trainer Magazine by H.J. Cannon Jr. and Kent Kuykendall QUESTION: In most training articles the pup always gets on the back side of the sheep and they proceed from that point. I have a young dog that runs straight to the sheep and chases them. She will cut one out and try to run it down. I have had a hip replaced twice and I’m not speedy enough…

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Fixing the outrun–crossing over

FIXING THE OUTRUN: CROSSING OVER Question and Answer Forum from Ranch Dog Trainer Magazine QUESTION: I have a dog that I sent to the trainer. He stayed 3 months and is fairly finished. While at the trainers he was going out really well on his outruns. Now that I have him home he is trying to cross-over about half-way up the field. This happens almost all of the time when I go to a new place and some of the…

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Memories of Working Aussies of Yesteryear

MEMORIES OF WORKING AUSSIES OF YESTERYEAR A pastiche of several discussions which have taken place on the internet board Aussie-Herders. Because of the nature of yahoo boards, there has been much editing to fit an article format. Dogs mentioned include Zephyr’s Crimson King, Angel Fire’s Hoo Doober, Slash V Slide Me Sweet, foundation Slash V dogs, Mini Acres Peppermint Patty, Oliver’s Romulus Five. Video added from the Aussie Archives – TheAustralianShepherd.net May 23, 2002 Dana MacKenzie– . . . Jumbuc’s…

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Flipping Away on One Flank

FLIPPING AWAY ON ONE FLANK by Melinda May, Anne Jespersen, Tenley Dexter, Marsha Westerman Melinda–I’m looking for suggestions on positioning and timing for how to correct a pup that is short sided on one flank. I’ve got a pup that is just starting on stock. We are working on the “shuffle” and using moderately heavy groupy ewes, not knee knockers that would follow me whatever the pup is doing…the pup has to be fairly correct. He is working quietly and…

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Positive Reinforcement, Negative Reinforcement, and Punishment

POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT, NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT AND PUNISHMENT by Kirk Moses (Working Aussie Source note: Kirk Moses is a successful trainer and handler of Border Collies for sheepdog trials, who at the time of this article’s publication, lived in Cedar City, Utah. ) I would like to clarify some terms relative to training dogs which I see misused in articles and hear misused in conversations as a matter of course, by even the most talented of trainers. The terms I am referring…

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Starting Cowdogs on Cows or Sheep?

QUESTION AND ANSWER: STARTING COWDOGS ON SHEEP? YES OR NO? Question: I just got 2 pups, two different breeds. I have 280 head of momma cows and 60 replacement heifers. They have never been worked by a dog. My question: Do I need to buy some sheep or goats to start the pups in their training? My pens and fences will not hold sheep/goats so I would have to go to some effort to build something. What would be the…

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Training a Young Aussie to Run Wide

TRAINING A YOUNG AUSSIE TO RUN WIDE ON STOCK “PLAYING THE GET BACK GAME” by Mari Taggart Morrison Probably the two biggest complaints I hear from Aussie owners at training clinics is that their dog works too close and too fast. These sound like separate problems — but in fact they are one problem, and they are not hard to correct if nipped in the bud early, or if the dog is properly started at the beginning. The most common…

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The Australian Shepherd As A Sheepdog

THE AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD AS A SHEEPDOG by Mari Taggart Morrison The Australian Shepherd has a long and proud history as a sheep dog. Many in America got their first glimpse of the ‘bob-tailed blue dogs’ in the Western states as they helped manage the vast free-grazing flocks of sheep that were kept on open land with herders for generations. The Aussies came over from Australia with early imports of sheep—thus giving them their name. After their arrival in America they…

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First Lessons on Sheep

FIRST LESSONS ON SHEEP by Mari Taggart Morrison You now have a young dog that is physically and mentally mature enough to outrun any kind of stock and you’ve got him well trained through the getback game. He’s already learned to lie down when intensely excited by a ball which makes him easier to get to lie down when around sheep. You’ve taught him to get back to the pressure of your body and cane, defined a perimeter around the…

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Creating a Training Partnership

CREATING A TRAINING PARTNERSHIP by Mari Taggart Morrison Training a working sheepdog is an art form as well as a sport and necessity. We marvel at the racecar driver’s abilities, or at the basketball player’s fine jump shot, but tend to overlook the complexity of the sheepdog trainer’s job as a sportsman, and the dog’s as an athlete. The trainer must work in exceptional harmony with not just a dog, but with sheep as well. There are some trainers who…

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Everyday Heroes

EVERYDAY HEROES by Mari Taggart Morrison Every once in awhile something will happen that makes you sort of stop and take notice of how remarkable our working stockdogs are. Those of us fortunate enough to own working Australian Shepherds tend to perhaps take the things our dogs do for us every day for granted. Recently, thanks to El Nino, we had massive flooding on our place–the water was so deep it began to creep under the walls of the barn,…

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For Love of Cody

FOR LOVE OF CODY by Mari Taggart Morrison When I got the call about an Aussie that needed rescuing I really didn’t want to pay attention. I’d recently purchased a wonderful, well-bred Aussie pup and had another on order — I needed another dog like a hole in the head. But something about this dog’s story tugged at my heart. A wealthy family had got an Aussie because they wanted a beautiful, intelligent dog but they hadn’t bargained on the…

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Using “Aggressive-Dominance” Techniques with Close-running Sheep Dogs

USING “AGGRESSIVE DOMINANCE” TECHNIQUES WITH CLOSE- RUNNING SHEEP DOGS by Mari Taggart Morrison The ideal gathering dog is one who runs as wide as we ask him to so that as he circles the sheep they are unafraid of his approach. Many dogs respond well to the body movements and cane position of the trainer – they are easy to get out wide and sensitive to simple things like the trainer moving toward them, urging them away from the sheep.…

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My Buddy Buzz

MY BUDDY BUZZ by Roger Moore This is a story that has been shared with others, but I always enjoy the opportunity to “talk dogs”. I hope RDT readers will enjoy and appreciate this story as much as I have enjoyed working stockdogs the past few years. Each dog that I have worked has their own individual thinking and working abilities. The longer I work with dogs the more I am reassured that a working dog is more than a…

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What, Where, and How

WHAT, WHEN, AND HOW an interview with Australian cattleman Tony McCallum by the staff of Ranch Dog Trainer Magazine Working in different types of terrain, most of it heavy timber or mountains, means that Tony McCallum, New South Wales, Australia, sends his dogs for stock that can’t be gotten to on horseback. Tony emphatically states, “In a lot of areas in Australia it’s not ‘`do people use dogs there’, rather, if they run stock in that country they have dogs.…

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So You Think You Might Want A Stock Dog

SO YOU THINK YOU MIGHT WANT A STOCK DOG by Terry Martin So you think you might want a stock dog? In today’s world of high wages, liabilities involved with hired help and the difficulty in even finding human help, the stock dog can be a wonderful investment. From the small farm with a few head of cattle and/or sheep to the large ranch, a good dog can provide much needed help and companionship too. Just how many commands and…

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The Working Australian Shepherd, What To Expect

THE WORKING AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD: What To Expect by Terry Martin What kind of a working dog is an Australian Shepherd? What should we expect of a good one? The Australian Shepherd is a “hands on” type of worker who wants to be part of the action. He works close to the stock in an upright position controlling his stock by gaining authority with confidence readily backed up by grip. Different working situations have prompted breeders to develop more variations in…

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Jones’ Reddy Teddy

JONES’ REDDY TEDDY by Terry Martin Since time is short, I decided to do a piece on a controversial dog from the 1970’s. This dog is CH Jones’ Reddy Teddy CDX OTDdsc SCH HA. This is taken from my own experiences with this dog. I think Ted’s first public appearance was at the first ASCA sanctioned trial in Phoenix. It seems hard to believe now, but red dogs were a rarity then, and a lot of people had never seen…

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Slash V

SLASH V AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERDS by Terry Martin How long does it take to establish a “line” of dogs? A bloodline should be established for a purpose and definite characteristics prioritized, but this can only develop over time. The more years of experience with the dogs, the more a person becomes aware of the hereditary nature of the traits they are striving for. Some traits become more important and others less as more and more is learned. Personal preferences and occasionally…

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Developing Power

THE WORKING AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD: DEVELOPING HIS POWER by Terry Martin In the last article about using Australian Shepherds as cattle dogs, we discussed a few ways of introducing your pup or young dog to cattle. On a ranch there will be limited opportunities to do the things you would like to do with this dog. If your situation consists only of cows with calves out on large pastures you might want to wait until you wean some calves to start…

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Enhancing Heeling Instinct

ENHANCING HEELING INSTINCT by Terry Martin I certainly appreciate the contact I have had from the readership with ranch dogs. Several of you asked for ideas about how to get a dog to heel who will not do so or seldom bites heels in daily work. I also had an interesting conversation with a man whose cows are, in his words, “death on a dog”. In the last issue, I included suggestions on developing the power of your dog by…

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