Friday, December 7, 2007

Contestant number one

Well, we are hoping there is no contestant number two needed. We need a guardian animal. For almost 5 years our sheep have been relatively unmolested by the local coyotes, but this year groups of the marauding predators have been attacking and eating our defenceless sheep. We have ruled out using a donkey because they don't differentiate between working border collies and dangerous coyotes so our other choices are a llama or a guardian dog. We decided on a dog and if she works out, our sheep will have their needed protection just in time for lambing. So Kit, come on down. This is your lucky day! Kit is a female working Akbash who was picked out for us by a friend who is familiar with our needs.

Our guardian dog needs to be friendly with people and able to be handled, but prefer the company of her sheep to humans. She needs to be alert to the threat of coyotes but passive to the working border collies. Most important, she needs to know that it would be bad to eat chickens, ducks, cats and of course, little dogs. We will give Kit a probationary month and will work with her to understand the rules.

Right now, our sheep are confused.
They can't understand why we keep closing them in with this dog. They only understand that if a dog walks up to you, you walk away. Until Kit and the sheep are bonded, we will be keeping them in small pastures and in the barn. We are keeping our fingers crossed.