Skillern Creek home to Australian shepherd kennels
A long the banks of Skillern Creek, nestled at the base of Walden Ridge, there’s always a cute Australian shepherd running around the farm where the Brown and Terry families have lived and worked for years.
It’s been that way a long time, and now the Brown family has expanded their Australian shepherd kennel operation, reaching buyers all over the world through their website and social media. Last year, Chase Brown, and his wife, Chasity Brown, changed the kennel operation name from Brown’s Australian Shepherds, which Chase’s grandfather established in the early 1990s, to Skillern Creek Australian Shepherds.
It’s appropriately named for the creek that winds through the middle of the farm. “That creek holds a lot of old memories for my husband, and now new memories with me and our two little girls,” Chasity says. “Our kennels sit right there by the creek.”
The farm has been home to the working breed for generations. Chase’s grand- father, Dick Brown, and his wife, Judy, first raised Australian shepherds to work on the Pikeville cattle farm Alfred and Cindy Terry and their children own. The dogs are known for their innate impulse to herd cattle — and anything else, really. They also have a strong desire to work, and they’re intelligent. They have become one of the most popular pets for families who can provide plenty of space for them to run and play.
For years, Dick worked as an electrical inspector, as well as on the farm. He raised several litters of working line, farm-raised Australian shepherds and Australian cattle dogs. Chase, of course, doted on his grandfather and helped him do whatever was needed around the farm.
THE NEXT GENERATION
Chase grew up on the farm and went to Bledsoe County High School. Chasity grew up in Dunlap and went to Sequatchie County High School. The couple met at a high school basketball game and were always together after that, including at the farm.
When Chase worked on the farm, Chasity often worked alongside, not only falling more and more for her future husband, but for the Aussies, too. “I just fell in love with the Australian shepherd breed,” she says. The couple got married and continued to help out at the farm. Chase got a job at Sequatchie Valley Electric. Chasity went to college to study to become a veterinary technician and didn’t return after she had their second daughter.
Now, Chasity works at BTC Fiber in the engineering department and, with her two daughters, works with the Aussies at night and on weekends. “We have built our forever home where my husband was raised, and also where all of his brothers have planted their roots,” she says.
In 2016, Chase and Chasity decided to expand on his grandfather’s previous success and take the business to the next level. Through research, they learned about techniques for genetic testing and how to track the dogs’ histories through DNA, along the way unearthing health issues and other problems that might arise.
They typically raise one litter a year, with lots of accompanying veterinary visits, health checks and breed association documentation. They introduce the Aussies from the time of their birth to stressors, and they evaluate them throughout their stay at Skillern Creek. This process allows Chasity to pick the best fit for each family, based on the personality of each puppy. Each dog has a required round of vaccinations, dewormings and health assessments before it can leave the farm at 8 to 10 weeks old.
The Browns also are devoted to help build a great temperament foundation for all the pups. “There is never a day they are not handled by little hands,” Chasity says. “We live on a family farm where there are horses, cows, other adult dogs and children, and we recently added a goat. We enjoy watching and keeping up with some of our daily adventures with our Aussie babies and adult dogs.”
MAKING A CONNECTION
Through its website, Facebook and Instagram, Skillern Creek Australian Shepherds reaches all across the world. “We have sold our pups all over the country, and we are currently working with a family from Belgium interested in purchasing one,” Chasity says.
Some buyers still ask if the pups are descendants of the Aussies raised by Chase’s grandfather. “When there is a good bloodline, people know that reputation and want pups that are descendants of the ones Dick raised,” she says.
Dick helped out initially, but as he has gotten older he just loves to visit and love on the puppies. “He loves that we still do it,” Chasity says. “He smiles from ear to ear.”
Today, Chase and Chasity do every- thing they can to be keepers of the flame — the storytellers of Aussie life. “There isn’t a day that we don’t learn something new about our breed, and that’s why we love it so much,” Chasity says. “We strive to produce a lifetime companion that can keep up with the work on the farm and also fit the breed standards.”
Content provided with permission from BTC Fiber.