Saturday, April 14, 2018

Puppy Overdose

I told Elva today that I was going to have to start carrying around some of that Narcan stuff in case she completely overdoses on puppies.

It could happen.

The puppies have moved out into the garage/woodshed and they are enjoying their new space....

...and practicing to be big, serious guard dogs.

They are terribly ferocious.

 Practicing their attack skills....

...while mom shows them how to protect every, little thing.  Including puppy toys that need to be rescued, handled gently and guarded from marauders.

I've seen a lot of posts recently about how Livestock Guardian Dogs should not be handled by people and that they have to be locked in and isolated with their charges so that they will bond with them. 

Total hogwash.

Yes, the puppies need to be around livestock and, by the time these pups leave, they will know all about sheep, lambs, chickens, cattle, cats, other dogs, etc.  Each of these puppies is spoken for and they are all going to small farms where they will have a variety of livestock and people to look after.  They are fully capable of doing all that may be asked of them whether it is looking after a flock a milk goats, hiking with their people or guarding the sheep while they watch Border Collies learn how to do their jobs.

These dogs are intelligent, intuitive and have been born with the aptitude and skill to do all of the above while also riding happily in a car to the vet's office or distinguishing a real threat from stray child wandering in to visit the lambs.  I know most people don't want stray children wandering around in their fields, but it happens all the time and even fewer of us want the dogs to devour the small children.  I personally don't know why anyone would want a big, powerful dog that can't be handled - or a small, toothless dog for that matter.

I find it to be a baffling disservice to these dogs to expect them to live alone amongst a flock of sheep, making all the tough decisions, protecting them from all threats while simultaneously believing them to be too stupid to do anything else.  I've met a few dogs raised like that and, as much as I love dogs, I'd never want one of them around.

Fortunately for these pups, they are all going to homes where they will be able to live up to their true abilities and be loved and appreciated for all of them.

Now all we have to do is figure out how to keep Elva from going into massive puppy withdrawal at the end of May when they finally move on to their new farms.  Does Narcan work on puppy overdose?

13 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree with you more. Puppies need to be socialised. We got our first maremma as a puppy and spent a lot of time making sure he was used to people visiting. Unfortunately, Jasper's chronic car sickness did make it difficult to take him out. We live on a lifestyle block (very small farm) and do have some stock, however they are house dogs. I agree that maremmas are capable of coping with livestock guarding and being socialised.

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  2. For all the the exceptional care that Elva has provided for these puppies and Bess, I think a daily dose of this drug is well deserved. Who wouldn't want to be covered in puppies?
    Bess will help with withdrawal - and whichever dog RB chose I'm sure will be visiting!

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  3. Kris, thank you so much for this post. You see, I am inordinately afraid of LGDs... the only ones I have ever known were isolated and dangerous dogs. I would NEVER have one on my property, period. (it was bad enough not knowing if the llamas were going to kill my pugs). This post made me see them in a completely different light, because of your words. Thank you!

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    1. You would love Bess, and she would never hurt your pugs. Even my llama, Caterina, wouldn't hurt your pugs, although she might spit at them!

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  4. The puppies look so sweet and so soft. They will carry a lot of love going out into the world and to their new farms.

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  5. Their instinct will take over as they grow up and the loving they are getting now will always be with them. Elva, you are the greatest dog mom!..oh, and Bess too.

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  6. They are so adorable. And yes, Elva will have puppy withdrawals for sure. When I let my puppies go to their new owners, I almost felt as though I was selling off a child of my own. My days were consumed by overseeing them during the first 10 weeks of their life and it was hard to let go. She can rest assured though that she gave them such an excellent start in life.

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  7. I have to agree, puppies need to be well socialized so they can be good caring adult dogs. I love this, they look so happy!
    I don't agree with isolation of the dogs at all. Properly raised dogs can indeed be guards and companions at the same time.

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  8. I am jealous of puppy time...so much fun!! The people that get these pups are really lucky:) I feel sorry for Elva...when they all leave it is not easy...hope she is enjoying the puppy overdose while she can:)

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  9. Have you heard of the blog, 'Predator Friendly Ranching'? The author (& her husband) are shepherds from Europe now living in Canada; she has been published quite extensively on all topics to do with GLD's; I think you'd like her articles.

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    1. Hello,
      I did read that blog, and it is very, very informative. They do an outstanding job with their dogs.

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  10. I am sure Elva is going to miss them terribly. But, knowing they are going to great homes will lift her sadness. Cute puppies.

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