There are days when it seems like the dogs are so much trouble for how few animals I have. They are still rambunctious puppies, after all. and you know how puppies can be. They like to fight with each other – sometimes violently – and manners are something neither one has had much interest in. Had I left them at Juniper Moon Farm they would have continued learning proper behavior from the senior dogs – but I interrupted that to bring them home.
When George started chasing the sheep around I decided it was high time to be strict. I contacted my friend Cindy over at Jacob’s Reward Farm for some advice. Cindy adopted the previous litter of puppies from Susan, and so if anyone had some insight on raising that particular blend of personalities, I figured Cindy would. Thankfully, she reinforced what I was already thinking.
I separated George into his own private pen so that he could be in the middle of all the livestock action, but could not actually chase them or touch them.
Orzo immediately calmed down. George immediately calmed down.
Two unaltered male puppies together = chaos. Separated they are much more trainable.
Now we are able to work on manners. George is leaning to be completely calm before he gets fed and petted. Both dogs are learning to sit back from the gate when we are opening it. Orzo is learning not to jump all over us.
We are still having some hiccups – George still loses all focus when I allow him in with the other animals – on a lead – and refuses to hear my commands. But, little by little this is improving.
Orzo has been taught by both Milkshakes and Jerry that he is not in charge. He no longer tries to eat out of the trough when I bring grain out to the sheep and goats – thanks to being butted a few times by bratty Jerry – and Milkshakes knocked him down a time or two when he got too energetic for everyone.
There is no doubt in my mind they are worth every bit of effort, however. I awoke very late a few nights ago to the sound of both dogs barking furiously, and while my first instinct was to be annoyed, I heard something out there answering them back with a high pitched growling / yelping noise. I couldn’t see whatever it was, but I could hear it retreating.
Those dogs earn their keep.
Besides, Milkshakes seems to have taken a liking to Orzo.
I often see them like this – either by the gate or in the hay. Not quite touching, but close enough.