Until now their antics have included jockeying around the food bowls and placing their feet on us. They’ve been testing each other. Standing tall and placing a chin over the other’s back; giving an ever so slight hip check to the sibling in order to get the human attention first, and when feeling very sure of themselves, trying to mount the other.
Yesterday when out in the neighbouring paddock with the horses I could hear a very obvious guardian dog commotion going on. But it wasn’t the raw, primal and fur choked sounds of dogs fighting dogs. It was booming barks and, from a distance, what looked like dogs bouncing.
I made my way closer to see what was happening and could see that the game involved sheep. I gave a holler - the game paused and then continued. I ran to the fence, saving my voice for when I got closer.
The pups were harassing a ram, keeping him cornered and dashing at him. Pulling wool if they got close. To them a lot of fun. To me a more serious business that couldn’t be allowed to continue. The dogs stopped with my running approach, the unfortunate thing being I still wasn’t close enough to catch them in the midst of doing what they were doing. But I figured I was soon enough to still verbally chastise them.
We noticed a similar incident when we first put the rams out. The second morning we found a rather wool tattered and tired ram. He had obviously been a dogs toy for some duration during the night. That day as the flock traveled to pasture, Diesel gave chase to the same ram.
There is some connection to the pups behavior and the rams. It’s the first time the pups are experiencing breeding season. The pups do not seem content with the rams being amongst their ewes. The rams only have breeding ewes on their mind and they can be aggressive.
It will not suffice to let the pups behavior toward the rams continue but I do feel for the pups. In time we will sort it out. But it will take time. We are just entering this LGD adolescent phase. It’s bound to be a learning curve for the both of us.