Kangal Dog Puppy

Kangal Dog Puppy

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A new view of the farm

Last week I took this video of Sarah getting used to a different spot on the farm right next to our chicken yard. Our daughter had the house dog out for a walk and Sarah was checking them out and barking at them.

We still have not introduced Sarah and our golden retriever Tucker since I am still not sure what I think about mixing the LGD with the house dog.  According to some the two should never mix, I'm not sure of the reasoning behind that however.  Until I understand more fully the true dynamics of an real working LGD I'll hold back on the introductions. 

This is still all new to me, but so far Sarah seems to have correct LGD behavior as far as I can tell.  She is WAY easier to handle than was Arie.  The "measured" response which I have heard about of a good working Kangal seems certainly true of Sarah.  As you can see in this video Sarah barks, but does not go ballistic like Arie used to do.  Sarah does not throw herself against the fence, which is something Arie did regularly.   Sarah barks and keeps on the alert, but still minds her manners all at the same time.

 Tomorrow I plan to introduce Sarah to some members of the main flock, she has done well since we brought her home with two rams and two buck goats that we have.  We are going to rearrange things going into winter as we breed the ewes for spring time lambs and the rams and goats will be relocated. 

I wanted Sarah to have a closer view of the main flock before tomorrow so tonight I brought them over by her in our mobile sheep pen.  However it didn't go quite as I planned.  Sarah came a little too close to the electric fence to check out the new comers and she got nailed.  By this point it was dark and foggy and she disappeared and would not come when I called.  So I went out to look for her and found her as far away from those sheep as she possibly could get in that paddock and was not about to come any closer.  It seemed she associated the new comers with the zap, which is not at all what I had hoped for. But I hope in the light of day tomorrow when we bring them in she'll see that they're just fine and she has nothing to worry about.

We have owned many of the working breeds over the years and  I find Kangal dogs to be something just a little bit different as far as dogs go.  The closest in personality to any other dog we've had is probably that of a Canaan Dog that we had for 14 almost years.  Only the Canaan Dog is a fraction of the size.  A Kangal is also a little bit like a Siberian Husky we used to have as well.  Kind of a blend of the two.  They seem to have a "wild" aspect to their dispositions, very unlike a Doberman, German Shepherd or Rottweiler which live to "please". 

I've owned and trained the three working breeds I just mentioned in years past and with those guys you could train in an almost robotically programmable fashion.   They thrived on that kind of attention, Kangals can be trained to do some things but, act as if they simply "tolerate" the training and seem to get bored with it.  This aspect of a Kangal makes me just a little bit uneasy in that if a situation ever occurred, they would be a whole lot of animal to have to physically restrain if it didn't want to listen.  In this respect a Kangal in the city is certainly not for everyone.

But, I'm happy with Sarah, so far she seems to have far more of the LDG characteristics I had read and heard about concerning Kangal Dogs.  However it still feels like kind of a balancing act in setting up the living arrangements for two opposite species to cohabitate together.  Basically we are forcing the "wolf" and the "lamb" to lie down together and expect everyone to live as one big happy family. 

Tomorrow should be interesting but, we'll be kind of starting over.  Sarah has proven to be reliable with the livestock so it will be more on the part of the sheep to get used to her in the coming days and weeks. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

This video I took from the seat of our tractor and is of pretty poor quality, but I wanted to show how Sarah is getting more comfortable with her place and is very alert with what's going on around the farm.  It's the first time she's seen our tractor so was checking it out, then at the end she spots our house dog which was out for a walk and then runs off to bark at him.