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The Instinctive Australian Shepherd

Celebrating the working origins of the Australian Shepherd

May 22, 2023

Pull your toes in or put your steel toed boots on! We are getting real in this episode and some topics may be uncomfortable. 

In this particular episode of the Instinctive Australian Shepherd Podcast, the host, Jacque Tinker, engages in an insightful conversation with Jodi Tietjen, a guest who has extensive experience in working with dogs, particularly Australian Shepherds and Border Collies. Jodi shares her knowledge and expertise on training and breeding these dogs, highlighting the significance of preserving good lines in the breed. She explains how breeding practices can impact the health and temperament of the dogs, and how responsible breeding can help maintain the breed's integrity.

Moreover, the discussion sheds light on the importance of supporting and encouraging each other in the dog trialing and training community. Jodi shares her experiences of being a part of this community and how it has helped her grow as a handler and breeder. She emphasizes the significance of having a positive mindset and seeking out opportunities to learn and improve.

Overall, this episode offers valuable insights into the world of working dogs and the responsible breeding practices that are essential for maintaining the health and well-being of these animals. It also highlights the importance of community support and continuous learning in the pursuit of excellence in dog training and handling.

Time Stamps:

Jodi's first Australian Shepherd, Hangin' Tree Dude [00:02:29] Jodi talks about her first Australian Shepherd, Hangin' Tree Dude, and how he changed her life. She also discusses his strengths and weaknesses.

Breeding and preserving good lines in the Australian Shepherd breed [00:06:15] Jodi and Jacque discuss the importance of breeding and preserving good lines in the Australian Shepherd breed, specifically mentioning the impact of Hangin' Tree Dude on the breed.

Importance of Breeding Good Lines [00:07:38] Discussion on the influence of a male dog named Hangin' Tree Dude in working pedigrees and the importance of reproducing good dogs with good foundations.

Risk and Benefits of Line Breeding [00:09:21] The benefits and risks of line breeding, specifically breeding individuals that are tightly lined bred, and the importance of well-thought-out line breeding to get consistent traits.

Challenges of Finding Good Dogs to Breed To [00:12:01] The challenges of finding good dogs to breed to in the past, before the internet, and the difficulty of finding the exact cross that matches even with modern technology. The importance of line breeding to achieve consistency in working dogs.

Breeding and preserving good lines [00:14:09] Jodi talks about the importance of lime breeding in working dogs, specifically Australian Shepherds and Border Collies.

Culling and rehoming dogs [00:15:08] The conversation shifts to the topic of culling dogs that don't meet the necessary traits for working dogs, and how the process has changed over time to focus on rehoming instead.

Dude, the heroic Australian Shepherd [00:17:21] Jodi shares a story about her first Australian Shepherd, Dude, who saved a pony from a dangerous stud horse and showed incredible loyalty and bravery.

Training a Solid Minded Dog [00:20:20] Jodi talks about her experience training her Australian Shepherd, Hangin' Tree Dude, and how he was able to run a sheepdog course with her.

The Importance of Breeding and Preserving Good Lines [00:23:16] Jodi discusses the importance of breeding and preserving good lines in the Australian Shepherd breed and how she left the breed due to the lack of growth and wanting to keep things dumbed down.

Pushing the Boundaries of Working Dogs [00:25:04] Jacque and Jodi talk about the importance of pushing the boundaries of working dogs and how some breeders and trainers are still playing small with the breed. They also discuss the beauty of the things that working dogs do when the camera is not there.

Encouragement and Joy [00:27:14] The speakers discuss the importance of encouraging and supporting each other in the dog training community, rather than tearing each other down.

Self-Examination and Growth [00:30:10] The speakers reflect on the need for self-examination and growth in the dog training community, and the irony of working with innocent animals while acting unkindly towards each other.

Understanding Stock [00:31:53] The speakers emphasize the importance of understanding stock and stockmanship in dog training, and suggest ways to improve this understanding even without access to livestock.

Importance of keeping stock that keeps dogs thinking [00:33:13] Discussion on how stock that just follows the person ruins dogs and the importance of keeping stock that keeps dogs thinking.

Challenges of working outside of arena walls [00:36:28] The importance of taking dogs and stock outside of arena walls to see if they are really covering or just following.

Involvement in sheepdog competitions [00:37:36] Jodi involvement in sheepdog competitions, including her experience with training and selling border collies for trialing, and her current focus on field work.

Transitioning to a New Type of Trial [00:45:07] The challenges of transitioning to a new type of working dog trial and having to go back to being a beginner.

Competing Against Yourself [00:49:15] The speakers talk about the importance of focusing on your own game and mindset when competing, rather than comparing yourself to others.

Dealing with Jealousy in Competition [00:50:32] The speakers discuss the issue of jealousy in competition, particularly when one person is winning too much and others start to resent them.

The importance of growth mindset [00:52:15] Jodi and Jackie discuss the importance of having a growth mindset and being open to constructive criticism in order to improve.

Private training sessions [00:55:21] Jodi talks about how she prefers to invite people to her facility for private training sessions rather than doing clinics.

Efficiency of private training [00:56:09] Jacque and Jodi discuss the benefits of private training sessions over clinics, including more one-on-one time and better results.


The Instinctive Australian Shepherd Podcast