Beekissed

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Dog pack dynamics. They will figure it out. Blue is pretty laid back and I think he will relinquish his pack leader position to Murphy. It won’t happen all at once, but with your direction it will go easier than them fighting it out.

Where are pictures????

Will try to get some tomorrow....we are flat out busy here this week, trying to finish up projects and getting ready for an annual family cookout. Will be putting the roofing on the shed build tomorrow...I'll try to get a pic of the monster from the roof, should give some perspective on his sheer size. Eli is 5'10 and this dog comes up to his waist line, so he's officially the largest dog we've had here by a few inches...we had a GP briefly(got shot by the neighbors the 3rd day I had him) that was almost as big.

Blue is not the pack leader and he knows it, so there's nothing to give up on his part....but I think he's afraid of getting his hip injured. Blue has never jockeyed for a top position and he's just not that kind of dog...I don't think he would be even if he were not vulnerable, but he also isn't the kind of dog to roll over and get his butt whipped all the time. Ben attacked him a few times and Blue gave as good as he got but was never the aggressor, but didn't submit either.

Sort of like my old dog Jake....he was perfectly happy to be a beta but he NEVER got whipped by a bigger, more aggressive dog. Jake put every dog down, even those that outweighed him by 100 lbs or more. Then when they partnered up, he let that dog lead out and in play he submitted willingly and often. Just never let himself be bullied and I sense that same attitude in Blue. He doesn't want to be the leader but he sure as beans doesn't want to be a punching bag either.

They'll work it out on their own eventually, but I need to get this dog in the mindset that he doesn't have to establish leadership over MY pack as I'm already leading. So, I back him down and defend the other dogs if I feel he's being too aggressive...and he is. He doesn't even wait for the traditional sniffing of each other or anything but goes directly to attacking, even that little 4 mo. pup, Dooley, that's approx. the size of this dog's crap pile. Literally....we got to see the size of it yesterday and Eli asked, "Where was he keeping ALL that POOP????" I told him that's only half of it, the other half was in the car on the trip down!

So, this morning he and Dooley will be walked together by me and they will walk as a pack~up til now it's been Eli walking one dog, me the other. Later I'll do a pack walk with Blue and Murphy, after we've had a few more supervised meetings. I'll keep working at this for as long as it takes to get him to realize that all the dogs answer to me here and he needs to get with the program. I don't know if I can accomplish that with this dog but I'm sure going to try. I just want to get him to the place where he isn't using his size and aggression to establish his place here...I don't think he knows how to be any other way yet.

Only took him one day to get the feeding ritual, so that's pretty impressive. He doesn't lie down for it yet, but we'll get there. He sits politely now and waits instead of rushing in or following me around, trying to reach the food pan I'm holding. I think he's got brains and a good temperament, which is a good start.
 

Beekissed

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This dog is going to hit the list of BEST DOG EVER. I just got that feeling......

I hope you are right, Bay. He got what seems to be his first brushing ever this morning and hair flew! He was scared of it at first but then seemed to like it...but still wanted to bite the brush afterwards. We'll do that every day until his coat is lined out...it's healthy enough but he's blowing way too much hair this late in the season for a dog this young. Usually my dogs would have wrestled all that off each other by now, so his lack of a dog to play with is likely why he's still blowing a coat. I hope Blue and he get to the point in their partnership wherein they have settled the pecking order and can then play with one another.

He's so beautiful! He's still not sure why humans are trying to control his life but he's being patient about it.
 

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Eli asked, "Where was he keeping ALL that POOP????" I told him that's only half of it, the other half was in the car on the trip down!

That made me laugh! I had a trip like that in the cab of a truck one time with a cat, and I was imagining you with something 30x bigger. An unforgettable experience for sure, and you only need one per lifetime. 🤣

Take this for what it's worth from a non LGD person, but I have to agree with Bay about Murphy's potential. That is such an intelligent face, it just needs time to ripen.
 
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Kusanar

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Hey Bee, I am thinking about getting sheep (mentioned that already) and am thinking about using them in my pastures with my horses in 2 ways, penning them into problem areas to have them strip the growth back so the grass can come back, and having them just free to graze with the horses when not locked into a certain area. When I have them penned up into a smaller area, how big of an area is big enough? Thinking 2-3 ewes and maybe a ram in the area. I know that I will have to play by ear how soon to move them and learn how fast MY sheep strip an area of MY field, but just trying to think of a ballpark size I could start with and go from there. I'm thinking of using a portable electric fence with step in posts to contain them and thinking about how big of a system I would need.
 

Beekissed

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Hey Bee, I am thinking about getting sheep (mentioned that already) and am thinking about using them in my pastures with my horses in 2 ways, penning them into problem areas to have them strip the growth back so the grass can come back, and having them just free to graze with the horses when not locked into a certain area. When I have them penned up into a smaller area, how big of an area is big enough? Thinking 2-3 ewes and maybe a ram in the area. I know that I will have to play by ear how soon to move them and learn how fast MY sheep strip an area of MY field, but just trying to think of a ballpark size I could start with and go from there. I'm thinking of using a portable electric fence with step in posts to contain them and thinking about how big of a system I would need.

That's so very hard to say, as I don't know the amount of grass you have on that area, but I always tell folks to err on the side of caution and go bigger on area.... or stock less. Sheep eat so much faster than other livestock....truly! Their mouths move like they are on speed and if you watch closely, not all of that grass actually goes in the throat...their tongues are constantly sorting the good from the bad as they mow along, so you'll see grass coming out the sides of their mouths as they graze. I couldn't believe it the first time I noticed that...I figured, if they are biting it off, they are consuming it, but they aren't. They are specialists...but the grass is still getting clipped all the same.

I had 3 sheep and a lamb on an acre of good grass and in a drought year, it was barely enough to keep them going all summer, so keep in mind that the area you leave needs anywhere from ~according to how much rain you are getting~30-60 days recovery time or you will soon eat it too short and have slower recovery, worse species will get a better foothold and you'll experience more parasite issues(don't let the grass get below 3 in. in any one area of the pasture for the best results).

Bay grazes her sheep alongside horses and could give you a better idea how those two share grazing. She does quite a bit of work to plant more sustainable species, to mulch and seed to keep ahead of grazing needs, etc.
 

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Murphy got off his tether today and was on the Ecollar...explored the paddock, getting tiny signals when he was getting too close to the electric fence. Ignored the sheep for awhile and, just when my attention was elsewhere, he started to chase the sheep. Eli yelled but I knew a dog that doesn't even know his own name won't respond to a yell, so I gave him a level 4 shock...no notice. Turned it up to 7 and held 'er down.

School is HARD! He yelped all the way back to his tethering place in the paddock, looking back at those sheep like they were evil beasts from the 7th circle of Hades and he's been pouting in just that place ever since. Blue yelped along with him in sympathy, from the other paddock. Funny!

He tried to play with Dooley today, in the first behavior I've seen that shows he knows how to be a real dog...seeing that huge dog trying to play with that little pup was comical and Dooley wasn't playing along. He ran and put his back to a fence, waiting for what the giant dog would do next. I think they will eventually become a pack..it's only day 2 and he's learning so much. Today he laid down to wait for his food....and he wouldn't come anywhere near it until I stepped completely away, even when I said he could. He's learning and being cautious. Very polite compared to what he was like at his old home.
 

Kusanar

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That's so very hard to say, as I don't know the amount of grass you have on that area, but I always tell folks to err on the side of caution and go bigger on area.... or stock less. Sheep eat so much faster than other livestock....truly! Their mouths move like they are on speed and if you watch closely, not all of that grass actually goes in the throat...their tongues are constantly sorting the good from the bad as they mow along, so you'll see grass coming out the sides of their mouths as they graze. I couldn't believe it the first time I noticed that...I figured, if they are biting it off, they are consuming it, but they aren't. They are specialists...but the grass is still getting clipped all the same.

I had 3 sheep and a lamb on an acre of good grass and in a drought year, it was barely enough to keep them going all summer, so keep in mind that the area you leave needs anywhere from ~according to how much rain you are getting~30-60 days recovery time or you will soon eat it too short and have slower recovery, worse species will get a better foothold and you'll experience more parasite issues(don't let the grass get below 3 in. in any one area of the pasture for the best results).

Bay grazes her sheep alongside horses and could give you a better idea how those two share grazing. She does quite a bit of work to plant more sustainable species, to mulch and seed to keep ahead of grazing needs, etc.
Thanks, I have 3 horses (2 and a mini) on about 10 acres of grass, they don't come close to keeping up for most of the spring and summer. I would say a good 2/3 is weeds and unused by the end of the year because they pick their favorite spots and eat those and ignore everything else... In my area, you should have 2 acres per horse, so that's 6 acres taken up, so 4 available that could be used by sheep. We are still working on fencing and opening up more area.

Just for reference, this spring we cut hay IN the field with the horses, just cutting the tall standing grass that they hadn't touched and got nearly enough hay from in the field from 1 cutting to feed all winter.
 

Beekissed

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@Baymule , as promised...pics of the new horse. I'm very proud of him today and very pleased at how much he's changed and learned in just two day's time. He learned how to interact with Dooley like a real dog should, he learned about chasing sheep and he's learning we expect certain behaviors from him. And guess what? He's already learned his new name! I was on top of the shed roof today and he was lying flat out asleep and I said, "Murphy!" He raised his head to look at me and wagged his tail....then rolled over on his back to show his belly.

He's not a bit like the dog I met at his previous home...as soon as people got out of their cars he had his paws wrapped around their legs, his teeth on their hands and arms and pushed his body up against theirs. He has done none of that here except the body bumps and no more of that since I indicated it was not desired.

Isn't he a magnificent animal??? I'm starting to think you are right....this could be a really great dog in the making. We just need to get to know one another and trust each other for it to really feel right.

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My son, Eli, who is 5'11" and over 300 lbs. Shows you just how big this puppy is. In these pics

he's learning to sit with hand signals.

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A gorgeous day to work on the shed roof, to work with a new dog and just to be alive!!! I thank God for it all!!!

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