Kit and Kavi Rounding Up Pigs
The “Puppies” are no longer so little. They’re taller than their older sister Katya. They’re taller than our daughter Hope when they stand on their hind legs. They’re about as tall as their mother Lili at the shoulder. They’re closing in on their father Kavi, although he still greatly out masses them with his bigger shoulders and chest.
The puppies have been getting a lot of free time this past month and doing well. They’ve been putting pigs back in when one does the occasional escape. They’ve been keeping chickens out of areas the birds are not supposed to be in. They’re getting their basic training down.
The last couple of weeks I’ve been taking them out in the fields as I check pigs and fences. Kavi’s been working with them, teaching them the ropes of herding. Currently they “bring to me.” This is an instinctive hunting behavior – bring the prey to the leader for the kill. Much of training is building on instincts. They’ve learned to move out and gather pigs bringing them in and circling to keep the pigs together by me.
Later we’ll move pigs forward. The latter is harder as it requires us to create a funnel with me moving forward at the back. We’ve done it some but they can get too eager and want to bring the pigs back to me, to close the neck of the funnel. In time the puppies, I shouldn’t call them that now, will know how to move the animals between the fields, where the livestock should be and other tasks.
Our dogs are both Livestock Herding Dogs (LHD) and Livestock Guarding Dogs (LGD). I refer to this as Livestock Guarding and Herding Dog (LGHD). Another term is simply working farm dog. Both behaviors use some instinct which can be maximized through training. By teaching the dog many “tricks” they have a large repertoire to draw on and a longer working life.
Outdoors: 65°F/40°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 67°F/67°F
Daily Spark: Never make a man choose between his dog and anything else.