16 Aug 1992-4/2002 red merle c/w 21.5in, 55lbs
OFA-good, eyes checked normal 2/02
full dentition, scissors bite
ASCA, AKC registered
Dude was such a very special dog. Not only was he a serious, talented worker, he was also a devoted and loving companion. A super dog to live with. It was an honor to have his loyalty. Dude was raised and trained on a large cattle ranch, Diamond S, in North Dakota by Joni Swanke. He was a real asset to the ranch and acquired a tremendous amount of cattle experience. During that time, Joni had also successfully trialed Dude to a WTCH, attaining many High Score and High Combined awards while qualify and placing in the Finals. At the 1997 Nationals, Joni and Dude won High Score sheep, High in Trial and High Combined, and in 1998, High Score cattle.
I was extremely fortunate to acquire Dude from the Swankes in early December of 1998. He quickly bonded to me and started to work toward his trialing career with a new handler. He was Champion Duck dog in 2000 and won High Combined in the Finals in 2001, as well as numerous placements. He was High Score ducks and High Combined in the 2000 Nationals, and High Score sheep and High in Trial in 2001, his last Nationals. Dude has been a pleasure to own. He got along well with all people and other animals. Although he had been trained/encouraged to be protective of his isolated Dakota ranch, he really was a "people" dog. He didn't fawn over strangers but was always a gentleman. An excellent dog with kids and puppies, very tolerant of whatever was done to him.
Dude was a powerful dog able to read cattle and situations and act appropriately. He was strong and stylish on both heads and heels, as well as having a great sense of group. He was a dog with a strong work ethic and desire to please. Dude worked equally well on sheep and ducks. He could be very steady and patient when it was required of him. Dude had a very relaxed style but was also very intense. The combination was a joy to work with. Many of my favorite times with Dude were in Montana gathering cattle at the Moe's C Hangin 5 ranch, watching him do what he loved most, he was a professional.
One of the most special qualities of Dude is that he has proven to consistently pass on many of his wonderful talents to his offspring. There are numerous sons and daughters, grand and great-grand kids out there successfully working/trialing, and proving their own abilities to produce talented individuals. I think Dude will prove to have had a very positive impact on producing the true Working Aussie.