Monday, August 16, 2010

Very Funny, Shachah...

...He's laughing about how clever he is.No, really I just caught him with his eyes closed and he looked so cute. :) But he probably is laughing. He had a little adventure tonight. I think we will have to learn to trust him more, because he obviously trusts himself...

I had to move the electronet the new ewes were in. Not hard to do, but I had to get it around a tree, which meant for one brief minute the fence was not actually an 'enclosure'.

Shachah, who was happy to see me, graciously accepted the open gate and went for a little explore. I turned my back for a second, to close the fence again so the ewes wouldn't get out as well, and Big Guy was gone. Gulp.

How can a huge white dog disappear into a dark green forest so quickly?! I willed myself to remain calm and headed off in the direction I last saw him...which was literally 30 feet from me, and it wasn't like he was running or anything...just moseying along. I got to the far end of the sheep pasture and came back. "He'll return" I kept telling myself. "He likes his sheep, and he wasn't in a hurry, he was just sniffing around."

Without warning Shachah appeared up by the house. (The opposite direction I had been looking for him.) Clancy walked up there to fetch him. He disappeared into the woods again. Clancy followed him into the forest. Shachah appeared behind him in the yard again. He's as magical as a white rabbit...a hundred pound white rabbit!

Clearly Shachah was just checking out his new territory. He willingly came up to Clancy and accepted the leash and lots of pats and 'good boy's'. He got a little treat, and visited with Greta and Megan for a while. When I had the new paddock ready, he pranced in to inspect the new fence line. Satisfied, he flumped down in the fresh long grass.
I imagine he was quite satisfied with his little self-guided tour of the farm. Since he actually ventured up to the house rather than farther away from things, I will take that as a good sign. :)


thecrazysheeplady said...

Great picture :-).

Some LGDs become "farm" guardian dogs and claim the whole area, with the sheep included in that. Hank likes to make a quick run around the house once a day checking the perimeter and then runs right back to his sheep. I didn't let him do that when he first got here - to reinforce 'stay with your sheep' - but now I don't mind a bit and feel better knowing he's watching everything.

Becky Utecht said...

Yes, Shachah is more of a farm guardian. Before we got him he guarded a little neighborhood of several houses (they all worshipped together and the women had a sheep, pottery, and soap operation). I know it's only been a week, and it's best to keep him in with the sheep for a while longer, but he's clearly accepting you and Clancy. Is he barking at things yet? That's a sign that he's starting to claim the territory as his own.

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

He's not barking yet. But I did let him out for 2 hours this afternoon. I stayed outside the whole time. And the other two dogs were kept in the house so no one 'took off'. But he was at ease: did a little exploring and came back for a nap in the yard. Then I brushed him quite a bit and he liked that.

He really didn't want to go back out to the sheep pen. But we finally got him in. Once he's there he doesn't resist or whine...just doesn't want to go that direction on a leash because he knows he'll be confined again. I'm sure it's a big change from the freedom he had at your place, Becky. Don't blame him for not loving it.

My thought is to just keep giving him more time out of the pen each day. I don't think he'll really go too far if the other dogs aren't out with him to egg him on.