The livestock guardian dogs have fascinated me from day one but I don’t think I’ll ever figure out how they align themselves as a pack or why some of them fit into a pack so well and others never do. I’ve reached the conclusion that, despite what all the books tell, it isn’t necessarily about age of the dog, or sex or whether they are intact or not. Sometimes it’s none of the above - sometimes it’s about personality and stability. I suppose it’s not much different than humans - some play well together, others do not.
When I had the flock at the yard to weigh lambs, Diesel headed back out with the flock thus putting himself back with the main pack. Zeus was still with the rams and Oakley is still up at the yard with us. Diesel has been on his own with the dogging sheep for about seven weeks. Meanwhile Lily, Pippa, Whiskey, Lady, and Oakley (until his predicament) were gelling well as a pack. The pack felt good to me.
I was sincerely hoping Diesel would slip into the main pack without fuss. That he’d feel the stability and realize he was now odd man out, not ruler of the roost. Alas, it didn’t happen. Right away on the first day, Lily was upset with the new arrangement. Within two days we had trouble and Pippa and Lily were pushed out and Lily got injured, making it dog number three to take care of right now. Diesel (assuming it was he) is once again, unscathed.
Next we tried putting Diesel with the rams and Zeus with the main flock, but Zeus refuses to leave his bunch of sheep, and returns to them, even though Diesel is with them. This morning, Zeus and Diesel, two unlikely bedfellows, were sleeping tightly curled up together. This evening both came bounding over, seemingly very happy with their new found partnership to each other and thus convincing me I’ll never know how these beautiful creatures make decisions about the way of their world.