Puppies are all doing well. They’re getting very familiar with the sheep, as you can see in one or two of these videos. Unfortunately, our air quality is still pretty awful.We’ll be doing individual photos over the weekend when I have a helper to hold puppies. If I haven’t scheduled a phone call with you yet, I’ll be contacting you soon. For now enjoy these stills and videos, all but the first one is from this morning. The other is from last week when the skies cleared for a bit.
The Willis’s are 5 weeks old, and as you can see….not wanting for groceries! They’re living outside full time and will start going out to the pasture with mom now that the smoke seems to be clearing. The weather and smoke from the fires has been pretty rough on everyone; I’m just thrilled to have WiFi back, and clear skies! I will be scheduling phone calls during week 6 to discuss various puppies and transport plans, and answer any other questions. Here are individual photos, and a couple of videos taken yesterday and this morning. You may notice little Blind Date is missing from the individual photos…..because she is so much smaller than her siblings, for the moment I am holding her back. She is healthy and doing everything she should be doing, but she does tend to get pushed off food and knocked around a lot by her much larger siblings. Although she’s a tough little thing I just don’t think it’s in her best interests to keep her outside 24/7 like the rest, and until I get a vet clearance that she’s as okay as she appears, I’m just taking a watch and wait approach with her. I hope you enjoy the photos and videos!
This first video is just Yamir and Bella waiting for the gate to open so the new sheep on the other side can come through,…..something Bella and I have been working on with Yamir. Today, we exchanged Bella, who has been helping me teach Yamir proper sheep etiquette since weaning her puppies a few months ago, for Harley. The idea is to observe Yamir’s behavior without my close supervision, or fear of reprisal from Bella. This video is basically just Bella reminding Yamir who the boss is as they wait for the gate to open.
This second video is of Yamir and Harley modeling correct behavior when welcoming a few new sheep. Notice they are NOT welcoming them, they’re keeping their distance and almost seem to be ignoring the sheep. These are new sheep, who have only been exposed to herding dogs in the past and panic when they see dogs approaching. This can result in injured sheep and dogs, plus we wouldn’t want them running through our awesome, super secure fencing along the back of this pen……
While bonding between livestock and their guardian dogs is important, the shepherd/dog bond is all too often ignored here in the US. How can you build a bond and communicate what you want to your dogs if you don’t spend time working with them? The only dogs who are put in a pen next to the sheep are my 4 week old puppies and their mothers. By 6 weeks of age they are going out with mom and me into a pasture with sheep and other pack members for the day…I’m digressing….
Anyway, 18 month old Harley was born here and has been raised in a pack environment surrounded by sheep, while 2 1/2 year old Yamir spent his first several months in a kennel, with no exposure to livestock or even open spaces. Yamir is a big dog with a big personality and while he has been great with older sheep and goats who are used to dogs, (and surprisingly, poultry) he has had to learn to reign himself in with new livestock…this is his first experience completely on his own without me or Bella there to correct him. While it is hot, most of his panting is due to excitement. I swear he had test anxiety! However, he really did exactly what I was hoping for. These new ewes don’t have the opportunity for distance on a small pasture or pen, so it’s important for the dogs to understand the concept of giving them the space they need to acclimate, and eventually become familiar with their new surroundings. Yamir and Harley did a great job, but Bella will be going back in just to keep an eye on things for awhile.
The Stars are now 6 weeks old and have graduated from their puppy pen. They are now spending their days with mom, some of the other pack members and the sheep. This is a very important learning experience for them, as they learn to live in a larger space, and to interact with other pack members and of course, the livestock. I really believe these weeks spent with other pack members, livestock, poultry, and children on a regular basis is why our puppies are so confident and ready to learn when they arrive at their new homes. Because they’re way too young to spend nights out, of course they do still go back to their pen in the evening at feeding time. Here are some still photos and videos along with their 6 week individual photos, enjoy!
Everyone is growing, developing their own little personalities, and exploring the world. Mama Bella is not all that thrilled that her kids are now able to leave their shelter and wander around on their own. She typically starts shooing puppies back inside as soon as the sun starts to set. Here are individual photos, and a video….enjoy!
Introducing Hoof and Fangs Stars! They’re all healthy, chubby, and have a lot to say at feeding time. Like so many areas, we are experiencing ridiculous weather swings, high winds, and power and internet outages, so I am a bit late in posting. This litter is all reserved, but I am taking applications for summer litters. Enjoy the photos, and video!
Cabo and Bakira’s litter is 8 weeks old today. I can’t believe they’ll be leaving for their new homes in just two more weeks. Just in time for Bella and Cabo’s litter to arrive around February 13th. No pups are available unless today’s ultrasound indicates more than 12 puppies(I really hope not!!😳). However, Tomas recently achieved a really excellent PennHip rating, so I will likely have a Tomas x Nellie litter later this year. Anyway….here are some photos, and a short, after breakfast video of the pups and Bakira and their buddy Owen the Corgi getting ready to head out with our ewes and lambs.
Bakira delivered 5 beautiful, healthy male puppies on December 10th. Mom and pups were vet checked and everyone is doing great! Bakira is a fabulous mama, I’m very proud of her. Introducing The Muscle Cars; Hoof and Fangs Shelby, Chevelle, Charger, Road Runner, and Judge, and congratulations to their new owners, Tabatha, Tucker, Pru, Roxanne, and Colin. Here are a few photos and a video of our new little family.
Tiles de Abelgas x Madridsky Dvor Bakira
We are happy to announce Dixie’s DNA results came back clear through Embark. You can see her results here: