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By Philip C. Wildhagan, ASCA Historian, History of the Australian Shepherd - (ASCA Yearbook 1957-1977, pg. 11-6) Copyright 2001 Australian Shepherd Club of America, Inc.
In the South Central United States, herding dogs were primarily those of the shepherds from Mexico that had originally migrated from Spain. Influence from these dogs brought a herding style that was generally quiet, non-aggressive which kept flocks in a compact unit less vulnerable to predators. These dogs were of medium size, had a rather short coat suitable to the hot, dry terrain and had earsets that varied from fully erect to quarter break. In the northern states, breeds that came from England and Scotland perhaps had some influence on our breed too. One likely ancestor, the Border Collie, can be either a fetching dog or a driving dog; however, his specialty is the keen �eye� that beholds the wary sheep. Few Aussies have such �eye�, but the wearing, fetching, and driving characteristic does exist. Breeds that come from Australian tend to be more aggressive than the Spanish and English imports; however, subsequent hybridization has created a blend that seems to have softened the Australian temperament, yet producing a rather versatile worker. The working style of our Aussies is definitely different than what will be seen at a Border Collie trial. Aussies work standing, not crouching, and tend to move in on their stock quicker than the Border Collie, especially with cattle. (please see the complete article on the History of the Australian Shepherd in the ASCA Yearbook 1957-1977 pgs. 11-6 through 11-10)
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