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The Instinctive Australian Shepherd

Celebrating the working origins of the Australian Shepherd

Jul 21, 2023

In this podcast episode, host Jacque Tinker interviews Jan Wyatt-Owens, who is involved with Australian Shepherds and raises bulls for rodeos. They discuss Jan's involvement with Australian Shepherds, her experiences with training and trialing her dogs, and the intelligence and versatility of the breed.

Jan also talks about her experiences raising bulls for rodeos, the process of raising and training them, and the dangers and challenges involved. They touch on the development of the Hanging Tree breed and the rodeo industry as a whole. Jan also mentions her excitement about getting a new puppy and the importance of giving dogs a good life.


The beginning of the podcast [00:00:08] Introduction to the podcast and the goal of preserving the working Australian Shepherd breed.

Jan's introduction and involvement with Australian Shepherds [00:01:34] Jan talks about how she got into the breed and her experiences with Australian Shepherds as working dogs.

Jan's experiences with show dogs [00:04:32] Jan discusses her journey into the confirmation ring and her experiences with show dogs, including her champion show dog and the versatility of Australian Shepherds.

The intelligence and reasoning abilities of Australian Shepherds [00:10:17] Discussion about how Australian Shepherds are intelligent and can reason, and how they can quickly learn from experiences.

Raising rodeo bulls and the dangers involved [00:11:54] Conversation about the risks and dangers of raising rodeo bulls, including personal experiences with bulls causing harm.

Competition and money in the rodeo bull industry [00:14:29] Explanation of the registration and competition process for rodeo bulls, including the importance of identification tags and the various events and prize money available.

The challenges of raising rank bulls [00:20:53] Jan Owens discusses the difficulties of raising rank bulls and the shift towards rider-friendly bulls in the PBR.

Training and handling rank bulls [00:23:46] Jan Owens talks about the importance of training and handling rank bulls, including the need for them to have good manners and be able to handle well.

The use of flank ropes in bull riding [00:28:43] Jan Owens explains the purpose and technique behind using flank ropes in bull riding, emphasizing the importance of allowing the bull to kick freely.

The Bulls' Athleticism [00:30:14] Discussion about the athleticism and care of bulls used in rodeos.

Exposing Bulls to Dogs [00:33:35] The importance of exposing bulls to dogs from a young age and the role of dogs in handling the bulls.

Impressive Working Dogs [00:37:15] Praising the skills and abilities of working dogs, specifically mentioning a dog named Dude and his impressive performance.

The intelligence and versatility of Australian Shepherds [00:40:07] Jan Owens discusses how certain dogs, like Black Bear and Dude, took working dogs to the next level in terms of their intelligence and savvy.

The confusion between Hanging Tree dogs and Australian Shepherds [00:41:02] Jacque Tinker explains the confusion that can arise when discussing Hanging Tree dogs, which were bred by crossing Australian Shepherds with other breeds, and Australian Shepherds themselves.

The characteristics and variety of Hanging Tree dogs [00:42:01] Jackie Tinker and Jan Owens discuss how Hanging Tree dogs do not breed true and have a wide variety of appearances and working styles, making them not yet a true breed.

The Rodeo Partnership [00:50:05] Jan Owens discusses the partnership opportunities in rodeo, similar to racehorse ownership, where people can co-own bulls and watch them compete.

Owning Bulls and Broncs [00:50:42] Jan Owens explains how individuals can get involved in rodeo by owning or co-owning bulls, broncs, or heifers.

Touring the Ranch [00:51:54] Jacque Tinker plans a field trip to Jan Owens' ranch to explore the rough country, see the bucking horses, and learn more about rodeo.