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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » The Oregon Trail... or This Pilgrim is Going Home. A Landmark? (Page 4)

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Author Topic: The Oregon Trail... or This Pilgrim is Going Home. A Landmark?
mr_porteiro_head
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[Angst]
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mr_porteiro_head
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Just to keep it from getting lost on the bottom of page three, Beverly and I have accepted the counter-offer. We are moving to Oregon.
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Dagonee
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Congratulations, both of you!
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Narnia
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Yay!!! Party...at your place! [Wink] Once you're settled. With the llamas. [Big Grin]
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mr_porteiro_head
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Are llamas tasty?
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ginette
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[Party]

Congrats Beverly!!! and mr_porteiro_head!!!

[Smile] [Smile] [Smile]

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twinky
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Best of luck. [Smile]
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pooka
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quote:
One of the llamas was a blind baby that needed a variety of special medications and help feeding around the clock.
Is it cold of me to wonder why they didn't put said baby llama down?
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theCrowsWife
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Congratulations! I'm really excited for you. And this reminded me that I was supposed to email you.

By the way, a livestock guard dog can keep pesky critters out of your garden, too. We just verified this because we brought ours back to the house for the winter, and the deer and turkeys immediately moved into what was left of our garden. Just as well, though, because they're both in season now. [Evil]

Best of luck on the move and the new farm!

--Mel

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beverly
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Mel, I have been emailing someone up in Oregon who is looking for a new home for their black lab mix. She says he's very gentle with children and has been an outdoor kennel-trained dog.

Does anyone here know if such a dog would make a good guard, since that is the strongest motivation for us looking into getting a dog at all? If this dog wouldn't work well, I'm more than happy to pass this up and just keep an eye out for other opportunities.

quote:
Just as well, though, because they're both in season now. [Evil]

Heh, I think this idea intrigues Porter as well. [Smile] (I really need to learn what to do with a dead animal to make it edible.)
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imogen
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Wow! Congratulations and good luck! [Smile]

When's the big move?

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Noemon
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[Smile] Great news! Congratulations guys!
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beverly
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We've been packing pretty intensely since last night. If we kept up this pace, we could be outta here a lot sooner than we need to be, I think. It is hard to tell with moving. When you think you are almost done, you are closer to half-way. [Smile]

But we have several repairs and fix-ups we want to do, and it will be easier with less clutter. I am hoping we can be up there by the date of close (approximately November 17th.)

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
If we kept up this pace, we could be outta here a lot sooner than we need to be, I think.
Keep dreaming, honey.

We're planning on moving the week of Thanksgiving.

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beverly
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^_^
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quidscribis
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Hey, cool, you too! Congratulations!

Friends of mine had an Australian sheep dog. This dog was intelligent, friendly to friends, but protective as well. My knowledge of dogs is very limited, so I don't know much, but you might want to check the breed out. [Smile]

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cmc
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I have a friend with two Australian Shepherds and I'd be scarda them if I weren't familiar with the house I was going to and was able to say their names and a 'hey _____' to be able to turn their sort of scary barking, jumping, randomly moving scariness to a more barking, 1/2 jumping (cause they know better), tail-wagging friendliness...

Congrats and All the Best!!

edit: to say it should be more, well, butt-wagging friendliness...

[ October 22, 2006, 05:30 AM: Message edited by: cmc ]

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
If we kept up this pace, we could be outta here a lot sooner than we need to be, I think.
Keep dreaming, honey.
[ROFL]

You two are adorable. [Big Grin]

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quidscribis
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Aren't they, though? [Smile]
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mr_porteiro_head
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:pirate:
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ginette
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Yeah they are [Smile]
You really know how to handle a Blanchard mr_porteiro_head [Big Grin]

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breyerchic04
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I wouldn't reccomend getting a lab as a livestock gaurd dog. Actually, I wouldn't reccomend getting any dog as a livestock gaurd dog that wasn't bred and raised in that type of situation. At least in my area, the breed that is most likely to fit that criteria is Great Pyrenese. I really don't know enough specifics to give you full reasoning, but dogs who haven't grown up in a gaurding situation aren't as ideal.
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beverly
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Breyer, out of curiousity, why would a lab be a bad choice? (The dog I am looking at isn't pure lab, I've only been told he is a lab mix.)

I was reading about Great Pyrenees, and this is what it said:

quote:
Working dogs, like the Great Pyrenees, are medium to giant size and are strong, often independent, domineering and difficult to manage. This, together with the immense sizes of many of the breeds, make many of the working dogs unsuitable as a normal family pet or first time dog owners. These dogs require firm control and must be properly trained. Formal obedience training should include a proper socialising program. Training need not be difficult as Working dog breeds are generally quick to learn and intelligent. Some of the working dog breeds are easier to handle such as the Newfoundland dog, the Portuguese Water Dog, the Samoyed and the Saint Bernard.
I don't like the sound of that! We are first-time dog owners, are not equipped to do training, and MUST have a dog that is safe around small children. I would much rather have a coyote carry off a goat than have my dog attack my child! As I am looking into the possibility of getting a dog, one of the things I am looking for is a dog that is extremely well behaved with children. That will always come first for me.
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breyerchic04
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I really don't have time to do the research that I feel is needed to say what I want to say. Labs or Lab crosses aren't bred or raised in situations where they need to take on responsibility for the herd. They tend (i'm saying tend, obviously not all) to be very active and hyper when young, then lazier and less enthusiastic past five or so. They may or may not develop an attatchement and feel that it's their job to watch the stock. They also might get more attatched to you than you want (that's one I'm not very sure about, though have heard it). I really don't feel comfortable making reccomendations, but something in the working or herding groups is more likely to have that experience. Honestly, you want a dog that already has some working training.
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beverly
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I've been thinking about it, and I'm not sure how worth it it is to me to have a *real* guard dog. My understanding is that just having a dog on the premises barking at strange animals that come near will do a decent job of discouraging trouble-makeing animals.

My sister talked about the need to have a dog, almost any kind of largish dog, out in the country. Say, if I were to need to go outside in the dark (as will probably often happen in the dark northern winter if I am milking) it is good to have the dog nearby for my own safety, or that of the kids. I have also heard that the presence of a barking dog can deter coyotes. I understand that a Lab is not good protection against a burglar, but where we are, that is much less a concern. (Besides, if anyone tried to burgle our home, they'd be sorely disappointed at choice of loot.)

But if I am missing anything important here, please let me know. I want to make the best informed decision I can. [Smile]

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breyerchic04
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Ok, that sounds good. That's always been the point of our "indoor/outdoor" dogs, which have been Airedales. Not that we have stock to protect, but there is a big bark, and that deters just about everything from coming close (except for desperate feral cats, that's a different story). If that's what you're thinking at this point, a lab, or Lab cross isn't a bad option. Something with a bit more fur than a purebred might be nice. Big dogs and lots of land are tons of fun for a kid.
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Jhai
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I'd suggest a German Shepherd (pure or mixed). They are *very* good with families and animals they consider "theirs", bred to have protective instincts, intelligent, and have the strength/build to defend when needed. Other working or herding dogs would also be good - they tend to be strong, intelligent, and have protective instincts.

I'd avoid labs - from my experience, they tend to be so full of good cheer that they act stupidly in their exuberance, unless properly trained as working dogs. Also, they don't know when to stop at anything - playing or eating or running around like loons. That being said, labs are also very, very good with children - our current golden lab, Bear, is the same age as my niece (about two), and lets her do absolutely anything to him. I've never been worried to leave her alone with him. But he doesn't actively look after her, the way I've known German Shepherds to do for the children of their families.

If you have very small children, a herding dog (such as an Australian Shepherd) may take to "herding" the kids as they toddle around. Nothing to worry about, though. [Smile]

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beverly
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Sounds right to me too. I figure even if we got a true guard dog (which would be an investment prone to liability in and of itself) the dog couldn't defend against *all* wildlife problems. I'd rather get a less expensive, kid-friendly dog that does a decent job, even if some critters still get past him. If I were a really serious livestock owner, like if it were my only livelihood, I can totally see getting a *real* guard dog.

quote:
Big dogs and lots of land are tons of fun for a kid.
Yeah, I'm thinking that will be a really good thing. [Smile]
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beverly
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Jhai, I was wondering if a German Shepherd might be a good choice. The current owners of this house had a German Shepherd until he got hit by a car. [Frown]

Although, I have a deep-set irrational fear of German Shepherds. When I was a little child, our Turkish nextdoor neighbors had one that was always kept tied up near his doghouse. He was named Borah, meaning "ThunderDog."

This dog was somewhat unpredictable and scary, at least to us. We would throw something for him to get, and then run up on top of his dog house. He would jump and jump at us, but couldn't reach us up there. (It was a big doghouse.) Then one day he caught up with me and knocked me over. Totally knocked the wind out of me. I was soooo freakin' scared. I never played that game again!

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breyerchic04
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Do not get any dog that you think you might be afraid of, or your kids will. Those feelings are not going to go away, and you'll have personality clashes or worse. Also, right now purebred shepherd's are being bred very low to the ground, with hips that do not look substantial, I don't know if they really aren't, though there is an increase in hip displasia and similar cases. I really don't want to totally deter you from a dog, but there is a lot to look into, and it seems you're doing it.
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Farmgirl
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I have NEVER had a problem with my Great Pyreness showing any kind of agression or any problems with kids (I can show you pictures of my daughter ate age 4 climbing all over my Pyr -- he was very protective of my kids and I felt more comfortable with them around him than any other dog I have owned).

So I'm just saying I disagee with what you read. Just based on the experience of the one I have (and another one I was aquainted with prior -- that convinced me I wanted one).

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beverly
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Breyer, you really know a lot about dogs! I appreciate your help. [Smile]

Farmgirl, I do value and take into account anecdotal information. Thank you. [Smile]

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breyerchic04
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I did tons of dog research in 8th grade to convince my parents I wanted a dog of my own (like I said, we've had indoor outdoor airedales most of my life) but I didn't hit 100lbs till 8th grade, and Nikki had, so it was not a great obedience match. So through high school I showed my sheltie in 4-H and did quite a bit of research into the herding breeds, but still caught most of the popular ones too.

I haven't said much about the personalities of Pyrs because the two I've been around have been wonderful, but I know very little of their training, and I'm not even sure how old they were when I saw kids climbing on them.

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theCrowsWife
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I would say that it really depends on your setup. If your animals will be put in sturdy houses or a barn at night, you will have less need of a dog to protect them.

I would be concerned about a lab mix because labs have been bred to be very dependent on their masters. This makes them easy to train, but they may not have the independence to be an effective guard dog. A livestock guard dog (I'm just going to call the LGDs from here on) that has been raised on a farm will naturally patrol the boundaries of his area, without any training on the part of the owner. Generally, they will sleep most of the day and go on alert at night.

That quote about Great Pyrenees, I see as being more applicable in a pet or show situation. On a farm, it's not as much of an issue. All of the Pyrs and Pyr-crosses I've met have been very sweet-tempered dogs. It's useful to do some obedience training, to make the dog easier to handle in off-the-farm situations (such as visiting a vet), but I can testify that it is possible to manhandle a fully-grown, untrained male Pyrenees into a travelling crate to be taken to the vet. Training just makes your life easier in the long run.

I understand the concern about how a dog will behave around small children. Since you should get a dog that has been raised on a farm, there's a good chance that there will be children there. Talking with the breeders of any dog you are thinking about buying will probably help you make your decision. Also, if you can find any other farms nearby that employ LGDs, you can see for yourself how the dog behaves in its home environment.

EDIT to add: I have a two-year-old, and the main thing she has to worry about with our LGDs is getting slimed. They do drool a lot!

--Mel

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beverly
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Well, I think I will look for opportunities to gain first-hand experience with Great Pyrenees, and keep an eye out for any available.
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breyerchic04
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That sounds like a good idea for any type of animal you are looking into.
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cmc
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What about rescuing? I know that there are a lot of dogs that are rescued because of abusive situations, but I know a good number of people (at least 4 - that seems good to me) who have rescued dogs just because their owners passed on or moved?
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breyerchic04
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Most if not all rescues will not allow you to keep your rescue outside which is a necessity for a dog to provide deterence at night. Also speaking as someone with a rescued sheltie, Not for first time dog owners. I love him to death, but the little quirks from two years of unknown are unpredictable, I also woudln't put *most* rescues with children of their ages.
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cmc
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Gotcha...

I'm not disputing you but just want to say my experiences.

Couple of those are:

My aunt's got three young boys (now 11, 9 + 5). Their past three dogs have been rescues. Brady (newfinland mix) came to the family when the oldest was 2. He was the most gentle, loving dog. Only thing you couldn't mess with was him when he was eating (the oldest would even try to ride him at times and he'd just look at him and then walk away). They got Hairy (don't know what he is, but he's a furry little dog) and he's just plain crazy but totally loves the boys and you're only in danger of being licked to death. Brady died and they got Buttercup (who's the spitting image of Brady only a girl so a little smaller) and she's just as fabulous with the kids.

My friend Sara rescued an Australian Shepherd about 4 years ago and she's great with the (now) 9 year old and the 2 month old.

I realize these may be special circumstances with special dogs (and I reitterate I'm not disputing you breyerchic04 : ) ) I'm just saying it's possible to find a cool, good with kids dog through rescue. That outside thing, I don't know anything about though, so that could be a real stopping point...

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breyerchic04
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Yeah, there certainly are good situations and great dogs coming out of rescues. Ours wasn't, he was surrendered by owners because the wife got a new job outside of the home. He weighed 11 pounds at 22 months, at 24 months he was up to 16, and now he's around 22 (he's 8 and a bit chubby). His coat had been burnt under a grill, he was terrified of men.

The outdoor thing is at least standard in the midwest. Which makes sense because many of their rescues came in from being outdoor dogs that got loose and never made it back to the owners.

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Shan
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Hooray! Good for you! Congratulations! When's your first work party? *grin*
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beverly
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Heh. Well, we will probably be moving in somewhere around Nov. 17th to 20th.
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beverly
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Someone was just telling me that guinea hens can be protective of chickens. [Smile] Interesting.
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breyerchic04
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I've heard that too, I've also heard that they can be good watch animals because they flip out and go nuts when something they don't know is around. Everytime I've been near them, they're nuts, I'm not sure if it says something about me or them. Annecdote, whenever we drive past the farm my great grandparents owned, you see guinea hens, because they bought ten 70 years ago. Same thing with peafowl and my godmother's old place, except I think it was 25 years ago, and yet many people in our area can't get them alive more than a year.
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Tante Shvester
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[Laugh] "BEWARE OF GUARD GUINEA PIG"
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Tante Shvester
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A more modern take on the guard dog.
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breyerchic04
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Guinea hens aren't the same as guinea pigs. They're nuts birds that run en masse and squeal a lot.
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Tante Shvester
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Oh. That's very different. Never mind.

/Emily Litella

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breyerchic04
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I'd much rather have my kindergartner in a room with a Cavvy than a chicken with no brain (that apparently doesn't taste good either). They are interesting to watch though.
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Farmgirl
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quote:
What about rescuing?
I could put you in touch with the national Pyr rescue organization.

But I was thinking.... (this is to all the others that have joined in this discussion) -- if they decide a Pyr would be too big/too slobbery/etc. or whatever... Do you think an Australian shepherd would make a good second choice?

I have seen them do amazing things with herds, however, they do have a much higher energy level than Pyrs. Any of you own Australian shepherds?

FG

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