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Quote from Jane Harrell

Excerpted from Aussie Times Letters to the Editor, Mar/Apr 1994 pp. 115-116

ASCA had just begun to take active steps to control alleged cross breeding when the AKC issue presented itself.  Obviously, all of ASCA's resources were used attempting to fight this "hostile takeover".  Having served as a member of the ASCA Board of Directors for the past six years, I can assure you that ASCA is taking steps to have more control over its breeders and those individuals who would cross breed their Aussies.  And I do agree, there are some strange-looking Aussies.  I know of several dogs that resemble Belgian Tervs (solid beige dogs with prick ears), red merle Kelpies, and so on.  And then, of course, we have the pattern white dogs with docked tails that look and work like Border Collies, but are presented as offspring of two ASCA registered Aussies.  As with any registry, the integrity rests with the honesty of its breeders.  Unfortunately, the presentation of what appeared to be Aussie/Border Collies crosses didn't start to present itself until several Aussie clubs began holding Stockdog Futurities with lucrative cash awards.  The the need to have a strong, consistent working dog at an early age became so important that some poeple were perhaps tempted to try to improve upon the Aussie's ability.

The Aussie's working style is entirely different than that of the Border Collie - for a reason.  If the working purists of the Aussie world think they need the attributes of a Border Collie for their farm/ranch dogs, then maybe they should just get a Border Collie.  If they want to compete in the Open Sheep Dog Trials, then maybe they should get a Border Collie.

Don't criticize the Aussie, and try to make it into what it is not and should never be.

Jane Harrell
Jan-Mar Australian Shepherds



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