Bronte seems to be more clever and interested in “things” than is convenient for a LGD. I would prefer if she were a bit lazier, but she likes to play with objects. First, she was carrying her feed bowl all over the field, and I had trouble finding it. So, I attached an S-hook to the bowl, and now I chain it to the fence.
When our septic was being repaired, several people, myself included, were out in her pasture checking out the drainfield, and opening the lids. That drew her attention to the drainfield lids, which she apparently hadn’t noticed before. She pried them all off and chewed them up. I’ve bought new ones, and am thinking of ways I can tie them down so she can’t get them off, but people can.
Today I went out to repair a gate, where I had broken off a board with the tractor, trying to mow too close to the post. The broken piece was missing however, stolen by a sneaky dog…
I’ve been shopping for a “real” toy for her, but I wanted something big enough that it wouldn’t get lost, or run over with the tractor mower. I finally chose a horse toy- a purple Jolly Ball. She seems to enjoy it, though she wouldn’t play with it in front of me for the camera. The toy is very robust, Maggie squishes and shakes it violently when she gets a hold of it, but it always springs back into shape.
I am always disappointed at how many dog toys are made in red and green colors. Dogs are red-green color blind, so colors in the red-yellow-green end of the spectrum are nearly indistinguishable to them. I always choose blue or purple toys. I think dogs have pretty good visual acuity despite their color-blindness; but I still feel that if you throw a red toy in a big grass field, they have trouble noticing it and have to resort to using their noses.
2 thoughts on “Clever Bronte”
I just got me an LGD, she’s 2 or 3 yo.
I see you have lots of wisdom when it comes to dogs and how to train them. I’m pretty sure I’m more ignorant that I want to admit. I have her tied in my back yard right now. I took her out to the farm the other evening and she kept barking at the horse. She’s real good with the ducks and the chickens, and she ignores the sheep and goats unless they venture towards her food. Then she piles into them. Sounds and looks scary, but since they are not averse to coming back, I’m sure they are not being damaged. lol. Anyway, she’s awful skinny, but she doesn’t seem inclined to eat her food. My plan is to chain her for a time outside the pasture, giving the cow, horse, herself, and the other critters time to become familiar with each other. Then I suppose I will put her dog house out in the pasture, and hook her to it, I’m hoping it won’t be too long and I can give her free range of the pasture. She’s really sweet and I am thrilled to have her and expect she’ll be happy to keep the coyotes away. Any direction from you would be hugely appreciated. As I have time I will go back and reread your posts about your LGD, unfortunately my brain cells are getting too widely spaced, and too much slips through any more, =P of course I always learn better when I am doing.
My Meremma stays lean too, she has an unusual eating pattern where she seems to fast for a day or two once every few weeks. I’m not sure if she is eating rodents in the pasture and gets full, or if she just chooses sometimes to skip a few meals. I do think they are much more vulnerable to parasites, having daily access to manure and rodents, so maybe that could be a factor in why yours is skinny? Mine really seems to like the raw food from my kitchen, which is only part of her diet. I still feed kibble,and change brands frequently, because she eats so much. But I would love to get to the point of feeding her all homemade food, if I could learn to handle the volume.
Training them is an interesting challenge, for sure! I saw another farm where they had their dogs drag a tire, and felt that was effective for getting the good behavior they wanted while allowing the dog to enjoy the company of the livestock. I think it’s different for every dog, and you have to be a creative trainer to figure out what’s going to work with your dog, your livestock, and your setup.
I think one drawback to tying them up is that the coyotes may learn to ignore the dog, and then once the dog is finally loose in the pasture, there could be a nasty confrontation before the coyotes learn to stay away. I believe coyotes generally prefer not to fight and risk injuring themselves, but if they are surprised by a dog, they will defend themselves, and they can really tear up even a big domestic dog and make a big vet bill! So, I think if you could at least have your dog moving freely inside some kind of enclosure, then the coyotes would start to learn that she is mobile, and to beware of her behind any fences.
Keep us posted on how she does!