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Old 04-21-2005, 03:44 PM
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RD RD is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 15,572

Actually Silky terriers are a mix of the Australian Terrier and the Yorkie. I think.

I was against the breeding of miniature aussies, but now I've met people who actively compete in herding with their mini and toy aussies and it's changed my opinion of them. Carefully bred, they are excellent herding dogs and truly an aussie shepherd in miniature. They are NOT a "designer" dog, they are a working dog. What sets mini aussies apart from labradoodles etc. is that there is actually a NEED for a dog like that, whereas a lab or poodle can easily do what a labradoodle can.
There are NO small herding breeds. Corgis, yes, but they are a medium sized dog on short legs. They are not very useful on sheep and are too grippy for ducks.
Before you suggest shelties, consider this: The herding ability of shelties has been greatly decreased by show breeders who strive to get the most conformationally correct dog, possible. Perhaps they do not sacrifice good temperament or good health in their breeding, but most have sacrificed working ability. Most Shelties are show/agility/obedience dogs, end of story. The day I see shelties working stock as opposed to Aussies, BCs or ACDs, I might change my mind.
However, carelessly bred, Mini Aussies are no different than your average show sheltie. They're active, but not very good working dogs. VERY carelessly bred, they have fearful temperaments and health problems.

Mini aussies have a purpose, which is a lot more than can be said for many of the 'designer' breeds.. When I get old and incapable of handling a BC and still want to have my herders, I will probably get a mini/toy aussie from a responsible breeder of WORKING dogs and work it on herding ducks.
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