Ten Days With Tex

I have been looking for an adult guardian dog all summer long.  Miss No Name came and went and then I bought the two pups, but still hoped to find an adult.  When I stopped looking so hard, I found one.

Tex is a two and half year old Great Pyrenees.   He grew up with sheep and is a dog who needs sheep.   His approach to the sheep is amazing, - soft, sideways, floating and fluid.  The sheep do not flee as they still do when the pups, Wren and Crow approach them.

This in on the first evening here and he’s in a small paddock with the sheep I use for stock dog training.  He’s already traveled the perimeter and passed by the sheep, keeping his body profile to them, rather than approach them head on.  From there a whole lot of sniffing takes place.

Even when he moves right among them, no real alarm is caused

I have just returned with the camera to sit with him for a spell.  I can’t get close to him, he won’t allow that.  There is no element of sadness in this though, there is no hint of any of the feelings I experienced when working with rescue dogs from the humane shelter years ago.

This is not a dog that needs rescuing in any way, or, if there is any rescuing being done, it is him liberating me in some way. 

To sit with him gives me a feeling unlike any other.  I really want to be able to touch him and yet I don’t want to lose the feeling of connection that is happening precisely because he won’t allow me to.

No clue what this sniffing is about

I sit on the ground and we have all this eye contact going on, he’ll hold my gaze steady and unnervingly so, then he’ll bark and growl at me and travel around me in a circle.  The moment I speak his body softens and the tip of his tail wags.  He knows enough about people to know we’re okay, he just doesn’t yet think I know enough about dogs or sheep to be trusted, and given how rudely I treated two of my stock dogs the other day, I’d have to say he’s right.

The more I do the less meaningful communication we have.  The more I just sit and be with him the more communication takes place.

For a person who wants to do a lot with dogs that are around me and constantly fiddles and praises them, treats them, pats them, reassures them, corrects them, forces them, begs them, cuddles them, and on and on, this is a different concept of being with a dog.  I experience this with every livestock guardian dog, and it’s why I find them so fascinating.

I think this boy is a gem.  How he is with the sheep, causes me to wonder about the approach we’ve used with raising guardian dogs in the past.  I have had two other dogs act like this around sheep upon introductions, and both were raised right with sheep, with very minimal human contact or none at all.

Tex arrived ten days ago and much has happened since.  We had a nice grace period and good intro’s to the other dogs and then we had a set back.   But more on that to come, all these photos have taken some time to post and it's getting late.

Shortly after arriving the sheep are already comfortable with the newcomer


  1. I just love flock dogs. I didn't think I would and held off for years, but couldn't imagine life without one now. Tex looks like a winner. Hopefully not awful news coming...

  2. He's beautiful and majestic. I've learned much from what you've shared. I'm grateful to have been a part of it through you. I'm anxious to learn how you introduced Tex to the other LGD's. I know how tricky this can be from my own experiences...and how you came by him. The photos are stunning.

  3. I have to wonder why anyone would part with him?? I to am curious about he and other not castrated dogs getting on.(maybe fine until a bitch in heat...)He sounds sort of magical..really an awesome canine.I am very happy for you,the two of you will be wonderful friends.(He will I am sure pass on many traits to his children,has he sired any yet? if so,how are they doing?)

  4. I'll do my best to describe the intro's to the other dogs and answer questions in another blog post. The initial intro went very smoothly, but we had trouble later on so we're still working on gelling the pack.
    The previous owner is upset over parting with Tex, but health reasons forced him to sell his flock of sheep and knowing how much Tex needs sheep he moved him to a place where he could have that at least.
    He is neutered so no pups, past or future.


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