In This Issue
on the cover
OTCH Silverdust I Won't Let Go UDX5 OM7
ACDCA National Specialty Obedience HIT 2015
Owned by Laura Fuller
Cover designed by Haven Design/Heather Bacon
Jim Buzzard Memorial
Breeder Spotlight - Wendy Grudin
CH Buzzard's Red Tubs HX (reprint)
Spotlight on Old-Timers - Gayle Beers
Can An American Kennel Club Registration Save A Herding Breed? by Esther Ekman
An Australian Cattle Dog in Margaritaville - Dennis McMahan
ACDCA 2018 Belton, Texas National Specialty
Buzzard Australian Cattle Dogs
Sport Dog Food
ACD Photo Album
Maggie - Sally W. Fontenot
Lyric - Bosworth ACDs, Lee Kephart
2 ACDSPOTLIGHT WINTER 2018
jUST A fEW NOTES
It has been a year since Deb Casey, the owner of The ACD Spotlight suddenly and unexpectedly died. This is the issue she was working on. I have added a few things to make it more current but you won’t find a memorial to Deb in this issue. Deb was not one for that sort of thing.
Customarily, Deb ran single page memorials. I think she deserves more than a page in her own publication. So the next and probably last planned issue of the ACD Spotlight will be a tribute to Deb Casey and her Silverdust dogs. Anyone who knew Deb knows that her dogs come first. It was what she was proudest of and what fueled her competitive spirit. I’m asking that everyone with a Silverdust dog past or present send me stories, pictures, memories, or whatever you wish for this next issue. Deadline is August 15. I will have the issue out before the ACDCA Nationals being held in her honor in Benton, Texas in October. I will include memories of Deb from anyone who sends me something, however, the spotlight will be on her dogs
As for the ACD Spotlight, I do not have the resources or desire to continue with Deb’s vision. Her vision was for a timely, regular publication that featured ALL ACD accomplishments She had the time and personality to meet deadlines. I see the need for this and great value in what she did; but as heir of this publication; sadly, I cannot continue with her vision alone. There will be one more Spotlight. And, most likely more in the future though not on a regular schedule in this format.
These decisions come with a great deal of soul searching. But, there are a few things yet to come: A full index of past ACD Spotlight Issues, a Re-releases in updated format of Deb’s ACD Photo Album, articles, ads, and stories on acdspolight.com, and hopefully, a 2nd ACD Photo Album.
I appreciate all the interest, assistance, encouragement, and patience expressed by all!
Now get out there and do something with your cattle dogs!
May 25, 2018
from New Editor, Lynn Tatro
Reprint from the Winter 2011 Spotlight
Spotlight: How long have you been in Dogs?
How long have you had the ACD and what is your background.?
I have been "in dogs" for most of my life starting out with Akitas then journeying on to ACDs. I have had ACDs for 22 years I also judge ACDs for the AKC...and Aussies for ASCA. My background is that of an all breed dog trainer concentrating on behavioral issues, obedience and conformation. I also ran a school for folks who wanted to become full time "dog trainers." I did this on a whim advertising in Dog World Magazine. I was overwhelmed with inquiries and it was very uplifting to help others become trainers.
Why did you choose the ACD?
When my wonderful Akita begin to age I decided to look for another breed...one which would not bloat or torsion and also would be a bit smaller. I had worked with a client's ACD who was very smart and biddable and she helped me make my decision. I contacted a breeder who although knowledgeable about ACDs in many respects....told me to not even consider one for competitive obedience.
Spotlight: How did you decide that this breed was for you?
How did you first get involved in the ACD?
I did not listen and contacted Craig Watson who just happened to have a litter on the ground. He said I could purchase pick male who became my Bosco (Ch. Far Fetched Hill St. Blues, CDX PT VQW ) and the rest is history. Bosco went on to produce ten Champions and many herding and obedience prospects. He was also ranked # 2 nationally in obedience for quite some time
I now have his grandson Polo (Ch. Careys Hill St.'s Let's Play Polo CD BN RN HIT) who has not let me down both in conformation and obedience. He finished with a 5 pt Major in tough Colorado competition going BOB over Specials. In obedience he has garnered 8 first place wins in all breed obedience plus a High In Trial. Many thanks to Carolyn Geisler for this amazing dog.
Spotlight: What do you do with your dogs (i.e. herding, performance, conformation)?
I love competitive obedience and also judging conformation for the AKC. I do not much enjoy showing in conformation though. I do exhibit when need be.
Spotlight: What made your decision to start breeding?
What caused you to pick the particular dog/ bloodline/s that you did to start your breeding program?
We began breeding when we purchased Ch. Sunfarm's Fantasia Celebrity Bred by Sergio Espejo and Kris Read. That cross between Bosco and Fiesta produced amazing progeny with outstanding temperaments.
Spotlight: Which Dog & Bitch in your breeding program was most successful or that you feel contributed the most to the breed? What dog/bitch to date is your best dog/ bitch you produced and why?
If I had to say which dog/bitch we produced that was the most outstanding....I would choose Ch. Hill St's Red Alert (Echo) owned by Susan Crocker. Here are a few of her titles: DC HC WTCh HTCh VCH, Ch. Hill St.'s Red Alert HXacsd RD CDX AX OAJ TD. Echo was a once in a lifetime dog and she and Susan made for an incredible team.
Spotlight: Do you breed to outside females and if so what is your criteria?
Currently I do not have any stud dogs being offered to outside bitches. I had to make the tough decision not to breed my Polo due to a groin tendon tear.
Spotlight:What dog/bitch do you believe has made the biggest impact in ACD history to date?
Being asked what dog has made the biggest impact on the breed...that is one tough question. One dog that quickly comes to mind is Sherry MacLennan's Ch. Yarabee's Watch Wizzard Win HS. He made judges look at a red dog at a time when few red dogs were winning at shows. I believe he was the first red dog to win at Westminster. His type and movement could not be denied.
Spotlight: What do you feed your puppies?
We feed Taste Of The Wild adult to both pups and adults. All our dogs do well on it.
Spotlight: How do you socialize your pups?
We socialize pups with lots of strange sounds and varying ages of visitors. We have various obstacles in our play area such as tunnels, ramps, etc. When old enough we take them to Murdochs, Tractor Supply, etc. Just yesterday we took our four month old bitch Jolly on an extended ride in the golf cart. She saw, smelled and heard many new things, helps to get them used to being at an all breed show with so many distractions.
Spotlight: How did you come up with your kennel name?
My kennel name came from a popular TV show at the time called Hill St. Blues. Funny thing is that currently we have all reds.
Spotlight: If you were going to rate type, temperament, & soundness in what order of importance what would be the order & why?
It is quite difficult to rate "type, temperament, and soundness " when each is critical to the next. Personally, if the temperament is not there....the other two are meaningless. I will never ever sacrifice temperament for an otherwise sound dog.
Spotlight: What do you think are the most serious faults in the breed today? What would say are the biggest genetic faults in our breed today?
Faults in the breed today are temperament, incorrect fronts, and missing teeth. I cringe when I see a dog or bitch who refuses to let the judge examine him/her. Excuses can be made for pups but mature dogs should stand for exam.
Spotlight: What advice would you give anyone out if starting in this breed ? What should people who are interested in this breed know before they bring one into their homes?
I would advise anyone starting out in the breed to do your homework and then review, review, review that homework. Keep in mind that not all breeders are friendly with each other and you need to make the decision as to whom to deal with. Stay away from folks who seem to always have litters and definitely never buy from breeders who have excuses for not health testing.
Spotlight: Describe an average day living with your dogs?
An average day here with the dogs includes walks for each of the 3 we currently own, playtime, and short training periods - obedience and conformation. The only one of the three who enjoys riding in the golf cart is Jolly.
People looking to bring an ACD into their home need to know that these dogs require both mental and physical stimulation.... Without it they will become destructive from boredom.
Spotlight: Do you feel the current AKC/UKC/ANC/FCI/ANKC standard is adequate?
If not how would you like to see it changed?
As far as changing the AKC Standard, I would like the changes to be as follows: "Any more than 4 missing teeth to be considered a major fault." Also, I would like to see the color description to include "red mottles".
Spotlight: Any comments that you wish to add?
Finally I would like to say that the breed will not continue to progress with the current biased policies presented by the National Club. Not admitting otherwise competent members due to personal grievances does no good for anyone involved in the breed.
AKC Judge #29455
Hill St.Blues Australian Cattle Dogs
Ch. Far Fetched Hill St. Blues, CDX PT VQW
Jolly enjoys riding in the golf cart
Ch. Yarabee's Watch Wizzard Win HS
Originally released in 2001 on CD
This treasure features hundreds of photos with names and owners
of Australian Cattle Dogs from all over the world.
A few weeks before her passing, Deb Casey called me up and asked, "Hey! wanna work on a project?" She had planned to re-release this photo album in a more current, accessible format so we could once again share these great dogs. I started clipping photos and we worked out the logistics of how this would happen. But, the project was just started when she unexpectedly died. Knowing that she had already started collecting photos for a companion album (Volume 2), I decided to forge ahead with her vision.
Expect it out in Fall 2018! Expect Volume 2 sometime in 2020.
Originally, this was released as a CDROM in 2001. Remember Windows 98? Not sure it ever worked on IOS. The quality of the photos was variable. Deb painstakingly scanned most of them in at 300 dpi but some of the original photos were very small and even good scans resulted in a lower quality photo. Rather than edit for reproduction quality, Deb felt it was more important to have a lower quality image than none at all. That is why you will notice a wide range of photo quality and size as you view this album. It will be quite difficult to get good prints of any pages; however, I have tried to make it available in a variety of electronic formats: online book, pdf, e-book.
Times have changed. Today, nearly everyone is using their smartphone and high resolution. Volume 2 should be spectacular and a different story regarding photo quality. I hope that it will also be available for print on demand.
If you are interested in your dog appearing in Volume 2, send me your digital photos. (I'll gladly assist you if you need). A signed limited release is required allowing your photos to be used for this album. Those who submit photos will be given a pre-order/preview discount toward the ebook which includes early access before it is made available to the public.
Working on this brought back many fond memories; I eagerly look forward to working on Vol. 2
815 Ivy Street
Brainerd, MN 56401
Online & E-book Re-release
Volume 1 - Original Release 2001 Re-release Coming in 2018
C'MON - JOIN US!
The Australian Cattle Dog Club United is a progressive and inclusive club for those who love and work this amazing breed.
Our goals while ambitious are simple, to make a safe connection point for everyone from breeders to ranchers along with ACD pet owners, and offer assistance through education, training and resources.
The mission of this club to help advance the world of Australian Cattle Dog and the many activities they can take part in with their owners,
Along with the education that helps breeders produce better dogs through proper understanding of the standard and health issues the ACD can face.
We want this club to be fun and one where people can use their talents and skills in our common goal.
www.facebook.com/pg/The.Australian.Cattle.Dog.Club.United (over 4,500 followers)
Or Paypal to: Treasurer@ACDCU.org
Brand New Club ! !
Executive Board Members
Theresa Buzzard-Couch, Membership Sec'y
by Louanne Brooks Ludwig
January 22, 2018
Honoring Gayle Beers and Brasco Kennel
We are rapidly losing our US Australian Cattle Dog Old-timers - early breeders who were active prior to and during AKC recognition in 1980. With them goes a history and a legacy which precedes many of us who now own the breed. Roger and Gayle Beers, Brasco Kennel, are amongst those early breeders who have left an indelible mark on the Australian Cattle Dog in the US. Gayle Beers died on December 5, 2017 (Roger preceded her in death about 14 months prior). In some 30 years of breeding ACDs, many Brasco dogs went to working farms, but Brasco breeding is found in the roots of several noteworthy kennels, including So-lo, Hillhaven, Ringside and Glendhenmere.
“Brasco” is the combination of the names of the Beers’ children, Brad and Scott. It was 1969, at the South Dakota State Fair, where the boys were showing cattle, that the Beers first encountered the Australian Cattle Dog. Brad happened upon a litter of pups for sale there, and finally convinced his parents to let him buy the only female puppy in the litter with his own hard-earned $50. “Misty” soon became an integral part of the family farm and beef operation. She was a particular help when the boys were halter-breaking their 4H show calves.
I first met Roger and Gayle Beers in “The Uncommon Dog Breeds,” a book published in 1975, written by Kathryn Braund. I met them in person in 1990, when I got my first ACD from them. What began with a 4 hour conversation around their kitchen table over homemade cookies and bars led to a lifelong friendship. Long after they gave up breeding ACDs, they loved to keep abreast of the happenings with the breed and the national club.
In 1977 Gayle traveled to Australia, and met several breeders there, including Helen Dickson, of Tallawong Kennels. She went to the New South Wales Specialty show, where she learned a great deal from judge Roy Toogood, Ravenadahlen Kennel (named by his Norwegian wife). Gayle, reflecting on that memory, explained: “Roy told me all about the breed’s problems: deafness, blindness, crippling arthritis, missing teeth. No one in the US was talking much about these things then, but he had experienced them all.”
The Beers’ dogs had very little blindness or deafness over the years, which Gayle chalked up to simply good luck. Others with foundation dogs from the same litters had problems when she did not. Her early dogs came from Mel-Ru and Tallawong. Gayle always liked a beautiful head, and was partial to the males. When asked to recall some of her favorites, she would mention “Snicker” (Beer’s Silver Snicker, their first pedigreed dog, purchased in 1969 from Ruth Newman, Mel-Ru, Washington State); “Jiminy” (CH Tallawong Blue Jiminy); “Trouper” ( CH Hoosier Trouper Snicker Dan VQW), “Jonas” (Tallawong Blue Jonas) and “Whopper” (Brasco Gotcha A Whopper).
Her breeding priorities were disposition, bone and type. “Our dogs always had good temperaments and loved people, but were vicious on cattle.” Her advice to breeders was to remember what these dogs were bred to do, and honor that in type and temperament.
Like the breed she loved, Gayle was stoic, smart, hard-working and devoted. She was never comfortable talking about herself, but always interested in others. She was generous by nature, and giving gave her great pleasure. She changed my life and set me on a path I had never imagined: a passion (27 years ongoing) for the ACD. I loved her, and treasured her friendship beyond measure. How ironic I had a litter the day she died.
The Beers were active members of the Australian Cattle Dog Club of America for over 25 years, and never missed a National Specialty during that time: the last ACDCA National Specialty they attended was in 2006, in Rochester, MN. Gayle served the club on the Board, and as President from 1977-1980 when the breed submitted for AKC recognition. She was Newsletter Editor for many years, where her connections in Australia and the US were the source of many articles and ads. Gayle was also first recipient of the ACDCA’s Good Sportsmanship Award.
CH Teddee's Hillhaven Peter Pan PT RN (Brawny son) 2005 AKC Eukanuba Breed Winner
Multiple Group Placing
Winning, sire of Multi-Specialty AOM Winner
CH Hillhaven's Li'l Shenanigan
and of the 2017 ACDCA National Specialty Winner's Bitch - Hillhaven Straight On Til Morning
1991 ACDCA Specialty in Rapid City, South Dakota
This is Brasco Blue Bold N' Brawn
Shown by Janis Stadler
Judge Norman Herbel
Owned by Roger and Gayle
Seated: Gayle Beers
Standing Left to Right:
Jim Brooks, Author Louanne Brooks, and Roger Beers
About the Author: Louanne Brooks Ludwig, along with her deceased husband, Jim Brooks, daughter, Amelia Brooks, and second husband, Ron Ludwig, have bred Australian Cattle Dogs under the kennel name HILLHAVEN (established 1990). Louanne is past President of the North Star Herding Group Club, a 4H Dog Project leader, and enjoys herding, conformation and rally with her dogs.
From Australian Cattle Dogs THE FIRST FIVE YEARS 1980-1985, by Donn and Deborah Harling
Covers from the two different newsletter formats Gayle published.
The ACD HOTLINE was not affiliated with the ACDCA
About the Author from the Author, Esther Eckman
After co-founding the ACDCA Inc. with Christina Smith-Risk in 1967 and spending a couple of years gathering like minded people, we worked to get the breed fully recognized by the AKC. As with any organization, there were surprises/drama/politics/greed/legal battles/ blood and guts. You know, come to think of it, the Club is still about the same, just a bit more mature about it (dark side again)!
So there you have it. I'm still actively showing and working my dogs; doing a bit of outside training; grooming other peoples pets (I like my wash and wear dogs); doing a few evaluations and some artwork. I haven't thought much about going for a judging license (too many restrictions and I'm lazy). Besides you have to dress up to be a judge.
Seriously though, I believe my best qualification (and pride) is when I run into some old cowboy who bought a dog from me and have him say: "That's the best damn dog I ever owned."
March 13, 1941 - October 3, 1998
Can An American
Save A Herding Breed?
by Esther Ekman
Did the eyebrows just shoot up to level 9? Do you have acid flux starting up the tube?
Answer to the lead question is YES, YES, and YES!
How could this be so? Because of a series of events known to be some of strangest in the history of Dogdom. All of which follows, unfolding a cast of thousands is documented fact. I would guess, judging from some of the wildest wives tales I've heard over the last 30 years, that most people involved with what they call "Queensland Heelers", "Blue or Red Heelers", "Dingo Dogs" OR "Australian Cattle Dogs", don't seem to know their own breeds history in the USA.
What brought this writer to the computer was partly a discussion I had with Joyce Shephard (Santa Rosa, CA) awhile back about what the Working Kelpie Council was up to in Australia and reading seemingly hundreds of letters, pro and con, in various dog publications concerning AKC recognition of Australian Shepherds, Border Collies and the like.
Seems that the Working Kelpie Council in Australia decided to declare the bench show Kelpies a separate strain and will not be allowing them to be registered in their registry any longer. (They had been put into an appendix of a sorts before.) Because not all the dogs registered with WKC are active working dogs, basically the only difference between working Kelpies and bench Kelpies is the color. Or some would say conformation also as some show dogs are heavier built than some working style Kelpies, but that isn't always true. (Most WKC registered dogs are from active working parents, but it isn't a requirement. The WKC does guarantee that any of their breeders will replace a pup that doesn't work, whether from the appendix or regular registry.)
A number of years ago the bench show people seemed to latch onto the red mahogany color phase of the breed, calling it theirs and breeding only from this color, as a whole. Working dog breeders have taken up with the idea that if the dog is that color it will not work, because bench breeders have not been working their breeding stock for years. Ergo, red mahogany dog, no workie, no registration. I don't have the foggiest notion what they would do if a red mahogany Kelpie suddenly started winning all the sheep trials over there. It's a thought though.
So back to ACD's history with AKC registration. Here is what happened, no yelling, no recriminations, just the FACTS, only the FACTS and a few snide remarks that my fingers will not let pass.
I bought my first ACD in 1965. At the urging of Chico's sire's (Glen Iris Boomerang, CDX. AKA Frosty), owner Carol Mork, I started obedience training with him, eventually getting a CD on him. At the same time as an added attraction, I entered him in Miscellaneous class at AKC shows.
In 1967 at one of the AKC shows I ran into a gal from Southern California who had just moved north to the Bay Area, Chris Smith-Risk. So fascinated were we with the idea that someone else had an ACD, we missed our class because we talked and talked, not noticing time or place.
Chris explained that she had the breed since the late 1950's and had tried several times to start a national parent club for the breed, but that no one in the southland seemed to be interested enough to commit time to the project. I had asked the usual dumb questions like, "What does the breed want with a parent club?" "Why do you want to do this?" "What has the AKC got to do with it?" "How many members does a club have to have?" and "What do you do in a parent club?"
I really did mean dumb. This is coming from a person who had heard about the Miscellaneous conformation class, entered, showed up at ringside with my dog in a leather collar (Well he wasn't doing obedience, so I figured he'd look nice in that stock collar) and a six foot leather leash, telling the judge "OK I'm here, what do we do?" HEY, we had fun! Vincent Perry (The Judge) thought someone had sent him to "Dog Show Hell", but was more than pleasant with this fledgling show exhibitor.
Chris explained that the breed had been in the Miscellaneous classification at AKC since the 1930's, but no one seemed to have any peculiars on who or why that decision had been made. Kelpies were included at the same time. (Someone at the AKC must have had an Australian friend or there is the possibility that Robert Kaleski (who wrote the first Australian Standard for the breed in the early 1900's) was corresponding with someone at the AKC) He wrote a lot for Australian publications about the breed.
In order to get the breed full AKC Championship recognition, the AKC required that a National Breed Parent Club be organized for promotion and protection of the breed. Since the AKC just was a registering body the Parent Club was in charge of Standards and all else concerning the breed in general. It also had to show that there was enough interest and distribution nationwide to warrant having their own classes. (This was in the era when parent clubs had to work very hard to get their breed included in the AKC.)
In answer to my dumb question, "How many people does a club have to have?", Chris sarcastically said "At least two!" Me being young and ready for anything new, (Hey, it was the 60's! Nothing was impossible after Civil Rights Sit ins, The Haight, Be -ins, Do-ns and Love-ins. Not to mention the many nights our local horse/rodeo group, being drunk as skunks, stole steers from the killer yard in Butcher Town, to ride in our own version of a rodeo. Or to be politically correct, "We liberated them, used them and let them loose to graze the park." (YES, we were a bunch of obnoxious kids.) Anyway, I answered Chris very seriously "Well there is you and me, that's two! And I guess The Australian Cattle Dog Club of America is born." (Actually we wanted it to be The Australian Heeler Club of America, but that's a whole other story about "What's in a name.")
The first two years of the ACDCA was taken up in finding like minded people that had the interest to work within the club for the breed. In 1969 there were 12 paper members (We had family memberships, so there were actually a few more than 12). and we formally applied to the AKC for instructions. One of the requirements was that the Club had to start keeping it's own registry for the breed. (At the time, as is now, National Stock Dog Registry was handling a lot of the registrations of the breed.) The AKC explained that since the breed had been registered and shown in it's country of origin starting in the late 1800's, all of the dogs that would be eventually added to the AKC registry would have to be an extension of the Australian registry, tracing back to registered dogs in Australia.
Well what a surprise we had in store! During the research of our own dog's pedigrees we discovered that most of the dogs we owned traced back to dogs exported from Australia, BUT NOT REGISTERED in Australia. We also uncovered the history involved, with months of correspondence flying back and forth across the Pacific.
During and after WW II, many of the bench show breeders of ACD's in Australia thought the breed may be losing some of the natural working instinct for which the breed is known. (Who said war is a single minded obsession? Not for dog people, obliviously.) In the middle and late 1940's most all breeders either leased, bought or used for stud, actively working registered ACDs and including them into their breeding programs.
A veterinarian, Allen McNiven, in Sydney who was a breeder of blue show dogs decided that he could do better than the other breeders. He contracted a government hunter to trap a Dingo in the outback. He then bred this male Dingo to his blue bitches. He also admitted later that he added Kelpie, German Shepherd, Kangaroo Hound and lord knows what else. When these crosses bred true to color, markings and to his thinking, temperament, he went to the RASKC (The Australian equivalent to the AKC.) saying he had improved the breed and wanted the dogs registered. They told him "No Way Jose", you have mongrels. The other ACD breeders told him, you have mongrels and they were not pleased.
I'm sure he meant well and was totally convinced he did the breed a favor, but fortunately no one in Australia seemed to see it that way. He got a bit on the bitter side and did something that was really wrong. He put "dead papers" on the pups he wanted to register and registered them in spite of the RASKC's instructions. He was caught, he was indefinitely suspended from the RASKC and the dogs stricken from the registry forever.
Meanwhile, Greg Lougher, a Napa Valley, California cattle rancher had been stationed in Australia during the War and had gotten acquainted with Allen McNiven. Lougher imported several adults and several litters from McNiven. He used the dogs on the ranch, bred litters and gave most of the dogs to friends etc. Maybe he knew the difference between a pure-bred ACD and his dogs, maybe he didn't care, could be that they did the job he wanted and that was all he knew or wanted to know.
As a sideline, in the early 1960's before I had bought Chico, I bought a couple of books by Luis Ortega, California Hackamore and California Stock Horse (Or Reined Stock Horse? I'm not home at this moment. Our power is out and has been for three plus days and 30 years is a long time ago. I still have the books, but you know how it is sometimes.) After the club registry problem came up, I realized that the pictures in the books were at Greg Lougher's place and were of Greg Lougher and his horses. In a couple of fuzzy photos you can see ACD's. The world is a strange place indeed.
Then in the late 1950's a veterinarian in Santa Rosa, California, Jack Woolsey was introduced to Lougher's dogs. With his partners Dr. Richardson and Ray DeForest, they bought several dogs and started breeding them for fun and profit. They did at some point know the dogs had re-infused Dingo and did some correspondence with McNiven because articles by McNiven were in some of the pamphlets they had for advertisement and there was some mention of trying to keep a 1/8th to 1/16th Dingo blood in the dogs. They advertised in Western Horsemen stating they were guaranteed to work etc. and calling them Queensland Heelers. It is my understanding that many of the dogs were too severe biters. Woolsey decided to import several pure-bred ACD's to correct this problem. Oaklea Blue Ace, Glen Iris Boomerang and several Glen Iris bitches were imported from Australia. Both Oaklea and Glen Iris are show kennels that go back to old working stock. As a fact Iris Heale is still showing her ACD's today. She also has Stumpy Tail ACD's (An entirely separate breed of dog.), but none of those were imported. The imports were all blues.
Since none of the above parties wanted to deal with pedigrees etc. Woolsey talked National Stock Dog Registry of Butler, Indiana, into registering the breed. Mr. Emanuel (his daughter runs the registry now.) just took the pedigrees and assigned American numbers to the dogs still in Australia without requiring Australian Registry numbers.
So here comes this bunch of crazy people (You know what they say about California! "The earth tipped and all the nuts fell into California.") with this AKC Parent Club idea and all Hell broke loose. Jack Woolsey and Ray DeForest were two of the first 12 members, DeForest still has his membership to this date.
We realized We Didn't Have Pure-Bred Dogs! We formed a club for and we worked for a pure-bred breed and We Didn't Have PureBred Dogs! Some members did have pure-breds, either imported directly from Australia or from matings of Woolsey's imports, without McNiven's strain included. I didn't, both Chico and my bitch Cindy Drew were mixed.
So what to do? First thing we did after getting the story straight from McNiven was to inform National Stock Dog Registry that there had been a mistake made and most of the dogs were not purebreds. Mr. Emanuel informed us that he really didn't care, that he felt most of the people that registered their dogs with them didn't care because all they wanted was "PAPERS" on the dogs. He also said he felt that most people were ignorant of the difference between a pedigree and what a registered dog should imply. That being a pure-bred line of ancestors instead of a list of ancestors, as in a pedigree, no matter what their source. He felt that as long as the customers were satisfied with the idea that his registry implied they were working dogs, which was never a requirement nor was there ever any requirement of proving any of the dogs worked, they were doing the service wanted by their customers. The only concession that he would make was that any dog presented for registry that was of unknown parentage, would be registered as an "American Cattle Dog" and all others would still be registered as "Australian Cattle Dogs."
At first, I believe they were being registered under the name Queensland Heeler, but I think Chris had informed them that the official name for the breed in Australia was Australian Cattle Dog and they changed to that name for the same dogs as they had previously called Queensland Heelers.
This was in 1969 and throughout that shocking year, we as a Club, tried to get the AKC to recognize the breed under the name of Australian Heeler. We wanted this name because the AKC said that Queensland was a state and the country of origin had to be reflected in the name. Because so many people, then and now, use the name Australian Cattle Dog as a generic name for any dog that may be related to an ACD and works cattle and there was and is so much confusion with Australian Shepherds, we really, really worked for the name change. But no such luck, officials are officials no matter in which country they live and their say so is law and the official name for the breed is Australian Cattle Dog worldwide.
After Mr. Emanuel turned us down in doing a separation in their registry, we tried to let as many people know nationwide that there was a difference, but none of us had big bucks and we only reached a small percentage of the owners. This was after six months of in-fighting that would curl your hair.
The AKC had given the club a loop hole, the club registrar with board approval could enter a dog without an Australian registry number in the club registry with an affidavit stating why we believed the dog was a pure-bred. This was for dogs that were imported who's papers were never signed over or left on the crate, as happened several times in the early years. With that loop hole we could have registered all of our cross bred McNivens, but ethical thinking finally prevailed and we excluded our McNivens.
Of course for some of us that meant it was years before we had the space to buy a pure-bred, but we none the less worked for our breed. Ignorance was one thing, but knowing what was right made the decision very difficult because we loved our own dogs, but easy since all of us had walked into the club for the same reason, to preserve a pure-bred herding breed, the ACD. We just needed the six months to bite at each others heels because most of us have the same temperaments as our dogs.
The AKC took over the club registry in 1979 and the breed was fully recognized in Sept. 1980. During the change over we realized how many people still didn't know there was a difference, because of the amount of people that send in their Nat'l Stock Dog Reg. papers demanding that their dogs be AKC registered. We finally had to have a form letter printed for this problem because we were swamped and unable to answer all these letters personally. I've always been sad that we as a group hadn't been able to rectify this problem. There is so much confusion in people's minds about what is or isn't an ACD now, that I would guess there always will be hot tempers and harsh words said on both sides.
Fact is that there are good dogs both in and out of the AKC, there are dogs that work well in and out of the AKC and there are some really bad dogs in both camps. The papers do not make the dog, but fact is that only the AKC registered ACD's are pure-breds, the rest are mostly not with a few exceptions, of course. (Always those exceptions to the rule.) One thing with a Breed Club and the AKC is that even newcomers have access to the written Standard and some printed information about the breed, so there is less of a chance that some of the really outrageous comments will be believed. (But you never know for sure, right?)
One of the funny things that came out of this was that Woolsey liked the looks of lots of tan on the heads and bred to put more there. Unfortunately it also is genetically linked to the tan markings on the legs and a great many of his dogs had creeping tan up over the hips and shoulders, a color fault in the standard. Just so you don't think this never shows up in the pure-bred, it does, but is bred away from because it is a fault. Another funny wives tale I've heard is that the reds are the only true working ACD's, but nasty tempered. Or some pick up on a remark that Kaleski made at one time that the only true ACD is a blue dog. Neither remark is correct and Kaleski knew that since he showed his home bred reds as well as his blues.
Blue dog was just a catch all phrase and Bernice Walters showed us a copy of a photo in the 1920's that pictured Kaleski showing his quote "Top home bred champion bitch" described as "a white dog with red spots on the ribs." (The spots were the size of a large dinner plate!) Having both colors in that first litter way back when the breed was started, remarks are usually made on the merits or demerits of one dog or a line-bred strain of certain dogs, the color itself does not make or break the dog. Common sense should tell anyone that, but repeat the tales they do.
Same is true of names and tails. Over the years I've heard some really outrageous statements concerning the name of the breed. I can understand those who got stuck in that 60's time warp and call their dogs Queenslands. I can understand the use of Heelers, but just what is the problem with those people who state emphatically "I have, raise or breed, Dingo Dogs or Queensland/Dingo crosses."????? Get out the dictionary folks, a Dingo is a wild dog in Australia. Some US zoos have Dingoes. I even know of one old gal who did have a real Dingo from the Patterson Zoo, but that was a special case and by special permit. Run of the mill people do NOT have Dingos.
So much time has passed since McNiven added a tad of Dingo blood to his line, I'd be shocked if the current percentages weren't in the six or seven digit field or more. But Here Are These Folks Out There Using It As A Selling Point! Anyone looking for a dog should be as wary as our Coyote, I sure wouldn't buy a dog from someone who didn't have the common sense to research the background of their own dogs and didn't know the difference between a Dingo and another canine.
At a recent obedience trial, a woman walked up to talk, telling me that a friend of hers had a Dingo. I asked what it looked like and was told it looked just like that blue dog over there. (I was showing my red male.) Trying not to be insulting, I corrected her statement and promised to send breed information to her and her friend. (That's what breed clubs are about.) As far as all the above nicknames for the breed, I would presume people will use whatever they are used to using, but everyone should be aware that any such dog under any such name is ONLY one of two things, either it is an AKC registered pure-bred Australian Cattle Dog or it is a non pure-bred dog that goes back to McNiven's line or mixed with many different breeds. It may look like an ACD, but it isn't a pure-bred breed. Nor is it a different breed like the Australian Stumpy Tailed Cattle Dog. (That is a pure-bred breed registered in Australia and not crossed with anything else.) Nor is it a Dingo. If you want Dingo information write to Bernice Walters of the Native Dog Training Society, Bargo, NSW Australia. Or ask your local zoologist.
The other ACD point of irritation I'll comment on in this article is the tails. An ACD should have the tail that nature gave them. Even those fuzzy photos of Lougher's dogs showed dogs with tails. Docking tails didn't start in this country until the 1970's due to an arena cowboy who was sold an ACD instead of an Australian Shepherd, he docked the tail. This was in Southern California. (Which everyone knows has even more nuts than Northern California, but has great avocados).
All of us here were appalled when Gwen Quinton of Bakersfield showed up at one of our meetings with a very nice red male with a Docked Tail. There is no really good reason to dock an ACD tail. If they have a correct coat, burrs don't stick, mud dries and comes right out, they don't get stepped on by stock and they use their tail as a rudder when working. Their tails don't freeze either, ask the guy in Alaska that uses his dogs on a Musk Oxen herd or the folks who use their ACD's on Reindeer in Finland. And They Are Never Ever Born Without A Tail Or A Short Stumpy Tail, unless there is a pituitary gland problem in the dog. (A pituitary problem can cause a corkscrew tail, but not to be confused with a kinked tail, which is also a no no.)
So there you have it! Can AKC Registration Save A Herding Breed? Yes, if it wasn't for our group wanting to go for full registration, there would probably not be a pure-bred Australian Cattle Dog breed in the USA.
At this point I don't want to delve into the working verses showing thing, except to say that from the start our Nat'l Club, the ACDCA, invented our own working trials that we called VQW's, (It was a three part class; conformation, judged per the physical ability to work, plus breed type; obedience, judged on practical handling commands and working cattle in an arena. In order to get titled the dog had to pass with at least 50% of the points in each part.) because most trials were closed to any breed except Border Collies and ASCA was just getting started also and usually didn't have cattle at their open trials.
I'm not saying that each member works their dogs, (Some would turn into a aardvark at the thought that "Precious" may get cow dung on his coat or might get kicked. Some have an inflated idea of worth, with the remark being "Oh this dog is too expensive to be a working dog.") but the Club as a whole works to preserve a place for the breed to be able to work stock. We now have point AKC Trials at our National Specialties each year, plus a jackpot or calcutta.
The remark that gets me seeing red/orange and magenta is that the non AKC ACDs are working dogs and the AKC ACDs aren't. Cow pies! 99% of the McNivens are truck dogs and haven't seen a cow in six generations. Just because it has a docked tail, is maybe registered with some registry, or just because it isn't AKC registered, does not make a working stock dog. Nor does a video of a dog chasing a cow around make a practical herding dog. Any dog will chase, they are predators, but does it have the ability needed to be useful? Quality can be found in either camp, but just because a dog is this registry or that registry doesn't make a working dog or a couch potato.
Be informed, research, don't just take someone's selling point as what the breed is or isn't.
A Note on Coat Color: An ACD coat color is roan, speckled or mottled, red or blue. Blues have tan markings. It is NOT merle, it is NOT tri-colored, and there is no such thing as a "Rare White". A mottled dog can have a lot of white in a reverse Dalmatian pattern, but a correct dog is never all white. They can have body patches, but it is not desirable in the show ring. They can have head patches and tail root patches, they can have ring tails and most do have a white patch, called a Bentley Mark, on the head between the ears.
An overly tanned blue will NOT turn red with age, creeping tan just gets worse with age and the tan markings, no matter what shade of tan/ red/or rust, are not considered red coat. A blue with a tan undercoat is Not a rare triple coated dog and if the tan shows thru the outer coat, it is incorrect. A red dog that has a lot of black hair in their coat is NOT a rare patriotic red, white and blue dog, it is incorrectly colored and sometimes called a purple. That's just a sample of some of the weird statements that some have made. I'm sure all of you have heard some.
We realized WE DIDN’T HAVE PUREBRED DOGS!
The AKC took over the club registry in 1979 the breed was fully recognized in 1980
ACDCA, Inc - Australian Cattle Dog Club of America, Inc.
ACDCU - Australian Cattle Dog Club United
ACDCC - Australian Cattle Dog Club of Canada
ACDCGLA - Australian Cattle Dog Club of Greater Los Angeles
CACDC Cascade Australian Cattle Dog Club
www.cascadeacdclub.com (CURRENTLY BROKEN) www.facebook.com/Cascade-Australian-Cattle-Dog-Club-158812340843741
The Mid Florida Australian Cattle Dog Fanciers, Inc.
CPACDC - Central Pennsylvania Australian Cattle Dog Club
Gold Coast Australian Cattle Dog Club
www.goldcoastacdc.com (CURRENTLY BROKEN)
MidSouthWest ACD Fanciers Club www.facebook.com/MidSouthWestAustralianCattleDogClub (not updated)
ACDCC - Australian Cattle Dog Club of Canada
The Australian Cattle Dog Society of NSW Inc.
The Australian Cattle Dog Club Of Victoria Inc.
Africa - The Australian Cattle Dog Club of Kwazulu Natal http://www.cattledog.co.za
England - Australian Cattle Dog Society of Great Britain -australiancattledogsociety.co.uk
Germany - Australian Cattle Dog Club Deutschland e.V.
Australian Cattle Dog
By Dennis McMahan
In hindsight, Central America might not have been the best place to raise an Australian Cattle Dog, but who would be unkind enough to second-guess me now? Certainly, not Cruiser. I got him from Deb Casey as an 8-week old pup and two weeks later flew him in a Sherpa bag on a flight from Houston, Texas to Managua, Nicaragua in the spring of 2007. That was ten years ago. Cruiser survived the ordeal and nowadays, when I see him lying on the terrace of my house in the Texas hill country, gazing at the limestone cliffs across the valley or watching the white-tail deer foraging on the other side of the fence line, I wonder whether he remembers his former life. If he did, I know he’d smile nostalgically, recalling his bar-hopping, surfing, & cattle-herding youth in Margaritaville.
Cruiser hit the ground running in the Pacific-coast town of San Juan del Sur (SJDS), 30 kilometers north of the Costa Rican border. A sleepy fishing village in the not-too-distant past, SJDS morphed into a surfers’ mecca and expat retirement destination in the years after the Contra War ended and the Sandinistas were voted out of office. Along with Cruiser, I flew three of my paint horses from Texas to Nicaragua to live on my 65-acre farm, located about 4 kilometers inland. Besides the horses, Cruiser’s menagerie including a dozen cows, beaucoup chickens & turkeys, two pigs named “Hugo” and “Chavez” and a hundred iguanas we raised in a stucco-brick enclosure.
Cruiser lived with my son Caleb and me in a B&B owned by a kindly Italian woman for almost a year while our house overlooking the Pacific Ocean was under construction. He went everywhere with us. When he wasn’t with me, Caleb would ask permission to take him into town because of his usefulness as a “chic magnet”. It didn’t take long for the whole town of San Juan del Sur to get to know and recognize Cruiser. When we’d enter a bar or a beach restaurant together, people would greet Cruiser by name and ignore me. The locals referred to him as “Mapache” or “Mapachín”, Central American Spanish for “raccoon”, referring to his loveable half-mask. The San Juaneños had never seen anything like Cruiser and nearly everyday someone would stop me on the street and ask me what breed of dog he was. I convinced a few of the campesinos that he was a wild animal from the Nicaraguan hinterlands, a cross between a raccoon and a wolf. Childish perhaps, but it was good for a chuckle.
Our main mode of transportation around the little beach town, to the farm and to the surf beaches was a four-wheeler or “quadraciclo”. Cruiser’s rightful place was in the driver’s seat right in front of me, and he came running each time I fired up our bright red ATV. Cows, horses, pigs, chickens, and stray dogs traveled the roads outside of town, all of which provided great entertainment for Cruiser who usually resisted the urge to leap off the “quad” and give chase.
On the farm, I introduced Cruiser to cattle at the age of eight months and watched as his strong herding instinct kicked in. We used him to round up the mostly Brahma-bred cattle or to move them from one pasture to another. We bought local mares to breed to our Texas homozygous paint stud, and offered horseback rides to tourists. Cruiser went on every ride and followed closely behind my or Caleb’s horse at a ground-eating trot as we crossed streams lined with towering tropical hard-wood trees, climbed steep mountain ridges, and rode narrow trails through the jungle with lush vegetation on either side. He took everything in stride including the bizarre vocalizing of the howler monkeys along the river.
When a decent swell rolled in, I’d strap the longboards to the rack on top of the ATV, and we’d head out to Remanso or Madera Beach, a short drive from SJDS. In those days, the drive to Remanso Beach could be dangerous, and there were frequent armed robberies of tourists on the road. With Cruiser along as our bodyguard, we always felt safer. The machetes we carried for self-defense also helped boost our confidence. Cruiser hated to be left on the beach, though, and after paddling out to the break on our surfboards, we’d often spot him bobbing up and down and braving the breaking waves in a desperate attempt to join us. Frequently, one of us would have to paddle back and escort Cruiser to the beach, explaining that the surf was too gnarly for him that day.
Cruiser learned to surf like most people…. practicing in the whitewater near the beach and only later venturing out with my son into the real waves. Caleb would take him out to the break, and the two of them would catch a wave and ride it back to shore with Cruiser sitting calmly on the nose of the board. Caleb insisted that Cruiser was stoked about surfing and would become frustrated if Cruiser showed more interest in the dogs on the beach than in the sets of glassy waves that rolled into shore like clockwork.
I guess everyone feels they have a special bond with their favorite cattle dog, and I’m no exception. The bond between Cruiser and me, though, was forged in blood. It happened something like this. On most days, Cruiser and I would get up at daybreak, 5:00 A.M. in Central America, and walk/jog up the steep, rugged hill at the north end of the bay. One day just after daybreak, Cruiser and I were struggling up the hill, and I happened to glance upwards towards the summit. Two large dogs, a Doberman and a Mastiff/Pit Bull cross were running downhill towards us at a dead run, clearly with mayhem and murder on their minds. I picked up Cruiser to protect him and turned my back towards the attackers, but they unceremoniously knocked me down and went for Cruiser. The Mastiff-Pit Bull easily weighed 120+ lbs, and he soon had the side of Cruiser’s face in his jaws. I didn’t even know where the Doberman was. It was all snarling and growling and flashing fangs, and flying spittle, both mine and the dogs’. I leaped to Cruiser’s assistance and pummeled the Mastiff’s head and face with my fists and gouged his eyes with my thumbs. Miraculously, he let go and I retreated up the hill with Cruiser in tow as the dogs’ owners arrived red-faced and apologetic. I was covered with blood from scrambling around in the gravel on the road and was in no mood for conciliation. I cursed the owners in my best street Spanish, and Cruiser and I continued on our way. Cruiser was far calmer than I was.
Not long after that, Cruiser and I were having a few beers with a friend one night at the Iguana, a bar/restaurant right on the beach and around the corner from Big Wave Dave’s. If I were to be completely honest, I would admit to having a few too many bottles of Toña, a rather decent local brew. But let’s leave that out of the story. A couple of tourists came down the stairs from the second floor of the Iguana and I heard one of them say, “That dog looks like a hyena.” I turned to the uncouth tourist and informed him in no uncertain terms that it was he who looked like a hyena and that my cattle dog was as handsome as they come. After a little shoving, the bouncer ejected the offending tourists from the Iguana since they knew both Cruiser and me and couldn’t imagine that either of us had been the cause of the ruckus. I didn’t think anything more of the incident until I left about 30 minutes later and stood outside waiting for my friend to pay his bill and join me. I was tired and sleepy and unsuspecting, but the tourists had been waiting and they ambushed me, cold-cocking me and knocking me unconscious for a few seconds. When I regained consciousness, Cruiser was chasing one of the attackers who was screaming, “Get that dog off me.” No telling what would have happened to me if Cruiser hadn’t interceded. He was only about one year old at the time, and I still talk to him about the heroism he showed that evening.
The tropics, the Pacific Ocean, surfing, monkeys, iguanas…it all sounds romantic and idyllic, but it’s a tough place on animals. The parasitic load alone in the tropics makes it unhealthy for domesticated animals, not to mention the danger from poisonous toads lurking around your house, poisonous sea snakes washed up on the beach and the live land variety including rattlers, coral snakes, the Bushmaster or Matabuey (ox killer), and even more exotic species I had never heard of. There is a kind of tarantula called a Pica-caballo (horse biter) whose flesh-rotting poison can destroy a horse’s hoof. One of our Texas paints fell victim to the Pica-caballo, and we had to perform a homemade surgery on the hoof while receiving instructions over a cell phone from an equine vet in Texas. Most of the veterinarians we dealt with in rural Nicaragua were next to useless. Cruiser became ill rather frequently, usually from eating dead fish on the beach, but he also suffered from tick-borne disease. The usual tick prevention treatments were ineffectual. Fortunately, an American veterinarian showed up in SJDS about midway through our sojourn there and was a big help, especially on the rare occasions when he was sober. I shudder to think what would have become of Cruiser had I not returned to the U.S. with him in 2010. I immediately took him to a vet clinic in Weatherford, Texas and spent over $600 on blood tests and parasite elimination protocols. After that I felt I could finally relax and not worry about Cruiser’s health.
Sometimes I’m concerned about Cruiser being bored in his more civilized surroundings these days. He’s gotten so used to the whitetail and axis deer and the more skittish Buckback antelope that he rarely bothers to give chase unless they venture too close to the house. He did have an encounter with a rattlesnake a few years ago, that set me back $2500 in a veterinary emergency clinic in Fort Worth, but nothing would have been too much to save the life of this cattle dog who likely saved me from serious injury in Nicaragua. I love this breed and Cruiser’s the reason. My son Caleb now lives on the north shore of Oahu and couldn’t imagine living without a cattle dog. After six months of searching in Hawaii, he finally located a litter of blue dogs from working stock on the island of Molokai. Now most of our text messages are photos of his pup and he always asks for a “Cruiser fix”.