raised in pet homes, they will flourish if they can get regular exercise, whether it’s jogging with their family members or playing ball or Frisbee in their back- yards. If routine physical exercise is not feasible, they must do something that will keep them mentally stimulated, such as learning tricks. Because the Aussie is extremely intelli- gent and learns quickly, they can become destructive and take over at home if they don’t have an established exercise routine and proper leadership. Aussies are highly- devoted and loyal to their families, but because they were originally bred to work and guard ranches and farms, they can be resource protective by nature. Th e modern Australian Shepherd may be aloof around strangers, but they should not be aggressive or fearful. Th e Australian Shepherd has a reputation for being smart and versatile. Th ey are an upright, loose- eyed breed, meaning that they do not use a crouch or stare to move stock. Aussie work quick, yet are thoughtful and typically gentle with stock. Besides being an exceptional stock dog, Australian Shepherds excel in agility, obedience, rally, flyball, flying disc, and dock diving competitions. Th rough the years, dog sports in general have become extremely competitive and most perfor- mance Aussies are no longer “weekend warriors.” Th ey are trained and treated as the true athletes we have made them. Many competitive Aussies are seen on a regular basis by canine chiroprac- tors, acupuncturists, and massage thera- pists. Because of the physical demands the above-referenced sports have on the Australian Shepherd, it is imperative that they are orthopedically correct, with good hips and elbows, as well as a moderate dog that conforms to the standard to reduce the risk of fatigue and injury. And, when working stock, the better they are put together, the faster they can accelerate to cut o ff escaping livestock and/or get out of the way of a charging cow or sheep that turns back on them. Although initially a working dog, the versatile Australian Shepherd quickly found a niche as an all-around ranch/ chore dog. Th e unique coloration
combined with intelligence and an unsur- passed loyalty and willingness to please made the “little blue dog” a sought-after dog on ranches throughout the West. Th ese traits and others have allowed the Australian Shepherd to evolve and con- tinue to grow in popularity today. Th eir athleticism, stamina and agility place them as top competitors in performance events. More serious endeavors such as search and rescue, cadaver or narcotics dogs take advantage of their work ethic. What remains is an incredibly unique, individualistic, versatile breed with a worldwide attraction and popularity that is as strong today as it was on ranches a hundred years ago.
BIOS Flo McDaniel is
a Breeder-Exhibitor- Owner of Aussies since 1979. Flo has been involved with breed and all breed clubs since 1982. She has exhibited in Conforma- tion, obedience, rally events and has finished
over 35 AKC Champions, as well as having titled dogs in stock, obedience and rally. She has bred and owned Best in Show dogs as well as National Specialty winners. Flo is currently the United States Australian Shepherd Association (USASA) Education Chair and Vice-President of USASA.
Vicki Wehrle is the USASA Public Educa- tion Chair, with over thirty years of experience as a breeder-owner-han- dler of multiple perfor- mance dogs and confor- mation champions.
A loyal and dedicated companion that enMoys being with their people at all times!
Diane Bettis is the
USASA Performance chairperson. A retired executive from AT&T, she has won several major national competi- tions and has earned over 200 titles with her Australian Shepherds.
+ighly competitiYe and willing to please. Photo by GloPhoto. t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& + "/6"3:
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