Cowdogs on the Western Range

Lester Taylor mounted on Skips Deacon with Jan, an Australian Shepherd by Taylor's Whiskey out Taylor's Buena.

Lester Taylor mounted on Skips Deacon with Jan, an Australian Shepherd by Taylor’s Whiskey out Taylor’s Buena.

The herding system of the western cattle industry evolved from the cowboy culture. The stock handling practices of these mounted herders relied almost completely on horses. Herding dogs were secondary. Until, the advent of Stockdog Trials in the early 1970s, most cowboys used working dogs primarily to nip the heels of a laggard cow, or to push cattle through chutes. Dogs were expected to follow behind the horse unless they were needed to for reinforcement.

They didn’t know how to handle a dog that went to the head of the herd. Consequently, Australian Cattle Dogs and Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs* known at that time as Queensland Blue Heelers, Australian Shepherds and Texas Heelers (a combination between the ACD and an Australian Shepherd) were fairly popular cowdogs.

Blue Heeler on sign w cowboy 1

See also Australian Cowdogs /From Down Under:

https://stockdogsavvy.wordpress.com/category/australian-stumpy-tail-cattle-dog/

Copyright © 2011 by Jeanne Joy Hartnagle-Taylor and Ty Taylor.

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