– Finally United! by Diana Macle-Gontier
On March 30 of this year, the French Kennel Council (SCC) officially recognized the Club Français des Bouviers d’Australie et des Kelpies (CF-BAK), an entity established two years ago to promote the Australian Cattle Dog, the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog and the Australian Kelpie in France. As the Club did a good job at attracting many members within little time, the SCC was quite happy to hand the reins over to its dynamite steering committee. Up until recently, the ACD was part of the Bouviers des Flandres Club and was therefore separated from the Australian Kelpie which had been put with the Australian Shepherd Club.
When it comes to the ACD, the CF-BAK’s objectives over the next decade are threefold.
First of all the Club is encouraging breeders to seek to produce homogenous litters that are true to type, including proper in color. Much advice has already been given to guide breeders and French judges will be properly trained in the near future to help underscore the Club’s directives.
Secondly, the Club is encouraging French breeders to continue the health testing of their dogs. There are no obligations in France in this respect, but luckily most of the people breeding ACDs have their dogs hip scored, use at least one PRA A and Baer test their pups. These efforts have been further facilitated by the increasing number of French clinics equipped to Baer test and the French laboratory Genindexe, which provides an affordable PRA PRCD test, as well as a coat color test specific to ACDs.
Last but certainly not least, over the past year the CF-BAK has created a herding test specific to ACDs that can be passed on sheep or cattle from the age of 10 months up until the age of 8 years old. As the French gene pool is essentially made up of show lines, the Club is making a point of identifying the dogs with genuine instinct, including heading ability.
The CF-BAK is encouraging breeders to include herding instinct amongst their criteria when deciding to produce a litter. Indeed it feels that a hollow shell which is completely uninterested in livestock is quite unlikely to throw performance dogs with high work drive.
For further information about this new Association: http://www.cf-bak.com