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Hero Great Pyrenees Who Protected Sheep from Coyote Pack Could Win Farm Dog of the Year Award

The 2-year-old dog, Casper, killed eight coyotes to protect his pregnant partner, Daisy, and the sheep on their Georgia farm

FOX 5 Atlanta/Youtube Casper, a Great Pyrenees who attacked coyotes to protect his farm, is up for American Farm Bureau Federation’s Farm Dog of the Year award.
FOX 5 Atlanta/Youtube Casper, a Great Pyrenees who attacked coyotes to protect his farm, is up for American Farm Bureau Federation’s Farm Dog of the Year award.

A Georgia dog who attacked a pack of coyotes to protect sheep on his farm — and his pregnant partner — may earn an award for his bravery!

The 2-year-old canine, a Great Pyrenees named Casper, is in the running to become the People's Choice Pup winner of the American Farm Bureau Federation's (AFBF) Farm Dog of the Year competition.

The honor "celebrates farm dogs and the many ways they support farmers and ranchers in producing nutritious food for families and their pets across America," per the AFBF's website.

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The 2024 People's Choice Pup will be awarded a "$1,000 cash prize from Purina."

On its website, the AFBF encourages members of the public to vote for their favorite People's Choice Pup finalist to help determine the winner. The award winner will be announced at the federation's annual convention in January.

There is some tough competition for the title this year. Casper is up against Trip, an Ohio border collie; Margo, an Indiana rottweiler; Cinco, a Utah border collie; and Morgan, a Bernese mountain dog.

FOX 5 Atlanta/Youtube Casper is in the running to be the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Farm Dog of the Year.
FOX 5 Atlanta/Youtube Casper is in the running to be the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Farm Dog of the Year.

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The AFBF's 2024 Farm Dog of the Year will be announced at the January convention as well.

The 2023 Farm Dog of the Year was a Kansas border collie named Tough, who belongs to owners Denny and Donna Ashcraft.

The current titleholder, who was 14 when she received the honor in January, suffered a severe spinal cord injury when she was 7 that left her temporarily paralyzed from the neck down. "Tough persevered, worked at rehab, and is now about 90% back to normal," Denny told the AFBF of the award-winning pup. "She's an inspiration to keep on keeping on."

Casper, the potential People's Choice Pup winner, made headlines in November 2022 for killing eight of 11 coyotes in a pack that threatened his pregnant partner and the sheep on his Georgia farm. The Great Pyrenees sustained tail and ear injuries in the process.

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The farm dog's owner, pastor-turned-sheep herder John Wierwille, described the incident to The Washington Post as "chaos."

According to Wierwille, Casper jumped a fence to attack, biting the coyotes' heads and throwing their bodies over his shoulder. The owner added that he was unsure if the coyote pack attacked first or if Casper felt they were threatening his pregnant partner, Daisy.

During Casper’s confrontation, the sheep herder’s five other Great Pyrenees dogs herded the farm's sheep away from the chaos, Wierwille told the paper.

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"It was not how we wished things had gone, but we're glad he made it," Wierwille said. "He was doing his job, and that's what I think everybody appreciates about him."

After his encounter with the coyotes, Casper disappeared for two days before reemerging with tears and cuts to his body, as well as a severe tail injury. His tail ultimately had to be amputated. According to Fox 5 Atlanta, this operation and Casper's $15,000 in medical expenses were covered by generous donations from animal lovers.

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