Wednesday, June 29, 2016
I love having livestock guardian dogs (LGD) out with the goats and chickens. I haven't lost a goat or a wayward chicken since I added my first LGD 2 years ago. At the moment I have three wonderful dogs looking after the livestock, of the three, Denali is the only pup allowed to roam freely. With a large number of dogs in the house, poo clean up is a constant battle. The dog run and Sunny's spot are easy to clean, but since Denali has lots of room to roam I have to search hers out. I know gross!! Here's the interesting fact, Denali poops along the fence line. I know, strange, but true!! She's marking this territory as hers. In the land of fox, coyote, bear, and mountain lions Denali is not so politely letting them know not to mess with her charges. It seems to be working!
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Last August, my dear sweet Pearl gave birth to seven adorable pups, 5 girls and 2 boys. I have kept in touch with all of the owners, but one. It has been fun to watch these babies grow and mature into loving intelligent dogs. I figured all was well with everyone until I got a message that one of the pups along with his goat herd had been sold to someone new.
I have to admit I am very protective of this brood. Maybe it's because Pearl is no longer with us, or maybe it's because I've been with these pups since minutes after birth. It saddened me to hear that one of my precious babies had gone somewhere else. In a strange turn of events my wayward son has returned to his home and his original name, Ghost.
Of all the pups Ghost was the last one I'd worry about. He went to a local dog breeder who was getting into goats so she could have milk for her puppies. She wanted a livestock guardian dog (LGD) to protect her new goat herd, and the dogs she bred did not make good LGD. In my mind, a dog breeder and trainer was the perfect fit for a young pup. Oh, how wrong I was!
Ghost was put in a pen with the goats and left, no training, no attention, no correction. Granted training LGD is different from training your typical house dog, but they still need to learn basic commands and to not bite their charges.
The breeder realized that goats were more work than she had bargained for and sold the group. The new owner did work with Ghost but had challenges of her own. Purchasing a goat herd complete with a young buck is not for the weak, and if you're new to goats brings all sorts of unforeseen challenges. Add in an untrained LGD into the mix can be quite overwhelming. After an "incident" with Ghost and another LGD breed, I was contacted to come get my boy. It was a snap decision for me, I love all of these pups, and Ghost being one of the two white pups was a favorite.
Now, sweet Ghost is HOME!! He is a love, very mellow. We are working on tuning up his training and slowly reintroducing him to goats. At this point with his lack of guidance, I don't trust him with the goats. I'm also training Denali right now, so I don't want to negatively affect her training. Ghost has lots of potential. He's learning how to play with his sister and our other dogs. He is penned next to the goats, so he can see and smell them without any negative outcomes. Ghost gets lots of attention and love now. We are all thrilled our boys is back!!