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Ridgetop

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Anatolians are very different in their approach to newborns. Our Pyrs stayed close to the lambing area until the scent wore off then resumed their duties. They liked the newborns, lambs, and kids, but in a different manner than our Anatolians. Our Anatolians are fascinated by newborns and are super protective of the ewe and her babies.

There are some excellent articles on the lucky Hit Ranch website about introducing young Anatolians to lambing ewes, the proper behavior expected of them, and training them to the task. Look for Lucky Hit Ranch, Erick Conard, and on his site will be a bunch of articles written over the past 30 years about Anatolian behavior and training of all kinds. He has spent the past 35 years studying the behavior of this breed, its way of guarding, the way in which it interacts with the flock, etc. Erick has been my prop during my introduction to Anatolians, their behavior and training. Without his guidance and reinforcement I might have given up, particularly on Bubba who is a very dominant male and very difficult to train. With Bubba you have to be the Alpha at all times, and not only to him. You have to intrinsically believe yourself to be the Alpha of the pack as well. Any weakness or doubt will affect your position in the pack hierarchyc reducing you from pack Alpha to a weaker member needing protection. Once this happens you will have to fight your way back to the top.

Although Welna is a puppy now, it is not too early to introduce her to new mothers and lambing ewes this season. Put her on a leash and bring her into the lambing area. Some Anatolians are so protective of newborn lambs they will try to steal the lamb. Any protective behavior by the ewe is seen as aggression to the lamb and can cause the Anatolian to bite the ewe as she tries to drive the dog away. By training Welna now as a puppy in the proper Anatolian behavior you will not have to try to train a 110 lb. 18 month old bitch next year. Holding back a 100 lb. plus dog that is straining to get to the newborn lamb he thinks is his personal property is exhausting! :th And further complicated by the ewe who butts at him to protect her newborn. Much easier to control a 6 month old 60-70 lb. puppy! LOL

Proper Anatolian behavior to a newborn and ewe is to lay down at a distance of 6-10 feet from the lamb and new mother. New mothers, particularly first fresheners, often are aggressive to the dog, The Anatolian needs to learn to retreat to the distance the ewe deems proper, then wait there until she is allowed to come to the ewe and newborn. By keeping the puppy on a leash you can encourage her to keep her distance, praising her excessively when she keeps her distance on a loose lead.

Experienced mothers with their Anatolian guardians (who behave properly) will not behave aggressively to the dog. Experienced Anatolians will keep the proper distance until allowed closer by the mother. Cleaning off the lamb by the Anatolian is ok since it strengthens the bond between lamb and dog. However, interference by the dog between mother and lamb is not ok. Some dogs have this instinctively. Others must be taught. Still others, like Bubba, must be taught and taught and taught, and reinforced relentlessly! :he

Two of our Anatolians are good with new mothers. Rika is excellent. She automatically keeps the proper distance until allowed closer by the ewe. Angel is getting there. She is excited by the newborns, but does not approach the ewes until allowed. Bubba though! It has taken several years to get Bubba to behave properly around newborns. He wants them for himself and has been very aggressive toward protective ewes. Part of this problem is that when we got him, lambing season was over and no new lambs arrived for quite a while, He did not have the opportunity to be trained while young. I had to call Erick many, many times for help and guidance in training him. The more people and noise in the barn with newborns seemed to excite him as well, making it hard to control his uber-protectiveness. It finally took Rika getting fed up with his frantic behavior, beating him up, driving him out of the barn and keeping him out. She taught us to restrict his access to the barn and to concentrate on his behavior training. He is still super protective to newborns and super excited about them but we have worked through it and he is better now. Erick says that can be a problem with male Anatolians much more than females. For some reason male Anatolians looove newborn lambs and can be more protective of them than females.

Bubba gets shut up when we have to move a ewe and newborns from the field into the barn since he still gets overly excited. He sometimes tries to bite at the lamb we are carrying into the barn as we try to move the newborns and ewe across the field into the barn jug. I am not sure if he thinks he needs to return the lamb to the ewe, or just wants to steal it from us, but it is easier to pen him during this chore.

Bubba also gets penned up when we separate and move sheep around since he really does not want the flock separated. He tries to keep them in one spot! Very hard to separate and drive sheep with a giant Anatolian herding them back together!!! Rika doesn't do this although she is anxious about the procedure. Angel just thinks it is playtime and between her and Bubba, pandemonium reigns at Ridgetop.

Bubba is not as perfect as Rika but he has his uses and is a terrific all around farm guard. They all have their personalities and uses. Our next Anatolian will be a bitch though. They are easier to work with although female Anatolians are very dominant as well.

Luckily lambing season will occur while Welna is still a puppy which will make your training so much easier.
 

Nao57

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She's gotten much more comfortable with the rams. Saw her laying still while a ram was an inch from her tail, whereas just yesterday, she wouldn't of been okay with that. :)
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Lol, she touched some pokeweed & is now a purple doggie! Guess she's ready for Halloween.
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And some sniffing with my older dog. He still isn't thrilled with her, lol.
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This is kind of late, but I'm a bit curious if you got her to stop trying to leave the fenced areas?

Is she leaving because of being lonely or just exceptionally curious.

And that one picture looks like she's saying, "haha I'm guilty, but try to catch me at it.."
 

Nao57

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Wow...

I didn't know sheep dogs ate sheep food. LOL>.. get it, sheep dog? Sheep food for sheep dogs.

4th graders would laugh at a pun like this.
 

B&B Happy goats

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Went back out shortly after and she had chewed the string. 🤦🏽‍♀️

Redid it shorter.
We'll see if it's there in the morning...
You could try braiding nine pieces of bailing twine to make a heavier "rope" to tie the ball to, should be fairly difficult to chew through ;)
 

Grizzlyhackle

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Man I know had an English Pointer run faster further than any dog I ever saw. He attached 2 2 foot cow chain sections to her collar. Slowed her way down so you could hunt behind her. The drawback was one Saturday she discovered live wire keeping hogs in a field. Wore her out, never heard a dog squeal so loud or that gentleman cuss so much getting her loose. She did slow down though.
 

Beekissed

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Yeah...the tire drag I put on Blue lasted one night~and that had chain and a metal clip, not a wire...we still haven't found it. Now, that ball looks interesting...at least they don't have to drag it. I'll have to look into one of those.
 

Beekissed

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I have an old chain choke collar somewhere that I'll try to hang the ball with next.

Balls are horse jolly balls. Horses didn't play with them, LGDs rarely bother & housedog is too old n small. 🤷🏽‍♀️
I'm be afraid he would jump something and that ball would catch and the choke chain would choke.
 
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