Pure Stock Aussies
348 Country Club Rd, Chadron, Nebraska 69337
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cara@cloydaussies.com




About Aussies > Herding Vs Show Lines

Although the Australian Shepherd has been bred to a standard for a long time, there is still a distinct separation between herding lines and show lines, and one of the reasons there are two different registries for the Australian Shepherd. The two registries are the Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) and the United States Australian Shepherd Association (USASA). The USASA registers through the American Kennel Club (AKC)

Two of the major differences are coat (color, length, thickness) and natural herding ability.  There are other differences (listed in the table below) but these are the two that usually jump out at you when you meet different Aussies from the different lines.

Herding lines have a tendency to have darker coat colors (less dilute spots), a utility coat with less white, natural herding ability, a very strong protective instinct, and are more reserved with strangers.  Show lines lean toward a very full coat with lots of white, lighter coat color, less natural herding ability, and have a more happy go lucky attitude with strangers.

Here are two different Aussies (both female), one has a utility coat (left) and the other has more of a show coat (right). The real difference is in the touch, Rainy's main coat is only about 1 1/2" long with a thin undercoat, where Sadie's is almost 3" with a very thick undercoat, it's very hard to show in pictures.
 
Saltfleet Tinas Raindrop Baby
4 Bar J Purestock Dappled Rose
Rainy Sadie
 Australian Shepherd - Rainy
Australian Shepherd - Sadie

Both of these dogs have herding and show lines in their pedigrees. Rainy has taken after the herding lines, she has a utility coat, shows natural herding abilities, is reserved with strangers and has deeper darker coat colors, the only difference is she still has a large amount of white. Sadie, on the other hand, has taken after the show lines in every aspect except her protective nature. She has a very light colored coat, no interest in livestock, loves everyone, and has a very thick long coat.

The Aussie Traits that are on my site (and many others) have a tendency to run stronger in the herding lines than in the show lines and need to be considered before you pick the Aussie that's right for you.

Here are the differences in a nutshell that I have noticed in the breeding practices of the two types of Australian Shepherd lines:
Breeding Practice
Herding
Reason for breeding practice
Importance
5=High
1=Low
Show
Reason for breeding practice
Importance
5=High
1=Low
Bred to Standard  To maintain overall health
4
 Show Ring
5
Herding Instinct
 Original Purpose of breed
5
 Original Character in Standard
1
Protective
 For Family and herd
5
 Not bred for
1
Companion  For Family 4
 Show Ring / Family
5
Reserved with strangers
 For Family and herd 4
 Original Character in  Standard 1
Coat length
 Not bred for
1
 Show Ring 5
Coat Color  Not bred for 1
 Show Ring 5
Eye Color
 Not bred for 1
 Show Ring 5
Personality
 Original Purpose of breed 4
 Show Ring 5
Intelligence
 Original Purpose of breed 5
 Show Ring 3
Biddable (trainable)
 Original Purpose of breed 5
 Show Ring 3
This table does not apply to ALL show line breeders or herding line breeders it is just an observation from being involved with Aussies for over 20 years.

Over the last few years (5-10) there has been an emergence of a third type of Aussie that is more desirable, and that is the Aussie bred for versatility. Versatile Aussies are breed to go from the working arena (pasture) to the show ring with a bath and fluff.

Here at Cloyd Aussies we pride ourselves in breeding for this type of Aussie. One that can get up and work until the cows come home or ride to the nearest show ring and strut their stuff.

Rev. 15 January 18



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