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The Australian Shepherd Working Cattle

by Sherry Baker, From Ranch Dog Trainer, Oct/Nov '99 pp. 42-43

The Australian Shepherd is a loose-eyed up-right worker.  In my opinion, this style best suits cattle and big groups of cattle or sheep.  The loose eye and wearing style keeps a flow with cattle without balling them up or them looking for too many holes to escape to.  When going to the head on running cattle an Aussie will go right to the head and stop or turn them back, their loose-eye will not fade or drift out in front of the cattle and is straight forward and deliberate on balled up not moving cattle.

The Aussie is a tough worker and when cattle get to pushing an Aussie gets tough.  They take a lickin' and don't give up.  One of the best traits I admire about the Aussie is their toughness - a take charge, deliberate style, yet that same dog can work sheep or ducks with great finesse.  A true stockdog.  When not on duty they are content to just hang-out and be cool, your buddy or best friend.

Aussie eye can be completely loose (no stare), or with a high degree of concentration.  The one main thing about Aussie eye, they use it
when needed then turn it off and work relaxed yet still not losing concentration.  Aussie eye is deliberate and straight forward and they will back it up with bite.  There is NO lateral front end movement with Aussie eye.



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