Australian Cattle Dog
Picture of Cooper, a male Australian Cattle Dog

Photo Comments (2)

Age: 16 Years   Sex: Male   Weight: 26-50 lbs

   Leave a bone for Cooper

Bug, Coop, Coopie

Doggie Dynamics:
not playfulvery playful

Quick Bio:
-purebred-dog rescue

Gotcha Date:
September 1st 2000

Cooper LOVES to herd basketballs and soccer balls and he especially LOVES to pop them within the first few minutes of getting them. So my husband and I purchased him a hard ball with holes in it and a soft ball inside. He's had it for years and loves it!

He doesn't like people other than my husband and I at our home. He will tolerate people in public to a certain extent but he's prefer if people leave him alone.

Favorite Toy:
He LOVES the ball I mentioned in the "likes the most" section but he also LOVES to remove squeakers out of stuffed toys.

Favorite Food:
He likes a lot of different foods but he goes crazy for seafood! He especially love mussels and salmon.

Favorite Walk:
Anywhere he can get dirty! He loves this local park where they have a pond and marsh. He'll go in up to his belly and just stand there. He doesn't like to swim though.

Best Tricks:
He can "leave it" with food, other animals, etc.. and he will "wait" for me, nothing fancy but practical.

Arrival Story:
I found Cooper online on the Bull Run Cattle Dog Club's rescue page which joined other cattle dog clubs to later form what is now called The Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association (ACDRA). He was so sweet looking and I have a soft spot and experience with the breed (which can be a handful!) and I thought he would make a wonderful addition to my family. I already had a cattle dog and we had purchased our first home and wanted another cattle dog. He was 8 months old and adorable. He was very attached to his foster parents so he didn't especially take to me right away but after the adoption went through and we brought him home, he became a loyal and loving companion.

He was found as a stray in Boston, MA and the rescue pulled him from the shelter. He was 8 months old when my husband and I adopted him. He didn't want much to do with us initially. Cattle dogs tend to attach strongly to one person and once that bond is made, they are very loyal. It took a few weeks for him to adjust to the change since he adored his foster parents, especially his foster mom. He was such a funny pup; he would push his food dish back and forth on the floor, herding it. It made such a racket but if you love herding dogs, you know they love to be active! He began nipping and attempting to bite anyone other than my husband and I when he was around 1yrs old so I took him to a trainer who felt he would benefit from basic obedience. He did very well in the class but it didn't help with the biting and aggression he had developed. We tried several different trainers and aggression specialist. We had them train with us in our home, in public places and at training facilities and nothing helped end the aggression. He did become more obedient in other aspects but the biting. I took him to the vet and was informed to get him under control or they felt he needed to be euthanized because his aggression was unprovoked and unpredictable. I contacted his former foster parents (who are dog trainers who are very familiar with the breed) and begged them to take him back because I felt like we must be doing something wrong to cause his behavior! His foster father offered to help with further training and management so we could keep him and I jumped at the opportunity to keep Coop in our home! For 2 yrs, I drove an hour and a half, round trip, every week, to see his former foster father and we worked in private lessons to help me manage him and to help figure out what was at the root of the aggression. At the end of 2 yrs, it was clear that there was some sort of hardwired issue with him that could not be trained out of him. But because of the higher level of obedience training that we did, the stronger relationship I had with him and some basic precautions I learned, I was better prepared to keep him under control and from harming anyone. I was given the green light to keep him, as long as I followed the precautions and kept him from harming anyone. That was about 10 yrs ago and we've been doing just fine. He wears a muzzle that allows him to breathe, drink, have food passed through it any time he leaves our home; even when he's in our yard. He loves his muzzle because it means we're going outside and he hardly notices it because it's comfortable. I keep him close to me and never leave him outside without me. I took him to the puppy park frequently to help with socialization and he was well behaved and allowed people to pet him most of the time. Every once in awhile, he would snap his teeth but with his muzzle, it wasn't an issue and I always gave everyone a heads up when we entered the area so they know he may snap his teeth. People got to know us and they knew he had an aggression issue but they weren't afraid of him because they knew he was well muzzled and that he was generally well bahaved. He is my furry baby and my husband and I adore him. He's 13yrs old now and he's currently being treated for oral cancer. The radiation treatments have helped as far as shrinking the tumor so that it isn't bothering him but the cancer will spread to his lungs eventually and there's nothing we can do to stop it. He's done so well with the treatments, especially given his temperament. He tolerates the vets and the specialists and is on his best behavior but he still needs to be anesthetized when they need to see inside his mouth to prevent him from biting but the staff report that he doesn't try to wriggle around or be unpleasant and they think he's just wonderful. He loves his "pack" and especially loves to chase and play with Gracie, our 3-legged beagle-lab mix. He's in a good place spirit-wise and we hope that he will be enjoying a good quality life for a long while yet. We feel very blessed to have found the tumor before it became too large and it was too late to treat with radiation.

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