Kangal Dog Puppy

Kangal Dog Puppy

Friday, October 28, 2011

Construction project

Every spare minute I've been working on this hoop structure for Arie and the sheep to have shelter this winter. As of today I am pretty much done with it. I was going to build this last year but winter snuck up on me before I got to it.

I had turned our old horse barn into a house for Arie back in the spring and then just added this hoop house onto it. Last winter I kept Arie in our big green house during the nights. Now with this structure, her and the sheep can go in and out as they wish and I don't have to worry about them getting too warm.
Arie is maturing nicely. I really like her personality now that she is settling down and getting out of that puppy stage. She loves to get petted and rubbed and excepts it without trying to play and gnaw on me. She still occasionally, will gently play with the goats and sheep but it only lasts a short time and she gets it out of her system pretty quickly. However I recently observed her interaction with a ram. The ram was intent on licking Arie's hind end. She kept walking away from him not caring for his advances. When she was tired of it she wield around with a snarl and teeth bared. The ram attempted to head butt her, she evaded the butt then laid into him with lots of snarling and teeth. She grabbed him by the check and quickly pinned him down. Upon which time he immediately submitted to her and she instantly stopped administering the discipline. She calmly walked away and he then left her alone. My first reaction was to intervene because I was standing close by. But, I restrained myself to see what would happen. I was glad I did not interfere because it played out well. Arie put the ram in his place. Although she made lots of noise and appeared at first to be overly aggressive, in actuality she simply disciplined the ram from the behavior of putting himself in a place he had no business being. I checked the ram over and he was not injured in anyway. Arie only grabbed him hard enough to take him down and pin him. As soon as he submitted she let him go. I found this interaction very interesting.

Makes me wonder how often these scenarios play out when I'm not around. Obviously they have the relationship all worked out. Intact rams and goats can be extremely obnoxious at times. When ever I work out there around them I keep a cane pole near by to give them a light whack on the ankles if they get too rough close by to me. I've been butted by them before and I don't care to have my leg broken or knee damaged, so I train them to stay away from me with that pole.

Nature is usually pretty tough. Every kind of animal we have ever had has a pecking order. From every kind of poultry clear up to horses. It can often become quite brutal. Which is a shocking thing for people who grow up watching TV shows where animals talk and act like humans. So many people try to imagine animals with human attributes, but in reality animals are simply animals, they are NOT people.

From observing the barnyard I long ago came to the conclusion that when people are behaving badly they are behaving just like animals. Animals can at any time act out with extreme viciousness. That is one reason why I first thought of using a shock collar on Arie when she was behaving badly towards the livestock. However I stopped using it quite some time ago. I didn't want to use it and when I did I used it very sparingly. I only used it when I had the timing down perfectly. And when I did it only mimicked the harshness of nature anyway. When she chased or bit at the animals she got a correcting zap. Far less correction than what she did to that ram the other day. In short time all I had to do was use the tone feature on the collar. The tone had nearly the same effect correcting her from the unwanted behavior. With her sharp temperament I really believe the collar saved me a lot of time and effort. Looking back on it even with advice I received on the contrary I believe it was the right tool for Arie and her aggressive temperament. Especially when she was in that naughty adolescent stage.

After having more experience with Arie and seeing her personality evolve with time I am more convinced that the collar was the right tool for her at that time. I went through a period were I was very unsure because of some of what I was seeing on the Kangal Dog discussion groups. Probably 99 out of 100 Kangal Dogs wouldn't need it, but Arie was tough and still is. She don't take any guff out of anything! She's the boss and she knows it! Even at a young age.

To date I'd say Arie is the best dog I've ever had. Back in early Fall I had the electric fence turned off because a lot of weeds had grown up on it. On a couple occasions Arie got out during the night. She never ran off like I feared she would and one of those nights she curled up and slept directly underneath my bedroom window. The weather was still warm enough outside to keep the windows open so I am assuming she somehow knew that, that was the room I was in. I would guess she could smell me. Not that I am saying I have excessive body order or anything like that. :) I'm saying she is very smart. The second time she got out we had just gotten up in the morning and we were surprised to see her leisurely strolling past the dining room window. Again she stayed around and did not roam off, even with deer and all kinds of animals of which she might chase.

A week or so ago Arie found the hide to that fox I killed a short time ago. She went into full aggression mode and wanted to rip it to shreds. Of course I'm saving the pelt and did not want her to eat it so I put it away. It was fun watching her try to find that thing again. It's like she doubles in size and transforms from this docile and placid dog to 100 % varmint hunter. An amazing transformation. I'm always amazed.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Job well done

The other night we were sitting around a camp fire with Arie tied up nearby. She began to bark at something in the darkness. My first thought was that it was probably some deer which are almost always out in the fields at night. I went over to her to let her know it was alright. Then a minute or so later she barked more persistently, until we heard a chicken squawking rather loudly. At that point Arie was really onto something and was barking with much intent, though she was tied securely to a fence.

I grabbed my 20 gauge and drove out in the truck where the chickens were being kept. I found a chicken that had certainly been molested by some critter. I scanned the area with my head mounted flashlight and saw some eyes peering at me a ways off. So I got in the truck and headed for it with the headlights on bright to get a better look. It was a fox! I chased it up into the woods where I could no longer drive. I got out and scanned the woods with my light. The eyes showed up again then disappeared. I was facing the highway and didn't want to shoot towards it so I circled around, then the fox eyes glowed back at me in the darkness again, I took aim and pulled the trigger.

It just so happened that the shot in the dark took out the foxes heart and it dropped in it's tracks. If Arie had not alerted us I might not have gotten to it before it killed the chicken. As it turned out the chicken was alright it only lost a patch of feathers on it's neck. A very close call for the chicken.

Again Arie has done her job! I am more than pleased with our amazing Kangal Dog!