Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Here's a quick picture of Angel. She's very good at what she does and very unsure of what she's supposed to do.
We purchased a shock collar to help with her training. I've heard great things about these tools, but I'm hoping it gets better than our first experience. She was completely unresponsive to it until she was wimpering in pain. Its clear she wants to please us so I think its just going to take more time until she recognizes the lighter tingle (or better yet, the sound) as an indication that she's doing something wrong.
With that said, let me share a story from yesterday. Sunday night, Noel went flakey on us. She started to leave the pasture in her normal 3rd place milking turn, but then bolted deep into the pasture. Normally she lets me approach her and scratch her ears, etc, but not then. It took Farmer Hub and I both to catch her to milk her out. Monday morning, same thing... only Farmer Hub was already gone to work. Angel was in the pasture but Dulcinea doesn't let her get too close to the goats... in fact Dulcinea, being rather big, is quite mean to Angel. Another issue to figure out. So, I locked Dulcinea in the dog kennel so Angel could work with me. Keep in mind, this dog is basically completely untrained. She could tell I was chasing goats so lit in chasing Fudge and Copper. But she quickly figured out that I was only after Noel. In a matter of a minute or less, Angel and I had her cornered where Angel then chased her straight into my arms where I had a leash waiting. I tethered Noel to spare her the stress for the next milkings. This morning, she was very cooperative!
And now with THAT said, it seems she doesn't have a few characteristics I'd like her to have. For example, she frequently gets ganged up on by Dulcinea and Copper and she just runs away. This morning, I look out the window to see a strange man walking across the yard. It was only the meter reader, but there wasn't a single peep from Angel. How do I train her to be at least a BIT more guarding? Do I soak pictures of coons in blood and wave them under her nose? Any advice will be appreciative. I still think we got the right type of dog, that is herding vs. guarding... I just need to know how to train her to do what doesn't come naturally.

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