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From All About Aussies
by Jeanne Joy Hartnagle, first edition, page 45 Copyright 1985 by Jeanne Joy Hartnagle
As a stock dog, the Australian Shepherd is
limited only by his genetic makeup. Certain characteristics must be present,
and as the master/handler, you must be able to recognize them in order to bring
them to the surface and use them effectively.
There is very little difference between training the Australian Shepherd for trial competition and teaching him to be a useful 'hand' on the farm and/or ranch. Relative to all competition, the Aussie (in the trial arena) must exhibit a keener response to his handler but display the same common sense approach appropriate to each class and type of livestock that is expected of him in his everyday work.
The Australian Shepherd can be taught to drop on command, to move directly toward livestock, or to go from one side to the other. The
power that these stock dogs have over livestock is inherited, and this instinctive ability is the foundation for their training.
Even though the Aussie has a high degree of trainability (not to be confused with intelligence), he CANNOT be trained HOW TO perform.
It is HOW he does these activities that is called STYLE. [all emphasis is Jeanne Joy's]