If you asked me what Shooter's best attribute was, I'd easily say it was his brains. He was a super smart dog. The tales have begun to fade in my mind, but I hope to try to put them on this blog to preserve my memories.
He was very good at guarding gates. My brother-in-law tells a story of a time they were logging just on the other side of the pasture fence. They accidentally dropped a tree on the fence and Shooter gave them this look of disgust, knowing (without being told) that he was going to have to guard that hole in the fence. Shooter sauntered over to sit in the hole and keep the cattle in--all afternoon.
Shortly after this incident, I set up a test. I opened the gate to the calf pen and went in the house to observe. Sure enough Shooter watched me go in and stood there looking at back at forth between the house and the gate. Once he knew I wasn't coming back, he went and laid down in the gate. He was there half an hour or so and I was seriously impressed. I thought I would push it further. I put some ground beef into a cool whip container and carried it out to the garage, totally ignoring Shooter. I was sure he would leave his post. And he did. He went to the garage, picked up the cool whip container and took it back to the gate with him!
Shooter was not a good obedience dog. If you told him to "sit", he would usually ask why. If you told him "down", he would need a really good reason. With "stay", he would sometimes take you at your word. If he saw reason in a command, he would comply fully and immediately. But he learned rules and enforced them. One of our rules was chickens don't belong in the yard. He was on guard at all times and would not let them sneak up to the house. The chickens very rarely snuck up here as he kept a vigilant eye. He knew I didn't want them up here making a mess, but rather in the back and in the pasture eating bugs.
Another rule was the territory perimeter. We have a very abrupt "bank" that drops down onto the road. The top of this bank is our perimeter in the front. He knew it and he almost always obeyed it. But one way he proved most valuable is that he would teach pups not to cross that line. He would take them for a walk around, peeing along the way. It looked as though he was posting stop signs for them.