Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Puppies and another Class

First - Live Ustream class on Tuesday, September 4th at 7 pm CST - Alcohol Ink Techniques.  This class is free if you got to the Scraprageous Ustream page and become a follower.  Ustream will let you have a free account.  Check out for complete list of supplies and project samples.  They will be posted after 1:00 on Saturday.

Second - the new puppies - they are a blast!
These are Great Pyrenese dogs that are being trained as guardians for our flocks of sheep.  Right now they are just playing (8 weeks old).  Ours are not 100% guardian as we don't have that vast of an acreage, so they will also have people, chickens, miniature donkeys, ducks, cows, horses, pigs and lots of cats to associate with.  Right now they are enjoying their sheep.  This video is a week old.  We have a ewe that loves dogs (bad if dog is a coyote, so she has to stay close to the house) who is the trainer.  She has been helping teach the other ewes that these two dogs are not anything to fear.  We had to move two ewes out that didn't like the puppies.  These are mostly ewe lambs, other than the 3 year old ewe who likes dogs.  The Jacobs breed don't like any dogs.  The Corsicans and Black Hawaiins and mixed breeds all seem fine with the dogs.  It is a learning experience for all of us.

Why guardian dogs?  With coyotes, wolves (timber), and the occasional bobcat and bear, it should just be easier if we have dogs who like to be up at night (and we will learn their barks).  The donkey's are good - they are nice and loud, but I just miss having outdoor dogs to alert us to everything.  We had to put both our previous outdoor dogs down in the past year so it has been hard to get used to no alert.  I never mind the barks - you learn what each means and it makes for a much more peaceful sleep.  One of the neighbors also has one of these dogs - you can when something big is up - every so often we can hear her across the fields.

If you are curious - the tarp is extra shade - when the pups first arrived, they weren't sure about the sheep in the adjoining pen, so we wanted to be sure they had plenty of shade if they didn't move with the flock.  Now they move with the flock and stay in the same shady areas they do as the day progresses.  This little pen is such that the sheep cannot enter.  That way we can feed the pups their own food, they can escape from the ewes when/if needed and they can have a comfortable section of their own.  We will need this when the female is spayed as she won't spend the night in the vet clinic, but will need her own area that she is used to.   Also helps as we do want to be able to catch the dogs whenever necessary to give shots/etc..  Another reason - hay comes in on big semi's, so we need to have a place we can put the dogs for their safety/so they can be contained if needed in addition to running with the sheep.  Our training process will be a bit different than others, but hopefully it will all work well.