Today's Quote

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Advantage of the Pack

One of my recommendations on a farm with livestock that needs a livestock guardian or guardian type dogs in general is to have a pack. A single dog is great and many times will alert to a problem. However, I have found that a single dog will rarely engage with a large problem. Dakota our great Pyrenees will take care of small predators like opossums, fox and such but she is often even reluctant to engage larger predators even single ones such as other dogs. She will chase and bark but not fully engage. When the neighbors dog came through the fence to attack our pig she chased him off the pig but that was where it ended. As long as he left the pig alone he was left alone. When Cujo was alive the pair of them would have made sure that the dog did not return and went back home with some physical memory of why it shouldn't come over here. Valentine is a sweet dog but she is getting up in age as well and has never been intent on protecting much other than her couch. She will on occasion give some back up confidence to Dakota. The other night the coyote pack was close...real close. Dakota was going mad at the back fence and suddenly Valentine joined in which gave Dakota more confidence in defending that back fence. We grows he too will join in the pack defense mode. He is showing good signs of doing so and Dakota is doing her best to teach and train him. Day before yesterday there was something in the woods behind the back fence. Dakota was going mad again along the fenceline and desperately wanted to get into the goat pasture. So I let her in and Titan went right along right behind her. She raced along the fence barking and growling while he was trying to figure out what was going on. Then he started barking and growling too, following her every footstep. That was when I saw the other neighbors dog. Now we have had problems with his pair of labs chasing our livestock. The one dog by itself won't cross the fence with Dakota, but the pair of them paid her no mind as they easily outnumbered her. Now she has backup and Titan will hopefully continue to grow into that position giving her more confidence to engage should they ever cross the line again. I highly recommend a pack when the safety and security of livestock is concerned against both 4 legged and 2 legged predators. Many predators work as a pack and won't give a single dog a second thought, but a pack against a pack will keep them (predators) at bay and keep your livestock safe. It is an amazing thing to watch the pack work together. When Valentine was younger and Cujo was alive they had their roles. Valentine would alert and Cujo would engage. Because of the nature of his breed and his courage level he had no trouble engaging by himself. After he engaged then Valentine would engage as well. However, they were pretty limited in what they considered an issue which is the reason we got Dakota. I am hoping that Titan will learn well from her. She works hard to keep everyone safe even without having to engage predators. If she hears a dog bark too close she will move the goat herd back up closer to the house and barn and then stand between them and the sound of the bark. I enjoy having my pack and I enjoy seeing them work together even though two of them are not livestock guard dogs. They still have their dynamics and for them it works in keeping our property and livestock safe. Blessings, Kat

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