How often do you check your sheep if they're not on your homestead?

misfitmorgan

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And that's how it's supposed to be done!!!! I so wish other people took the time to train their dogs in such a way.....so many dogs would not wind up in shelters if people would just train them to have proper manners, to be obedient to their owners, to respect humans and boundaries set forth by the humans.

I've been wondering about Dobermans....I never see any in my area anymore. They used to be the fad dog of the 70s and into the 80s and I'm glad they no longer are, but it also makes them more scarce to be found now that they are out of favor. I'd love to see if I could train one to be my general farm dog and possibly a low key herding dog. I know they have herding genetics in their background, as well as hunting genetics....both things I need but in a very intelligent breed and I've found most Dobies to be incredibly intelligent. I think they could be adequately trained off chickens, be a good and loyal family dog and also keep small preds from getting the chickens.

Maybe not a typical choice for a farm dog but I still wonder if it would be a good fit. What are your thoughts on it? Do they tend to be a "one person dog" like GSDs, so that I would have to worry about them around my grandkids or fighting with the LGDs for my attention? Would they enjoy that kind of job, you think?

I will go make another thread for this so we don't take over the OPs.
 

ajmrzf

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That's something we do with our doberman's. We teach them ALL food of any kind is our food not theirs. We can give the food, take the food, move the food, hold our hand in the dishes, pick up the food, open their mouths and take the food back out, etc. The food never belongs to them so they never have a need to guard it. We train them to the point that if food falls on the floor, they dont even move....because it is not "up for grabs" the human just misplaced it for a minute but it still belongs to the human. You can set your dinner plate on the floor, and it wont be touched unless given permission. They do zero begging and will not even face a human while the human eats.
^this. Ours will get food off the floor that's up for grabs because we've told them "OK" enough that they know it's ok to do, but there's never any fighting. We have 2 indoor shepherd mixes, and we introduced a livestock guardian dog this past year. The new dog tried resource guarding at first. I have small children, and can't allow that. Now, she waits for permission like the rest. She was a very trainable puppy, so it wasn't much of an issue. She guards her food from the chickens, but that's good with me.

We taught our older dogs "leave it" when they were pups. We can smear peanut butter on their tongue and they won't eat it til I say "ok." That trick came in very handy when I spilled ibuprofen one day. They were puppies then, but still had enough practice to "leave it."

Any LGDs we would consider leaving with a flock would be trained at our home farm extensively first. I'd consider buying highly trained adult LGD, but my list of skills taught already would probably be too long for any breeder. 😆
 

ajmrzf

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Our sheep go to a 12 acre summer pasture about 13 miles from our house. So far I see them a couple times in the summer when i drive by or stop a time or two but for the most part until fall when it is time to flush them I dont see them more then maybe 10 times from may to october. To be fair though there the pasture is at our friends house, he makes sure waters stay filled and in late september he starts flushing the ewes for us. When there is nothing left to eat in the pasture usually between halloween and thanksgiving some time the sheep come home to the winter dry lot. They are bred by then so the rams can go in with the ewes, the herd cleans up the left over late apples that fall from the trees inside the pen, and clean up anything green that has grown while they were away.

When they are loaded in the trailer we assess their body condition and check them for anything that looks off. We continue to grain them until christamas and if everyone looks in good condition still we stop giving grain until lambs hit the ground(we aim for late febuary-early march but fence line breeding is a thing). The lambs are ready to wean by the next may, the adults all go to summer pasture and the lambs stay in the winter dry lot to be sold, raised, or tamed. In august or september the ewes lambs go to join the herd and be flushed. The ram lambs are long since sold, or should be in freezer camp(except this past years)

Then it all starts over.

I dont really worry much about them but as stated there is a person there who makes sure he sees them every few days. The system will be changing soon as this year we are supposed to be building a barn and pasture fence on our property. I dont think I would feel safe leaving them to lamb unsupervised. I will also mentioned we did keep 37 goats at a friends house when we first started this adventure, we lived 15 minutes away. At first it was fine, but as time went on it got to be frustrating, irritating, and just felt like a waste of time. We had a lot of losses, and felt very disconnected from the goats. In the end we sold most of the goats and moved those that were left to the new place we bought. Most the of the ones we kept never really bonded to us and we ended up selling most of them. Overall I would not recommend 24/7 pastures far away unless you are not wanting to have a relationship with your sheep.
Thank you for the info! That's very helpful. If we got that property, I have a feeling a neighbor or 2 would be happy to look in on them 1 or 2 days a week in exchange for yummy farm goods on occasion. I would be OK with not bonding strongly with the sheep out there. I think it would be rams and wethers + other sheep we wanted to eventually eat. My home flock has my home girls 😎plus a ram 😏and I'd love to kick him out while he isn't wanted and only bring him back when his services are needed. 🤣
 

misfitmorgan

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Thank you for the info! That's very helpful. If we got that property, I have a feeling a neighbor or 2 would be happy to look in on them 1 or 2 days a week in exchange for yummy farm goods on occasion. I would be OK with not bonding strongly with the sheep out there. I think it would be rams and wethers + other sheep we wanted to eventually eat. My home flock has my home girls 😎plus a ram 😏and I'd love to kick him out while he isn't wanted and only bring him back when his services are needed. 🤣

Sounds like a plan then. I will say make sure you train them to come to grain before you turn then out there unless you plan to kill in pasture as catching them after not being near humans for awhile can sometimes be a challenge. Since our girls are the ones who go, the fall flushing helps remind them people are good to come too.
 

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