Kangal Dog Puppy

Kangal Dog Puppy

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.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Some Friday night observations

Sorry folks no pictures today. Just didn't have the time. We're in the garbage business and I had some garbage related stuff to do today which took up a good portion of the day.

Tonight I had to let Arie's collar out one notch. Actually the collar I got for her was too big originally and I had to make a hole to fit her 8 1/2 week old neck when we first got her. And that was a bit loose. So now she has filled out the collar and the new hole fits perfectly. However I think this collar will be wore out before she gets a chance to out grow it. But, that's alright because I have another brand new one waiting to be put to good use.

Arie certainly challenges my knowledge of how to train a puppy. She is not like any dog I've ever had. She has a strong will that can be compared to the Rottweiler I had as a kid but, that is where the similarity ends.

She has started kind of a new thing each time that I come to her pen to bring her out for chores. Arie gets excited to see me and thinks it's play time as I put on her leash and those sharp little teeth sometimes puncture even my work hardened hands. My first reaction is to "bite" her back by chopping her under the chin or grabbing her muzzle and holding it shut until she lets out a bit of a yelp. But, I have found that approach is not working. So today I tried a different angle. I did not attempt to put the leash on her right away. Instead I just greeted her and petted her and let her wiggle and be happy to see me. Basically, I had to slow down. When I do chores I'm usually moving at a pretty fast pace so I can get done without it taking me half the day. So by going the slower gentler route she seemed to respond more positively, rather than me going quick and reacting firmly with her.

But, this biting when she is excited has been getting to be a trend with her. She has been doing that with the rest of the family and with friends too. When they greet her she gets all wound up and wiggles and is happy but, then she wants to play and begins to bite. She does this while on a leash and I can control her better than when I'm trying to attach the leash. This is definitely an area where I need to spend more time working on. She responds very well to praise and to treats so I will continue with that approach as the disciplinary approach does not produce favorable results.

It almost seems like Arie has alot of pent up energy after spending hours lounging around with her lambs. She gets good activity following me around up to a couple hours a day but, as she is getting bigger her stamina is growing as well. So today we went out for about a quarter mile walk and hung out in the woods for awhile. She loved it out in the woods with all the downed branches to chew on and play with.

Arie is all puppy right now and wants to play alot. I'm not really sure at this point how to play with her. I don't want to encourage biting but, all puppies love to play bite and tussle and growl and get rough. So I am concentrating more on giving her things to do rather than to get her all worked up and playing rough.

I've been watching her close and so far she is doing well with the lambs and she hasn't been trying to play with them.

Yesterday, I took her in with the big sheep for the first time. I was right there with her and had her on a leash. Within the first minute a bigger doe blasted her. Spun Arie right around , didn't hurt her in the least bit but, gave her a pretty good jolt. That one took me by surprise the doe hit her before I could react. So I kept Arie closer and within another minute or so another doe tried to butt her. She got hit but, I was on my toes and helped deflect the charge. That time Arie snarled fiercely and snapped her teeth at the ewe. The rest of the sheep seemed to get the message after Arie's defensive out burst and the rest of the time none of them went after her again. But, then again, I was right there too. And Arie adopted a defensive posture as well. When I first took her in she was all happy and rambunctious wanting to play with the sheep. The attacks from the ewes took the playfulness right out of her.

Arie continues to amaze me with her ingrained protective instincts. As it is getting dark earlier now I've been finishing my evening shores when it is almost dark. A number of times in the past week if she sees a person or one of our farm cats after the sun starts going down and visibility gets more difficult she will bark and growl ferociously. Just tonight we were in the truck and she saw one of the cats stalking something in the tall grass and she got absolutely fierce growling and barking at it. I thought she was going to jump out the window. This is a deeply ingrained trait and not something I've encouraged at all. As I've stated before I don't want her doing that to our animals but, I welcome it towards predators, varmints and stray dogs. It makes me feel good that she has this strong of an instinct. Yet, a little wary because it will be hard work to train her to be trustworthy with the friends and animals that belong here.

Two days ago our friend John was here and brought his dog Owen. Owen is an almost grown puppy, a mix breed with boundless energy. He loves other dogs and is close to the size that Arie is now. John asked if it was alright to let Owen out to greet Arie and I said, yes. John opened the truck door and Owen was all over Arie in a heart beat. He was at her head then at her tail. At her head then at her tail over and over. Sniffing and licking a dozen times before Arie knew what hit her. She had no idea what to make of this creature who was completely in her space. So she snarled, bared her teeth and arched her back almost cat like, her tail was tight between her legs. Hair standing strait up. Of course John got a good chuckle out of that but, as quick as Owen greeted Arie he was off in an instant to chase a couple farm cats. So John called him off and put him back in the truck. Arie didn't know what to think of the little tornado that just blew by her. I suspect if she was older and bigger the encounter wouldn't have fared well for Owen. As I said indicated I have alot of work ahead of me.

I am both impressed and quite respectful of the caliber animal this little Kangal Dog is proving to be. To me, some of her responses seem almost primitive and wild. I suspect it is from the centuries old living in the harsh and rugged environment which forged this impressive breed.

We have an older female Canaan Dog which we had since a pup, we call her Sidon and she exhibits some wild like behaviors as well. Canaan Dogs were partly developed from semi-wild stock and Arie's traits reminds me of Sidon's in some ways.

Well, this is about all I have time to put down tonight about our Kangal Dog puppy. I'm sure there's alot I've left out. Before the weekend is over I'll try to get some more pictures and maybe a video and other pertinent info.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Arie learns to climb the picnic table

Today Arie learned to climb the picnic table. In the video this was about her 4th time climbing it and getting down. The first time a different cat was on the table and she climbed it without any coaxing at all to see the cat on top, which surprised us and mad us laugh. Then she jumped down after the cat completely on her own.

For the video we set it up to demonstrate her new found skill. We tried to coax her up to get it on video but, she wouldn't do it for us. So we set Junior the cat on the table to offer some incentive. She went right up just like the first time and Brianna was able to get it on video.

It seems Arie does something new every day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A growing puppy

I weighed Arie today and she was 35 lbs. on our bathroom scale. She is 12 weeks and 3 days old today.

I knew the day would come and probably sooner rather than later, that she would find her feet. She now has the dexterity to be able to dig a hole in sod. Yesterday when I got home from working I went out to see her and she had dug a hole about the size of a large soft ball. And it was right at the edge of the fence. A little better hole and she would have been able to get out. I think she was just bored and wanting something to do not that she really wanted out. Actually I think she just got lucky in that the hole was right next to the fence. But, give her a reason in the not to distant future to want out and she will have that move down pat!

Ariealla still accompanies me while doing my daily chores. She usually comes with me twice a day. Unless I'm in a hurry or something but, she always is with me at least once during chores. It takes me about an hour, so she gets the routine up to two hours a day. She is starting to get the hang of it. I still pick her up to put her in the truck because she is still pretty clumsy and can't hardly pull her self up.

She can jump out but, I only limit that to one time a day until she gets stronger. I've heard that large breed puppies can develop joint problems if you let them jump down from high places.

The first time I let her jump out she collapsed under her own weight. Actually this is the first week I started letting her jump out once a day.

Here Arie waits for me to help her out. Who has who trained I wonder?

This evening I took a camera with me as I tended the main flock. It was getting dark so I had to use the flash.
Arie is now much more comfortable with the sheep. They still want to ram at her through the fence somewhat but, they too are getting more comfortable. Maybe they are realizing this "wolf" is with me. The rams are much more assertive at ramming at her through the fence but, they too seem to be getting a little more used to her. I have to watch her like a hawk when she is on their side because I'm afraid if she put her head through the fence they could break her neck.

The ram on the right had just hit the fence and Arie prances away like it didn't bother her at all.

Not about to show them she's afraid she quickly doubles back to face her attackers.

Titan tilts his head down in a threatening manner warning Arie not to get too close.

Here Arie and Titan make up with Titan giving Arie a sniff and Arie giving him a quick kiss.

In the next two pictures Arie and Dakota get better acquainted.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ariella of Russell's Regal Kangal Dogs at 12 weeks of age.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Top Predator

Here's another one to add to the predator list. This black bear could easily get in with our livestock if it really wanted to. This series of pictures were captured yesterday on a game camera set up in our woods.

"See what big paws I have!"
I'm pretty sure we need several Kangal Dogs around our place.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A day at the lake

If I did the math right, Arie is now 11 weeks old. I weighed her the other day and she was around 30 lbs. Can't be sure of the accuracy of the scale, but it is close. Amazing how fast they grow. People think she is older than she really is. Today we took her to the lake for the first time. It was hot out so it was nice to give her a cool down in the water.

At first she was more interested in the drift wood and the bits of charred wood from people having camp fires than she was of the water.

Then Arie ventured in without me even having to coax her.

But, Arie had more fun playing on the beach than she did in the water.

In these above two pictures she is only taking a break. Big puppies get wore out fast.

Then back into the water for a little excitement. Again, the second time in I did not coax her at all. After this she wandered up and down the beach, on leash of course, to chew on every piece of drift wood she could find.
After doing that for awhile I tried to coax her back into the water so she could get more thoroughly wet. After the first two times in she really had no more interest of going in the water again. Enough was enough Arie seemed to indicate.

In the next series of pictures I am trying to get her to come back out. Then look at what she does.

The next thing I knew, she took a flying leap, not to go in the water but, for me to catch her! Arie was trying to jump onto me!
Well I stood up and she landed in the water anyway.

That was about all she wanted to do with the water after that.

Arie had much more fun on the beach. Here you can see she is a natural born digger! She would dig holes and get her self all excited. For good reason the Kangal Dog people have told about how important it is to make secure enclosures. Digging is something Kangals do very well they say and here is the proof! I knew it was coming that she would learn to use her feet and here she is already!
Ariella is a very smart puppy. And she is already showing signs of independence. Even a week or so ago. One day when her and I were tending the main flock of sheep she decided she wanted to go back to her two lambs. I watched to see how far she would go and sure enough she was going back. Once I was convinced that's what she was indeed doing a ran to catch up with her and brought her back to the main flock.
And tonight she showed me another trick. She knows how to open a gate with her nose. She did it once last week but, I wasn't certain. Tonight I saw her do it for sure. While I am doing chores and hauling buckets back and forth to the truck, rather than have her come for every trip I leave her in an enclosure and when I'm done she then gets to come with. She likes to follow me so a little thing like a gate is not going to stop her it seems. Now, this gate stays shut by itself and the only latch is a piece of wire but, it opens inward and she has to actually use her nose to get it to open. Smart little cookie she is!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chews Everything

I read somewhere that some LGD's chew alot. Ariella is certainly no exception. I can't imagine what it would take to puppy proof the house. No doubt folks who raise them as house pets have their hands very full. I find it quite humorous actually especially when I already had some heads up what to expect from what I had read. Every time I turn around she has her mouth on something, giving it a try to see if it is worthy of her efforts. It doesn't matter if it is wood, metal or stone. In the above picture she quickly grabbed the strap on the camera.

In this one she got a piece of charred wood out of the fire pit.

Arie can shred a pop can in nothing flat. I only let her play with this for photo purposes otherwise it would not be safe for her to have unsupervised access to anything like this.

I have learned to anticipate the things she might chew. In the below picture she nibbles on a bicycle tire.
She will chew on metal with the same enthusiasm as a raw beef bone. In the pickup truck she often gnaws on the metal seat belt buckles. Or when I had tools out she loves to pick them up in her mouth.
I am very much enjoying seeing all the characteristics of our new puppy. She is already very much the protector. When any of our older dogs or cats come near the pen she barks and growls ferociously. I tried to capture it on video but, have yet to get any decent footage as she will see me and stop. Also the older dogs don't like to be barked and growled at so they have learned to stay clear. I don't want her doing that to them but, I was hoping to get some video. However I hope to get them better socialized in the coming days so she might not do that anymore anyways. If I get some shots I'll post them otherwise I might have lost the opportunity. Just take my word for it she gets fierce. She was doing that by the second day. Never seen such a young pup be so protective.
The chewing I've seen before. The Rottweiler I had as a kid chewed on stuff but, especially liked to chew on rocks even eating them if I did not get to him in time. Ariella brought back memories for me just yesterday when I saw her gnawing on a rock. I said " what are you chewing on". then I reached in her mouth and pulled out a rock. And the Fila we had many years ago could do some major damage from chewing. We had left her in a stair well one time while we were gone and when we got back home all the carpet was shredded, the hand railing was destroyed and the door was half chewed through. Major damage from an unhappy pup who wanted to be with us. So I can imagine Kangal pups would be no different. If you plan to raise one in the house be forewarned. From what I've seen with Arie so far she would be a major challenge if we had her in the house.

I am seeing that the information I've seen about Kangal Dogs not being for everyone is very true. Arie is very smart with a very strong drive do do whatever she sets her mind to do. I can see that an older pup or dog would be extremely difficult to keep in if they want out. Arie has a high drive and determination to do what she wants. Getting her to do what "I" want is kind of like steering a high performance machine. It is possible but, not in a way most pet owners would expect. Harshness would only ruin a dog like this. She responds well to praise and treats. Almost too well with treats.
From our last chicken butchering I saved all the hearts and livers for Ariella. We boiled them then threw them in the freezer. When I want snacks for her I take some out and thaw them. She absolutely loves them. The other day I was training her with some liver chunks. I think she would have climbed a ten foot wall for me in order to get some of that. I gave her more than I normally would because I was having fun with her. The only problem was she has such a good memory that the next day every time she saw someone she started barking and fussing thinking she might get some more of those excellent treats. So I gave it a break for a couple days and she finally settled down. If Arie is typical of a Kangal, these are highly intelligent dogs and you have to stay a step ahead of them, otherwise they will be a step ahead of you!