Test Day for Yamir

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.

Happy Mother’s Day!

They did it again! Because their first litter was such a success, Cabo and Bakira are going to produce a second litter of beautiful puppies on or around June 19th. These puppies will be varying shades of fawn and red. Photo included of Judge at 8 weeks old, as an example of what these two fabulous Spanish Mastiffs produce together. Cabo’s hips are OFA certified excellent, and Bakira received an overall DI of .51 through PennHip. You can also view x rays and certificates on the FB group entitled Working Spanish Mastiffs with x rays and Other Health Testing. I know, it’s a mouthful! Both parents also receive annual health checkups which include cardiac, liver, kidney and thyroid function. We are still taking applications for this litter. Send any inquiries to hoofandfang@gmail.com.

When you’re supposed to be napping, but toys!

While Bellatrix and Andromeda napped out in the pasture with mom, the boys were being boys😂

Tan collar – Sirius

Red collar – Antares

Dark Blue collar – Perseus

White collar – Draco

Yellow collar – Betelgeuse

Green collar – Pollux

Brown collar – Polaris

Black collar – Vega

Vega and Draco
Betelgeuse, Antares and Pollux

For anyone interested in listening to me drone on about my dogs for an hour…

Just be warned, for some reasons, the questions were edited out so it sounds a little like I’m just arbitrarily jumping fromThanks so much to Sean and Bulldog Social Club for taking an interest in the breed.

First Day With The Pack….

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!

Bella and Faith watching over the kids…

Happy Spring Equinox ! The Stars are Five weeks old🌞

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!

Bella and Cabos puppies are 2 weeks old❤️

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!