Q&A Australian Cattle Dogs
“they need the endurAnCe of A mArAthon runner, the brilliAnCe of A roAd sCholAr, must be Able to tAke A blow like A heAvyweight boxer while possessing the speed of A CheetAh.”
8. How can this breed’s Judges Education be improved?
Finally, balance, soundness and move- ment—all of these are absolutely essential in any ACD that works cattle. 3. What shortcom- ings are you most willing to forgive? What faults do you find hard to over- look? Color variations are the least important to the ACD’s ability to do what he was originally
More of the judges education should be conducted by those who have a background of working the dogs on the cattle ranches for which they were bred. This would give the judges tremendous insight into the correct ACD and the “why” behind the items in the standard also the importance of each in this dog that is bred to work cattle. 9. How does the breed in North America compare to other parts of the world? They are generally similar with the quality and faults being somewhat universal. When comparing dogs in the US to others, it’s important to note that in 1980 when the AKC accepted the Studbook into its records every dog listed therein was progeny of dogs registered in Australia. 10. Do you have anything else to share? An Australian Cattle Dog has to be an athlete much like a pro-football player. They need the endurance of a mara- thon runner, the brilliance of a road scholar, must be able to take a blow like a heavyweight boxer while possessing the speed of a cheetah. A Cattle Dog’s will must compare to that of an elephant so they are able to gather, bunch, drive and pen large masses of cattle. With weakness in any of these qualities, you just have an Australian Dog. Just one fault in the structure of an ACD is like having the wheels fall off your car. It must always be remembered there are not little cows. The bigger your job, the more important your dog is.
Ch buzzards red tubs hx winning his hx title
created for… working cattle. I find it impossible to over- look poor movement as the ACD must move many miles a day in his job and if they cannot get to the cattle, they certainly can’t work them. 4. Has the breed improved from when you started judging? Which traits are going in the wrong direc- tion or becoming exaggerated? Yes, as a breed they have become smaller in stature with many times finer bone and shorter legged. The trend in ACDs is to have softer temperaments, which directly affects their cattle working ability. This has been created by breeders selecting traits for the “urban cowboy” of today. 5. Are there aspects of the breed not in the standard that you nonetheless take into consideration because breeders consider them important? An ACD should be 55% leg and 45% body. And mature male ACDs should weigh approx. 50-60 lbs. with mature bitch ACDs being approx. 40-50 lbs. Neither of these items is addressed in the standard, but both are neverthe- less important. 6. Have you watched or competed in ACD herding? Did that experience affect judging decisions? Yes I have, having trialed the very first ACD to achieve the herding excellent title in the AKC. 7. What do handlers do that you wish they would not? The ACD should never be “groomed up” as they are a wash-and-wear breed and should be shown in conforma- tion as such.
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