As reported here, Mary looked at a two-year-old Border collie/Australian shepherd mix dog. She decided that she wanted to go with a puppy, but I really liked Copper.
He's s sweetheart; cuddly, well-trained, neutered, friendly, good with kids, happy...but. You knew there had to be a "but," didn't you? Well, here on the farm, one of the most important qualities one can find in a dog is not their beauty, or trainability, (although that is #2) but that they look the other way when near the animals.
Copper didn't. He stayed with us for a week, and he never missed an opportunity to bark at the horses. I wondered if we would be able to take him on rides, like I wanted. I worried about being in the saddle when he decided to let them know that they needed to HEAR HIM. He also never got used to the goats. They scared him the first night, causing him to turn and run back to the house. He barked at them daily, and pretty viciously too.
But worst was the chickens. I caught him one day tearing into our younger rooster. The rooster tore back, and Copper backed off. But then I caught him sitting outside the chicken run one day. He sat there in the snow for about 45 minutes, just watching. I could just hear his little brain; "When they get out, I'm on 'em."
Dirty old egg sucking dog
DeAnna | MySpace Video
I keep them in the pen during the winter, but they free-range in the warmer weather. I could just see the little dead bodies I'd be picking up. A chicken-killing dog just doesn't have a place here at Pine Ridge Farm.
So, as hard as it was, I packed up Copper and his crate yesterday. I drove into the country, and returned him to his original family. I told them he'd be great for a family on a side street, (our highway was also a big draw to this big boy) a family with kids and no chickens or livestock. They were disappointed, as was I, but there was nothing else to do.
Sorry, Copper. I wish you well.