Life is a book, full of chapters.  Many of them open and close.  My involvement with the purebred dog world started in 1984 with a Great Dane, my first ‘show dog’.  I did not have any intention to breed, I was just looking for a hobby – something easier than preparing and showing horses.  My chapter with the ASTCD started with the redevelopment of the breed in 1988, and has never closed and is highly unlikely to do so.  I have made many friends in Australia, North America and Canada through this wonderful breed of dog.

I live at Colo Heights, around a 2 hour drive north of Sydney, New South Wales.  part of our ‘tracks’ are the original roads travelled many years ago on route by the Hall Family to their properties in the Upper Hunter.

My prefix “AMBAJAYE” was registered in 1985 being the combination of 2 of my 3 children’s names, my twins Amba and Jacob.  I have four wonderful grandchildren, Calleb, Isaac, Bianca and Imogen-Rose who was born on my mums birthday 17-8-2006, a very “special” day. I adore them all and spend as much time as I can with them.

My three children have all left home and this has enabled me to throw myself into my chosen breed, and has given me more freedom to travel extensively to all interstate Royal Shows, and a trip to Canada and America in 2002 and again in 2009 – a trip I would dearly love to repeat and plan to do so.

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is a breed you really have to be “owned by” to appreciate.  It is hard to put down into words and there really is no “summing up” of this breed.  This breed has taught me so much – patience, how to overcome hurdles, dog behaviour, the list is endless.  One thing I know for certain is that I have a passion for this breed I have never experienced with any other breed.  The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog has a sense of humour you really have to see to appreciate, one rarely shown to the outside world, and kept exclusively for its owner.

The breed has also awakened a need in me to learn and research.  If an anomaly occurs, whether it be in a newly born litter or an older dog, instead of ‘passing it by’, I study it.  I ask questions and learn from the answers.  Always learning, I am extremely honoured to have Dr. Karen Hedberg BVsc as a good friend for some 23 years and any question I ask her is answered with patience and in layman terms for me.

The ASTCD is not the breed for everyone BUT if you are lucky enough to be chosen by this breed, then you really are the lucky one.

Enjoy the following pages.  There are things to learn, treasured moments and tributes to some of my wonderful ‘mates’.


Bernadette Merchant.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)