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"Aussies" Don't Chase Herd Into The Next County
Mark Killian can’t imagine life without Ted, a 55-lb. Australian Shepherd that goes everywhere with the Arizona cattle rancher. Ted has worked cattle since he was 10 weeks old, and he’s good at it, Killian says.
  “I want a dog that won’t run the cattle through the fence or into the next county – a dog that is soft and handles cattle in a quiet and calm manner. Australian Shepherds have the natural, innate ability to herd soft if trained in a correct manner.”
  The breed has a long history in the U.S. because sheep herders from Australia used the breed when they came to the states in the 1800’s. Aussies grew quickly in popularity after WWII, and stockmen bred dogs to enhance their innate qualities: herding instinct, intelligence, loyalty and good looks.
  “They are so smart they can be used for whatever people want,” says Killian who breeds Aussies to sell. “Ted’s pups have been placed for ranch and farm work, herding competition, search and rescue work, as helper dogs for disabled vets, companion dogs for autistic children, hiking, camping and running buddies, and just good old family pets. They are all over the country and in Canada. They’ve even been used to keep bears out of Boy Scout camps in the summer.”
  Some lines are bred for show and agility competition.
  Killian has been pleased with the pups that Ted, age 4, has sired, and he has had great feedback from customers who purchased the pups. While the breed with its long hair can be an outdoor dog, most of Ted’s pups have become indoor dogs. They do well in hot or cold weather as long as shade, water and shelter are provided.
  Aussies come in four main colors: black, gray/silver, red/silver, and white/copper.
  Australian Shepherd pups vary greatly in price based on quality and disposition, color and parents’ records. Killian says he has dogs for sale and can recommend other reputable breeders. They can also be found through associations such as the United States Australian Shepherd Association (www.australianshepherds.org).
  After taking a pup home, he suggests learning about proper training through books, videos or workshops. With the right training, an Aussie becomes a reliable ranch hand, companion, protector – whatever you desire.
  Besides intelligence, Aussie owners appreciate the breed’s good looks.
  “I want to breed a dog that your neighbors covet, because they are so good looking,” Killian says with a laugh.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mark Killian, Killian Ranch Australian Shepherds, 4741 E. Southern Ave., Mesa, Arizona 85206 (ph 480 250-8410; markwkillian@aol.com; www.killianranchaussies.com).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #1