Even though we're not farming per se we're pretty close to the farm life here. We live in the rural mountains of Montana and it's as country as can be.
Celt was meant to be a house Kerry. And, while he loves to be in the house, he certainly has taken to what Kerries do naturally out here. He'll hunt anything down that he finds. To date we've pulled over 30 porcupine quills out of his face, but I think he's finally caught on to them, he still tracks them down but doesn't lunge at them (for those who don't know, porcupines don't shoot quills you actually have to "hit" the quill and the porcupine releases it). For awhile I was beginning to wonder, it takes most dogs one time and that's it, they don't hit a porcupine again.
Celt is a menace to the mice population around here. Thank goodness for that, but I really wish he would stop swallowing them whole and bringing them home to chuck up at my feet.
I went for a walk today and Celt always follows along with me out here on the property (we have 113 acres out here). I used to have a fenced area to keep the dogs in, but the incident with the bear last year kinda did the fence in. It was a horrifing incident that is funny now. He and Mandy, my mixed breed, went after that bear. I called him back and he'd make an obligatory run back up to the steps and take off again.
We have some piles of log debris from some logging we did about three years ago that are now basically rabbit burrows. It was funny as all get out, I saw rabbits all around those debris piles and the minute Celt came around the corner, there must have been 10 rabbits running like maniacs to get into the piles. Celt of course being a business like fellow, took off right after them. I'm sure he's been terrorizing them. I did find a dead rabbit down at the gate today. I have a feeling that he caught one. Thank goodness he's given up on my daughter's pet rabbit in the house. There are no rabbit and deer problems in my garden. Celt chases them in the day and Mandy, my mixed breed, sleeps outside in the summer and controls deer.
It's odd my first Kerry, Davitt, was a pet, house strictly, we lived in a smaller place. But, he would tree the neighbors cat for hours and chase anything within the boundaries of the yard.
With Celt, I see so much more of what a Kerry was intended to do and it's really fascinating to watch. I spent an hour today brushing burrs out of his coat, it's the clippers tomorrow I think because I can't get them all out. Ah well he needs a clip anyway.
He actually rounds up my brother in law's cows and keeps them where "he" wants them when they wander into the yard. Not that his judgement is always good about where to keep them. (Did you know that hedge roses will grow and bloom even if your dog herds cows into your flower bed, and the cows step all over them?)
He gets so excited when my husband follows along after him when he's found something. He runs in circles around him and "takes" him to his find, usually a porcupine and a badger once. Once near the badger, my husband decided that the prudent thing to do was to put Celt up on the 4 wheeler and take him home. Celt is getting to be a pro at riding the 4 wheeler. Celt stayed in the pen the rest of the day to give the badger a chance to head for the hills.
He's just so proud of himself when he finds something you can't help but enjoy the enthusiasm, even if you try not to show it. I don't want him to be a menace to wildlife, so I try not to encourage it, not that he needs the encouragement.
I have found with all the things that Celt has found, elk parts, deer parts, eagles, badgers, mice, rabbits, birds, porcupines that the word "tenacious" for this breed is an understatement. I don't think that you have to "use" the breed for these things, I really believe that it's inherent to their nature to do them.
I went out to Washington State for three weeks. When I came home all the dogs were excited but, Celt being Celt, had to show me his latest find immediately. I followed him up to the shop and smack in the middle of the road area leading into the shop is like this huge, and I mean HUGE, hole he'd dug (no easy thing in hard packed decomposed Rocky Mountain granite). My husband George explained that there were some rabbits under the lumber pile from a dog house he's been building for the Great Pyrenees we have.
I loved this breed when I had Davitt, he was a great companion animal. But, I love this guy I have. He's not the "companion" that Davitt was, but he's sure the laughter in my life and the love puppy when he wants to be. I think truly that Celt would have been the companion that Davitt was, had he been in a smaller environment. But, with so much around him to do what he feels instinctively necessary to do, he's much more the country dog that is thoroughly enjoying himself.
Take your Kerry to the country, spend some time out in the woods. It'll probably be the best time the Kerry has had in a long time.