I am writing a little about our history in hopes that someone else may learn from my trial and error. This is not meant to put down one line or another as there are NO PERFECT dogs. I encourage each person who wishes to own the Australian shepherd to reach out to various breeders and visit. SEE for yourselves if their dogs are performing the tasks that you need them to do. DO NOT take word only that they can or with "training" they can do it. I have owned Australian Shepherds for 25 years and I have never given up the hopes of a dog that can do-it-all no matter what I ask.
Ryja was a full sister to Deja. I was so in love with him and his willingness to please that I wanted to see if she was as smart and willing as he was. She produced numerous pups and was an excellent mother. She loved to work livestock. Unfortunately she was only NSDR so didn't get the recognition that she would have if she were AKC/ASCA.
DreamWinds Loki was my first AKC/ASCA Male. I am not sure what I was looking for when I purchased him. I think his pedigree drew me to him as I had no real experience with any of the bloodlines. I knew I wanted a smart dog that was capable of doing things. He was a super loyal dog, didn't have as much drive as I would have liked but he did try to please and did try to work cattle a bit but didn't get far from me. Either from my lack of experience or his insecurity we will never know.
DreamWinds Aries was the son of Loki and an outside female. I did try to show both him and Loki in conformation, however Aries was afraid of men. I chose not to continue breeding him and decided to not retain anything from him. I placed him in a farm home. I did not pursue working livestock with him as he showed little to no interest. He did love to play fetch and was a good companion dog but that was about it.
Gearharts Black Titanium still has a piece of my heart from the short time that I was owned by him. He was 6 years old when he passed and we are not sure if he passed from cancer or histoplasmosis. All testing that the vet did was inconclusive for either. He was a talented little dog that had a dominating personality, he required someone that understood what needed to be done and kept consistent with commands. We butted heads many times but I could always count on him to keep trying. He was my first Stockdog that I took lessons with and was able to put working commands on. He would help us gather a handful of sheep up over 40 acres without any cross fencing. He did carry the gene CEA/CH and OFA hip rating of fair. For this I was asked by the breeder to place all but the clear pups as "pet only/non breeding" and he would be replaced and I complied. My breeding program would be A LOT different today if I had received a replacement pup, for that I am grateful.
Loneoaks Aphrodite was a spur of the moment purchase from a local breeder that showed conformation when I first started looking for an AKC registered female to breed to Loki. She produced several nice pet quality puppies over the years. She did want to work livestock but didn't have the confidence, several times she would nip me on the back of the leg in excitement when I asked her to work sheep. I eventually gave up as I didn't have the experience/knowledge at the time to train her.
K-J Pinice Creek Red Bear was purchased AFTER Razr and Blayde, I was so enthralled with their working ability that I assumed at that point anything with Hangin Tree would be the same and I wanted another red male that was more type to cross with some of our blue females. Unfortunately Bear was not what I expected him to be. He would only work a certain way and could not take pressure of trainer/heavy stock. I thought that it was due to being a kennel dog prior to obtaining him but when I kept 3 of his offspring I noticed the same trait.
Atreyu (Bellahara's Neverending Story) was bought by me a couple years after I got Titan started working in order to delve further into the world of the Mistretta lineage with Las Rocosa breeding as I assumed I would be getting a superior working Stockdog. I tried for years to get Atreyu to work for me. He would only chase/harrass with another dog and it could not be under any pressure. After acquiring Hangin Tree lineage I realized that I did not want to continue with just a "pretty dog with great pedigree" as that won't bring the cows home. I learned a valuable lesson, that a pedigree won't make the dog. You must see parents work and understand that the breeder uses the parents for working in order to sell working dogs. I got lucky with a few of the pups he produced when I bred him to stronger working females but in the end I realize that the females were the ones that made that "luck" happen.
Aurora Borealis of DreamWinds is a daughter of Atreyu (Bellehara's Neverending Story) and an outside female, due to unforeseen issues I acquired Aurora at 4 weeks old, Aurora is on the hard headed side, she likes everything done her way but she will work livestock and doesn't balk at aggressive stock. I would not consider her biddable but she doesn't quit when asked to do hard tasks. She does not have a lot of finesse in working skills but she gets the job done.
Laus Deo Jubilee was obtained right before Titan passed. I had admired the colors/structure of the Fairoaks bred Aussies and found Jubilee. I had owned some from conformation bred bloodlines, pet bred bloodlines, tried some of the older bloodlines like Mistretta/Las Rocosa, and decided to try Fairoaks. Jubilee has produced some VERY nice pups with Razr (Hangin Tree). Jubilee did not want to work livestock, she wanted to guard her home/property but doesn't actually want to work. I at first thought it was my way of training with some of these Aussies but after starting several dozen I realized that some just have no drive for work and/or the ability to take the pressure of working stock for someone.
DreamWinds Blue Steele is the last son of Titan and Aphrodite. He has always had a laid back personality and never gets too excited. He is complete opposite of his sire. Steele has always produced pups that were of more drive than he and more outgoing. No matter how much I have tried to pep him us he still keeps the same laid back personality.
WildCard Maverick was purchased after Thor. Thor was such an awesome dog that I wondered if a full sibling would be as phenomenal. I only kept him a brief time as I realized quickly that he was not going to be the same caliber dog that Thor was. I did retain 2 female pups from him and Jubilee to see how they would turn out
DreamWinds Blueberry was a daughter of Maverick and Jubilee, she was one of the first female dogs that I started. She had a lot of drive in her at a young age, she produced several nice pups with Bear. I placed her when I thought I that she would not be a good cross with Razr, she was too related to Thor to do that cross.
DreamWinds Raspberry was a daughter of Bear and Blueberry, due to the amount of dogs we owned I reduced our numbers to a more manageable level. She was a very nice dog who produced nice pups with