how to switch systems

Discussion of the training, use, and management of guard dogs, guard llamas, guard donkeys, guard goldfish, etc.

Re: how to switch systems

Postby John Bock » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:09 am

Day #3

Dog can be coaxed out of the trailer, easily leashed, walks on leash around 10 acre paddock with the sheep twice a day. Today it looked like she was trying to make a break for it, immmediately realized she was still on leash. Goes back into her trailer with her crate without any trouble at the end of the walk. I think I may leave that trailer in the field even when she is at liberty. Would not eat, I was standing there. Last night she would not take a bone while I was standing there. I could leave the food bowl in the trailer, it will draw fire ants, I had thought that if she would eat while I'm watching she would be easy to catch. I have not heard her bark.
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Re: how to switch systems

Postby lovetree » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:08 am

The dog is going through the normal transition time for an adult LGD...they are very sensitive creatures and it takes a while for them to relax. Can you leave the feed for her and leave?

When she puts her head down to eat, she is vulnerable to "attack" and if you are standing nearby, you have the upper hand to be the " attacker". She simply doesnt trust you yet.
Try leaving her food and bone with her and then return after an hour and see if she has eaten. If she has, GREAT! If she hasnt, then remove the food and try again tomorrow.

She is going through quite an ordeal for a LGD, there is a lengthy transition time involved. It can take up to six months for an adult LGD to transition to a new home, and getting used to a new "owner" can actually be more unsettling to her than adjusting to a new flock. It would also help her to relax if she had something to lie on that smelled like her previous home, some wool from her previous flock or an old worn (not clean) sweatshirt or old T shirt from the previous owner that used to feed her.
Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead
home of the dual purpose Trade Lake Sheep and the nationally celebrated Trade Lake Cedar Cheese
NW Wisconsin
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Re: how to switch systems

Postby Janet McNally » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:24 pm

I agree with Denise. none of my dogs will eat with me present. They always wait until I leave. Also agree these dogs are more primal, have more of their social skills intact as compared to most pet breeds. To eat while the boss is present is bad manners.

Janet
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Re: how to switch systems

Postby lovetree » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:54 pm

To eat while the boss is present is bad manners.



Well, I guess that my dogs are rude then, because they chow down when we bring them their food ;-)
However, if there are more than one or two dogs present, they definitely abide by pack hierarchy and then we have to space the dishes at least 50 feet apart so all will/can eat.
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NW Wisconsin
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Re: how to switch systems

Postby Janet McNally » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:05 pm

must be the chow, Mary :wink:
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Re: how to switch systems

Postby lovetree » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:20 pm

must be the chow, Mary


Hah! I would like to think so, but more likely they just got tired of going hungry, if they dont readily eat their food we remove it and they dont get another shot at it until the next day...
we cant afford picky/slow eaters, especially when they are in the pasture where the sheep can eat it.
(raised my kids the same way ;-)
Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead
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NW Wisconsin
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Re: how to switch systems

Postby John Bock » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:21 am

Day #5

Dog comes out of the crate to stand at the door of the trailer wagging her tail when she sees me entering the pasture. Accepts my herding dog easily. Drinks from the sheep trough in the field. Still not eating, even though I left the food down all night. Moves about the pasture on a leash happily. Whines and yips when I leave, is that bad news? This dog was said to be rather standoffish with people. I will be home all day on Day #7, should I let her loose?
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Re: how to switch systems

Postby Bill Fosher » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:25 am

lovetree wrote:
Janet McNally wrote: must be the chow, Mary


Hah! I would like to think so, but more likely they just got tired of going hungry, if they dont readily eat their food we remove it and they dont get another shot at it until the next day...
we cant afford picky/slow eaters, especially when they are in the pasture where the sheep can eat it.
(raised my kids the same way ;-)


Plus the interns will get up and run away if they wait too long.
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Re: how to switch systems

Postby lovetree » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:48 am

Plus the interns will get up and run away if they wait too long.


:lol:
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Re: how to switch systems

Postby lovetree » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:09 pm

It is a positive that she wags her tail when she sees you...her behavior sounds like she is very upset that she is being left alone with the sheep.
How much 'previous people time" has she had?

Has she ever been in the position of being a solo LGD?

The way she readily accepts your Border Collies tells me that :
#1 She is not bonded to the sheep, at least not feeling very protective of them yet (one week is very little time to expect that from ANY LGD)
#2 She is accustomed to herding/farm dogs being around.
#3 She may also be a "team player" personality that craves the companionship of another dog.
#4 She is still very scared.


When you walk her on a leash, does she lick your hand at all? Could you possibly try hand feeding her a few very tempting treats?
If she licks your hand and is obviously happy to see you when you take her on a walk, try feeding her a few treats directly out of your hand...try doing so while you are sitting on the ground, not standing over her.

I would try leaving a raw meaty bone with her overnight, and I would also really soak her food in some fresh milk, or try adding some chunks of raw meat, raw ground beef, raw eggs, all which may be very tempting for her. ...she really does need to be eating before you turn her loose.

I did have one young adult dog that did not eat after five days and her new owner turned her loose to be with the sheep. She worked out for him as an excellent guardian but he has never been able to really handle her too much, she had always been extremely aloof.

My concern with your LGD is that she is 6 years old...she needs time. She may be just fine if you turn her loose, and that may be all that she needs.
She also may jump right over your sheep paddock and be off looking for her old flock.....
all depends on what you are willing to risk.
Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead
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NW Wisconsin
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Re: how to switch systems

Postby John Bock » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:05 pm

She was one of a trio guarding goats.
Goats were sold, one dog rehomed, leaving two with nothing to guard
Then the dog that was left with her died, she was alone and miserable
The woman who rehomed the first dog took her in, but didn't really want or need another dog for her small home flock sheep and goats
This woman was pretty savvy about limiting her time with her LGD's, dog was not clingy when I saw her
But she has never been solo with a flock until now
Does lick my hand when we walk
Has gotten the idea that going back in the trailer is the end of good times for a while
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Re: how to switch systems

Postby Janet McNally » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:16 pm

John Bock wrote:Day #5

I will be home all day on Day #7, should I let her loose?


I would wait a little longer. I'd like to see her eating when you put the food down (might have to leave but I want her connecting you to food), and I would like to see her approach you and submit to being caught before you turn her loose. i.e. if she is in the trailer, I want her to come to the door rather than me having to corner her to put that leash on.

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Re: how to switch systems

Postby dhibbeln » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:40 am

Based on what your describing and my experience with the various malconents and rescues brought home by my ACO wife for short term stays and that have passed through here in the past decade I'd make sure this dog came to me for treats and on command on a long, long leash before I let her run free. Other behavior seems normal to me for a dog that's been uprooted from surrounding and moved from place to place and is not sure what's next.
Be patient. Give her time to become secure with surroundings, might take more then you expect.

Dave H.
NE of Albany, NY & 1,543 ft from VT
Dall Hollow Farm
Texas Dalls & they're NOT goats!
home of "stotting" lambs
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Re: how to switch systems

Postby John Bock » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:37 am

I turned her loose last night
Partly because she was so glad to see me each morning and each evening when I came out to walk her around the pasture, my failures in the past have been dogs that liked me too much and would not stay with the flock
She stayed in the pasture all night, and was in her crate in her trailer with the door open when I showed up this morning. She had eaten what I left for her last night.
I took the electric net night pen down and will take it away
She was standoffish when I first came out this morning but quickly came to me and stuck loosely with me as we walked around until we came up to the flock, then she took up a position on the opposite side of the flock and stayed there quietly.
I snuck away
I believe she has never been by herself before.
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Re: how to switch systems

Postby lovetree » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:36 am

Well John, that is the behavior that I believe we were all hoping for, but there is always the risk of her responding otherwise.
I'm happy to hear that she is now eating, keep working on her coming up to you so you can handle her.
Since she has never guarded alone before, you may want to start looking now for an appropriate team mate for her. Hopefully she wont display the GP tendency to "enlarge " her guarding territory" beyond your fence line :-)
Dont be afraid of her liking you too much at this age, just dont give her ANY positive attention if she leaves her paddock, only give positive attention when she is where she is supposed to be.
Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead
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NW Wisconsin
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