New Guardian Dogs - Intro to Sheep Con't
While I won't claim to know what dogs are feeling it sure seems that Lucas and Lady are more content with sheep in the picture. And Willow and Lucas seem to enjoy each other's company.
|Lucas (L) and Willow (R)|
Lucas and Lady have begun to eat regularly, something they were not doing for the first few days here.
After the first three days of visits to the ewe lambs while on lead we removed the leashes and sat on the hill to watch. It was mid morning and a hot day and the sheep were lying down. Lady made her way directly to them. She nuzzled several ewes, causing them to rise. Then she left the ewes and traveled the paddock. She returned to the ewes again and repeated the nuzzling. The ewes stood but weren't moving too far. Lady traveled a bit more and then settled down in tall grass near the ewes.
Lucas traveled the length of the paddock. I had my eye on him as I suspected he might be looking for a way out. The main flock was grazing in an adjacent paddock and both dogs had taken notice of way more sheep (and lambs) a short distance away. Sheep they couldn't get to.
Once during the time I stayed with them Lucas moved to a corner and began nosing at the bottom of the fence. I rushed toward him and gave him a sharp reprimand. He traveled some more and then gave up in the heat and settled in the shade next to the shearing shed. Willow moved over and laid with him. Whiskey and Diesel followed suit. Lady remained by the ewe lambs.
I left them alone, returning after lunch to check on them. Both dogs were still in the paddock. Lucas approached the gate when I entered. Lady was near the sheep. I left them for the afternoon, walking out to check on them a few more times. That night I removed them from the paddock and placed them in the dog run with the bottle lambs again.
The next day I took them out in the morning and stayed to watch for a short period. Each dog traveled a bit and then settled somewhere. I left to check the main flock in the next paddock.
While I was traveling about on the Ranger I repeatedly checked back to see what the dogs were doing. Lucas had moved down the fence line toward the corner, perhaps because he could see me out and about with the other sheep. He began to dig at the corner. I rushed over in the Ranger and the sight and sound of the vehicle barreling toward him and me growling fiercely gave him great concern (I'm on the outside of the fence and he's on the inside). He tucked tail and left the fence. He did not try digging again that day.
Each time I checked on them Lucas was in the shade, with Willow nearby. Once again Lady was next to the ewe lambs. That night I left them out in the paddock.
|Lucas putting some time in with the sheep|