ancestry and development of the working Aussie

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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