Berenice Walters, the Dingo Lady, spent her adult life fighting the Dingoes’ cause. This Blog is a tribute to her work to have the Dingo recognised as Australia’s native dog and as an important part of the Australian ecosystem. Berenice was dedicated to educating the general public about the attributes of these wonderful primitive dogs.
Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Berenice Walters, Australian Cattle Dog Breeder
Not many people know that before committing her life to dingoes Berenice Walters and her husband were leading breeders of Australian Cattle Dogs for 25 years.
They bred dogs that were both exceptional working dogs and champions in the show ring.
Her interest in registered Australian Cattle Dogs started in 1952 when she and her husband, Bern, purchased a pup and founded Wooleston Kennels.
They first noticed "show" cattle dogs at the Moss Vale show. Noticing some were very dark, almost black heavily built dogs, they wondered what they were. Generally, they were much larger and heavier than the Wooleston working cattle dogs - and yet they resembled them. They learnt that there were two types of cattle dogs – these show dogs and the lighter built working dogs. Bern made his mind there and then that they would beat them at their own game with dogs bred exclusively from working stock.
This was not only the start of a new era for the Walters but the start of a new line of Australian Cattle Dogs that dominated the show ring for twenty years.
Wooleston was the first to export Australian Cattle Dogs to the USA in 1969 and both Berenice and Bern were active members of the Australian Cattle Dog Club.
Their most famous dog was Wooleston Blue Jock who reigned as the top Australian Cattle Dog between 1966 and 1974. He was seven time runner up Best in Show for All Breeds and five times Best in Show at Australian Cattle Dog Specialist Shows. In 1967 he won Best of Breed at the Sydney Royal Easter Show over 150 other Australian Cattle Dogs. In fact, he won Best Australian Working Dog at Sydney and Brisbane Royals, Best of Breed at Melbourne Royal and was three times Reserve Challenge at Sydney Royal.
Bern with Wooleston Blue Jock
This is certainly a turn around after Bernice showed one of their dogs in the 1954 Sydney Royal Easter Show and a woman, commented,“Oh, I did not know you could show street dogs at a Royal!”
Jock’s father, Wooleston Blue Jack, had also been a champion show dog and worker. According to A Dog Called Blue by Noreen R Clark in 2003, most, if not all, Australian Cattle Dogs whelped since 1990 are descended from Wooleston Blue Jack.