a reply to: chiefsmom
Australian Shepards are an interesting breed. As a pup, ours was probably one of the most laid-back puppies I've ever seen. Just this little
fuzzball who loved to snuggle. Never really chewed anything or went gonzo...unlike the ACD. The ACD had to be run hard for about 2 hours a day just
to keep him off the ceiling, that dude was wired for sound 180% of the time! I could never understand why ACD's had such a high rescue rate until we
got one. If we didn't have hundreds of acres for him to run around on he would have been a basket case. The Australian Shepard was the exact
opposite. He'd only get ramped up when the ACD was pulling his feet out from under him, jumping on him, screaming in his ear and just going
completely ape-S# on him.
Austalian shepards are smart, very. Ours is a 'merle', meaning he has one blue eye...and he knows it. He uses that blue eye to scare things (like
the cows). We call it "givin' 'em the blue-eye
", and he's a stalker, very calculated. I used to think the ACD was smarter, but he's not.
Don't get me wrong, they're both very smart dogs, but it's the shepard who figures out how to open closed doors by the knob. In fact, there's not a
door he can't open unless it's locked. When he sets his mind to something he WILL figure it out. We can give him complex commands and at first he'll
act like he doesn't understand, but then right when you think he's confused he will calmly do exactly what you told him to.
They also have very independent personalities. Normally when you put 2-3 dogs together their personalities will all sort of meld into one after a
while. Not this dog, he's his own dog, very obviously so too. He doesn't need to do what the other dogs do, and he dreams up these complicated
His focus is pretty amazing. Ever since he was a pup he's had a fixation on hoses (and we have LOTS of hoses). Our hoses take some serious abuse
because they're in use 365 days a year, so they wear out and we scrap them. Well, one time we left one out (it was actually frozen to the ground) and
this became his 'project'...and it's been his 'project' for several years now. He'll go out and make a bee-line right for that hose and start picking
it up and moving it around, it's like a sculpture to him and he has to order it in a certain way. He'll drag parts of it around until they're just
so, then step back and look at it, then move another part, then admire his work, then move just one tiny part. It's pretty amusing actually.
The first spring we got rid of the hose because it was in the way. Rhode would go outside and just sit down where the hose was. He missed his hose.
This went on for a while, and we actually started feeling bad for him, it was like we took his fun away. So we gave him another hose, this time a
100' footer. Oh man, that was the happiest dog you've ever seen, like it was Christmas and he got every toy he ever wanted. To this day, whenever he
goes outside he'll work on his 'project' and get it just how he wants it...until next time. So, we thought if one is good then two is better and gave
him a second hose 'project' to work on. Nope, never even touched it because his first project wasn't perfect yet.
He's a good boy.