December 2022

The last blog for this year…..where did it go?! The first day of summer and it’s raining again.  For many, a year they will never forget because of the extraordinary amount of rain and the the terrible flooding in many areas. A good friend who lives on the Darling and who is very familiar with Menindee, assures me that some could have been lessened by better management and listening to locals.

This year will finish up with just under one hundred pups reared and registered, a great contribution to the grazing industry. It’s been suggested that I could avoid a lot of work and make the same amount by breeding less and selling in the very popular sales. With the prices being made at auction many of my buyers would be excluded from owning a Karmala pup, and I feel it’s very important to get as many good, natural workers out there while I am still able. The type of dog bred here will be a bit of a rarity in times to come, they are already well in the minority….dogs with a lot of natural mustering ability, smart and calm,  and with the genetics to breed on. It was a thrill to hear that a young dog I bred caused a bit of interest at a training weekend recently and an offer of $20,000 was made for him…and turned down by his owner. We now have a lovely litter by him as a form of insurance. Photo below, very new pups!

Most breeders don’t seem to have much interest in establishing a line of dogs of a certain working type that will breed on. Of course there are exceptions, but on the whole the stress is on producing dogs that can win trials without a lot of thought going towards bloodlines. For years now the trend has been towards yard trials, and breeding together the dogs that are best at this work….the big prices being paid at sales for trained dogs are also a factor. Those lovely clever, classy dogs with style and a bit of eye are discounted by many as being ineffective. Nothing could be further from the truth! Firstly, they adapt to cattle immediately and you don’t see the same style of work at all, but they have the smarts to adjust to different stock and conditions so are able to muster cattle that many have tried and failed to yard. The lines I like go back to dogs who could muster difficult country without command, and some who were used for droving in very hard conditions. Most of my dogs will step up to yard work with sheep: if working with backing, barking dogs they just copy them. Pups going to Arthur for training work in a small yard pushing off the fence and put sheep through a race.

This young pup, video above, is the result of Em and Derek seeing his sire, Ace,  at a stock handling clinic last year. I remember Em’s excitement when she was telling me about him…we’re both a bit fanatical about nice dogs as you’d have guessed by now! The dog she saw is the result of David Hart and Grant Hutchings also liking a type of dog, in this case old Riana Glide. David heard Glide’s sister, Riana Quote, had left a good bitch and was keen to get a litter from her. So it came about that David gave Evonne Barrett one of the pups that Grant arranged(I think), Grant has a sister called Apex Soda. David had called his pup Apex Ace of Spades and we were a bit surprised to find he was registered as a red/tan bitch! The dam Riana Quad/Ruby only had one litter, she died of snake bite I believe. This reads a bit like the Book of Genesis but luckily for you the story ends…for now… with a litter from Karmala MinaWylie which included Black Jack and his sister Heart! Heart also had her first look at sheep when the visitors were here, she was very funny…..and cautious!



I have two pups from Sunny’s litter to Wills, Shine and Bright. Both nice pups.

Bright is quite a calm boy but fired up nicely when shown sheep. Shine has had two looks, this is the second one. She’s a bit special and reminds me a lot of her G’ma Brandy.

Another pair of youngsters, the two bitch pups by Barney from Livvy, are nice too. This is Vamp with Livvy, the second photo with Venus her sister. Vamp has started with a lot of style.



I have two young litters at the moment, Fizz’s last one has almost proven one too many, but they’re old enough to eat now and are looking very well. Wiggle whelped to Mick(Wally x Remy) the same day and she’s been doing a wonderful job with her own six and a couple of fosters(the red/tans) from Fizz. 

After McKenzie costing a small fortune for snakebite at the vet I’ve caught four browns, this one heading into the run… so lucky to have just put the mesh in the gateway, there were five dogs in there running around.

I’ve been putting together some photos for my annual calendars, I usually do one of puppies and one of the older dogs working. There are some very good discounts around Black Friday.  I was struck by the similarities between these two photos, Wills on the left as a young dog, his son Gibson on the right at 8 mths. The last one  is of Gibs balancing on the tow bar of my trailer at Arthur’s!


I hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year. I’ll see you back here in January!

Great photo from Will Hacker: