Austin- An English Shepherd

You wanted to know about Austin -- he's a wonderful dog. We could NOT have asked for a better dog than what he is....poor baby can't figure out why our new goats don't take to him -- and we're a bit upset at our friend, who raised these goats -- they aren't that used to human contact, either. I don't understand people who have animals, and don't work with them ............

We've had Austin for almost 7 years -- he's 8 now. He has that great personality that only English SHpeherds have -- and he has shown us that he has the instinct and breeding to work with other animals....every Cat, kitten, doe, buck, or kid are "his", and he takes that responsiblity very seriously!

About a month ago, one of our cats, Princess Cherry Blossom, a Siamese cross, flushed a baby cottontail rabbit out of the garden, and was chasing it. Austin went after her, outran her, and caught the baby bunny. He then proceeded to take that baby bunny, and walk around the corner of the house, with a loudly protesting cat following, in back, and laid down, making a kind of fence with his front legs and paws, and put the baby bunny down, unhurt, and kissed it.

We have a Rottwieler /Labrador cross -- a Wal-Mart giveaway - that my dad brought home -- who my mother named Benjamin Franklin Jefferson John -- who became quite interested in what was going on, and everytime it looked like Benjamin would go after the baby bunny, Austin would gently pick it up in his mouth, and tuck his chin down, and put the bunny down, kiss it, and make sure it stayed where he could keep an eye on it......eventually, Benjamin and Princess Cherry Blossom lost interest, and wandered off. When Austin felt that there was no danger, he let the bunny go.

About an hour afterwards, Princess Cherry Blossom flushed the same baby bunny, this time out from under the shed, and she caught it. Austin had a fit, and tried to take it from her -- she hid out where he couldn't reach her, and dined on baby cottontail. I had to take Austin in the house to calm him down...... he was VERY upset at the cat, and refused to interact with her for TWO days .......I don't mind that she caught the baby bunny, but she has been exhibiting other, undesirable behaviors -- I have several cats, and she's been running them down and attacking them -- I'm afarid I'm going to have to take her to our local live kennel until they find a one-cat-family for her.......

This reminded me, though of when we had a few domestic rabbits...Austin would lay out, by their hutches, on watch, at night .. .. And when I had a doe kindle who kicked the babies out of the cage, Austin came and got us and led us to the cage, and showed us all the babies, where they had hidden in the grass -- and we collected them, and tried putting them back -- she kept kicking them out of the nest box, and he would paitiently watch over them until we would arrive back home and put them back -- I believe he would have raised them if he could have.......I also had a cage that had seven young rabbits in it, and the door had to close a certain way, or it wouldn't catch. Twice, I had rabbits escape -- once, a grey and a white, the second time, the grey -- and Austin went and got dad and led Dad around to the back of the house, to the cages, and Dad couldn't figure out what he wanted, until he noticed that two rabbits were missing -- he told Austin to show him where they were, ans Austin led him righ to them. The second time, Austin got me, and I knew what he wanted, and I told him to show me where the rabbit was, and he showed me....

Austin has had no formal training whatsoever -- except for a few basic commands of stay and sit, and go away { the last is used when it's too hot to have a large, furry being leaning against you, or when he gets in the way because he is trying to help}

Well, I think I'd better close for now -- and I am still trying to contact the man who had Austin as a puppy -- I still can't get through to him on the phone...... Kim

Babe's Pedigree
Farmcollie Guardian Behavior
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