Kit: Sit!


Lili, Kavi and son Kit

Many of the behaviors of livestock guarding and herding dogs are based on instincts but I also train hard to maximize the dogs’ abilities. Sometimes you have “Ah-ha!” moments when you realize just how much they have learned.

When I let the puppies out of the gate on their night area I tell them all to sit before opening the door – Not rushing the gate is important. Sometimes, naye, often Hanno in his excitement is slow to sit. One day recently Hanno was being particularly slow to get it. Sirius & Kit were already sitting. Kit got up, went around Sirius, put his paws on Hannos rump and pushed him down. Kit then went back and sat in his place on the other side of Sirius. Kit means business, enough fooling around. With all three butts firmly on the ground I opened the gate to let the puppies out of the kennel.

Of interest, Kit is also the most advanced at herding. Hanno is second. Sirius follows. In time they’ll all develop the skills. By the way, “Sit” relates to “Drop” and “Down” which are important herding skills. Herding is a form of hunting, of bringing the quarry to the leader for the kill. Sublimating this we can turn instincts into farm hand skills. Canines are great ranchers.

Lili and Kavi shown in the photo above are the puppies’ parents. We were taking a walk to examine a section of the upper pastures the pigs have just rooted up nicely. Since it is new pasture it is filled with interesting tubers and grubs for rooting. Later as the grasses take over the pigs an sheep will graze. So flows the transition of the land.

Outdoors: 64°F/39°F Mostly Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/65°F

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Daily Spark: “I swear to devote my life to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty, and injustice, in all their forms and my sons and their sons shall follow me.”Oath of the Skull

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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10 Responses to Kit: Sit!

  1. Jessie says:

    Your new banner is mesmerizing! who is that eye-catching wolf/dog?

  2. Sara says:

    All of your dogs are wonderful! But that Kit! NOW THAT IS A HANDSOME DOG! He has beautiful long legs, narrow body and a gorgeous head! The markings are perfect! Love the caramel colors with the cream and black! Any way you could part with him? Just joking….unless… Oh and those perky little ears! What a cutie!

  3. Marie says:

    Kia – as in “Willow”? One of my favorite movies…

    Interesting, Kit making Hanno sit… My highly excitable husky mix has the same problem. Her companion – a Golden retriever – “reminds” her by moving in front of her, plopping down, and glaring at her. Not as dramatic as Kit’s method, but it works…

    Of course, these two aren’t nearly as well-trained as yours…

    • I haven’t seen the movie “Willow”. I looked it up and it seems like a good family movie.

      Kia was named for her mother Tika, rearranging her letters. Her sister Kita was another rearrangement. The sisters looked almost identical as puppies thus Kita and Kia, kia being the smaller but more dominant of the two. If you can imagine someone more dominant than Kita who was very dominant. Those sisters are in the K color series. Tika is in the white – think arcTIKA as in arctic as in vanishes in the snow. She looked much like Lili or a white arctic wolf. White seems to be a strong color phenotype. In their litter set there were five white and then the two K sisters.

      Likewise Katya, Kavi and Kit are from these letter recombinations and sounds with small variations.

      Interesting, of the litter of Kia and Kita six were female – the other was Hagrid the half giant which brings us to David’s comment. We teach the “Garden” and “Off” command too. They’re great about learning to stay on paths and off things they shouldn’t mess with. I completely agree with you about “Own” vs “loyalty sets” or “in-pack” as we call it. This common mentality, between hominids and canines, is probably what makes us so compatible.

  4. David Lloyd Sutton says:

    Had an Akita-Newfoundland cross I named Ontos, after an armoured vehicle unit I served with my first war tour. He was the smartest canine I have ever associated with (“owned” is an inaccuracy . . . they are part of our families and part of our loyalty sets).
    I was doing a tile corner in my adobe studio, and repeatedly warned him as a puppy to “off” the tile stacks, for fear he would crack some. Discovered he had internalized the “command” to the point where I could keep him out of my deep beds and on paths verbally. That was good, because he was 155 pounds at maturity . . .

  5. Teresa says:

    I am very impressed. I wish I knew more about training dogs as farm hands. My lab cross likes to eat chickens, and my Great Pyrenees is a freak. With a larger pasture now, I wish I had a good dog to send out with the goats.

  6. Susan Lea says:

    That’s a great story about Kit making Hanno sit! Reading Teresa’s comment, we just had a problem with our mixed breed (Akita-Lab?) dog Hero who caught a young chicken and pulled out about half her feathers. Other than being shell-shocked, bruised and battered, she seems to have recovered well. Hero, on the other hand, is still in the doghouse–not allowed out of the house except on a leash until the chickens get shut up at night. Do you have any wisdom to impart about how to discourage a dog from eating chickens? He’s fine with our older, bigger chickens and seemed to be doing fine with these until a week ago. :(

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