|Kris, almost 11 weeks old|
So our cute "little" puppy is becoming a gangly, all-legs puppy. At his 2nd puppy check last Friday, he'd grown from 14 to 22 pounds in just three weeks.
|Kris, running after Surprise|
He has taken to following the goats around and seems to particularly like Surprise. She, on the other hand, has no use for him whatsoever, and presents him with the top of her head anytime he comes up to her. Fortunately he doesn't know that this means "mind your own beeswax" in goat body language, so he tries to lick her ears. Sadly, she has no appreciation for puppy kisses. She does seem to like his puppy food however and makes a beeline for it when it's time for Kris to eat. Of course, this is something she is not allowed to have.
There are two schools of thought regarding the training of livestock guardian dogs. Old school is for the puppy to have virtually no human contact for several weeks, to allow bonding with the stock. More current thinking is that the tendency to guard is more about genetic instinct. Some dogs naturally make better guardians than others, even within the LGD breeds themselves. This line of thinking says the puppy needs to be kept with the stock, but also needs human socialization. It needs to know basic commands, be leash trained, and be able to be transported for things like vet visits. Folks who raise LGDs now, say the instinct to guard livestock just "kicks in."
We had a go-round with "kennel cough," which was worrisome. Fortunately we caught it before it developed into pneumonia, but Kris had to come stay in the house while he was coughing and congested. After that he came in at night and on rainy days; something he did not like. I can't say that I blame him and am glad he's an outdoor dog, but we felt he needed to use his energy for getting well, not keeping his body temperature up in the cold and wet.
The goats have been slow to appreciate him.
|For the goats, it was initially us against it|
Of course, he wants to play in ways they don't. Still, they're beginning to tolerate him. Of the chickens, he's decided to keep a repsectful distance.
|Watching Mrs. Mean parade by|
But then, he's seen Mrs. Mean giving "what for" to the pullets. Other than that, he's a happy little guy, all puppy.
Of the dog next door (which prompted us to get Kris), he is being chained up outside again. He has a much sturdier collar, but he has taken to barking at our chickens and goats. He must remember all the fun he had chasing them. Every critter on our side of the fence ignores him, but when he gets worked up, he fights and struggles to get out of that collar. So far it's held. We are seriously thinking about putting up a wood privacy fence there, just so he can't see and be tempted.
|Jasmine, Surprise, & Kris|
Anyway, that's the puppy report. :)