Australian Shepherd x Australian Cattle Dog
(also referred to as Texas Heelers)
DoB: May 2010 (litter mates)
HERDING INSTINCT: Unknown
ISSUES: pull on leash a little; jump up for attention; not trustworthy around cats or rodents.
This group of seniors were surrendered by the owner's surviving children. The owner, who recently died after a long battle with bone cancer, had intended to re-home the dogs but did not get the chance & the adult children did not have the heart to re-home them while she was battling the disease.
These guys are big, fluffy, lovable sweethearts! They love people of all sizes and ages. They are all generally good around other dogs of any size. They do not love every dog they meet but they are polite when they meet them.
They are all very food/treat motivated and they all like to chase &/or carryballs, squeaky toys, stuffy toys or shredding paper. They took to crate training no problem but BJ & Festus seem to be the escape artists, whether out of a crate or pulling up wire fencing or paneling & squishing underneath (especially if the feral cats are tempting them on the other side of the fence).
For their bulky size, they are pretty active dogs and if they lost any more weight, they would look funny. The 4 that resemble the Australian Shepherds have huge coats that will require regular grooming. Cowboy & Sally are wash 'n' go.
This crew is pretty happy go lucky and would be happy to be the center of your attention!
For more pictures of the whole group, please visit their photo album on our facebook page.
Cowboy is the patriarch of the group. He basically leads everyone else around & they take their cues from him. He is polite meeting any new dog but if another male thinks he's going to be boss, Cowboy will enlighten him.
Cowboy will dance in place for his food or treats. He gets so excited about eating. He LOVES his squeaky toys & will carry one around with him all the time. However, he will gut the squeaky if he takes it to his kennel with him so it is best to give him a chew toy or cow hoof to keep him occupied. He also likes to play with laundry, paper, things that can be shredded (bags of shavings)...
FYI...Runs much faster, & jumps higher, than you think he can, especially if he sees a cat or skunk.
Roper is the calm, mellow fellow of the group. Nothing seems to phase him. Meets new dogs very nicely & then meanders on his way. Likes to be part of the action but closer to the sidelines.
He also loves his food & treats & likes to chase down the squeaky toys as well. Not as keen to carry them around, squeaking them all the time & doesn't try to steal them from someone else. Roper's favourite toy though is to pull the clean dog bedding/towels off the railing & dragging it through the yard. So much more fun than a ball!
He also runs faster than you think he can when he sees one of the feral cats. However, he does not try to climb the fence after them - he only likes to jump up for attention from people.
Sally is very sweet. When Sally wiggles, her whole body joins in on the action! She loves everyone (except her sister) & ready to play at all times. Everyone wants to play with her, too. And she is very tolerant of others who play a little too hard but NOT if they get to the tossed toy first.
Supposedly, Sally used to have a pet cat that she slept with in her old home. We are not sure if she really wants another one or if she would rather chase the feral cats down. She certainly knows when they are around, though.
So hard to think of these guys & gals as seniors. They certainly have a lot of spunk & get-up-&-go.
BJ is a sweetheart. He does not jump up for attention but soaks up every bit of love you give him. BJ is the most worried about being wrong & will curl his butt right to his shoulder when he is happy you are talking to him.
He is a very gentle soul but is still somewhat sneaky. He has been the one to pull apart wire kennels or fencing to get out. He's not as good about getting out of the plastic hard sided crates. He was at his most destructive when he first arrived & was not used to being separated from Festus. They are much more independent of each other now & although they are still kenneled near each other, we don't think they need to be.
Festus, like BJ, is a gentle soul & somewhat worried about being wrong. However, he does have more confidence than BJ but not as demanding for attention as Roper. Festus also laps up all the attention he can get & will somehow end up in your lap without you knowing it.
Festus is a pretty easy keeper & likes his treats. They all do like their treats but Festus (& Roper) seem to pack them on easily & keeping a bit of a defined waistline is challenging. Fortunately, he also likes to play fetch & enjoys the squeaky toys so it helps in keeping him fit.
Angel is more outgoing & demanding of attention, like Roper, than most of the others. She is wonderful around people & does try to initiate play with many dogs. Due to her lack of social skills, though, she has a tendency to rush into the playing group which can startle some dogs.
Angel did not get a lot of interaction with other dogs because of one incident in her early years & from that point on they did not trust her around other dogs & kept her separate from them. We have noticed that she is polite but wary when meeting other dogs & if they do not challenge her, she is fine to be around them. However, if she sees people she immediately wants attention & cuddles up to them regardless of what other dogs are around. If those dogs try to tell her to back off, she accepts the challenge & does not back down. She will need to learn to check with her owner first, before rushing in to greet people & possibly creating a situation of resource guarding.