Kangal Dog Puppy

Kangal Dog Puppy

Monday, December 27, 2010

Arie and Dakota

This is the second video I mentioned in yesterdays post of Arie's behavior toward Dakota.


Ariella has gotten way stronger in recent weeks. Just before Christmas I had her out on a long line. Our daughter had the Retrievers out and I wanted to take Arie to go see them. As we walked down the driveway Arie could smell their tracks and began pulling very hard against the lead. I was surprised at how strong she was and noted that our Husky had never pulled that hard even with a harness on. So I decided to stop and lock my feet in place on the frozen driveway. Arie then proceeded to pull me about 7 or 8 feet until she stopped. I walked a little then tried it again. She then pulled me further, probably about 10 feet. Did it one more time and soon we had to leave the driveway and go onto some ground without any snow. I was amazed that she could do that. My next goal is to make a harness for her. I still own the one I use to have for my Husky but, she is way to big for it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A strong temperament

Here's a video of Arie being protective over a bucket of water that actually belongs to Titan one of our Shetland rams. I took another video of her behaving the same way with Dakota, our other ram but didn't get a chance to down load it. I'll probably post it here sometime in the coming week.

Arie has a very strong protective instinct. I can no longer feed her raw meat anywhere near the other animals. Even with the goats she attacks them savagely if they get too close and they are now no match for her.

I measured Ariella today and she was around 29 inches at the withers. I say "around" because when she had her head raised it appeared that she was over 30 inches but, if her head is down she was about 28 inches. It's hard to get her to remain still long enough to get a good reading. I hope to make a sliding scale to properly measure her and any other dogs we have in the future.

Arie is 7 months old. And I'm guessing she is pushing 100 pounds though I have not attempted to weigh her myself. I had hoped to get her to the vets to weigh her by now but, I've been too busy.

Later in the week I hope to get the other video posted of her behavior towards our other ram. He actually butted her while she had her head through the fence and she reacted more aggressively.

Arie has certainly been a learning experience for me. I've never had a dog with as sharp a temperament as her. I've been around dogs my whole life but, have never experienced any like her. The Rottweiler we used to have when I was a kid perhaps came close as far as having a sharp temperament but, he was highly trainable. It was amazing how well he trained to obedience. Arie has a real mind of her own and it almost depends on her mood as to whether or not she will obey any given command. I had a female Fila Brazileiro once and she was very aggressive in a way that might be compared to Ariella's but, again she too was easily trained almost like the Rottie.

As Arie gets older I feel much more at ease when I take her with me in the woods since she is constantly hunting. Her senses are on constant alert with her nose continuously sniffing and her eyes always scanning, I'm sure nothing could sneak up on us unawares. And if we were to encounter any wild thing I am very confident she would be totally about driving off and dominating whatever it might be.

I hope to get her weighed again soon and get that recorded here in the days ahead as well.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Had Arie out with the sheep today but, on a long line so that she didn't have full access to them.

Over the past week we've had some pretty severe weather with snow storms and below zero temps. And today was the first chance I've had to do some more work with Arie and the sheep.

In the above picture you can see Arie peaking over a 4 foot, 8 inch fence. The top board is 4', 8". The top of the post is 5 feet. So, as you can see she now stands over 5 feet tall on her hind legs!

Here Arie is chewing on the remnants of some Italian cabbage we grew last summer.

Here's a nice profile shot.

This one too.

What might she be saying here? Actually, Arie was chewing on a stick in this picture.
Last week I had some good sessions with Arie and the sheep. She finally had more interest in other things like hunting cats than she was of the sheep. The interest I'm referring to that she has of the sheep is the drive to play with them, which I am working on getting her not to do.
But, two different evenings last week she spent considerable time doing other things rather than wanting to molest the sheep. I don't want her hunting our cats either but, at this point I'd rather her do anything else besides what she normally wants to do, which is to chase, jump on and chew on the sheep. Arie didn't hunt for cats the whole time either, she found some rodent hideouts too and was feverishly trying to dig them out. I guess we have a whole food chain thing going on here. Give her some cats to chew on instead of sheep, then give her some mice to eat instead of cats! I think this might work! :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Integrating with the flock

The main flock of sheep are now moved to their winter paddock and I am in the process of integrating Arie with them. She has now completely lost any fear of being head butted and a new challenge is put before me. With all the stimulus of 15 ewes moving about and running around makes her want to play and chase and bite and jump.

During the first trial run the boss ewes constantly butted her which only added to the problem. Arie didn't mind it in the least bit which gave her the green light to think, the game was on! Oh what fun! From that moment on she got it in her brain that the sheep were her own personal chew toys. And living ones at that!

So once again we have to take a step back. Over the past week I've been doing some obedience work with her while in the sheep corral. And a few times now, when I throw down some fresh hay to the sheep I take Arie in on a leash and we sit down in the midst of them while they eat. This keeps the bossy ones busy and being less of a temptation for Arie to want to play since they are eating hay rather than paying attention to her. This seems like it is helping. Like earlier tonight. We spent about a half an hour just sitting among the ewes while they ate. I kept Arie either sitting or laying down most of the time. So far this seems to be the thing that's working best.

During the night Arie stays with the Stanky the goat. Her and him have a good working relationship going. He keeps her in line with his horns. I even saw something the other day, they appeared to display affection towards one another. Which I was pleased to see. But, as well as they are doing if Stanky comes near her while she is eating, she lays into him something fierce, with fangs bared and teeth snapping. So once she is fully integrated with the main flock, I intend to have an enclosure which only she has access to, in order for her to eat in peace.

It was really neat tonight though, while I was sitting with Arie amongst the sheep, during the moments when she was calm and peaceful and being obedient, she looked like a real livestock guardian dog watching over her flock. It was a site to behold! I am confident that once she really gets bonded with them, that nothing stands a chance of harming them, not while she's around.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Music Video

This video is of a number of pictures I took today of Arie and the sheep in the movable pen. I put music to the video. The music is by Dennis Lee on a hammered dulcimer. The song is "Star of the County Down".

We had some fresh snow and Arie played in it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Height and Weight on 11-19-10

Ariella grew a lot the past couple weeks. Her weight today was 90 pounds on our "un-official" home bathroom scale. And her height was 27 inches.

This will probably be the last time I weigh her on our bathroom scale because I tweaked my back lifting her. I can carry a 100 pound bag of grain on my shoulder fairly easy but, an ever moving pup is another story, plus having to bend over enough at the hips to see around her body to read the scale.

I was thinking that once she is too big, I will see if the Vet will let me go in every couple weeks or so to weigh her. Besides it would be good training for her to go into the Vets office and not be poked with needles. Maybe she would start to like going in there.

Arie will be 6 months old on Monday.

I've been feeding her more raw food lately. Raw chicken, and raw chicken hearts, livers and gizzards. Also we're still working on the road kill venison. Over a month ago I gave her too big of a piece of venison and she got diarrhea for a couple days, so I backed off on the raw food. But, have gradually been increasing it again and she is doing good with it. I still feed a little Purina Puppy Chow just to make sure she is getting enough vitamins.

I'm a little afraid to go to a full raw diet, as I'm trying to learn more about it. I've been looking at this website http://petgrub.com/ about a raw food diet for pets. But, I haven't heard anything from a different perspective yet. I don't like to go with something until I have heard the same thing from at least several other sources. However, in my thinking, the more natural a diet you can get would be most desirable.

I just don't want to make Ariella deficient in any thing with the high rate of growing that she does. But, at the same time I don't trust commercial food to not give her cancer with all of the preservatives and junk that they pack that stuff full of. I've had dogs in the past that came down with cancer and I just can't help but think it was directly attributed to the commercial food that I fed them.

I'm putting a lot of time and effort into raising this fascinating animal and I'm having a great time at it. She is a very neat dog. I'm still very impressed with the breed, and as far as I can tell from what I've seen on the Internet, Arie's temperament is exactly that of a Kangal Dog. It's amazing to see video from around the world of Kangal Dogs that behave just like she does. They are a unique breed.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Arie is now being "trained" by Stanky the more dominant goat. Stinky no longer puts up much of a fight when Arie plays with him. She gnaws on his horns and he seems to not mind it much. I don't want her doing that though so that's why I switched her to being with the other goat.

Arie still tries to play with him but, he is still able to make her mind her manners. Just the other day however, I saw a funny thing. Stanky must think she is another goat or something because he was trying to woo her with his charm. He was doing the whole goat courtship thing and had her on the run. He chased her all over the pen attempting to mate with her. She would have no part of it of course.

Ariella's training is a continuing process. She has a very sharp temperament and tries to dominate everything. And watch out if an animal gets near her when she's eating. Even with Stankey she will lay into him. She has done this since she was small. But, now she has more size to back up her threats. So far I've had no problem with her feeling threatened by me when she eats but, I am keeping watchful for it. I make a big deal with her when I give her food and so far she is happy for me to be there.

I've been working with Arie being around the house dogs. She still wants to play all the time and she now towers over even the Golden Retrievers. Ben tried to bite her today. He still does not like her. She was quick to jump away from his fangs however. She has become accustomed to evading the goats horns so I think that is why she was so quick.

I believe you could say Arie has a high "prey drive", which I am glad for given the caliber of predators in these parts, (see the below wolf video). But, it is making for a challenge with training her to be proper around the livestock and other animals that belong here. I just hope she doesn't develop a killer instinct towards the domestic animals.

Apollo, the Siberian Husky I used to have was a killer. He used to have the run of the farm until one day I caught him trying to hamstring one of the horses we had here. I penned him up after that. But, he got out a few times and every time he did he'd kill something. On more than one occasion chickens lost their heads if they were foolish enough to poke their heads into his enclosure. And one time Kelli's favorite cat got in with him and he killed and ate it.

I figured back then that once a dog got the taste of blood then they could never be trusted. However a few years back I communicated with Walter Jeffries of Sugar Mountain Farm who has years of experience with his own LGD's and he once broke a dog from killing livestock with a shock collar. He said it turned into one of his best dogs. I never tried it with Apollo as he was already up in age but, I can see how it might work if done correctly.

So I really want to stay on top of Ariella's aggressive tendencies before it becomes a problem. Her temperament is kind of a double edged sword. It's great to know she will go after anything that is a threat but, it can come back at us too. Something to work on.

I'm getting an area ready for the main sheep flock to stay for the winter. It is were Arie will be as well. I've been letting her run around in there and play over this past week. She absolutely loves to dig! So if you are someone who wants to keep a Kangal Dog in the back yard be forewarned if you are the type of person who likes a manicured lawn. She can dig holes with just a few swipes of her huge paws! Which I think is characteristic of most Kangals from what I have learned.

I've been around dogs all my life and have owned quite a few over the years so I don't consider myself a novice by any means, yet Arie is teaching me a lot, just by staying a step ahead of her. She's smart.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A nearby wolf pack

While at the veterinarians yesterday one of the workers there told me about this video taken in a township not very far from us here. It is of a 13 member wolf pack. I personally was distracted by the music which accompanies the video so feel free to turn off the sound.

We are reminded frequently in these parts of the fact that we need good watch dogs like Ariella and that we need several of them. Maybe even a whole pack of Kangal Dogs.

Here's a link to the youtube user who uploaded the video. http://www.youtube.com/user/jfksr7 The credit for the video goes to them.


I put Arie back with the lambs tonight after dark and she still knew there was another animal in the pen. She barked and growled at him but, not with as much intensity as earlier. It being dark helped that I think. I think she will grow accustom to the new lamb in time but, then again there is a divider keeping them apart. I haven't let her have access to the lambs for some time now as they really have no defense against her wanting to play. She stills respects the goats and adult sheep however. In time I am hoping her drive to play will diminish.

An on going process

Yesterday I took Ariella back to the Vet for her follow up Lyme vaccination which they had talked me into the first time we were there. And this time they tried to talk me into another type of vaccine yesterday for leptospirosis but I declined. They said that leptospirosis is a fairly rare disease but, is found in southern WI and is moving farther north to about the middle of the state. But, they highly recommended I get it for her since it comes from wild animal urine and with her living outside like that it is possible for her to come in contact with the urine say, from a raccoon or something. Well, they didn't convince me and I could tell the vet was disappointed I didn't go for it. I told them I wanted to wait and think about it longer. Especially when read in a pamphlet that the past vaccine they had for it gave a lot of dogs an allergic reaction but, this new one hasn't been doing that. No thank you I'll wait to see how the "new" one does in time first before I make that decision. Plus as far as what I understood the disease isn't even this far north yet.

If you read the post about Arie's first visit to the vet you will know I'm no fan of vaccines. If we consider every possible disease a dog could contract I doubt any could survive with all the vaccines you would need to dump into their systems. Again, I wonder how in the world anything has ever survived up to the present day without vaccines in addition to the whole host of chemicals and pharmaceuticals foisted upon both man and beast in these present times.

But, onto other news. Arie was 78 pounds on the official veterinary scale yesterday. Which was lighter than what I hand gotten on our bathroom scale a number of days ago. When I use the bathroom scale I weigh myself then pick her up and weigh the both of us but it is getting harder to do the bigger she gets. She's getting to the size where she doesn't really like getting picked up like that and it is getting harder to look over the top of her girth to read the numbers. but, what I saw was well over 80 pounds. It looked more like 84 or 85 pounds to me. I have an idea we got a light reading at the vets as well because she didn't want to get on it this time and the assistant took the reading on the fly. I still think she is over 80 pounds. And I measured her yesterday too and she was just over 25 inches at the withers. It looked like 25.5 inches actually. One inch taller than last time I checked.

Some Behavioral Observations
Earlier today I took Arie with me to remove a male lamb from the main flock. He is getting to the age where he might start mating with the ewes he is with which we wouldn't want. I had Arie tied up on a long line while I climbed over the fence to fetch him. I put a leash on him and set him on the outside of the pen. I walked the lamb towards Arie. Since he had never been on a leash before he fought it some so it wasn't like we just walked easily toward her. It was a little bit of a struggle. Well, I'm not sure why exactly but, with the lamb being outside of the pen Arie seemed to think he didn't belong. Perhaps it had something to do with the struggle against the leash. She went nuts. Barking and lunging against the line. I was surprised because she always seems friendly toward the sheep in the main pen when she is by them. I figured she'd be happy to see him and want to play, but not so. So I brought him closer for her to get a good look and to sniff him. It didn't help matters when he began to squirm. I stood there with the lamb by her but, out of her reach. I couldn't console her, she seemed to see him as something that didn't belong. After a little bit I brought him close to her again to let her sniff him. This time she bit his wool and pulled with almost a death grip. She did not like the little fellow.
It has been awhile since I actually had her in the movable pen with the main flock because it is getting too hard to lift her over. But, I figured I'd better put her in there to see how she would act without a barrier. So I took apart a fence panel which allowed her to squeeze on in. Right away an adult sheep butted her. And she turned into a completely different dog. She wanted out right away. But, I stayed in there with her and kept them from butting her. I sat down in the grass and she stayed right by my side. She was on their turf and it took the aggression right out of her. We stayed in there for about 20 minutes. Although she got somewhat comfortable being in there she never made any attempts to play or to go near any of the sheep. She was submissive the whole time.
In the mean time I had put the lamb inside a big dog crate in the pickup truck to transport him to the pen where Arie's other lambs are. After our time with the main flock we went back to the truck and Arie turned back into "Miss Aggressive". She circled the truck sniffing the air trying to find that lamb that was in the crate. The lamb is over half grown now so he's not like a baby anymore. Anyway, she acted like he was something that did not belong like a wild animal or a dog or something.
So we drove back to Arie's lambs and I put him in with them. Arie was frantic. She definitely saw him as a threat. Which would be great if he really was a threat. She was in the truck barking at him ferociously. This is some different behavior in a dog. Something I am certainly not used to. I took her to the house and tied her up outside. She could see the pen where the lambs are and she continued to bark at the new comer. But, after a little while she settled down. I will see later when I put Arie back by them whether or not she will except him in there.
I'll make a post later to tell how it goes.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mystery solved

For a couple months now I've been concerned about what appeared to be Arie licking or chewing her sides. The hair would be all roughed up and wet. I thought that perhaps she had fleas or something. But, upon examination I never could find any kind of external parasite. However from time to time when I would take her from the lamb pen I would see these spots that indicated she was chewing or licking her hair. Since she didn't appear to have any parasites I hoped she didn't have some kind of allergy.

But, finally this morning the mystery was solved and it gave me a good laugh as well. I have a divider in the lamb pen that separates them from Arie. Otherwise they have no defense against her playing. It's wire fencing. Well, as I approached the pen this morning what I saw made me laugh out loud. Arie was leaned up against the fence and one of the lambs was giving her a good licking through the wire. He was just going to town licking her fur. And the hair on her side was all wet and messed up just like I've been seeing for the past couple months.

This would explain why I never see her chewing or licking herself, making those marks. And it always happened only in the lamb pen never any other time. I never would have guessed it was the lamb. And the funny thing is Arie seemed to enjoy it just as if someone was petty her. I wish I could have caught it on video. It was pretty cute to see.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A video of Arie and Stinky Oct. 30

This video begins with Stinky the goat laying in a make shift house, which is simply a water trough turned on it's side. We moved the goats back to movable pens out on the pasture to glean what is left of the grass before winter sets in. I had just put Arie in with him for the day and she was not used to the new house so she sniffs the trough curiously. After Stinky gets up Arie thinks it's play time.

I suspect this playing is not entirely good though Stinky seems to enjoy it a little. Arie is getting used to being bumped by his horns. She seems to have fun with it now whereas before she would yelp and get offended. I believe this is something I have to watch. I figure if she gets too rough with Stinky I might put here with the other goat which is more dominant and probably won't be so tolerant of Arie. However when Stinky has had enough he really gives her the boot and she then leaves him alone.

This is all new to me so I'm not entirely sure what is healthy and what is not as far as play goes with the livestock. I've watched Arie become way more comfortable with those horns over the past week or so. Time will tell if it becomes a problem or not.

The baaing that you hear on the video is not coming from the goat. It is coming from a lamb in a nearby pen. If a person didn't know better they might think it was the goat. Just thought I should clarify that.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A cute song

The video above is a song by Wendy Francisco.

Earlier in the week we saw her husband Don Francisco in concert at a church in Conover. I thought Wendy's song was cute. It's about her relationship between her and God and her dog.

Here's a link to their website.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Another rainy day

Ariella was 24.5 inches tall at the withers today, or there abouts. She still likes to play with the tape measure so it is difficult to be accurate. Plus she has a thick patch of hair on her back which I have to press down in order to get a good read. But, 24, 1/2 inches is close.

Arie seems to like the goats. I think she likes them better than the sheep. Stinky keeps her in line with his horns.

She is always curious.

It rained most of the day today but, Arie doesn't seem to mind being out in it. Even though she can take cover most often she stays out in it unless there is a down pour.

I got Arie a bright orange collar because of the up coming gun deer season. Plus if she were to ever get loose, heaven forbid, it might perhaps save her life if she got onto the highway.

All of Arie's adult teeth are coming in. In this picture she has found something to chew on. But, she doesn't chew near as much now that her new teeth are well established.

Arie is always watching. Especially at night.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A trip to the vet

Today was Arie's first trip to the Vet. I should have gotten Arie there before now for her follow up shots from what the Russell's got her before they sent her to us, but like I always say better late than never.

However, to set the record strait I am personally not fond of vaccinations. Not for any living thing, people and animals included. There might be some good in them under certain circumstances but, from what I have heard there are some pretty bad side effects that make administering vaccines something like playing Russian roulette. Now to be fair I know there are many well meaning and kind hearted people in the health care systems for both people and animals that believe vaccines are a beneficial and necessary preventative. And health care professionals make a good chunk of their living from administering them, as far as what I understand.

Our family manages our farm "organically". We don't use pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or any other kind of chemical or pharmaceutical on our crops or livestock. We prefer instead to use as natural of methods as possible when dealing with disease, parasites, insects, etc. Our thinking is, "what did people and animals have for millennia", before all the modern trappings of civilization, which includes today the wide spread use of pharmaceuticals and chemicals.

There is plenty of information out there to suggest that vaccinations can do some pretty nasty things to both man and beast. For one thing vaccines hype up the immune system in an unnatural way which can cause all kinds of problems including auto-immune disorders.

But, I'll not go into all that here if you want to find out more on the dangers of vaccines one good place to start is at http://www.mercola.com/ or http://healthypets.mercola.com/ or http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/02/09/6-principles-you-should-know-before-making-an-informed-swine-flu-vaccine-decision.aspx .

In order to purchase a Kangal Dog through an American Kangal Dog Club member breeder you have to sign a contract that says you will take your dog in for regular veterinary care and for vaccines and so forth. Which, I understand they require it for the well being of the animals, but it does not allow for a differing opinion regarding vaccines. For the most part we administer our own veterinary care here at our farm, it just doesn't happen to include vaccines. But, for the sake of honoring an agreement which would enable me to purchase one of these fine dogs I am willing to set aside my convictions. I personally believe, in the end, it might do more harm than good. But, I'm a person who honors my word and if that is what is required then that is what I'll do. And I did that today.

The Kangal breed was developed in the rugged Turkish countryside and that is what made this breed what it is. I doubt Turkish shepherds have had modern medicines for their dogs until very recently. So what made the Kangal dogs so hardy and robust? I suggest it was the rugged conditions from which it came.

In my opinion modern animal husbandry with all it's chemical and pharmaceutical assistance in the end only weakens the animals, of whatever kind, be it cattle, sheep, goats, poultry or dogs or whatever. It gets to where they can't even survive without the crutches of these modern trappings. And the farmer or rancher becomes financially beholden to those who peddle such potions.

I'm not opposed to the medical and veterinary professions, they have their place to be sure. When something happens, like in the case of an accident, they are very good at patching things back together. And drugs have their place, like in pain management, but we should not stay dependant on them with so many natural remedies at our disposal. Natural remedies and preventatives that have been tried and true for millinia.

But, back to taking Arie to the Vet. She was a great hit there today. Everyone loved her. And she did it all without a hitch. Initially she was slightly reluctant to pass through the first of double doors but, with a little coaxing she went right in. At first I wondered if perhaps she would do that whole plant her feet on the ground thing that some dogs will do when they are asked to enter a new place. But, she didn't do that and soon became comfortable in the foreign surroundings. She sniffed and sniffed and sniffed taking it all in. Plus there were numerous folks who petted her which she thoroughly loved. It so happend that when we arrived there were no other pets in the lobby either.

Right away they put her on the scale and she weighed in at 68 pounds on their professional veterinary scale. So that is her official weight as of today.

The Doctor gave her an examination and she passed with flying colors. She did have hook worms however, but they gave her some medicine to take car of that. The fact that she had worms came as no surprise since she is constantly eating stuff out on the farm, including a little poop here and there from all the animals.

I was very impressed with how well Arie did in the Vets office. Except for when we left there was other pets in the lobby and she began to growl at another dog. Now, since she is a livestock protection dog growling at another dog shouldn't come as a surprise. It is surprising to me however, that she will do that at such a young age. Then as we were leaving the parking lot in our truck a man was taking a big German Shepherd Dog inside and Arie barked ferociously at it. The man laughed because he had just been inside petting Arie and saw how much of a puppy she still is as she welcomed his affections. She made a quick transformation from placid pup to a big dog barking. I just shook my head. She amazes me.

Then Arie and I headed to the other side of town to get a leaking tire fixed on my truck. While they worked on it we walked to a park. Arie is getting a well rounded education getting all kinds of experiences not just life on a farm. I take her to town with me every chance I get.

Arie has lost almost all of her puppy teeth. It is funny when I play with her since now she no longer has those sharp little things to poke or scratch my skin. She now gums me instead and it makes me laugh. She does have some adult teeth in the very front and once in a while she pinches me with those.

I haven't really wanted to play with her too much as I wasn't sure that was a good idea with the size she is going to get and her temperment but, she seems to need to play some so I do relent sometimes and play fight with her. But, when she starts getting carried away I make her stop and we go do something else. It's like distracting a naughty child with something else when they are doing what they shouldn't be doing. Seems to work with her as well.

Earlier this evening I spent some time working with Arie and our daughter and my Mom to keep Arie from jumping on them and biting them. Because just prior, our daughter had taken Arie for a walk, where about half way into it, Arie began to play and would not stop biting. Our daughter actually was in tears when she got back. So it was time to do some training. My mom happened to come over so it was even better having an extra distraction for Arie. Not just one person to maul but, potentially two. Every time she began to jump or play I firmly made her stop. We did this over and over until she got the idea it was better to be nice and to be calm than to be mean. There are times to play and there are not times to play. I think she got the point tonight.

The first two pictures below are from yesterday.

I was standing just inside the door to the house and Arie spotted some movement. So she became alert as you can see by her expression which I caught with the camera.

Then she saw it was me and her ears dropped in recognition, as the picture indicates. Arie is very expressive. I like that about her. In these first two pictures you can see that she is tied to a lawn chair. It is a heavy iron chair but, she does tip it over from time to time. I tie Arie in the yard close to the house for awhile, at least every other day, just to keep her familiar with everyone who comes and goes around here.

The next pictures are from this evening right after our training session in minding her manners. She spotted two of the cats and was watching them intently.

Arie has beautiful markings.

I like this last picture as she turned around to look at our daughter.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

height and weight

Weighed and measured Arie today. She is now 64 pounds and 23.5 inches at the withers. She will be 19 weeks old tomorrow.
The camera angle didn't work well in these shots. It kind of distorted Arie's body and made her look much smaller than in reality.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Arie playing and guarding

The video above begins with Arie attempting to play with Stinky the goat. Obviously Stinky doesn't want to play. He does a good job of keeping her in line though. He has horns and knows very well how to use them. Arie knows this because she has been on the receiving end of them before, so she uses great caution when getting near Stinky.

We obtained our two male goats from the town. Someone found them and turned them in to the dog catcher. The town asked us if we wanted them so we took them in thinking we could find homes for them at some point. Well, that was over a year ago and we still have them and now I'm very glad we still do. They are excellent training tools for Ariella. Being the rambunctious pup she is, Arie needs a firm response to her drive to play.

I could pull a couple older ewes from the flock to help train Arie but, that would disrupt the dynamics of the flock and these little goats are already isolated so it is very convenient to have Arie come visit them.

I've been putting Arie in with Stinky during the day while I'm out and about working around the farm. They are located in a strategic area where I can see from just about any place, that they are doing well together. So far it is working out very well. Arie seems to like being with Stinky. Guess she doesn't mind the smell.

As the video progresses Arie spots me kneeling down in the grass over a hundred feet away filming her on zoom. She doesn't realize it is me. She knows there is something familiar but, can't quite make out what it is, so she doesn't give a full out response. Normally if she thought it was some kind of intruder she would be way more fierce. She becomes very intense when she really believes it doesn't belong.

In the video you can see the new bright florescent orange collar I got her. With the deer hunting season coming up I thought I'd better get her something like that to wear just in case she ever were to escape an enclosure, heaven forbid. Deer hunters are known for shooting just about anything that moves and if she did get out this collar just might save her life.

On a side note not related to the video, a few nights ago I had to butcher up an injured turkey. I had Arie out with me and with the sites and sounds of it all she became very alert, her senses being very acute. I had her tied up a short distance away and she became very upset at what I was doing, barking intensely. So I brought her near to let her get a good look at what was going on. She gave the dead turkey some good sniffs and seemed content to lay at my feet and snarf up what ever scraps might fall her way. Well, a few moments later a couple of our farm cats came around and she went after them like she wanted to do them in. I'd never seen her do that with the cats before. If she was a grown dog I think she might have tried to kill one of the cats. As it is she still has puppy teeth and I don't think she could if she tried but, still the drive was there. I'm not sure what it was all about. Maybe she was guarding the "kill", I don't know. Or maybe she thought the cats were responsible for spilling the turkeys blood. It's hard to say. Nonetheless she went after those cats like I've never seen.

In my opinion Arie is progressing very well. A couple issues to have to work out but, I would think that is normal. She is fast becoming an excellent guard dog. Even though she is still a puppy and is not fully equipped to fend off any real threats, the fact that she is alert and will bark at things that don't belong is already a huge improvement.

Fitting in

A couple weeks ago we went for a family hike with Ariella and all the house dogs. It has been a challenge to get them all used to each other. The house dogs, two Golden Retrievers and a Canaan Dog, haven't liked Arie very well. They want nothing to do with the lively youngster and when she gets too close they curl a lip or snarl and snap at her. And on the other hand when ever they would come close to Arie while she is out with the animals or tied out on a line she will bark and growl at them ferociously, that is, until the day we all went out for the hike.

Previous to this day I would take just Arie and one of the other dogs out for walks and it was always awkward with her wanting to invade their space and them trying to avoid her. But, after this family walk with all the dogs together it changed the whole dynamics of their relationships. It seems like Arie has become at least a little bit a part of the pack. Now when the house dogs go near Arie and the livestock she no longer barks or growls at them. And they seem a little more excepting of her overtures.

Arie was the most comfortable out front which indicates to me that she will be an "alpha" dog when she grows up.

When ever Arie was behind she would strain hard at her leash.
A number of years ago when my Siberian Husky was young I used to put a harness on him and have him pull me on ski's. I'm thinking I'll have another willing puller here in this pup after she gets matured. Something I hadn't considered until I saw how hard she can pull.

Our Canaan Dog Sidon. She is 13 years old.

Ben and Tucker the Golden Retrievers. They are 8 years old. They're brothers.
With all these older dogs Arie really doesn't have any pals to play with. They grew out of their puppy playfulness years ago. Although the Retrievers tussle with each other from time to time, a lively puppy they have zero tolerance for. I'm hoping in time as Arie settles down some that they will eventually become friendly with her.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Puppy Food

Today I opened the third 34 pound bag of Purina Puppy Chow. So in 17 1/2 weeks Arie has eaten 68lbs. of it. That's 3.9 lbs. per week so far of store bought food. It was $24.79 for the 34 lb. bag of Puppy Chow at a local grocery store today. It cost $49.58 plus tax to feed her for 17.5 weeks.

I couldn't guess how much Arie has eaten of the chicken and turkey innards and broth. Twice a day I usually give her a heart and a liver or a gizzard or a couple livers or a few hearts, whatever is most handy, plus enough broth to make the Puppy Chow float slightly. When we get done butchering the poultry I boil up the innards along with the feet. We've heard that there are lots of good nutrients in the feet. If it's good for people I reckon it's good for this fast growing pup. I don't feed her the actual feet themselves, however. I'm afraid until she gets all her adult teeth that she might not be able to chew them up well enough.

As of last Saturday she has begun to eat raw venison pieces and the bones to chew on also. She still has puppy teeth so she isn't going through many bones other than to eat the meat chunks off of them and to chew off any cartilage.

Monday, September 20, 2010

17 weeks

Today Arie is 17 weeks old, 57 pounds, and roughly 22.5 inches at the withers.

The below description is part of the Kangal dog breed standard regarding height and weight of adult dogs. Taken from the Kangal Dog Club of America website.


Desirable height at maturity (minimum two years), measured at the withers, ranges from 30 to 32 inches for males and
28 to 30 inches for females. A male Kangal Dog in good condition should weigh between 110 and 145 pounds. A
female should weigh between 90 and 120 pounds. Height and weight in both sexes may exceed the foregoing and
should not be penalized as long as overall balance is maintained.
Fault: Obese, soft condition.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

8 point buck

Last night an unfortunate motorist hit this 8 point buck out front of our place. The person who hit it was fine. It was a shame because it was a beautiful animal. In fact our neighbor who is an avid bow hunter had this same buck coming to his property and he had hoped to take this fine buck this morning at the start of the hunting season. It wasn't meant to be though since just a matter of hours before the start of it this deer was killed.
I always fed my Siberian Husky road kill when he was alive and I did not want to waste the opportunity to give Arie some excellent grub so I went out late last night and drug it home.
I spent all afternoon cutting it up. I'm guessing I got at least 70 pounds of meat.

During the time I was cutting up venison I had Arie in the goat pen. She did very well with Stinky today. I think he only whacked her once. And she was fairly content to just hang out with him.

After a while I got her a nice meaty bone to chew on from that deer. A funny thing about this picture is every time I tried to get a side view of Arie chewing on the bone she'd turn her rear end toward me. She kept her butt between me and her bone. Maybe she thought I'd try to take away from her. I thought it was funny.

Arie was in heaven gnawing on this bone today. She loves to chew and this gave her something good to do.

I really like Aries two little black spots on her head. This picture shows them pretty well. It is a noteworthy feature that most people mention when they see her.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

50 pounds today

Ariella weighed in at 50 lbs. today. Half way to a hundred!
And she chased her first coyote!

Well, sort of.....

She was in the truck with me earlier tonight and I saw a coyote not far from the chicken yard so I pursued it. Chased it all the way to the fence line where it high tailed it over and disappeared into the darkness. Arie laid down relaxing in the seat next to me the whole time and had no idea at what just transpired. After the coyote got away I told her, "you just chased your first coyote and you had no idea!"

In the above picture Arie spots Junior one of our farm cats.

So she took pursuit of the cat to get a better look. Arie wants badly to chase the cats. I'm glad when the cats hold their ground and resist the urge to run. Then all she does is give them a good sniff and then Arie quickly looses interest. But, if they run all she wants to do is chase them.

Every day I tie Arie next to the house while I prepare her food. She almost always waits patiently for me to return.

Often she simply lays down and waits but, in this picture she looks in the house perhaps wondering what all lies behind the door. She's never been inside.

During the past week Arie has begun an incessant need to play with everything and I mean everything. She wants to bite everything she comes in contact with. Sticks, stones, plants, me or anyone else or any part of you, clothing shoes and what have you. It's a real challenge of how to deal with it. Do you play back and perhaps encourage it? Playing definitely encourages her to continue and to get more into it, never quiting for a second. Usually i just try to change her mind and get her distracted but, it isn't easy.
It's funny. I keep telling my family how Arie does something different every week. It's always kind of a surprise yet it's not all at the same time. I've read alot about the behaviour of LGD's and everything she has done so far has been mentioned at some point. Ariella is different from any dog I've ever had. And lots of work but, it's certainly going to be worth it!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Guard dog on duty

Yesterday Kelli and I found one of our young apple trees had been denuded of it's leaves by a deer. The tree is in a fenced area with our grapes and lots of other berries plants. So that means the deer jumped the 6 foot fence to get in there. It sags in alot of places so it is not a full 6 feet all the way around but, the deer was in there nonetheless.

So we moved Arie and the lambs over there today and tonight Arie is guarding the place against the deer. She's on her first guard duty! And I'm sure she will do a fine job of scaring away the deer. At least for a while anyway. Until they get used to her. But, as ferocious as she can get I wonder if they ever would get used to that.

I weighed Arie today and she was 45 lbs. And she was approximately 20 inches at the withers. I say approximately because she is still all puppy and the tape measure is just another thing with which to bite! So it was hard to be precise. But, that's pretty close, give or take a half inch or so. Tomorrow she will be 15 weeks old.

Earlier in the day she did an interesting thing. We went out to visit the older sheep and after a little bit she started smelling something on the breeze. You could see her working it, trying to find the source of what ever it was she was smelling. Head in the air while Arie zig-zagged about locating the source. As she was about to disappear over a rise I stepped up my pace and caught up with her. Just over the top of the hill she began sniffing intensely a small foot high bush with the hair on her back standing up. Then I saw scratch marks in the grass as if something like a dog had marked the bush and then scratched the ground with it's hind legs just like a dog will when they mark their territory. It might have been from a coyote because later I saw some coyote tracks in the dirt not far from there.

Later on this evening when we drove out in the pickup truck to move the sheep pen, Arie spotted a deer which ran off as we approached. She barked and growled ferociously with the hair on her back standing way up. Even after we got out of the truck she continued growling ominously. I held a firm grip on the leash because I new she'd chase that deer if she could. Actually even though she is still very young it is a comfort to have her watching my back. I usually look over my shoulder from time to time anyway always wondering when a bear might show up unexpectedly. It's never happened to me but, I've heard heard stories from people it has happened to. Not just from bears but, from wolves as well.

Arie is a fine little guard dog even now. Can't wait until she is a full grown guard dog!

Video's from around the farm

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A big step backwards

Well, I took a chance with putting Arie in with the lambs so soon and today my luck ran out. This morning she found their ears. Apparently she thinks they are something new to bite on.

I went out this afternoon to do some work with her and I noticed the male lamb had a spot of blood on his ear. I thought the flies had been bothering him too. The flies have been bothering Arie for the past couple weeks. Our daughter made an herbal bug repellent and that has been working for the pup. I figured I'd have to start putting it on the lambs too. But, then it dawned on me that the main flock doesn't have a problem with flies biting their ears, so why would they be bothering these lambs. I looked close at the blood spot and saw several long and deep scratches. The other ear had the same kind of scratches. Then I looked at the female lamb and her ears looked the same way only with no blood. Then it hit me, Arie did this! She probably had clamped on, then the lambs must have pulled away causing the scratches. I would have to put a divider in the pen to separate Arie from the lambs. No more unsupervised time together.

I didn't have time right then to set up a divider, I wanted to take Arie out to the main flock so she could spend more time with them and to have them get more used to her. So I took her out there and we hung out with the adult sheep for a little bit.

Arie remembered her last encounter with them and she immediately adopted a submissive attitude. Several of the sheep tried to butt her, but this time I was on guard and stopped it. We were out there about 20 minutes. It was a good session though, I thought. The book I have, which is featured on the right hand side bar, "Livestock Guardians", says that a good livestock guardian dog should be submissive to the sheep. So I was pleased to see that Arie was doing that. I had other matters to attend to so I put Arie back with the lambs and would set up the divider later.

We had to go to town so I wasn't able to get back to the project until tonight. When we got back I immediately checked out the lambs because I was worried she might continue with her new found game and sure enough the boy lambs ears were in worse condition than before. Not bloody but, there were some definite tears this time. Tears and nicks. So tonight I got the divider set up and they are now separated. They are still side by side but, Arie can't molest the lambs any more. A big step backwards in my opinion but, from what I've read it is fairly common.

So we'll have to go a little slower from now on.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

40 lbs. today

At almost, 14 weeks, Arie is now 40 lbs. Just weighed her today.
She is growing fast. I feed her Purina Puppy Chow supplemented with chicken and turkey innards, livers, hearts and gizzards. Plus I've been making a broth with all of the above and boiled necks and feet and pour that over the works twice a day. There is supposed to be good stuff in the feet for both humans and animals alike. I don't feed Arie the bones though. I just don't want to take a chance of her choking or them getting stuck or anything. I do feed her raw beef bones however, since they bigger.

After Arie's weigh in, I took her out to the main flock of sheep for a visit.

I sat with her for awhile just letting them all get more used to each other.

The sheep seemed extra inquisitive today for some reason, and they all lined up along the fence to check Arie out.

Next, I tied Arie to the fence for a little while. The sheep still were curious about this strange newcomer.

This was the first time since when I put Arie in with them the other day, that the sheep have seen her again for a prolonged time. So maybe they remembered their last encounter with her, I don't know.

I'm having lots of fun with our new puppy.