Dog attacked ewe and lambs at lambing

Baymule

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Ok, so maybe cow panels.
I understand on the best you can do. I moved to 25 acres last summer, 3 weeks later I had knee replacement surgery. Cow panel pens, one field and pallet palaces. Tons of rain in January and February turned pens into poop soup. Not a dry spot for sheep to even lay down. And yes, I fell in the poop soup and made quite a splatter. I felt awful for my poor sheep!

This winter, I got front field fence line bulldozed. Had new fence put up. Still no barn, but that’s next. Will probably take me all year. $$$$$

Sometimes the best I can do just ain’t good enough.
 

jambi1214

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Hang in there, keep it up with the lamb. As said,, put ewe and lamb in smaller pen. Hog panels cut in half work well, the holes are too small for lamb to get through. Hay twine ties it all together! LOL
I don't have access or ability to get any of these unfortunately
 

jambi1214

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Ok, so maybe cow panels.
I understand on the best you can do. I moved to 25 acres last summer, 3 weeks later I had knee replacement surgery. Cow panel pens, one field and pallet palaces. Tons of rain in January and February turned pens into poop soup. Not a dry spot for sheep to even lay down. And yes, I fell in the poop soup and made quite a splatter. I felt awful for my poor sheep!

This winter, I got front field fence line bulldozed. Had new fence put up. Still no barn, but that’s next. Will probably take me all year. $$$$$

Sometimes the best I can do just ain’t good enough.
I have some pallets I could use but she keeps jumping up on them and even got her hoof stuck. I'll try and think of some creative things today. She just wants to get with rest of ewes.
 

Ridgetop

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Checking on progress with dog and ewe. The ewe may not ever accept the lamb completely due to the trauma but should allow it to nurse. Keep at it with holding her for the lamb to nurse.

If the lamb was already dead when the dog got to it, she may have been trying to revive it by licking. When she realized that it was dead, she may have started eating the dead lamb to get rid of the body. This can also be normal LGD behavior - cleaning the area to eliminate scent to draw predators. Since you did not see what actually happened, I would remove the dog from all lambing ewes temporarily until you can reassure yourself of her behavior.

Now that the ewe is in the barn with the lamb and the lamb is a couple days old, put the dog on her choke chain (or harness if you are strong enough to control her in that) and bring her into the pen with the ewe and lamb and observe her behavior. If her behavior around the ewe and the lamb is good LGD behavior (staying back until the ewe allows her to approach) then you can start on training when a ewe is lambing. If she acts overly eager to get to the lamb, snaps or bites at it, or tries to go for the ewe, then your training will have to be different. You may find that you have to lamb separately from this dog to avoid problems, only allowing the dog to reunite with the ewe and lambs after the lambs are abut 2-3 weeks old. You will have to test the dog on different age lambs. And if she shows any signs of chasing, she will not be safe with small lambs at all.

However, since you did not actually see her kill the lamb, and since she did not try to go after the other lamb, it is possible that the situation was misinterpreted. Although the gashes in the ewe's face are evidence of her probably biting the ewe (since you said that no other animal could get to the lambing ewe) if the ewe charged at her in defense of her lamb the dog's natural instinct might have caused her to snap at the ewe. I did not see any other injuries other than to the ewe's face which indicates that it was a head-to-head attack consistent with the ewe attacking the dog and the dog snapping at the ewe to drive her away. Whether the lamb was dead at that point or not is moot. Unfortunately, since the lamb carcass was partially consumed, and has now been removed you can't check to see if it ever drew a breath. (This is how a vet determines if a foal died during birth or after since stud horse owners often guarantee a live birth from a breeding, and only give the (free) second service if the foal died before or during birth without breathing.)
I should elaborate she doesn't really play but chases them. I first started noticing it when our ram was out there and trying to get her away from ewes but it became more of a game trying to get him
Chasing is how a dog starts play. When sheep run away the dog translates that into the way other dogs play which is chasing, then biting at each other. Since sheep don't bite back, the chasing dog does not realize that they are not playing. Since the LGD loves the sheep and they are her BFFs, she thinks they are playing with her. Chasing behavior is an absolute "NoNo". Ozel, our 12-month-old Anatolian, would chase the sheep when they were let out of the night pen in the morning. She started this as a puppy of 3-4 months. She did not chase during the day when the sheep were out walking around, but the sheep rushing past her incited her play response. This was fairly easy to work on by leashing her when letting them out and discouraging her attempts to run after them with words. As she stopped trying to run after them, we used voice only. Then DH noticed that Angel, our 4-year-old Anatolian, would jump in front of Ozel and initiate play behavior with her to distract her from the running sheep.
Do you have a very aggressive sheep? If so, as a puppy you should put her with that sheep who will butt her and let her know that chasing is not acceptable. At 2 years, she is too powerful for that, and since she has already bitten the ewe it would not be safe for the sheep.
Not first lgd. We had pair of akbash and it was a disaster. male was very dog aggressive and they both could.not be contained!
You say the male was very dog aggressive. This is usually normal (and a good thing in a guardian dog) since domestic dogs account for a large number of sheep kills annually. In fact, dog attacks can be worse. Because the dogs kill for fun not food, they will chase down and kill or maim the entire flock. Dog attacks can result in having to put down large numbers of maimed and dying sheep. Do you have other dogs on the property? If they routinely left the property, it is possible that predators were too close for comfort.
I have some pallets I could use but she keeps jumping up on them and even got her hoof stuck.
If you place the pallets with the boards vertically, then attach wire over them, or even sheets of fabric, cardboard, etc. the ewe won't be able to get her foot caught.
Maybe add 1 ewe with her? Her best friend??
This is the best fix. Choose the ewe closest to lambing and bring her in the barn pen. The ewe will not bother the lamb, it should calm down the other ewe, and when that next ewe lambs she will be safely in the barn.

Hopefully, working with the dog will result in a reliable LGD with lambing ewes.
 

jambi1214

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Checking on progress with dog and ewe. The ewe may not ever accept the lamb completely due to the trauma but should allow it to nurse. Keep at it with holding her for the lamb to nurse.

If the lamb was already dead when the dog got to it, she may have been trying to revive it by licking. When she realized that it was dead, she may have started eating the dead lamb to get rid of the body. This can also be normal LGD behavior - cleaning the area to eliminate scent to draw predators. Since you did not see what actually happened, I would remove the dog from all lambing ewes temporarily until you can reassure yourself of her behavior.

Now that the ewe is in the barn with the lamb and the lamb is a couple days old, put the dog on her choke chain (or harness if you are strong enough to control her in that) and bring her into the pen with the ewe and lamb and observe her behavior. If her behavior around the ewe and the lamb is good LGD behavior (staying back until the ewe allows her to approach) then you can start on training when a ewe is lambing. If she acts overly eager to get to the lamb, snaps or bites at it, or tries to go for the ewe, then your training will have to be different. You may find that you have to lamb separately from this dog to avoid problems, only allowing the dog to reunite with the ewe and lambs after the lambs are abut 2-3 weeks old. You will have to test the dog on different age lambs. And if she shows any signs of chasing, she will not be safe with small lambs at all.

However, since you did not actually see her kill the lamb, and since she did not try to go after the other lamb, it is possible that the situation was misinterpreted. Although the gashes in the ewe's face are evidence of her probably biting the ewe (since you said that no other animal could get to the lambing ewe) if the ewe charged at her in defense of her lamb the dog's natural instinct might have caused her to snap at the ewe. I did not see any other injuries other than to the ewe's face which indicates that it was a head-to-head attack consistent with the ewe attacking the dog and the dog snapping at the ewe to drive her away. Whether the lamb was dead at that point or not is moot. Unfortunately, since the lamb carcass was partially consumed, and has now been removed you can't check to see if it ever drew a breath. (This is how a vet determines if a foal died during birth or after since stud horse owners often guarantee a live birth from a breeding, and only give the (free) second service if the foal died before or during birth without breathing.)

Chasing is how a dog starts play. When sheep run away the dog translates that into the way other dogs play which is chasing, then biting at each other. Since sheep don't bite back, the chasing dog does not realize that they are not playing. Since the LGD loves the sheep and they are her BFFs, she thinks they are playing with her. Chasing behavior is an absolute "NoNo". Ozel, our 12-month-old Anatolian, would chase the sheep when they were let out of the night pen in the morning. She started this as a puppy of 3-4 months. She did not chase during the day when the sheep were out walking around, but the sheep rushing past her incited her play response. This was fairly easy to work on by leashing her when letting them out and discouraging her attempts to run after them with words. As she stopped trying to run after them, we used voice only. Then DH noticed that Angel, our 4-year-old Anatolian, would jump in front of Ozel and initiate play behavior with her to distract her from the running sheep.
Do you have a very aggressive sheep? If so, as a puppy you should put her with that sheep who will butt her and let her know that chasing is not acceptable. At 2 years, she is too powerful for that, and since she has already bitten the ewe it would not be safe for the sheep.

You say the male was very dog aggressive. This is usually normal (and a good thing in a guardian dog) since domestic dogs account for a large number of sheep kills annually. In fact, dog attacks can be worse. Because the dogs kill for fun not food, they will chase down and kill or maim the entire flock. Dog attacks can result in having to put down large numbers of maimed and dying sheep. Do you have other dogs on the property? If they routinely left the property, it is possible that predators were too close for comfort.

If you place the pallets with the boards vertically, then attach wire over them, or even sheets of fabric, cardboard, etc. the ewe won't be able to get her foot caught.

This is the best fix. Choose the ewe closest to lambing and bring her in the barn pen. The ewe will not bother the lamb, it should calm down the other ewe, and when that next ewe lambs she will be safely in the barn.

Hopefully, working with the dog will result in a reliable LGD with lambing ewes.
You may be correct on the attack interpretation. The only time the dog is very any type of aggressive is with food so if she was eating in lamb I could see her biting ewe. Also though I said this dog eats all rodents and such but actually never eats them just kills and will chew on old cow bones.and such she finds. So weird to think she would just eat half a lamb.... My daughter and.i looked in pasture and.no.evidence of anything anywhere we.could find. Even after this incident the dog never went after any sheep although I did take lamb in right away. But I will see how she does. I don't know if I can take her in with this ewe and lamb mainly for the ewes sake. She doesn't need the stress ... But I will not allow dog around for lambing or babies alone and will look on training. Also ewe does not have any other injuries even after fill inspection just the face. Also the dog when she was young was with the more aggressive sheep includes the ram and did get knocked a few times. Now this summer when breeding and ram was out, he would ram towards her when she acted a fool or was getting rough. Overall she is good with sheep, but too rough with lambs for sure.

I could try more with pallets.....I'll try
Also did have other ewe with her and let her out as she was being too accepting of lamb....
I can try a different ewe. Most of my other ewes are.weeks out from lambing so no one too close...

The previous male dog almost killed my other dogs and just couldn't work because no matter what we couldn't contain them with sheep and was getting dangerous for our pets when our kid was.out and such.
 

Ridgetop

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If you have other dogs, and one of them got in with the lambing ewe, that family dog may have killed the lamb. If a family dog who was a member if the LGD's "pack" killed the lamb the LGD might not intervene in the kill. She would have protected the carcass (even partially eaten carcass) afterwards. Had that situation myself once before. The LGD was very upset about the kill, would not leave the dead sheep, but did not attack the family dog who did the killing. That is a big possibility. It does not take a large dog to kill a newborn lamb either.

What kind of other dogs do you have?
 

jambi1214

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Oh no the other dogs cannot get with sheep or other dog. Precious male lgd was the one who had issues with pets. Currently we only have the one LGD and she is solely with sheep.
Because of prev instances with our dogs and prev lgd, pets are kept completely seperate
 

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