Wren is 10, going on 11 weeks old and she is a Great Pyrenees x Akbash. Previous dogs Willow, Glory, Reva and Oakley are this cross. Pippa and Lilly are Great Pyr x Akbash x Maremma. The others are Maremma, Anatolian Shepherd, and Anatolian x Maremma.
She is very comfortable with where she is now, although she and the lambs do not venture too far from the building. Each time out to watch her I am questioning whether to leave her with the lambs or switch her to adult sheep already. There are signs that she is definitely playing with the lambs. My previous pups all started with quiet adult sheep rather than young lambs. But those pups also had a littermate, so it is tough to know what the difference really was. Now that I’m trying this approach with Wren and orphan lambs though, I’m favouring the first approach, however, I am curious if a switch up will influence the bond she has with sheep. I do like how comfortable she is with them and that she is always with them.
The upside with orphan lambs without adult sheep to show them otherwise, is they don’t venture too far but hang around the area they are familiar with. This suits a small puppy who also doesn’t yet venture too far; they can roam about but are always with lambs. Together the lambs and pups will slowly explore the area. Adult sheep will leave to go graze and not care if the pup is along with them or not. I suppose you could fence them in a small spot and move them everyday, pup included.
At this stage it’s still a bit of a toss up, but I’m going to keep her with the lambs for now and risk some bullying behaviour on her part when I'm not there to intervene, but hopefully get a nice, strong commitment to staying with sheep.
By the way, I do enjoy and appreciate the questions and comments. Feel free to ask away if you want to know more about the process or what I am observing.