Saturday, October 23, 2010


                                           MASON HAS BEEN ADOPTED!!!

      This one time temperament test flunkie just graduated from his first series of obedience classes!!! His foster mom said "he finished with a very nice performance, his recall was awesome"!
      How did they show up the rest of the crowd? "we'd been practicing in the alleyway between sheep pens, so he was straight"!!!
     "He was also FAST and finished with a beautiful sit in front..." his foster mom hopes his new adopter will continue his obedience as he really seems to enjoy the outing and the class. Upstaging the squirmy squirmy Labs and Goldens!

Click the "read more" link below to see more pictures and learn about Mason

 Young Mason was found wandering and starving in the mountains in Montana. Most likely  from a working ranch. It is not uncommon for young unneutered males to wander off. A concerned hiker took him home and then took him to a shelter. Like many young Livestock Guardian Dogs with no training, he flunked the food test. A hungry guy, he did not appreciate the plastic hand in his food bowl, can you blame him!?!
       Often food guarding is an innate behavior, how else is a fella to keep hundreds of sheep outta his food?
       Shelter temperament tests are often very strict as they are standardized for adopters that may have no doggie skills whatsoever. This is why rescue groups are so important. The shelter relies on a rescue group to find foster and a qualified adopter. The shelter neutered Mason to save the rescue fund money, thank you!

Here is Mason at the shelter. The first thing I thought was, he is just a puppy! He is wagging his tail in this picture!

    Enter local Montana Akbash owner, she has three, to Mason's rescue! Mason was taken home to a beautiful peaceful setting to begin some foster care.
       The food training he never got as a pup began immediately. He was fed a hard boiled egg, cut into pieces and a sit was required before he was hand fed a piece.
    Often dogs will not eat their food and then will guard it. It can be helpful to teach them to eat their food as soon as they are fed.   Now Mason finishes his food and does not feel the need to guard it.
        One can teach even a seemingly very food aggressive dog to see the person as the provider, not taker, of food. In temperament tests the dog is given the bowl of food, begins eating, and then an attempt to touch the dog or take the bowl elicits growls or posturing.
       To begin working with the dog on this issue, put the bowl down empty. Have the food in a container in your hand. Empty one mouthful at a time into the bowl. The dog will eat it and then naturally look at you for more. Just as food guarding is an innate behavior, so is soliciting food from humans, commonly called begging...HA! Once the dog looks up at you for more, soliciting the food, reward this calm behavior with another mouthful. The dog will soon learn these new behaviors around food get rewarded with more food..
        Just a bit of patience and teaching the dog the behaviors you want. Whether working or companion dogs, Livestock Guardian Breeds need human interaction and training to develop proper behaviors. They need to develop a trusting relationship with their owner. This relationship built on trust and mutual respect, is the foundation from which their behavior is guided and shaped through adolescence and on into adulthood.

      Here is a friend coming to visit the resident very large male Akbash. Even though this neighbor tries to get him to jump up on her, he only offers a paw....having been trained to not jump up!
       Wearing his traditional hand forged iron collar to protect his neck from the numerous wild critters, he fends them off just fine but is well socialized and mannerly!

For information about Mason please contact Akbash rescue coordinator Janet Davis 510 410-0149
e-mail is


Unknown said...

We are have a small farm in Olympia, WA with poultry, a cat, and kids. Do you think he would do well here

straughie said...


you can e-mail me to talk about Mason! my e-mail is
cell# is 510 410-0149
Thanks! Janet