Collar

I ordered Moses his own collar, and it arrived last week. I suppose this is one sign of permanency. He was wearing a collar from his former owners, along with a tag containing their phone number. Enough assurance that if he did somehow escape and got into the hands of a rescuer, that there would be traceability to someone who could retrieve him and take responsibility for him until what-to-do-next was sorted out. I was waiting to spend the $20 on a new collar until I was sure things would work out. Once he proved himself with the ram lambs, ordering the collar seemed logical.

Incidentally, Moses did escape the pasture once in his first week, when he was still of the mentality I don’t belong here. He had squeezed under a gate where there was a small gap. Kirk found him milling around harmlessly in the yard. Typical of a dog that’s never been allowed to run free, he didn’t really know what to do with the rare opportunity. 😉 Moses is pretty obedient, comes when he is called, and goes where he is told, which is really nice. Kirk was able to put him away easily.

I shored up the under-the-gate gaps with some ex-pen pieces fixed in place with bungee cords. That did the trick and he did not escape his assigned pasture again. I suspect at some point, I can omit the gap fillers, when he has fully accepted the limits of his assigned territories and no longer has the urge to explore neighboring ones. Bronte is well past this stage, she is generally inclined to stay in the pasture where the sheep are. So even if I open up a second pasture to her, she’ll spend very little time there. It’s interesting to me how both of them are so easily contained with 47” tall fences. Because they could quite easily vault them from a physical capability standpoint. But they don’t. Thankfully!

I like these big working dog collars from Lion Country Supply (though I’m sure they can be found many places). They have a ring in the middle of the collar, which are designed to allow the collar to “flip” if it were to ever get caught on something. If you can envision a branch tugging on one edge of the collar, the pull would cause the leather to twist on that ring, the whole collar should flip over and thus be freed of the twig. We don’t have many obstacles in our fields on which a dog could get snagged (maybe a Jacob horn??). But, just in case… I’ve read those Internet stories of dogs playing and one getting a tooth caught in the other one’s collar; so I think these are a good design which could prevent a lethal hang-up in that case too.Maggie

There is room, of course, for a riveted brass tag with cell phone numbers for both Kirk and me, should Moses ever get himself into trouble. The collar leather is 1” wide. I like that because it’s nice to grab and hold, especially with a dog that pulls, the collar makes a nice “handle.” I occasionally tie the dogs up for a few minute or hours if I’m doing a chore where I want to leave gates open for a bit. So, broad collars are safer for that application as well. I use these same collars on the Border Collies too. The wide leather looks big on their skinny necks, but I don’t care, they are working dogs, so don’t need refined neckwear. 🙂

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