I’ve had so much going on lately. First off, I finally got the job that I’ve wanted for five years and I just started working in the daytime. I’ve worked night shift for almost five years. This opened up the opportunity to observe something about livestock guardian dogs.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, my family got three livestock guardian dogs for our farm because we have coyotes, bears, and mountain lions. I knew that our dogs have coyote for dinner frequently, and I knew that one of our dogs broke a leg as a very young puppy because he spotted and caught a very large kitty(Mountain lion). His dad was the only reason that the dog is still with us on our farm.
His cousin, Commando who is the youngest on our farm, started into a bad habit when he was a very young pup. Of course, I can’t blame him entirely for this.
My big chestnut mare decided when Commando was a puppy, that it was funny to go step on him when he was sleeping in the pasture or barn and watch him jump and yelp. This backfired because Commando decided it was payback time. He took up chasing my mare. I hadn’t heard of him doing it for a long time though.
On Tuesday of this last week, he gave me a scare. The entire herd/flock of sheep, goats, horses, and calf were all across our property over by the woods grazing. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, Commando, Llana, and Guerrero took off running and barking. They jumped our fence and ran half way across the field. The livestock all took off running back to the barn with Commando close to the horses. I started to jump down Commando’s throat because I thought he was back to chasing horses. Mom stopped me. As it turns out, the dogs do one more thing that I had no clue of.
If there is danger too near to the animals, the dogs run out there barking, calling the animals to come to safety. Commando’s running alongside wasn’t chasing out of fun. He was trying to hurry the animals from a danger zone. He never once offered to bite and once the animals were in a safe spot, he quit the pursuit.
I thought that was pretty amazing. These dogs never seem to cease to astonish me with the things that they will do to keep the animals(and many times ourselves) safe from predators.