This is Ruger. We first met him in January at AuCaDo Australian Cattle Dog Rescue in Remus, Michigan. He stole our hearts. Well, mine and the kids. Rob wasn't with us and he took some convincing. But I finally got him to go meet Ruger at the rescue.
Here he is being very watchful. Honestly, he wanted to chase a chicken right then, but couldn't. We kept him tethered with us in the beginning until we knew he would obey us with the animals. He has very strong herding instincts, and needed to learn that we are in charge.
Braden let him out while I wasn't looking one day and he actually had caught a chicken by the tail. As I ran out side I somehow remembered to yell the command "Leave It". He sat right down and let her go. He hasn't grabbed at a chicken since. That was the moment that we knew it was going to work out OK for him on the farm. If he could have a chicken in his mouth and just let it go like that, then he would learn just fine.
Here he is deciding weather or not he wants to deal with the goats or not. See, his herding instinct says "Yes Yes Yes", but his fear of of our large toggenburg doe says "No No No". As it turns out, he stayed out and it was a good thing. The little doe got out and she is very hard to get your hands on. She didn't make it more than two feet and Ruger was right there. It took him less than two minutes to herd her right back into the goat yard. Good boy Ruger!!
Now this was just a really cool action shot. He's a little hyper yet for my younger two kids, but Jade loves to play with him. They get along so good and she loves to help take care of him.
We adopted him knowing he would be a good companion for the family and ended up with the bonus of him having a huge desire to be a working dog as well. Not only has he helped herd an escaped goat, but he also scared off a hawk that was looking at the chicken yard as if it were a buffet. That was three weeks ago and we've not seen any sign of it again since.