For Whom the Bell Tolls - by John Donne
No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
Everyone who breeds registered Australian Cattle Dogs contributes to the future of the breed. No single breeder can do it alone even if they wanted to. The choices that are made now expand or limit the choices that can be made in the future as past choices have defined our present.
Choosing to breed solely for the show ring while assuming that work is an automatic default that comes with the looks or, worse, that work is not needed, diminishes the breed that we love and disrespects the past that made this breed what it is.
Breeders need to consider the working traits with as much (or more) zeal as they consider the shoulder layback and toplines. Natural balance, rate, driving, fetching, heeling - including bite placement, heading, eye, biddability, heart; these are all vitally important features to a working dog. Just as with conformation, no dog will be perfect in all features but, just as with conformation, we will get more of what we select for.
OutOut is a joint effort between WayOut (Rebecca Elder) and Outline ACDs (Erin Eckert) to breed working dogs, prove their work and to select for working traits. We strongly believe that breeders must be honest about what they have and work together, sharing information about working styles, strengths and weaknesses and sharing genetics.
We welcome collaboration with others interested in the ACD as a working dog. Please feel free to reach out by email, Facebook or MeWe and to join the Facebook and MeWe group Working ACD Resource.