Thistleblooms Rambles

thistlebloom

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Beautiful riding country. Also good training occasionally for long trailer rides. Never know when it might be a necessity and having the horse used to it and not trying to kick their way out is a good thing. LOL
Yes, it was good to find out how well she traveled that far, about 4x longer than she's been used to. She sets back periodically still, when something overwhelms her fight or flight reaction, but it's getting infrequent. Thankfully she's not a kicker or pawer.
 

thistlebloom

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I'm having an issue with my 9 YO heeler female. She's never been a stock chaser, in fact we got her from a little farm because she did not earn her keep with herding the cattle.
For the past two years she has once in awhile gone into Syringas corral and yapped at her heels. Syringa happens to like dogs and has ignored it.
Now the strange thing is that she has only ever done it when I'm not home. Dh has caught her at it a number of times and put her in the dog run.
Yesterday he saw her at it again and was frustrated enough to call me at work and tell me.

I'd like to catch her red handed, but she's smart enough to know if I did she'd be wearing her butt in a sling.

She only does this to Syringa, and only when I'm gone.
Dh said Syringa was kicking at her yesterday, and it appeared that Wren was snapping at her heels. Syringa has no bites on her legs so Wren didn't connect. I wouldn't mind if my horse kicked her over the moon at this point, but I think she's holding back. Syringa has never shown any aggression toward the dogs.
In the meantime she's jailed in the dog run unless I'm out there with her.
It's frustrating. I don't want to keep her locked up, because then what's the point of having a dog? But I can't trust her to mind her business when she's loose either.
If I could set her up and use a e-collar on her that might make enough impression, but so far it's been a random event. Maybe she's getting weird in her maturity.
I'm open to suggestions.
 

thistlebloom

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Since she does it when DH is home, he could zap her good with an e collar as soon as she approaches Syringa. Just let her think that there is a painful forcefield around the horse, best to stay clear.
Ohhh I would love that believe me! Since it is so seemingly random and infrequent it would be difficult to reinforce I think, unless I just set her up in the collar and spent a day watching secretly from the house. I could drive off and park, then sneak home on my bike while dh distracted her in an area she couldn't see me arrive and scoot indoors.
I'll have to do some noodling on it.
Or she could just be jailed until I'm outside and can supervise her. :idunno
 

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How old is she? Our second Weimaraner, Rascal, was really good around our chickens and rabbits. We bred him and he was obedience trained and field trained. We had a terrible earwig problem when we moved to this house so we let the chickens run free and just shut them up at night. Several years later, when he was around 12 or so, he killed our chickens suddenly. At the sound of shrieking and chickens and our younger Weimaraner bitch, Lady, barking hysterically, we ran out to find the ground littered with bloody, lifeless corpses and old Rascal systematically butchering our chickens one after the other. We figured he must have had a stroke or something to suddenly change like that. His health deteriorated rapidly after that. I had to put him down a year or so later due to kidney and liver failure. He had never even "gashed" a bird, alive or dead, that he retrieved during field trials. It was a real shock.

Possibly the fact that Syringa is kind and moves away for Wren instead of kicking or biting her encourages Wren's "herding" behavior. Wren may be bored and is entertaining herself this way. I have heard of herding dogs doing this with their charges before. Usually though it is dogs with a heavy herding background and drive. While Syriga kicking her may break her of this, you don't want Syringa or Wren injured. And you certainly don't want Syringa to learn to be aggressive to dogs and start kicking at any dog you may meet on trails.

Hope you can break Wren of this behavior. Let us know what you do and what works.
 

Bruce

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Or she could just be jailed until I'm outside and can supervise her. :idunno
I don't think you want to sit outside all the time waiting for the dog to misbehave, far too many things to do! I still think the "secret zap" is the best choice. Otherwise she might just learn to be on her best behavior when you are around.
 

thistlebloom

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To be more clear, Wren never has done this when I'm home, and never when anyone is outside with her. She has always been completely trustworthy with the horses and chickens, and she's not aggressive toward other dogs other than a little rumbly growl if they come on the property. No herding drive, but she'll retrieve balls until she collapses.
Oh, she will chase our cats if she thinks we aren't looking, but if they stand their ground she just casually veers off.

How old is she?
She's 9, not really old by cattle dog standards. but we have had a few dogs that changed personalities when they started getting old.

Wren may be bored and is entertaining herself this way.
She may be, although she gets a ball thrown for her morning and night, gets to go for walks with me and is generally loose in the yard all day, because unlike Larka she doesn't go on visiting excursions to the neighbors. She gets lots of personal attention.

Use one of those buried invisible fences. Crank it up and Wren won’t even get near the corral.
I actually have one that I bought for our JRT but never installed. That's a possibility.

I don't think you want to sit outside all the time waiting for the dog to misbehave,
No, certainly not! 🤣
What I meant was she would only be let out of the run when I was outside. I'm certain she won't herd Syringa when I'm home and even more sure that she would not dream of doing it when I'm present outside doing regular chores.

I wondered why it has only been Syringa she targets. She never went after Luke, and she doesn't try to work Huckleberry around. One possibility may be that I have spent a lot of time in the past 2 years working Syringa in the roundpen, moving her and working her, and also have spent hours just standing with her building the foundations of her trusting me. Maybe Wren is jealous?

Thank you all for the suggestions, they are all good points, and I appreciate you all helping me think of a solution.
 

chickens really

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You might have just answered your own question as to why the dog is moving the horse. She feels it's her job to get her moving when your not home or out in the yard. Is the dog always present while you do ground work? Have you changed the frequency of time spent on ground work? I don't think anything is wrong with the dog? I think she is intelligent and thinks the horse needs to be moving.
 
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