How A Bull Who Thinks He's A Dog Became A Household Pet

A Sydney dog-trainer has drawn attention on her beach walks after she adopted a calf with an extra chromosome.

Jaclyn Tarrant has been training four-month-old Ferdinand to do all the things she teaches her dogs to do, although he prefers strawberries as a treat instead of meat.

Ferdi - as he's affectionately known - joined the family in October: Photo: Jaclyn Tarrant

“My dogs love him to pieces, particularly Primrose who is my 11-month-old rescue puppy,” the young calf's adoptive "mum"  told 10 daily.

“They are ridiculous together, they snuggle, kiss and headbutt each other in play all the time.”

He also joins them on beach outings, jumping into the back of the Nissan X-TRAIL and being correctly secured.

“I first took him to Dee Why Beach and he wasn’t a natural in the water! He’d put a hoof in and be like 'nah'.

“We recently went down to Bayview Dog Park and because three dogs were going in the water, he gradually ventured in and got a little deeper and deeper - now he likes it!”

Ferdi's pooch pals helped him gain confidence in the water. Photo: Jaclyn Tarrant

They’re not ruling out a trip to the famous Bondi Beach but “might start with Manly Beach first”.

He even has his own Instagram account called Adventures of Ferdinand the Bull, and has a lot of fans.

“Everyone thinks they’re so original when they say, ‘that’s a funny looking dog’. I always say back, ‘he’s a bulldog’ or a ‘cattle dog’,” Tarrant said.

“He’s very social, he loves people and dogs. The dogs at the park were all freaked out by him at first, wondering what this strange looking 'dog' was."

Ferdi has an extra copy of chromosome 22 which affects him physically and mentally.

“Among other things, there’s potential heart defects, he’s stunted in his growth, he has an enormous underbite and an oddly-shaped pot belly which I think is so cute,” Tarrant explained.

“So he looks a bit different and he’s a little bit unique in his behavior but we just love him.”

Ferdi was even invited to Jaclyn's wedding! Photo: Jaclyn Tarrant

Ferdi was adopted through the animal rescue organisation 'Til The Cows Come Home and now lives on Tarrant’s five acre property in Oxford Falls, Sydney.

“He’s certainly not an apartment bull!” she joked.

Donna Wild is the charity’s founder and said they’re creating a wait-list for those in Sydney who can help give a calf in need a home.

“We’re transporting calves to a holding station in Oxford Falls for wait-listed adopters to meet and collect their new family members,” she told 10 daily.

Good News


You Can Adopt A Cow To Help Drought Relief

An Australian charity is offering a lifeline to farmers who are struggling to keep their animals alive during the drought.

“Anyone with a few acres of grassland and a dream to hand raise calves is welcome to apply to adopt.

“Their new owners will have a loving cow waiting for them to come back for a daily cuddle and scratch, even when they’re old and grey and weigh a tonne!”

There is a screening process to ensure the cows will have a happy and safe life.

Feature Image: Jaclyn Tarrant