Livestock Guardian Dogs


What kind of scat is that? Poo from the Foona-Lagoona Baboona? (The remarkable Foon, who eats sizzling hot pebbles that fall off the moon.)

Well, I think I know.

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Moses arrived here in the spring of 2010, a middle-aged, retired show dog. His former owner sent him home with me in a most presentable form, fully bathed and groomed, ready for a show. Here is what he looked like upon arrival, fearfully meeting grubby Bronte:

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In retrospect, the bath was a bad idea, as he was not waterproof for a few weeks, and got really wet when it rained. But it was mild weather, and he survived the short but difficult transition to farm life.

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Polite Sitting at the GateSome readers already know his background (but in case you don’t) our LGD, Moses, is a retired show dog. He’s a finished champion that was never really cut out to be a “campaign dog,” travelling the road for years, racking up group placements and best-in-show wins. So, he’s here now, and farm life seems to suit him much better. One problem I’ve faced with him is grooming, however. Ironic, since he must have spent a lot of time on the grooming table when he was a show dog. But perhaps this is one reason he needed a career change, as he hates being groomed!

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LlamaI ran into a neighbor at a gathering, who asked about the llama, conveying that another neighbor was asking her about our llama. I guess ol’ Dolly Llama (aka Tina for those who like to call her that) is pretty well known around here! She hasn’t been in the pasture for a few weeks, I had her up in the barn. I decided to sell her, and she went to a new home last weekend.

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This is a little pet peeve of mine. Or maybe it’s a big one. We live on a well-traveled road. Our sheep pastures abut the road. Our guardian dogs do their job, and bark at anything in the environment that’s out of the ordinary: pedestrians, bicyclists, deer, coyotes, and cars that slow way down or stop. Usually it’s just a minute or two of casual barking and then the thing is gone and calm returns.

But there is this phenomenon that I can’t figure out. Several people who like to drive by reeeel slow, and let their dog hang half out the car window and bark like crazy. And then our guardian dogs bark louder, a much more escalated bark. They go bananas and run the entire 600 feet of fence line to track this invader of our peace and ward it off. And all this ruckus makes the border collies bark inside the house, then race hells-bells out the dog door to see what’s going on.

Lots of people do it, but some cars I recognize, because they are regular and repeat offenders. It seems it’s a favorite pastime of many; and they must be people who live nearby, since I see them so often.

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