The Two Birds, An Update on LGD's
It’s been awhile since I’ve updated on the two youngest livestock guardian dogs, Wren and Birdie. While backing up photos yesterday I came across a few (thousand) of the dogs and ear marked a few for comparison of then and now.
Wren is one year and seven months old. She is still soft, shy and easily spooked. Her early days here were spent with a second pup named Crow. Crow was not bonded to sheep and had a fondness for people. He taught Wren how to hang out around the yard and she still does this, mostly during the night when she travels through. During the day she disappears back to the sheep. She’s fond of sheep but lacks in commitment, perhaps due to Crow's early influence but no way to know. Food trumps everything in Wren’s word and if she misses a meal, alarm bells go off. She barks non stop when she believes there is a threat.
Birdie has just turned a year old. She is small for an LGD but is serious and gutsy enough to back herself up. She puts the run on Wren now and even has top dog Lily towing the line. The only other dog to make Lily tow the line was Diesel (now passed) and Lily eventually turned the tide there. Birdie is very oriented to the flock, where the sheep are, there is Birdie. She could take or leave food and plenty of times she leaves it. She’s pushy and there is little that spooks her.
Birdie and Wren are complete opposites, temperament wise, and work wise it shows. Wren is certainly easier to have in a pack of dogs though and she keeps livestock calmer. Birdie may cause more grief for the pack and her intense temperament stirs the ewes rather than calms them. I'm hopeful this intensity lessens with maturity; familiarity between her and the ewes is already helping. The two photos of each is an interesting comparison. I can see the temperament already stamped on them in their puppy photos, but I’ve already formed strong opinions of who they are since I see them each day.
|Wren and Birdie (pup), the early days|
Every pup has different experiences during its upbringing so there is no way to make things equal but I'm sure growing more and more curious about breeding influence and the possibility of selecting dogs who show that tight bond to their livestock.