Interview with Herding Group Breeder Patti Salladay
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Patti Salladay: My husband, Michael, and I reside in Portland, Oregon. I have been involved in the Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) since 1975.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Patti Salladay: Our Kennel name is Catchpen—many times you will see Catchpen N Promise. My co-breeder, Connie Skinner, and myself have been working together for the past 15 years.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners? Of my own dogs: BIS/BISS AM. Intl. Can. CH Catchpens Willin N Able PT lived up to his name. He was a pleasant dog to live with and awesome to show; BIS UKC AKC GCHB Catchpen N Uretopias Radio Flyer TKI, CGC, “Waggin” was and still is like showing a Maserati. (She will have limited showing this year as she is now a Veteran.); RBIS CH Catchpens IR Kraven 2B Onthgo CGC TKN was the first ACD to receive the honor of a RBIS.
Some of my favorite influential dogs in our breed are CH Heelerhill Crocodile Dingo, CH Kurpas Fall From Grace, CH Kurpas Hunker Down, CH Wagga Wagga Blue Sheila, CH Imbachs Paddy Willy, and CH Frogacres Bingo Blue Jaspar, to name a few.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Patti Salladay: Heelerhill and Kurpas have been the most influential as they are a strong influencer in my lines. GCHB Catchpen N Promise 2B or Not 2B of Heelerhill is probably my strongest sire, with some outstanding get. Waggin would be my most influential dam, along with CH Lamajos Magic Megan.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Patti Salladay: We live in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon, but have a complete kennel set-up with indoor/outdoor kennels. All of our puppies are whelped in the house (kennel room), and raised in the house with all of our adult dogs. Socialization is one of our key components.
What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do I make my decisions?
Patti Salladay: We start evaluating at 5 and 7 weeks, stacking and evaluating not only for structure but also for personalities and temperaments. Not all puppies are meant to be show dogs. I had a beautiful puppy but she hated showing, so she went to a family and she traveled the US in a Monaco Motorhome. Great life!
How do I prepare my pups for the show ring? Does my breed require any special preparation?
Patti Salladay: We start from day one—holding, touching, stacking. When they get older, they learn hands-on; socializing is most important, and this includes enjoying quiet time.
Is my breed hand-stacked or free-stacked in the show ring? Why is it presented in this manner?
Patti Salladay: The ACD can be both hand-stacked and free-stacked. For the exam, the dog should be hand-stacked. For presentation, showing a dog naturally in a free-stack helps with showing off the dog’s assets.
Are Performance and Companion titles important to me as a breeder? Are parent club titles?
Patti Salladay: Performance and Companion titles are very important. As breeders, we try to not only put titles on by ourselves, we also encourage our puppy people to title their dogs, whether they are pets or show dogs. I am a K-9 fitness instructor and an AKC Trick Dog & CGC evaluator, so it is all very important to us.
In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
Patti Salladay: I have seen so many trends in 40 years; big, small, heavy, light. Yes, they all go through it. I think, currently, we are seeing smaller dogs, and our fronts need to be watched as I see a lot that are improper. (Though they can run fast around the ring, but with short strides and lots of steps.)
Is my breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Patti Salladay: Yes and no. An ACD is not the dog for everyone. Finding a breeder who knows the temperaments of their dogs is of upmost importance. We do have lines that have a strong herding instinct and need to be busy. I raised my son, and many other children, around Cattle Dogs; they were their 4-H and Juniors dogs, and we knew they were perfectly safe. They are loyal to a “T.” They are smart as can be, so they are good family dogs as long as you know what their needs are.
Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Patti Salladay: I think the number of preservation breeders is dwindling. The numbers of “breeders” has probably increased, and this is when you start seeing type changes, and unfortunately, I feel a lot of judges follow the trends. In talking with longtime breeders, they are discouraged and are not keeping or breeding as many dogs.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with a Herding Dog?
Patti Salladay: I would say, almost any day with an ACD can have amusement in it. Years ago, in the obedience ring (which is always a new adventure from a Cattle Dog), a dog jumped onto (not over) the high jump and did a balancing act. The crowd roared, and then she came in for a perfect front and finish!
Anything else I would like to share about myself? Any special message I have for all of us in the fancy?
Patti Salladay: The Australian Cattle Dog is my favorite breed, but it is also my passion. I am a member of the ACDCA and have also been the Chairman for the Standards and Education Committee for many years. I have served on many committees for our National Specialties. I love teaching judges’ education and sharing my expertise with others.
My biggest suggestion for anyone who wants to breed is to study your standard; understand why the ACD is what it is. Be honest and true to yourself and reach out to longtime breeders for mentoring.