Cattle Dog Connection would like to thank our sponsors PLAAS MEDIA, who motivated and developed the Working Dog Expo at ALFA. Entirely due to their generous and enthusiastic support, my long-time ambition to promote our breed to our farmers at this time in our history has become a reality.
Ideas are one thing but realising them usually requires opportunity. My heartfelt thanks to you Albert Loubser and your team!
When Albert Loubser of Plaas Media first approached me in 2018, I honestly did not understand the value of what was offered.
With some prompting from Albert, I soon realised the potential and with their encouragement, lots of help from other ACD breeders and owners: Jack Jordaan, Karen van Tonder, Chrisjan and Riana Pretorius, Carine Buitendag and Belinda Carter – Cattle Dog owner, breeder and superb trainer – we made an amazing start at ALFA 2018 that left us on a high and looking forward to ALFA 2019!
What an exciting, eventful 3 days we had at ALFA 2019. Five breeds were represented in the ALFA Working Dog Expo: Cattle Dog Connection, SASDA friends from last year and new participants representing Boerboels, Anatolian Shepherds and Greyhounds.
This year Cattle Dog Connection had breeder/owners Helen Lachenicht with 16 month old Zara and Karen van Tonder with her 14 month old girl Courie, manning our stall.
A super video put together by Ernst of Plaas Media, played continuously on a TV, showcasing the huge benefits of training our dogs to maximise their working instincts and our breed’s many different talents.
Without Belinda Carter to help us this year, Jack and I decided to keep things simple and using Jack’s two lovey dogs King and Grietjie, we would demonstrate our breeds natural instinct to work.
On the first day I introduced Jack, Grietjie and King to a fair crowd of spectators. King and Grietjie, at four months old, had 1 short session of training with Belinda Carter to prepare them for demonstrating our breeds instinct to work at ALFA 2018. At that time Belinda presented a most interesting and useful training workshop for ACD owners.
I stressed that two dogs were not trained but would demonstrate their instinct to work.
Initially the team worked well, with the group of 5 cattle being pushed, turned and held by the dogs responding only to Jack’s voice and hand signals. THEN… too my dismay a decision made by me led to 5 valuable animals, who under pressure from King and Grietjie broke out of the arena and ran for the hills and freedom! I had remembered Belinda stressing the importance of fencing in 2018, now I believe her!
Subcontractors had accidentally reinforced the fencing at the incorrect arena the night before and I took a decision to go ahead with the demonstration.
An invaluable lesson… Neither animals nor people were hurt and an argument ensued when I claimed responsibility – I believe I won!
Jack says they often surprise him with what they have learnt just by watching the various activities on their farm. On Wednesday morning on the farm, before heading for ALFA, King surprised Jack and for the first time volunteered to help load 500 head of cattle onto the trucks! We surmise that King having watched this activity in the past decided he could and would do the job!
At our stall, Karen and I were inundated by interested people, and heard from large numbers of enthusiastic ACD owners many hilarious and remarkable stories about their Cattle Dogs.
What came across is the admiration and enjoyment so many ACD owners find in our breed. There were anecdotes that had us laughing and others that filled us with admiration.
Connecting with all the owners who introduced themselves to us was rewarding beyond our expectations.
We added around 60 new members to Cattle Dog Connection and anticipate our inaugural meeting early next year.
At the ALFA 2019 Gala dinner on Thursday night, Albert Loubser announced the wonderful news that ALFA will be forming an alliance with NAMPO and the new NAMPO ALFA will take place in the last week of September 24 to 26 2020. SAVE THE DATE NOW!
NAMPO ALFA will be adding two popular Southern African activities – Hunting and Outdoor Leisure and of course all that we love about ALFA from 2016 to 2019 will continue and grow.
NAMPO ALFA 2020 TRAINING COURSES
At ALFA 2019 we had large numbers of requests for a hands-on course.
With this in mind, we are planning two hands-on courses in conjunction with NAMPO ALFA 2020. Theses will be presented by Belinda Carter from Australia and Kylie Birch from England, with her well trained ACD Spree.
Bringing Spree to SA will cost the price of a business class ticket! There is a saying “A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words” and as we need to learn so much in a relatively short time, Spree will demonstrate the concepts much faster than can be explained verbally.
Our November News Letter will introduce Kylie Birch and her versatile, talented, trained working dog Spree as well as Belinda Carter, who many of us met at ALFA 2018. An outline for the courses we intend presenting will be included.
In addition we plan to continue promoting our breed as part of the Working Dog Expo.
Success will depend on our presentation of an exciting, well planned and potentially well supported project.
With creative planning, we have an opportunity to showcase the variety of talents found in every Australian Cattle Dog at NAMPO ALFA 2020!