Having been in the cattle business for some 40 years, Tom McManus       
raised the Australian Cattle Dog as his only choice for ranch and range
 partners. Way back then they were commonly called "blue heelers",
"Queensland Heelers",
"bluey's" or just "heeler's ". They weren't
recognized by any registry at the time and his first dogs were from a California
importer by the name of Dr Woolsey. Most ranchers (at the time) didn't
even know they were a "breed" and had to be shown and proven their worth.

Though we are retired today, we can not be "dog less" and we have
maintained our tireless affinity for the breeds. In late 1985 we decided
to change to another breed. Choosing the Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle
Dog (Stumpys) was not difficult once we recognized the Stumpy had the
same enduring qualities as the ACD, yet was perhaps a bit more athletic
and better built for long range stamina and endurance. They have great
tolerance to temperature fluctuations (i.e.: extreme heat and cold), and
sometimes they must be made to stop and rest because they will go till they drop.

Gravan Kennels was the prefix grace Harper ( previously grace Vance) had raised the Australian Cattle Dog under since 1981. Her first 'heeler' was a bitch known as "Goblin" that she got in 1967. For years she had nothing but "Heeler's" proving that once you have had a 'cattle dog', nothing else will do. In 1981 she aquired an ACD import bitch known as "Erostoga Jillaroo of Australia". AKC shortened it to Erostoga Jillaroo Aust. That became shortened to 'Jill' by grace and daughters  Brandi and Sissi. As the dam of 22 titled get Jill remains the breeds mother of the most titled get. She was the foundation of a legacy that still continues today. Gravan Kennel produced over 80 AKC Champions, a B.O.B. World Show Winner, ACD Specialty Winners Dog, Winners Bitch, Stud Dog, Award of Merit placements and 4 times Westminster breed winners.

In the 1990's the ACD breed was being inundated by many 'newbies'. The breed began to get short on leg and toplines were starting to slope downhill from withers to tail.These were traits that were not the norm for the breed. The breed standard calls for a 'level' topline. About that same time, Grace's  girls, were graduating High School and leaving home for college. Having known of the Stumpy and researched the breed, it was decided that the energy going into the ACD would be better served by taking on a breed that was in need of help. That was the Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, a direct ancestor to the ACD. Meeting Tom McManus in 2001 started a partnership that endures today.

Grace is a freelance artist in her other lifetime and has illustrated books for well known
and respected AKC Judge Pat Hastings as well as the drawings you will find in this website.
Other drawings can be found on Narelle Hammonds informative ACD writings. 

We love this breed the most for their loyalty, companionship, and tireless desire to work. Having been dedicated ranchers and professional horsemen we recognize the need to maintain pure bloodlines, thus we imported these dogs from a top winning and producing kennel in Australia.

Why did we import from a show kennel??   It is simple. A properly conformed dog ( made to fit the breed standard) with a mind set for herding will be athletic and can work or trial, as well as go to the shows on weekends for conformation or participate in other disciplines. (i.e.: agility, flyby, etc.)

 Ambajaye Kennels sent us a dog and a bitch in the fall of 2000. (Wally and Betty Boo). Then in August of 2002 we obtained Australian Champion Ambajaye See NoTail (affectionately known as Frijoles or Bean). In October, Betty produced the first litter of pedigreed stumpies in North America.


          Betty Boo    and     Tom McManus