Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tommy Boy Meets The Dog

I still can't get over the hair....

 Tommy Boy and his wild, wild, hair....

So. Tommy met The Dog. That.... guy.... I told him to watch his P's and Q's but Tommy didn't and he took a run at me. He shouldn't have reared up on his hind legs. He shouldn't have put his head down or reached ramming speed.  And worst of all, he really shouldn't have done this when my #1 Dog was in the goat yard with me. There won't be anymore of those shenanigans.

Tommy's previous own let me know that he could be "protective" of his lady loves and when I brought Debbie into the goat yard after being sequestered with Nibs for a few days.. let's just say that Tommy went gaga for her. Admittedly he was a little out of his mind with goaty love. But we believe in rules, discipline, and self control around here. My #1 Dog in my chief enforcer.

My #1 Dog and Chief Enforcer.

I'll use this opportunity as a reminder to never, ever let your dog "play" with your goats. My #1 was not playin' and Tommy Boy got the business end of my #1's "Don't Touch My Momma" wrath.  My Good Sir had that buck laid out in a heartbeat. Tommy Boy was dazed and in a ruined heap wondering what happened. That goat was fine, of course, and of course I called Titan off. Tommy Boy is giving me a wide berth now - as he should.

It should be noted that these are pretty high level, professional working dog maneuvers and if your dog is sitting beside you on the couch eating ice cream out of your bowl... well.. it might not go so well for you. But my #1 Dog works with me in the barnyard and knows exactly what the limits are and when to engage the livestock. I've learned to trust his instincts - it's part of what makes us such a good team. He knew exactly what he was doing.

It's important that the livestock see my working dogs as an extension of me, their shepherd. This allows me to work more easily in the barnyard without always looking over my shoulder to see who is running up on me. In most cases, if anyone is out of line all I really need to do is yell, "Dog!" and the troops scatter or get into formation - which ever is appropriate. Tommy Boy is now clear on this concept.

Zander, The Brute Squad. May be getting a promotion.

The big story in all of this, tho, was Zander. Kai and Zander were in the dog yard when I got Titan out to help me in the barnyard. I didn't latch their gate right but I figured it would be OK for just a second. As soon as all of this went down with Tommy Boy I turned around... and there was Zander standing right behind me.

This was a wow moment for me and I absolutely beamed with pride. Here's the thing. I was at the top of the goat yard but Dog#1 had Tommy in the lower yard - by that gate. If Zander really just wanted to get in on the "kill" then he would have gone to the lower gate. But instead he busted out of the dog yard to guard me. This is huge. This means that he knows guarding me is more important than chasing prey...and this means.... bigger livestock could be in our future.

This could be a game changer. We'll have to see. But regardless it could be that Zander is going to get a promotion here very soon.

In the meantime, we will find out next week if Tommy Boy was worth the drive. Darla and Daisy are looking a little more puffy ...we'll have to see if they come back into heat. All my goat dreams could be coming true. If we end up with a herd of goats I know that I have the man power.. or should I say "dog power" to keep them all in line.

Happy Tuesday everyone! Are your dogs helping you?


Unknown said...

I am getting ready to try to train one dog we already have to help on the farm and am considering getting a puppy to raise specifically for that purpose. What books do you recommend? I'm a beginner at working dogs. Did you raise yours from puppies? You sure have some great helpers!!

small farm girl said...

I have a question. Do you "train" your dogs to do this? Or, is it mostly the type of dog that you have? And if it's either one, can you explain? hehehehe. How's that for another post topic?

buddeshepherd said...

I left you what I thought was a really funny comment about Stanley the Great Dane/Boxer sitting on the feet of diminutive horse ladies until they paid their bill but it never showed up.
I am either doing something totally wrong or you hate me.
I wish I could remember what the point of my post was.

Ann from KY said...

we have bad dogs here. they ate a chicken this week. :( of course it was a layer :( :(

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Budde... i'm blaming it on the google. but i'm dying to know about Stanley. ;-)

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