Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Little Aussie Battler

Wooleston Blue Jack
While working on stations, Berenice’s husband, Bern had a keen interest in working dogs as a pure breed and arrived in Bargo in 1951 with four working dogs, two pure bred Border Collies, and two Border Collie-Kelpie crosses. Not long after settling in they acquired a couple of working cattle dogs.

Visiting a local show with their two cattle dogs, the show dog fraternity laughed at them. This was also the first the Walters had seen "show" cattle dogs. Seeing some very dark, almost black, heavily built dogs, they wondered what they were. 

They were much larger and heavier than their own working cattle dogs - and yet they resembled them. Charlie Worth, a well-known exhibitor at the time, told them they were Australian Cattle Dogs and that there were two types of Cattle Dogs, the smaller lighter built blue workers, and these "show" dogs. Bern made his mind up right there and then they would beat them at their own game with dogs bred exclusively from working stock.

Berenice once recounted a comment she overheard from the public at the 1954 Royal Easter Show. Looking at the Cattle Dogs in the pavilion an observer said, "I didn't know you could show street dogs (referring to the Australian Cattle Dogs) at the Royal!”

Their champion cattle dog, Wooleston Jack, and his progeny helped change that. They were beautiful dogs who played an important part in bringing respectability to this little Aussie battler developed from the cream of British heelers.

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