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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Elder

A Year of OutOut

Updated: Dec 29, 2019

2 akc herding trials (sheep and cattle)

2 ahba herding trials (sheep and cattle)

1 jackpot cattle trial

1 nca/swcda cattle trial

4 public playdays

4 training clinics

3 collaborated litters

1 outside breeding to produce working dogs 1 dock diving long weekend

5 conformation shows

2 HSAs, 2 HTAD1sc, 2 HRD1s, 1 HTAD2sc, HTCH points 2 HIT, 2 RHIT

1 OFA Excellent, 2 OFA Good, 3 sets of normal elbows.

2 PennHip significantly tighter than breed average

2 senior dock diving titles assorted conformation wins

It has been about a year and a half since we, Erin and Rebecca, started collaborating. Initially, there was a practice run, so to speak, where Erin took Caper to work a little and that put Caper closer to the dog she was to be bred to. In a great many discussions since then, we have found not only a shared desire to breed good working dogs but the realization that working together gives us both many more tools to do that and, to go even further, supporting others with working dogs helps everyone and the breed. This was the start of OutOut, the combination of the efforts of Outline and WayOut.

2019 was our first full year of collaboration. In this time, we formed the Working ACD Resource, a FB group and supporting website ( to bring together all those interested in the ACD as a working (herding) dog. We support collaboration and open communication on traits of working dogs, training and breeding, genetics, differences in traits in different lines and breeds and what the ACD can and should be able to accomplish as a working dog.

We have also started an interview process of people who have been working, breeding, training ACDs or any combination thereof, over time. We hope to expand this series in 2020 by tracking people down and pinning them in place until our questions are answered. Or something like that.

We attended the 2019 ACDCA National Specialty in Missouri and set up a welcome and information booth with snacks at the Calcutta and herding trials. We funded this with our own money but, thanks to the generous contributions of attendees, we were able to mostly break even on snack expenses.

We also developed a puppy evaluation questionnaire to attempt to identify, if possible, early behavioral markers of future herding talent to help in choosing a working puppy based on specific traits desired in the litter. This is still very much in development and may not turn out to be predictive but there is no way to know without trying.

Erin has started Rash (WayOut's Incendiary, HSAs, HTAD2sc, HRD1s, DS) and Robbie (Broken G Cattle Rustler, HSAs, HTAD1sc, HRD1s) as well as begun the process with Snap (WayOut's Farfetched Little Nipper) and continued the march with Reese (Ch Oakwood's n Shalimar's Legally Blonde PT STDs HTAD3sc HRD3sc) to her AHBA herding championship this year and cataloged their progress in extensive videos from their first works with her to the current time and ongoing as she does with all the dogs she works. This provides an ever increasing library of not only training techniques but comparisons of different dogs and their strengths and weaknesses over time and on both sheep and cattle.

We have also collaborated on three litters this year. The latest, being just a matter of weeks old, will be evaluated next year but the other two are old enough to begin to get some early feedback on work and are very promising.

The first litter, Dan x Caper (Lassic Steely Dan, HSAcds, x WayOut's Cats Don't Dance, HRD1s, HTAD1sc), preserves, from the sire, some rare and mostly overlooked genetics of an old line of working dogs in both the US and Australia and, from the dam, continues on a linebreeding on working dogs and working pedigree. The puppies are showing themselves to be very willing partners in dog sports in general and also exhibiting very nice working traits - working the heads, using some eye, quickly developing some rate and distance and having nice natural balance.

The second litter. Rash x Reese, (WayOut's Incendiary, HSAs, HTAD2sc, HRD1s, DS x Ch Oakwood's n Shalimar's Legally Blonde PT STDs HTAD3sc HRD3sc) combines the tight linebreeding on work of the sire and his rate, balance and calm, wide work with the strong heading ability and eye of the dam. These puppies are also showing their breeding in working homes combining the best traits of the parents with their keen desire to work, control the heads, balance and push on the heels as well.

The third litter is Rash x Blink (WayOut's Incendiary, HSAs, HTAD2sc, HRD1s, DS x Wayout's Don't Even, BN, RN, CGC). This litter will ideally combine the rate, balance and sensitive control of the sire with the eye, push and strong bite of the dam.

We are very excited to see what the future holds for all these pups and to build on their genetics.

Our plans for 2020 include:

1) Continuing the supportive and educational forum of the working acd resource, please join us there on FB of you haven't already

2) More interviews of working ACD individuals

3) Hopefully starting a specialty herding judges recap similar to conformation judge's summary of their impressions of the dogs and breed.

4) Continuing to work dogs and seek out opportunities to work our dogs on cattle and see other dogs work on cattle.

5) Litter plans for 2020 will continue to emphasize working ability (in general and on cattle, specifically) as one of the foremost criteria.

6) Ongoing support and encouragement of our past litters.

7) Continued improvement in health testing results and breeding for the whole dog.

8) Seeking out and supporting like-minded people who want to work towards our shared goal of breeding the ACD for work

9) Working fulltime jobs on top of all this.

We encourage anyone with interest in the ACD as a working dog to consider collaboration with us or with others to further this goal. Honest and accurate assessments of the natural dog and the dog's response to training help everyone. We are happy to assist with networking, our dogs are available for stud service and we love to place puppies in working homes.

Contact us with any questions on Facebook or by email.

Erin Eckert

Rebecca Elder

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