Feelin' a bit sheepish...

Ridgetop

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Anatolians are not natural poultry guards. They have to be trained. Some never really like poultry, some do.
You can train them not to kill your poultry, and of course, they will not let anything else kill it either. LOL

Anatolians are very flock oriented. If you have had other breeds, especially Pyrenees, you will notice a big difference in guarding types of behavior. Like you notice with Blue, he sticks close to his charges. Pyrs will spread out to defend the surrounding areas. Good Anatolians stick closer to their sheep. They will round up and move their sheep to a "safe' position and leave them in that spot while they return to deal with the threat. The sheep seem to know they have to wait for the dog to return and get them. Then the dog will run around them to get their attention and proceed to lead them into the grazing area. One year we had a lot of growth after some rain. it was very high brush and we were kidding in the barn. We only had the one dog, Rika, at the time and she was sticking close to the newborns in the barn. The other sheep lined up on the other side of the pasture fence bawling their heads off. Finally, Rika was satisfied that the newborns and their mom were ok, so she went out and led the screaming sheep into the pasture. As soon as the dog appeared, the bawling stopped and the sheep all crowded around the dog to greet her. If my dogs have been separated from a certain group of their sheep for a time, as soon as they get to them again they go to each one and greet it.

So happy you got such a nice dog. Has the vet checked the leg though? You might want a hip xray. Did the people say what the injury was caused by? If it isn't a joint abnormality, since he is so young, he may fully recover. Even if he doesn't, he will still be able to work for you. Eventually, depending on your predator load you may decide to get another dog as back up, in which case Blue will train the new pup.
 

Beekissed

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Good Anatolians stick closer to their sheep. They will round up and move their sheep to a "safe' position and leave them in that spot while they return to deal with the threat.
He has a little of this instinct and I'm sure it will develop over time, but being just a puppy, he tends to not be consistent....he's either bunching them away from a food source or he's laying up sleeping while they wander far out of his sight.

I don't expect him to guard the chickens...that's Ben's job, but I do expect him to leave them alone, including the ducks. Working on training for that now and will continue to do so....it's important that he recognizes what is to be guarded and what is to be killed here. The previous owners said he was started on sheep and poultry but judging from the way he acts, I'd say all their birds were only free ranged under supervision and not truly free ranged like all of mine.

Starting taking him for a pack walk each day and will continue with that until he starts to recognize some authority.....I'm all for a dog working independently in the field, but when you can't even catch him and he won't come to your call, it can spell all sorts of problems.

It's hunting season here, so sheep are confined to the pens and both dogs are on tie outs/runs for now, with daily, or more, walks to burn off some steam. It's not ideal, but it's not forever. Until he can be trusted to work independently, he'll need some additional training.
Has the vet checked the leg though? You might want a hip xray. Did the people say what the injury was caused by? If it isn't a joint abnormality, since he is so young, he may fully recover. Even if he doesn't, he will still be able to work for you.
No, no point in having an X-ray...even if it were something that required surgery we wouldn't be investing that kind of money into a dog. The people said they didn't know how he got injured but said he may have been kicked by a horse....I seriously doubt that, though. Maybe THEY kicked him, though....he acts like someone has.

The predator load isn't too heavy and his hip/leg is already improved so much that one can barely see that he favors it...you'd have to know it was there before you'd catch it. I think he'll be okay with no more work than he'll have to do here.


Thank you so much on the insight into the Anatolian work ethic! I may need to pick your brains on that in the future as well....though Ben is part Anatolian, he has done very well with poultry and trained well on other aspects, though I've been unable to train him on being frightened of thunder and guns...he has no feeling for the sheep, whatsoever. Thankfully, this new dog doesn't show any any fear of loud noises, though Ben didn't either when he was that age.
 

Ridgetop

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If you want him to ignore loud noises, use a cap pistal or anything that you can use to make loud noises, even recordings of old western shootouts played loudly, and set it off every time you feed him. He will associate loud bangs with something nice - like his dinner. It is how many hunters (including ourselves when we had gun dogs) train their pups not to be gun shy.
 

Beekissed

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If you want him to ignore loud noises, use a cap pistal or anything that you can use to make loud noises, even recordings of old western shootouts played loudly, and set it off every time you feed him. He will associate loud bangs with something nice - like his dinner. It is how many hunters (including ourselves when we had gun dogs) train their pups not to be gun shy.
I've got a CD I bought that folks use to train hunting dogs who are gun shy....haven't gotten a chance to use it yet on Ben but intend to do so. It combines classical music with different types of gunfire and they say to play that during feeding time as well.

Eventually you play it for several hours a day and it works up from plain classical music the first few days, then light gunfire with the music and in the end you get more gunfire. I can't wait to see if it works!
 

Sheepshape

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I wish all dogs were like my old Jared....Border Collie who has no idea how to work sheep, but has been inadvertently left with newborn lambs overnight, had a chicken who was broody in his bed and sheared his bed with the cat frequently. Some dogs just have the lovely nature. Does he guard the chickens? Well, sometimes....yesterday I lost my favourite little hen, Ginge, hand reared, tame to a fault. Just disappeared off the face of the earth. She stays all day in the sheep shed where there is CCTV......and we found the culprit. It was Jared's consort....a 3-legged elderly Border Collie, Sal, from a neighbouring farm who visits him from time to time. 😭 .
Jared will protect the chickens from a nasty rooster, AJ, that we have, and he protects me from AJ should AJ decide I'm fair game to be attacked. AJ has only managed not to be dog's dinner by virtue of the fact that he seems to have stopped trying to attack me down to the fact that I will inflict on him the same sort of gratuitous violence he once reserved for me. I took to staring at him, crowing (not very well) and then ran after him with the coarse broom, which I threw at him if he decided to retaliate. (For about 6 months now he has been a gentleman).But I digress.
With regards to the hip injury, unless you have a policy from have a very sympathetic insurance company, whatever an X-ray will find will be outside the scope of your wallet. If a dog is getting around without too much pain, then he's good to go. All this does tie in with my previous ramblings. Sal... 3-legged chicken murderer....had her hip broken by some driver who hit her and failed to stop. Farmer owner wasn't insured to have a hip replacement, so a cast was applied. The leg never healed, so Sal had a hind quarter amputation. She runs around, if anything, a bit too fast.!
Then the other link is Jared....diagnosed via X-ray with spinal arthritis aged a little under 7 after he started to limp off both back legs. It was suggested that I got an MRI of his back at the animal hospital 1.5 hours away at a cost of £1200 (which would not have been covered by his insurance). Having ascertained that anything surgically remediable at anything less than prohibitive cost, I declined. Now, aged 12.5, he is doing fine and rarely has a 'flare up' from his arthritis.I'm giving him Lintbells YouMove extra strength (contains glucosamine, green lipped mussel etc) daily and Meloxicam if he does suffer a flare up.
With regards to the fear of guns...him and me both! But seriously, Beekissed's suggestion of the CD sounds very good. From a human point of view, developing chronic tinnitus helps enormously. Having had 24/7 loud tinnitus for the last 5 years, there is one (and only one) benefit from it....you can become pretty unreactive to all background noise. That includes gunshot.....good if you are trying to ignore a hunt, but not so good if someone is taking a potshot at you!
 

Beekissed

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That's a good way to look at it! :D Though I would not wish tinnitus on anyone....that has to be one of the most miserable things to have to deal with. Constant noise? It would drive me around the bend....well.....further around the bend. :gig

I'm sure sorry about your chicken. It definitely hurts worse if it's a bird one is fond of....I try not to have pet chickens or chickens I am overly fond of, but sometimes a bird just catches your heart. Mini-quacker the duck was one of those....she just stole my heart~her quack sounded like a huge, hardy laugh from a big guy....made me smile every time I heard it! I've had good old hens in the past that have worked their way into my heart and it always hurts to have to finally cull them before they get into laying issues~but to have them hurt or killed by another one of my animals is the worst. That always makes me cry and makes me MAD.

The pup is moving fine on that leg now and that's without medicine, so I think he just needed some pain relief while he built up some muscle around it. I see no limp now though I do see some muscle atrophy still on that side....I think, with time, he'll build that up and not have any weakness at all. Could be when he gets age on him and when all old dogs start to stiffen up, that hip/leg may bother him once again.

Been taking him for walks around the border of the meadow and back on the land and he's doing MUCH better on leash and in presenting his neck for the leash to be placed, etc. He's still not sure what to do with the feeding ritual I have, whereas most of the dogs learned from the older dog, this pup hasn't had the opportunity to do that. So, he's learning....this morning he cocked his head when I took the food away and moved my hand around in it. I could tell he's wondering what in the world THAT'S all about. :gig

Feeding ritual around here is done to insure my little grandgirls don't get bit when they are near the dogs during feeding time. I do training on lying down while the food is being placed and not advancing on the food until told to do so and I also do food removal or "step back" when I put my hand in the feed dish....both things require them to step back politely and wait until I'm done handling the food or the dish. When the grandgirls are here, I do training on letting THEM feed the dogs and do the hands in the dish action, requiring the dog step back politely while the girls "own" the food or food pan.

All of that is important for when my 85 yr old mother has to feed also...she's 5 ft. nothing and can be knocked over easily by these larger breeds. I don't want her to have to deal with anything like that, so the dog has to learn manners.

Blue is having trouble catching onto that whole scenario, though he's been overall a polite dog and he's not a hog over food....for some reason he can't seem to grasp that he doesn't approach the food bowl until he's allowed to do so and must remain calm while waiting. Repetition will win out in the end, but I can tell it's going to take him a long while to get that one.

It will be a relief to get him into electric fencing paddocks with the sheep and moving when they move, which will give him his own little kingdom with the flock and will help him bond with them even more. Then time and maturity should take care of any remaining issues. I hope.
 

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Blue is showing more focus with training after being tied out and also taking part in pack walks with Ben and I. That walk with another dog on leash seemed to reinforce my authority over his world and he's watching for cues from me now, whereas before he was sort of just doing his own thing.

He still blows right through the electric containment, so I need to check the collar....I know it's working and it's reaching his skin, but sometimes he's getting a shock and sometimes he doesn't seem to at all. Right now the ground is saturated and sometimes that throws off the boundary signal, so that could be it.

We've changed direction on the sheep barn build and penning, both in the place we are going to locate it and on the purpose of the building itself. Now it's going to be MUCH easier to access for those coming to buy lambs and we will be only building ONE shed/building this year instead of the original plan to build two~one for more wood storage and another for all things sheep. Those two have been combined into a general all purpose pole shed that will serve both purposes.

This is going to enable us to do more things with less overhead and labor, which is perfect! It also gives us more freedom with penning designs, which I love. The sorting pens will be within one of the paddocks, so they can be grazed when not in use...I'll just open the gates and let them flow through there when it's not in use.

We are also throwing around the idea of getting a young donkey for one group of the sheep(rams or ewes) so that one can go in rotation away from the house and onto the back of the land, while one stays here with the rams.

The sheep are doing well and we are learning one another, which is always nice.
 

Sheepshape

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both in the place we are going to locate it and on the purpose of the building itself. Now it's going to be MUCH easier to access for those coming to buy lambs and we will be only building ONE shed/building this year instead of the original plan to build two~one for more wood storage and another for all things sheep. Those two have been combined into a general all purpose pole shed that will serve both purposes.
Definitely the way to go......a 'Shed for Many Uses'.
When we came here 13 years ago we had a leaky old sheep shed with one side completely open, regular flooding from the stream nearby and nowhere for logs, equipment, tools etc. We had our present shed purpose built. One side is for the sheep (and chickens...though they have their own hut), the other for storage, machinery tools, workshop and a thousand other uses. It has a 'mezzanine', used for storage, too. I probably spend more time in the shed than in the house. We built up the banks of the offending stream which has not flooded since, and has carved down a bit dee[er following some unprecedented downpours a few years ago, so no longer threatens to bridge its banks.
If you have an area which you want animals to come into easily, then the wider, the better. Sheep move into wider channels better than narrow ones.
Sheep are intelligent animals. Flock behaviour verges on the asinine at times, but individual sheep are bright and learn quickly. Apparently an individual sheep learns to recognise about 50 faces, sheep or human, and can pick up on emotions much like a dog. They will soon learn to trust and know how you're feeling!
 
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