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Breed History

A Versatile Herding Champion

Any way you look at it, Thor is a herding superstar. Having amassed over 20 herding titles (not to mention his conformation and tracking championships), he has a legacy that is a lot for any future dog to live up to.

Grand Obedience Champions

Over and above the achievement of Obedience Champion is the Obedience Grand Champion title. The first Australian Shepherds to earn this honour are a father and son pair owned by Jan Kielly. These young boys gained their titles a week apart early June 2011!

  • Dual Ch (O) / O Gr Ch Jackotrades Just Magic UDX HTMS (blue merle)
  • O Gr Ch Triwizard Yankees Magic UDX HTMS (black tri)

First Aussie Litter

Jeff & Shirley Ford whelped the first Australian bred litter of Aussies on the 4th February 1992. It was a very influential litter, appearing behind a lot of dogs bred in Australia today.

  • Aust Ch Wlkabout Blue Sky - retained by Wlkabout Kennels (Qld)
  • Aust Ch Wlkabout Original Blue CD (pictured right) - owned by Silvanwood Kennels (Vic)
  • Aust Ch Wlkabout Boomerang Blue (pictured left) - owned by Leesway Kennels (NSW)
  • Wlkabout Blue Jacarandas

The First Grand Champion

An Australian Grand Championship is a massive undertaking, first achieved by Sue Fedoryschyn with the Australian bred red merle male Spice ("Leesway Spice of Life"), a dog of many many talents with a huge fan club.

He excelled in the show ring with some major awards including

  • Best of Breed Melbourne Royal 1998
  • Best of Breed Hobart Royal 1999, 2001 (also Aust Bred in Group)
  • Runner Up Best of Breed Sydney Royal 2000
  • Best in Show ASANSW 1999, ASCQld & ASANSW 2001
  • Best of Breed Brisbane Royal 2001
  • Best of Breed & Best in Group Bathurst Royal 2002

Spice also has titles in other disciplines

  • Obedience to UD
  • Agility to ADX
  • Jumping to JD
  • Flyball to FDX
  • Endurance to ET
  • Herding to PT

"Aust Gr Ch Leesway Spice of Life UD ADX JD FDX ET PT"

The First Champions

Les Mathieson and Robyn Sutcliffe brought out the first two Aussies from the US in '95 and they share the honour of being the first Aussies granted the title of 'Australian Champion'.

  • Aust Ch Bouncing Ball's Chance of Fog (imp USA) ADX JD - Red Merle Male
  • Aust Ch Bouncing Ball's Tiny Jazz Dance (imp USA) UD - Black Tri Female

The First Imports

Jeff & Shirley Ford introduced the breed to Australia when they emigrated from the UK in 1989 bringing 4 Aussies of US lines with them, one of each colour:

  • Gefion Dark Velvet (imp UK) - black tri female
  • Gefion Flashman (imp UK) - Blue Merle male
  • Gefion Malted Perry (imp UK) - Red tri female
  • Gefion Russet Cinnabar (imp UK) - Red Merle male