Monday, March 29, 2010
Bear's meets the working dogs
Bear's foster person George, has five working dogs. A female Akbash, a male Akbash Great Pyrenees cross, a brother and sister pair of Pyrenees, and a male Anatolian shepherd Maremma sheepdog cross.
He has harmony with his dogs and very little in the way of problems. When I first talked to him I quickly realized he was a natural with the dogs! Click the "read more" link below to read about George's wonderful relationship with his dogs!
Kelly and Ryan goofing around.
George's dogs are serious working dogs and keep the coyotes away, the coyote's can be heard at night but know to stay off George's property!
His dogs are very friendly and I enjoyed meeting them all. I was a bit concerned though about their possible reaction to Bear. George waited a bit to introduce them but when he did, Bear was accepted. His relationship with his dogs meant they would accept him bringing a new dog in.
I asked George how come he has so few problems or issues with his dogs. Many people with working dogs have problems with escaping, fighting, unwillingness to cooperate, chasing livestock and more. He explained that he spends a lot of time with his dogs and has developed a great relationship based on trust and mutual respect. He told me he could tell these independent minded dogs "would be through with him" if he was ever harsh with them. He knew he had to get their cooperation which would develop as a result of his good relationship with them.
When he first gets a dog he spends a lot of time with the dog on leash teaching them the perimeter and introducing them to the other animals. Having a fencing business he has a very well fenced property. He lets them know fence jumping is not acceptable. No harsh punishment is needed with these intelligent dogs. Just taking them back to their proper place and them knowing you are displeased.
He also gradually works up to the point where they can be trusted. Expecting the dog to be trustworthy too soon causes a lot of problems for people. Just as in companion dog training, it is best to set a dog up for success, not failure, by anticipating what the dog is not ready for. Moving slowly through the different levels of responsibility and obedience expected of the dog, prevents frustration for both human and dog!
After work George walks the entire perimeter with the dogs each day. Spending time with them and checking how everything is going. At night the sheep and Llama are moved to a lower pasture near the house. He has some motion lights and covered areas. The dogs are all fed during this evening ritual. All the time he spends with them, and their consistent routine, means these dogs know this is their home and they have a real desire to stay put and protect and cooperate. His excellent relationship with them is reflected in their behavior. They are all so well cared for, and very well adjusted happy working dogs!
Kelly, the female Akbash dog, watches Bear taking a look around the main sheep pasture.
Ryan is fine with Bear in his pasture and welcomes him into the pack.
Bear is enjoying his exploration of this beautiful area. Hmmmm...I think it is far preferable to the shelter! Thank you Akbash rescue!!!!
Bear and Kelly (with George and his wife's yellow labrador).
Yes Bear needs to gain some weight, here he is looking quite thin next to George's well cared for dogs!
George's devoted dogs!
Ryan shows me one of two ancient rocks with Indian grinding holes in them! They make great water bowls with fresh rainwater!
Someone spotted a squirrel and now a group search and dig is on!