Guardian Dog Update

It’s been awhile since I have posted about the guardian dog pack. My only excuse is that it takes some time to sit and write things out.

Food For Seven




 So where are we at?



 Well, still at seven dogs.




Diesel and Whiskey are six months old. They are about half the size of the adults or better. From the yard we occasionally hear them scrap as they sort out their puppy differences.

Knowing that I bring food twice a day they are usually the first two to greet me upon arrival. They are pushy when greeting and anticipating food so they have to show some patience before being fed.  We can feed all the dogs close together without issues, as they all know who controls the food. I’d like it to remain that way for the sake of pack stability and ease of feeding dogs on pasture.

Six Months
At Nine Weeks
As much as they like to meet us on pasture they never follow us out. Even if near an open gate they will respect that boundary. I’m very pleased with this.

They are often hanging out around the water bus so I think they have established that as a home base.

Observing for an hour out on pasture yesterday morning revealed that Glory is the instigator in chasing Cheerio, the llama, away from the sheep. The pups join in, however, on their own they don’t do the chasing. I’m positive this was the same case with the cows earlier. Glory is one serious guard dog and takes no intruders lightly.

The mighty Oak is often seen running with the pups and enjoying himself. Whiskey and Diesel seem to follow Oakley around a lot.

Oakley

Lady is as sweet and shy as always, although she now comes forward seeking a bit of attention on each visit. Glory watches her closely and seems to make sure Lady knows who is alpha female in the dog pack.

Lucas was the male dog who was injured in a pack fight which took place during sheep camp. He spent a few days in a dog run, healing up and then was placed in paddocks near the yard along with Willow. He was still with sheep but did not have a lot of territory to monitor or work to do. He subsequently hurt his hind leg trying to go over the fence and return to pasture.

He still favors that leg but otherwise is well along the path to full recovery. Yesterday I took him back out to pasture. He whined and pranced at the gate. He made his way from one end of 80 acres to the other. He met the other five dogs along the way. The greeting between him and Lady seemed particularly exciting for both of them.

Willow remains the outcast. She stays with the yearling ewe lambs that I have near the yard for dog training. We have not tried re-introducing her to the pasture pack since Glory ran her out in the winter.

Willow
My understanding of the substance of working dogs used to be limited to stock dogs but the spirit of these guardian dogs is something else. The working dog world is a fascinating one, full of endless learning.

Comments