I probably posted when we got a dog, but at this point I have forgotten and after 12 hours in the field today, I’m too lazy to look.
So we have a 9 month old Pyrenees Maremma mix. She is really an awesome dog who is very sweet, but we got her to guard our animals and I am discovering that I am horrible at training… Or I’m just not patient enough.
Today we needed to move the sheep out of their sacrifice area. In order to put them in the field, I needed to free up some more portable fencing. I either needed to trust the dog without fencing or I needed to take the protective fencing (that hadn’t been very effective anyways) from the chickens. I don’t trust the dog, so I took the chicken fencing.
While I am out working, I let the dog (Kiva) run free. She has been pretty good about staying in the yard, and she is even getting better about staying out of the garden, unless there is a robin to chase and then the temptation is just too much. She is supposed to hang out with the animals and protect them from predators.
Today, she left the yard and ran around for awhile. Normally we lock her in her pen after she runs away, but I was in the process of moving her pen, so I had nowhere to put her. By the time she returned, I had taken the temporary fencing down from around the chickens so they were truly free ranging.
Kiva would follow the chickens around. For some reason the chickens acted nervous when a 90 pound dog was following them around. Eventually the chicken would fly and the dang dog would think the chicken wanted to play and start chasing it. The whole guardian dog thing went downhill from there. Se never ate a chicken, and I don’t think she would, but she holds them down and licks them and traumatizes them. She needs to be trained to not do that.
She also chases the sheep. We need to work on that too. We are waiting for batteries for the shock collar to arrive to get serious about the training thing. Maybe she will mature…. Or maybe I’ll totally detrain her before she reaches maturity.
Tomorrow will be spent in the garden planting some radishes, weeding the perennial beds and prepping soil.