I'm about to adopt a new dog friend family member. Our last dog, Phoenix, was a wire Fox Terrier. He was a delightful dog, but a chicken killer. We had to manage the dog and the chickens very closely. Obviously, we'd like a different dog experience. We cannot have a gigantic dog, so the mountain guard dogs are out. It seems to me, that a good breed (and fret not, I will adopt a dog from a shelter, rescue, or family in need, I will not go to a dog breeder) is the Australian Shepard. I've read and read and here's what it seems to boil down to: 1) These are great dogs because they are herding dogs and are good with livestock, and 2) These are terrible dogs because they are herding dogs and are bad with livestock. What's a girl to do? So please, tell me about your Australian Shepard or Aussie-mix. Has your experience been good or bad, and why? Did you start with a puppy? Would you recommend starting with a year- or two-year-old? Do you train your dog (either obedience, herding, chicken, or agility)? Is there anything you can attribute his or her behavior to? I'm trying to find commonalities on what makes them be a good choice AND what makes them be a bad choice. Maybe together, we can sort of figure out some general thoughts on the matter. Thanks!