Some of us have been
breeding and using Aussies as stock dogs our entire adult lives. We were around
first offered ranchers the opportunity to trial their extraordinarily skilled
and versatile ranch dogs in the new ASCA Stock Dog Trial program.
Some of us missed out on ASCA's early years. We owe a debt of
gratitude to the breeders who paved the way and devoted themselves to preserving
the Australian Shepherd as a unique breed of stock dog and unparalleled family
All of us would like to offer future breeders, stock men and women and Aussie
admirers the same dog that we inherited from those who laid the foundation of
This website has been created by ASCA members to offer facts, based on
historical references and
knowledgeable opinion, which support the ASCA Stock Dog Committee's development of a Working Description of the
Hindsight is always 20/20.
The originators of the ASCA Stock Dog Program, who
plainly wrote, "To preserve the natural inherited working ability of the
Australian Shepherd," could not have imagined a time when "winning" at trials
would become the ultimate purpose, and that the essence of the working Aussie
would be in question. Had they been able to see into the future, they would
have described what the Stock Dog Program was created to preserve: the inherited
traits that make our Australian Shepherd unique among stockdog breeds, resulting
in a dog who, when the long day's work is done, wants only to be with its
family, children and home.
show that for decades
before and after the founding of ASCA, the Aussie was known as a tough, gritty,
close-working breed that relied on power and presence more than the strong eye
more typically seen in Border Collies.
As trialing - and winning - at ASCA Stock Dog events has become an end unto
itself, some breeders are popularizing an Aussie that is less a "farm hand" and
more a "sports hero." The "lunch bucket" working traits that served our breed
so well in stock yards and on open range are not desirable within the confines
of an arena, where finesse and flash draw attention.
For well over a decade, knowledgeable stock men and women who also breed and use
Australian Shepherds have expressed concern over genetic drift away
from the Aussie's unique inherited capabilities, and toward a generic "fancy
The time has come for ASCA to serve our breed and commit to its duty to describe
what the Stock Dog Program was created to preserve. In support of this effort,
we offer information that will truly educate and inform the public. We have so
much to lose, possibly forever, if we don't work now to safeguard the Australian
Shepherd and encourage the development of a Working Description.
Welcome to the AussieInfo web site.