name: arakoon ozzie jem
breed: australian cattle dog
birthdate: 20th February 2002
jem is an australian cattle dog. he is not a red heeler or a queensland red, and he is not a different breed to a blue heeler, which is also an australian cattle dog. they are the exact same breed and have the same genes except for a colour. if you had a red mum and a blue dad you would have a litter with half the pups red and half the pups blue. do i sound a little defensive about that? maybe. as a cattle dog owner you have to deal with a lot of others people crap and ill informed opinions about your dog. they are not aggressive, they are protective. they are made aggressive sometimes by idiot owners. they are assertive and strong willed and they will not loose a fight but they dont start them. in fact, jem goes out of his way to avoid fights.
he is a wonderful dog. he is the best ‘thing’ we ever bought. he is loyal and loving and affectionate and gentle and incredibly smart. he is also pig headed, stubborn, determined, self-willed and a bastard of a dog. i wouldnt have him any other way.
someone told me once if you get a cattle dog you will always want another one. i think there is something to this, there is something about the way he connects with humans that is much more intense and emotion-like than other dog breeds. this can make him a bit needy at times, and he has his insecurities, but overall hes a stable, well adjusted dog. he is very good with the puppy (ricco) and plays with him all the time and is very protective of his ‘little sister’ possum.
he used to do flyball and was very good at it, he was very fast and had a lot of drive. the intensity of his drive freaked some people out and i think flyball did wind him up a bit. he has been a lot calmer since we retired him from flyball, which we did because he was just a magnet for other peoples ‘stuff’.
he still does agility and is really impressive around an obstacle course. he is very fast, and thinks he knows the course better than trent, his handler (this is sometimes true). he had a cruciate ligament injury when he was young and his short stocky build means some parts of an agility course are difficult for him, but he loves getting out there and having a run.
in summary: great dog, shame about the handler!