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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The Aussie Style and Outrun

THE AUSSIE STYLE AND OUTRUN by Terry Martin I have said the ideal Australian Shepherd is one who will grip both the head and the heels. Every ranch or farm has unique situations that the dog will encounter. When stock are refusing to move, the dog or man has to use some kind of force. If they are facing and challenging the dog, he is going to have to be able to handle a confrontational head situation or nothing is…

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“That’s How It’s Done”

“THAT’S HOW IT’’S DONE” by Dana Mackenzie A friend of mine, Kaye Harris of Crown Point Australian Shepherds, related this story to me some time ago. Names have been changed to protect the guilty! My neighbor Jim called me up wanting some fresh sheep to use in training his dogs. We decided the best way to go about it was to use the sheep he already owned and cross them to my Barbado ram. Hopefully, the resulting lambs would be…

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Rowe’s Commanche Warrior, an interview with Jerry Rowe

ROWE’S COMMANCHE WARRIOR an interview with Jerry Rowe by Terry Martin One of the early successful trial dogs in A.S.C.A.’s trial history was Jerry Rowe’s Commanche. Jerry and his dog were at the first A.S.C.A. sanctioned trial, and Commanche was one of the first dogs trialing with any training at all. That was back in the days when trials were pretty wild and western, and most of us had hardly figured out how to “down” the dog much less think…

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Slip and Red

SLIP AND RED by Dana Mackenzie Sometimes we are lucky enough to be witness to an age-old ballet played out in perfect harmony between man and animal. It leaves us with a sense of awe and makes us somehow reluctant to turn loose of the moment. This is a chapter in the saga of a man and a dog, and the result of the accumulation of a lifetime together. Neither needs an introduction to anyone who has ever known or…

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Some Common Mistakes People Make When Training the Loose-Eyed Dog

SOME COMMON MISTAKES PEOPLE MAKE WHEN TRAINING THE LOOSE-EYED DOG by Dana MacKenzie The term “Loose-eyed” refers to dogs which do not work with the intense eye or concentration of the Border Collie type dog or its derivatives. In general, we are very “early ” in our attempts to train dogs, having only started with the emergence of ASCA, AHBA, and AKC trialing programs. Our teachers have been Border Collie trainers, books and tapes authored by Border Collie trainers and…

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The Measure of a Puppy’s Heart

THE MEASURE OF A PUPPY’S HEART by Dana Mackenzie Betty Williams, an attractive ranch-bred-and-raised woman from Central Montana, told me the following story: In 1986, my husband fractured his ankle in a freak horseback riding accident, John almost bled to death. With him at the time was a young Australian Shepherd/Australian Cattle Dog cross that was his constant shadow. Tippy wouldn’t leave the spot where John was injured. Days passed. I took food out to the pup but nothing could…

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History of the Australian Shepherd

HISTORY OF THE AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD by Maryland Little (editor’s note: Maryland Little was an early breeder of Australian Shepherds in Riverside, California. A paragraph about her was included in the ASCA 1977 Early Aussie Breeders retrospective written by Phillip Wildhagen. The photograph at right is of a dog of her breeding, McConkey’s Tiger Britches, (Littles Mr. Robert x Littles Pimenta Chica) born in 1965. The drawing below was included in the article; it is of Arrogante, a Spanish sheepdog imported…

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Winter Work

WINTER WORK by Joan Holmes I have to say I was very pleased with my little blue dog tonight! In southern Alberta, February evenings are pretty cold. This night it was about twenty degrees below zero, centigrade–that’s about zero farenheit. Just before five p.m., we happened to look out our kitchen window, which looks directly east across our hay fields towards our neighbors Craig and Lori’s place. We noticed their cows all heading with great purpose towards the north boundary,…

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Three Stories About Rory

THREE STORIES ABOUT RORY by Mark Hodges WTCH Bear’s Aurora of Windsor RTDcs JS-E RS-O GS-N DNA-VP Urban Cowdog: I was always hearing that trialing dogs that belong to “hobby herders” such as myself probably would not cut it in a real life-working situation. Well, an accidental encounter changed my personal thoughts on that opinion. One early February morning, just past dawn, the dogs and I were driving out to the property (at this point it could not be called…

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Wild Bison, the Ultimate Challenge

WILD BISON: THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE by Jeanne Joy Hartnagle-Taylor Bison management problems had developed during the late 1970’s and 80’s in various national parks throughout the western United States. Part of the problem was tourist liability. Tourists don’t think of this huge, nonchalant creature as a wild animal. Lone bison bulls wander into campsites or along roadsides, drop their heads and graze. They aren’t easily spooked, which makes them appear docile and easy-going. Despite many warning signs along roadsides and…

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Vanished Trails and Faded Memories

VANISHED TRAILS AND FADED MEMORIES of Australian Shepherd History by Ernest Hartnagle and Jeanne Joy Hartnagle-Taylor Some historians propose Basques and their sheepdogs from the Pyrenees played an insignificant role in the history of the Australian Shepherd breed. They believe that Basques did not to go Australia with their “little blue dogs” and then come to the U.S. with boatloads of sheep. They state further that the Basque herders came directly to the U.S., and hardly ever brought dogs with…

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The Walt Lamar Story

THE WALT LAMAR STORY One of ASCA’s Heaviest Heavyweights by Jeanne Joy Hartnagle-Taylor and Ernie Hartnagle If you mention Walt Lamar’s name to a team roper or a steer wrestler, more than likely you ‘ll get a nod of recognition, because Walter is known for his rugged, athletic, foundation bred Quarter Horses. Lamar is also the historian for the Hancock Breeders Association. “I had always had a horse or two or three, but wasn’t serious about raising them until September…

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Tayor Ranch Tradition

CARRYING ON THE TRADITION — THE TAYLOR FAMILIES OF LIVESTOCK story and photos by Jeanne Joy Hartnagle-Taylor On a high mountain range in Utah, Joe Taylor grinned at me and offered this sage advice: “The time to gather wild horses is when you see them” –and then galloped off after a small remuda. If that sounds like a scene in a movie, it could be. Joe Taylor’s Ranch is one of the Moab area locations where Hollywood has filmed many…

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Lois George, Copper Canyon, and a Dog Named Red

LOIS GEORGE, COPPER CANYON, AND A DOG NAMED RED by Ernie Hartnagle and Jeanne Joy Hartnagle-Taylor Lois and Norm George developed their love for the breed in 1956. They were living on a ranch in Cuyama, California when they got Cricket, a pretty little blue female from a friend of theirs who had gotten her from the Basque sheep herders. In the fall, the Basques would bring several thousand sheep into Cuyama to winter on the stubble of the alfalfa…

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The Carrillos

ROBERT CARRILLO AND CASA DE CARRILLO: A Long Established Name by Jeanne Joy Hartnagle-Taylor and Ernest Hartnagle After Bob Carrillo passed away in 2007, we were asked to write an article about him for the Aussie community. I called my parents and we started talking about the past thirty-five years that we knew him. Most people know that Robert Carrillo was associated with the ASCA Stockdog Program and at one time, he was the Stock Dog Committee chairman. This is…

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The Cow From Hell

THE COW FROM HELL by Rhonda Falk Falkland Aussies Star Rt. A, Box 736-A Atmore, AL 36502 My first Aussies were Falk’s Falkland Banjo and Sheba. Banjo (Joe) is a National Stockdog Second Step although he had several generations registered with the Animal Research Foundation. Sheba is a small (16″, 24 pound), Aussie mix, with a natural bob tail, that we rescued from the pound. I got Banjo at twelve or fourteen weeks of age, and he still had a…

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Lending a Paw in Indiana

LENDING A PAW IN INDIANA by Michelle Durkin I live in a semi-rural area of south central Indiana, where small hobby farms and livestock operations are mixed into the ever-pressing onslaught of vinyl tract homes. Our local county 4-H Fair has many a competitor that keeps pigs, sheep, goats and steers on friends’ farms because they don’t have the opportunity to live out in the country. Since so many places are small by most standards, there is not often a…

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The Old Welsh Bobtail Connection

THE OLD WELSH BOB TAIL CONNECTION by Ann DeChant Working Aussie Source editor’s note: This is an excerpt from a travelogue about a visit to England and Wales in September 1989. At the rainy International Sheepdog Trials, the DeChants get wet, so rather than sleep in their van, they decide to look for a place to spend the night. . . . We asked the men behind us if they knew of a place where we could stay for the…

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Is the Aussie Really A Scotch Shepherd?

IS THE AUSSIE REALLY A SCOTCH SHEPHERD? by Linda DeHaven a letter published in the Aussie Times Magazine in 1973 Aussie Times editor’s note: This letter was written to Linda Boysal from Liz DeHaven about some old-time Aussie-type dogs in Oregon.  Thank you, Linda, for sharing it with us.    Dear Linda, Alan is is Miami, Fla. for the next two weeks and asked me to write you.  He really enjoyed meeting you and we are looking forward to seeing…

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The Early Aussie Breeders

THE EARLY AUSSIE BREEDERS articles by Jan Haddle Davis and by Phillip Wildhagen Editor’s note: these ten short articles were first published in the ASCA 1977 Yearbook, which included a retrospective of the past 30 years, ASCA having been incorporated in 1957. They were presented without an overall title (the above title has been given by me). Photos are also taken from the ASCA 1977 Yearbook, which contains over one hundred photographs of the earliest Aussies to be registered in…

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The Story of Dan

THE STORY OF DAN, AN AMAZING AUSSIE by Ann B. DeChant I have been meaning to write this one for a long time. We lost Dan three years ago, to being hit by a car. I always intended to tell this story while he was still alive, but it is still just as good as a tribute to him. This is the story of a working Aussie who created his own daily work as my assistant. Don’t worry. You already…

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History of the Australian Shepherd in the Northwest

by Mrs. Roy E. Cotton Working Aussie Source editor’s note: Elsie Cotton was the 4th president of ASCA, and her dog Cotton’s Blue Bobby and his son Mays Adobe Rebel, are in back of many Aussie pedigrees today. My Uncle Earl acquired his first Australian Shepherds in either 1917 or 1918. At the beginning of World War I, he started raising sheep and tried out many breeds of herding dogs but was not entirely satisfied with any of them. In…

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Jack, the Handiest Dog I Ever Trained

JACK, THE HANDIEST DOG I EVER TRAINED by Cyn-Dee Cooper This year I had the honor of training a really good Australian Shepherd named Jack for sixty days. Jack was bred by Elree Horton, of Buena Vista, Tennessee who has Flapper Hill Kennels. Jack is out of Flapper Hill Blossom and by Flapper Hill Sandy River. Both of these dogs go back to Lookaway Luke who is by Judd’s Chickasaw Dan. He was about 14 months old when he came…

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Old Dogs Never Die Young

OLD DOGS NEVER DIE YOUNG by Dr. Leroy Boyd (editor’s note: although this data was elicited from Border Collies, Aussies might very possibly come up with similar responses.) We have no detailed records of the trials and tribulations experienced by those responsible for domesticating the dog. For centuries we have credited the human with making all the final decisions. For several thousand years humans have spoken and written often and at length, and even filmed their interpretation of what was…

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The Crooked H Ranch

THE CROOKED H RANCH by Charlie Berthout Working Aussie Source editor’s note: this is a letter sent to Terry Martin, which appeared in her Aussie Times column, ‘Stockdog Corner’. Crooked H Ranch has winter range in the Cottonwood Basin southeast of Camp Verde, Arizona, and summer range around Clint’s Well, southeast of Flagstaff, Arizona. The homestead base is in the Long Valley at Clint’s Well. The balance of the range is cross-fenced Forest Service permit range of about 100,000 acres.…

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Hip Check

HIP CHECK In the battle against canine hip dysplasia, identification, treatment, research, and careful breeding selection are the weapons of choice. by Jerold S Bell, DVM, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine (Working Aussie Source editor’s notes: C.A.Sharp writes, on the Australian Shepherd Genetic Institute website, that of the most common inherited maladies in Australian Shepherds, hip dysplasia probably is ranked fifth in frequency of occurrence, after cataracts, epilepsy, dental faults, and autoimmune disease—which she ranks in that order. Orthopedic…

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Sit, Stay, Heal: Diana Decker

SIT, STAY, HEAL : DIANA DECKER interview by Jen Barol It is Diana Decker’s hard-working bond with Gus and Shine and the other herding dogs she trains that keeps her fighting the illness that consumes her. Decker and her fifteen herding dogs are throwbacks to another time and place. In a society where working breeds like Australian Shepherds and Border Collies are more accustomed to car drives than cattle drives, visiting Decker on her Edgewood, New Mexico ranch feels more…

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Population Genetics and Breeding

POPULATION GENETICS AND BREEDING by John Armstrong Editors note: This article was originally published on The Canine Diversity Project website, which contains a wealth of material on the same subject. Highly recommended reading for all dog breeders. Early genetics When Mendel’s work was rediscovered at the beginning of the twentieth century, the new field of Genetics went in several directions. The T. H. Morgan (1) school quickly got tired of crossing green to yellow peas and moved on to discovering…

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The Story of Allen’s Ebony Joe

THE STORY OF ALLEN’S EBONY JOE by Lilian Allen I first became interested in Australian Shepherds in the early 1970’s, watching them help with show cattle at the livestock shows. This was before the rule of “No Dogs Allowed”, and almost every show string had an Aussie. These wonderful little dogs would follow the show cattle to the wash racks, the night tie-outs, or wherever the handlers needed to take them. If the cattle became lazy and refused to go,…

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Dog Tales from a Cattleman

DOG TALES FROM A CATTLEMAN by Norm Andrews Working Aussie Source editor’s note: this photo essay originally appeared in Terry Martin’s Stockdog Corner column in The Aussie Times, with the following introduction: “I received a letter from Norm Andrews, a farmer in Nebraska who runs 150 cow/calf pairs. He has a dog of my breeding, Slash V Andrew’s Red Chickaspike OTDc. This letter is a cattleman talking to other cattlemen, really … about a dog that he loves and that…

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