By NANCY LYBARGER
NORTH VERNON, Ind. — Joe Bielhe found out he sells more Cowco livestock equipment if he takes some live equipment with him to shows.
On a recent trip to a show in North Carolina, he took several Blue Heeler (aka Australian Cattle Dogs) pups with him to pull in the crowd. But the pups are hardly just a kid-magnet.
These animals are part of the business. They are from champion stock and could grow up to be champion show dogs or excellent members of a farm family.
Biehle raises Blue and Red Heelers and sells them as working dogs. He found himself in the dog business more than 20 years ago when his daughters begged him for a dog. His was so perfect; he decided to breed her, and thus launched the family’s love affair with Heelers.
In the past four generations, Biehle said, he’s had 32 champions and 17 direct Australian dogs. (A direct Australian dog indicates the line back to Australia, where the breed was originally developed. They were bred up from wild Dingoes for use on spreads in farming regions.)
Biehle said he likes the mix between his champions and the Australian blood.
“The champions give me the confirmation and training, and the Australian line comes with strong herding instincts – the real grit a working dog needs,” he said.